Notes & Commentary:
This second council of the Jews against Jesus, was held on the Wednesday,
two days before the Passover; and because on this day Judas sold Christ, and the Jews decreed his death, the ancient custom,
according to St. Augustine, originated of fasting on Wednesdays; (Ep. xxxvi. t. 3. p. 80,) and the general custom of abstaining
from flesh on Fridays, because on that day Jesus suffered death for our redemption. --- In the notes on these two following
chapters, I shall join all the chief circumstances related by the other evangelists that the reader may have a fuller and
more exact view of the history of Christ's sufferings and death. (Witham)
Ver. 2. You
know that after two days shall be the Pasch; or the feast of the Pasch. The Protestants translate, of the Passover.
The French all retain the same word in their language, Paque; as the author of the Latin Vulgate and all other Greek
versions have done. It is indeed an evident mistake, (as St. Augustine observed) to take Pascha for a Greek word, as
Mr. N... has done, who in his note on this place says, Pascha, in Greek, is a passion or suffering. It is certain that
the word Pascha, or Pasche, is from a Hebrew derivation, signifying a passing by or passing over.
Yet it must also be observed, that this same word Pascha, has different significations; sometimes it is put for the
Paschal Lamb, that was sacrificed; as Luke xxii. 7, elsewhere for the first day of the Paschal feast
and solemnity, which lasted seven days; as in this place, and Ezechiel xlv. 21. Again it is taken for the sabbath-day, that
happened within the seven days of the solemnity. (John xix. 14.) And it is also used to signify all the sacrifices, that were
made during the seven days' feast; as John xviii. 28. (Witham) --- And the Son of man. Jesus Christ informed his disciples
of the bloody transactions, which were soon to be perpetrated at Jerusalem, lest they might be disheartened, when they saw
their Master condemned to die on a cross. Christ was delivered up to death by his heavenly Father out of love for man; he
is betrayed by Judas for base lucre, condemned by the priests out of envy, and persecuted by the common enemy of mankind,
who feared that his empire and reign might be destroyed among men by the preaching of our Redeemer; not perceiving, that man
would be freed from his empire more by his death, than by his preaching. (Origen)
Ver. 3. Into
the palace or court of the high priest. Assemblies were held in the public places, at the gates, or in the courts
of the nobles. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 5. Not
on the festival day. Such a day seemed to them at first improper, at least to some of them; but this was overruled, when
Judas informed them how he could and would put him into their hands on Thursday night. St. Jerome takes notice, that when
they said, Not on the festival, it was not through a motive of religion that they made this objection, but only lest
a tumult should happen in his favour among the people; (Witham) for they looked upon him as a great prophet. --- Behold how
fearful these people are, not of offending God, nor of increasing the enormity of their most atrocious crime, by committing
it on the solemnity of the Passover, but of offending men by raising a tumult. Still boiling over with rage, they no sooner
found the Traitor, than yielding to the impulse of their blind fury, they gladly seized the opportunity offered, and immolating
their victim in the middle of their solemnity. Though this their wickedness was the instrument of the divine dispensation,
to bring about the greatest good, still they will not go without receiving condign punishment; which the perversity of their
wills so richly deserved, for murdering innocence itself; and at a time when guilt was accustomed to meet with mercy and forgiveness.
(St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxx.) --- We know that by a decree of divine Providence, what had been so long and so earnestly sought
for by the Jewish princes, viz. an opportunity of murdering the innocent Lamb of God, was not granted to them, except on the
very feast of the Pasch. For it was only fitting, that what had been for such a length of time figuratively promised, should
be manifestly fulfilled; that the true Lamb should supersede the figurative one; and that by one grand sacrifice, the vast
variety of offerings and holocausts should be done away. (St. Leo the great)
Ver. 6. When
Jesus was in Bethania, &c. St. Augustine observes, that this pouring of the ointment on Jesus is not related by St.
Matthew in due order of time. It was not done on this Wednesday, but as St. John expressly tells us, (xii. 1.) six days
before the Pasch, or Paschal feast, began. This anointing was different from that done in the house of the Pharisee,
and in Galilee, set down by St. Luke, Chap. vii. 37. (Witham) --- St. Matthew mentions the fact in this place, because it
was in some measure the occasion of Judas's treason. (Bible de Vence) --- St. Ambrose seems to assert, that the Simon here
mentioned was at that time a leper, in the following words: "Hence, it appears, that Christ did not flee the company of lepers;
he kept company with the unclean, that he might purify them from their uncleanness." St. Jerome is of opinion that Simon was
not then a leper, but had been cured of a leprosy by our Lord; and that he afterwards retained the name of leper, as St. Matthew,
after he was called by our Saviour, continued to be called the Publican. The latter sentiment seem most probable, because
the Jews were not permitted to associate with lepers. (Denis the Carthusian)
Ver. 7. A
woman. This was Mary, the sister of Lazarus. (St. John xii. 3.) (Bible de Vence) --- It is not the use, but the abuse
of things, which is blameworthy. That man is not to be blamed, who does not exceed the rules followed by good, honourable,
and conscientious men, with whom he associates. What, therefore, in some is often reprehensible, in another is highly commendable.
A good reputation is a sweet perfume, which a man merits for his worthy deeds; and whilst he follows the footsteps of Christ,
he may justly be said to anoint our Redeemer's feet with a most precious ointment. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 8. Indignation.
It was chiefly Judas, who blamed aloud this profusion. (Bible de Vence) --- St. Matthew and St. Mark mention the disciples.
But such of them as spoke, were persuaded to what they said either by Judas's words, or by their feeling and affection for
the poor; but the only motive of Judas was avarice. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Ver. 10. Why
do you trouble this woman? By this, our Saviour teaches us, that we are not to expect the more perfect acts of virtue
from persons still novices, or young in the service of God. He takes the part of the woman, and speaks in her behalf; that
the tender bud of her faith might not be blasted, but that her virtues might be watered with tenderness, and thus assisted
to produce greater fruit for the future. When, therefore, we behold any good action done, though some imperfection may creep
in with it, still ought we to behold it with kindness, and assist it to bring forth more perfect acts for the time to come.
(St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxi.)
Me you have not, or will not have always, in this visible manner. --- She ... hath done it for my burial.
St. Mark (xiv. 8.) says, She hath prevented the time to anoint me, which is done at burials, for my time of being buried
will be in a few days. (Witham) --- Me you have not always; viz. in a visible manner, as when conversant here on earth:
and as we have the poor, whom we may daily assist and relieve. (Challoner) --- Or, he is not always corporally present with
us, except in the persons of the poor, whom our Saviour commands us to receive or assist; promising to reward us in the same
manner, as if we had conferred the same charity on himself. This saying does not contradict what he afterwards said: behold,
I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world; (Chap. xxviii. 20.) because in the former, he only speaks
of his corporal presence, but in the latter text, of his spiritual presence and constant assistance. (Denis the Carthusian)
Ver. 13. That
also which she had done. The exploits of kings and emperors are no longer remembered. The actions of those who have built
cities, raised fortresses, carried on wars, and erected trophies of their victories; who have subdued nations, dictated laws
to thousands, and raised statues to their own honour, have passed into oblivion; and many of their names are long ago forgotten.
But when a poor simple woman, in the house of a leper, in the presence of twelve men, pours out her ointment; her good work
is rehearsed after the lapse of so many ages, in every part of the habitable globe. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxi.)
Ver. 14. The
chief priests were then assembled; Judas, the disciple, who chiefly regretted the expense of the perfumes that had been
used on his Lord and Master, at the feast of Bethania, and wished for an opportunity to make good the loss, went to the chief
Ver. 15. What
will you give me? The impious wretch did not betray his divine Master out of fear, but out of avarice. Of all passions
the love of sordid lucre is the most vile; and the avaricious soul does not fear to plunge herself into the bottom of hell,
for a trifling gain. There is no vestige of honour or justice, or probity, remaining in the heart of that man who is possessed
with the love of base lucre; whose god is his money. The perfidious Judas, inebriated with this passion, while he thirsts
after gain, sells with the most foolish impiety his Lord and his Master. (St. Leo the great) --- He sells him for the paltry
consideration of thirty pieces of silver, about £3 15. the price of a common slave. See Exodus xxi. 32. It is probable that
even the obdurate heart of Judas would not have betrayed his Master to the Jews, had he not expected that Jesus would escape
from their hands on this occasion, as he had done at Nazareth, and in the temple.
The Pascal Supper.
Ver. 17. The
first day of the azymes; unleavened bread. St. Mark (xiv. 12.) adds, when they sacrificed the Pasch: and St. Luke
(xxii. 7.) says, And the day of the unleavened bread came; on which it was necessary that the Pasch (i.e. the Paschal
lamb) should be killed. From hence it follows, that Christ sent his apostles that very day (the 14th day of the month
of Nisan) on which, in the evening, or at night, the Pasch was to be eaten; and which was to be with unleavened bread.
It is true, the 15th day of that month is called (Exodus xii. 1.[2.?]) the first day of unleavened bread: but
we must take notice, that the Jews began their feasts, or festivals, from sunset of the evening before; and consequently on
the evening of the 14th day of the moon: at which time there was to be no leavened bread in any of their houses. This shews
that Christ eat the Pasch, or Paschal lamb, after sunset. And when the Paschal supper was over, he consecrated
the blessed Eucharist, in unleavened bread, as the Latin Church doth. There are two or three difficulties relating to this
matter in St. John, of which in their proper places. (Witham) --- There were four passovers during Christ's public ministry.
The 1st was after the marriage feast of Cana, in the 31st year of Jesus, and the 779th from the foundation of Rome. to derive
pascha from the Greek, paschein, to suffer, is a mistake, as St. Augustine observes; tract. lv.
in Joah. It is certainly taken from the Hebrew, and signifies a passing by, or passing over: 1st, because the
children of Israel passed in haste on that night out of the land of Egypt; 2d, because the angel, who on that night killed
all the first-born of the Egyptians, seeing the doors of the Israelites stained with the blood of the paschal lamb, passed
by all theirs untouched; 3d, because that was a figure of our Saviour passing out of this life to his eternal Father. Yet
it must be observed that this same word, pascha, or passover, is used sometimes for the paschal lamb, that was
sacrificed; (Luke xxii. 7.) elsewhere, for the first day of the paschal feast and solemnity, which lasted seven days; (Matthew
xxvi. 2; Ezechiel xlv. 21.) for the sabbath-day, which occurred within the seven days of the solemnity; (John xix. 14.) and
also for all the sacrifices made during the seven days' feast. The Passover was the most solemn rite of the old law. When
God ordered the Israelites to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon their door-posts, it was solely with a view of signifying,
that the blood of the true Lamb was to be the distinctive mark of as many as should be saved. Every thing was mysteriously
and prophetical. A bone of the lamb was not to be broken; and they broke not the arms or legs of Jesus Christ, on the cross.
The lamb was to be free from blemish; to express the perfect sanctity of Jesus Christ, the immaculate Lamb of God. The paschal
lamb was to be sacrificed and eaten; because Christ was to suffer and die for us: and unless we eat his flesh, we shall have
no life in us. The door-posts of the Israelites were to be sprinkled with blood, that the destroying angel might pass over
them; for with the blood of Christ our souls are to be purified, that sin and death may not prevail against us. In every house
was eaten a whole lamb; and Christ, at communion, is received whole and entire by every faithful soul. --- The manner in which
it was to be eaten, shews the proper dispositions for Christians when they receive the blessed sacrament. The roasting by
fire, expresses divine charity; the unleavened bread, sincerity, truth, and a good conscience; the bitter herbs, repentance
and contrition for sin; the girded loins and shod feet, the restraint upon our passions and lusts, and a readiness to follow
the rules of the gospel; the staff, our mortal pilgrimage, and that having no lasting dwelling here, we should make the best
of our way to our true country, the heavenly Chanaan. --- On this day the passover was to be eaten, at least by a part of
the people, according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke; i.e. according to some, by the Galileans; for, according to
St. John, it appears that the priests, and the Jews properly so called, such as dwelt in Judea, did not immolate it till the
next day. (John xiii. 1, xviii. 28, and xix. 14.) (Bible de Vence) --- But we have here again to remark, that the Jews began
their day from sunset of the previous day.
Ver. 18. To
a certain man, whom Sts. Mark and Luke call, the good man of the house, or master of the house. When St.
Matthew therefore says, a certain man, he seems to do it for brevity's sake; as no one ever speaks to his servants
thus, go to a certain man. The evangelist, therefore, after giving our Saviour's words, go ye into a certain city,
he adds as from himself, to a certain man, to inform us that there was a particular man to whom Jesus sent his disciples.
(St. Augustine) --- In Greek, ton deina; in Hebrew, Pelona; words that express a person whose name is
either not known, or is wished to be kept secret. (Jansenius)
Ver. 19. And
they prepared what was necessary, a lamb, wild lettuce, and unleavened bread. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 20. When
it was evening. St. Luke says, when the hour was come, which was at the latter evening, after sunset. The time
of killing and sacrificing the lamb was, according to the 12th of Exodus, to be between the two evenings; (see Mark
xiv. 15.) so that we may reasonably suppose, that Christ sent some of his apostles on Thursday, in the afternoon, to perform
what was to be done, as to the killing and sacrificing of the lamb, and then to bring it away: and he eat it with his disciples
after sunset. --- He sat down, &c. Literally, laid down, in a leaning or lying position. Some pretend, from
this circumstance, that he eat not the paschal lamb that year, because it was to be eaten, standing, according to the
law. But they might stand at the paschal lamb, and eat the rest of the supper on couches; as it was then the custom. (Witham)
--- We must not hence suppose that he transgressed the law. He first eat the Pasch according to the Mosaic rite, standing,
and then sat down to supper. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxii.)
Ver. 22. And
they being very much troubled. There were three motives for this great sorrow in the disciples: 1st, because they saw
their innocent and dear Master was so soon to be taken from them, and delivered up to a most cruel and ignominious death;
2d, because each of them was afraid lest, through human frailty, he might fall into so great a crime; for they all were convinced,
that what he said must necessarily come to pass: and lastly, that there could be found one among them so wretchedly perverse,
as to deliver Jesus into the hands of his enemies. Hence afraid of themselves, and not daring to affix a suspicion on any
individual, they began every one to say: Is it I, Lord, on whom so atrocious a crime is to fall? ... It is extremely probable
that Christ made this prediction three times: 1st, at the commencement of supper; (Matthew xxvi. 21.) 2d, after washing the
feet; (John xiii. 18.) 3d, after the institution of the blessed Eucharist. (Luke xxii. 21.) Thus Pope Benedict XIV. Sandinus,
Ver. 23. He
that dippeth. He that is associated to me, that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me, according
to the prophecy of the psalmist, cited by St. John, xiii. 18. --- Jesus Christ does not here manifest the traitor; he only
aggravates the enormity and malice of the crime.
Ver. 25. Is
it I, Rabbi? After the other disciples had put their questions, and after our Saviour had finished speaking, Judas at
length ventures to inquire of himself. With his usual hypocrisy, he wishes to cloke his wicked designs by asking a similar
question with the rest. (Origen) --- It is remarkable that Judas did not ask, is it I, Lord? but, is it I, Rabbi?
to which our Saviour replied, thou hast said it: which answer might have been spoken in so low a tone of voice, as
not perfectly to be heard by all the company. (Rabanus) --- Hence it was that Peter beckoned to St. John, to learn more positively
the person. Here St. Chrysostom justly remarks the patience and reserve of our Lord, who by his great meekness and self-possession,
under the extremes of ingratitude, injustice, and blasphemy, shews how we ought to bear with the malice of others, and forget
all personal injuries.
The Institution of the Holy Sacrament.
Ver. 26. And
whilst they were at supper. Jesus Christ proceeds to the institution of the blessed Eucharist, that the truth or reality
may succeed to the figure in one and the same banquet; and to impress more deeply upon our minds the remembrance of so singular
a favour, his last and best gift to man. He would not institute it at the beginning of his ministry; he first prepares his
disciples for the belief of it, by changing water into wine, and by the miraculous multiplication of the loaves. --- Whilst
they were, &c. before they parted: for by St. Luke (xxii. 20.) and 1 Corinthians (xi. 25.) the blessed sacrament was
not instituted till after supper. --- Jesus took bread, and blessed it. St. Luke and St. Paul say, he gave
thanks. This blessing and giving thanks, was not the consecration itself, but went before it. See the Council of
Trent, session xiii. chap. i. (Witham) --- This is my body. He does not say, this is the figure of my body---but,
this is my body. (2d Council of Nice. Act. vi.) Neither does he say in this, or with this is my body,
but absolutely this is my body; which plainly implies transubstantiation. (Challoner) --- Catholics maintain, after
the express words of Scripture, and the universal tradition of the Church, that Christ in the blessed sacrament is corporally
and substantially present; but not carnally; not in that gross, natural, and sensible manner, in which our separated
brethren misrepresent the Catholic doctrine, as the Capharnaites did of old; (John vi. 61, 62.) who were scandalized with
it. ... If Protestants, in opposition to the primitive Fathers, deny the connection of the sixth chapter of John with the
institution, it is from the fear of giving advantage to the doctrine of transubstantiation, says Dr. Clever, Protestant
bishop of Bangor. --- This is my body. By these words, and his divine power, Christ changed that which before was bread
into his own body; not in that visible and bloody manner as the Capharnaites imagined. (John vi.) Yet so, that the elements
of bread and wine were truly, really, and substantially changed into the substance of Christ's body and blood. Christ, whose
divine power cannot be questioned, could not make use of plainer words than these set down by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke,
and St. Paul to the Corinthians: this is my body; this is my blood: and that the bread and wine, at the words of consecration
are changed into the body and blood of Christ, has been the constant doctrine and belief of the Catholic Church, in all ages,
both in the east and west, both in the Greek and Latin churches; as may be seen in our controvertists, and particularly in
the author of the books of the Perpetuity of the Faith. The first and fundamental truths of the Christian faith, by
which we profess to believe the mystery of the holy Trinity, i.e. one God and three divine Persons, and of the
incarnation, i.e. that the true Son of God was made man, was born, suffered and died upon the cross for our salvation,
are no less obscure and mysterious, no less above the reach of human capacity, than this of the real presence: nor are they
more clearly expressed in the sacred text. This change the Church hath thought proper to express by the word, transubstantiation:
and it is as frivolous to reject this word, and to ask where it is found in the holy Scriptures, as to demand where we read
in the Scriptures, the words, trinity, incarnation, consubstantial to the Father, &c. --- Luther fairly owned that
he wanted not an inclination to deny Christ's real presence in the sacrament, by which he should vex and contradict the Pope;
but this, said he, is a truth that cannot be denied: The words of the gospel are too clear. He and his followers
hold, what is called impanation, or consubstantiation; i.e. that there is really present, both the substance
of the bread and wine, and also the substance of Christ's body and blood. --- Zuinglius, the Sacramentarians, and Calvinists
deny the real presence; and hold that the word is, (est) importeth no more, than it signifieth, or is
a figure of Christ's body; as it hath been lately translated, this represents my body, in a late translation,
or rather paraphrase, 1729. I shall only produce here the words and reasoning of Luther: which may deserve the attention of
the later reformers. "Who," saith Luther, (tom. vii. Edit. Wittemb. p. 391) "but the devil, hath granted such a license
of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign
of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only
then the devil, that imposeth upon us by these fanatical men. ... Not one of the Fathers, though so numerous,
ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood
of Christ is not there present. Surely it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat
their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It
is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not
be deceived. Certainly in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one
of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous."
Thus far Luther; who, in another place, in his usual manner of writing, hesitates not to call the Sacramentarians, men possessed,
prepossessed, and transpossessed by the devil. --- My body. In St. Luke is added, which is given for
you. Granted these words, which is given, may bear this sense, which shall be given, or offered on the cross;
yet as it was the true body of Christ, that was to be crucified,so it was the same true body which Christ
gave to his apostles, at his last supper, though in a different manner. --- The holy Eucharist is not only a sacrament,
but also a sacrifice, succeeding to all the sacrifices of the ancient law, which Christ commanded all the priests of
the new law to offer up. Luther was forced to own, that divers Fathers, taught this doctrine; as Irenĉus, Cyprian, Augustine:
and in his answer to Henry VIII. of England: The king, says he, brings the testimonies of the Fathers, to prove the sacrifice
of the mass, for my part, I care not, if a thousand Augustines, a thousand Cyprians, a thousand Churches, like that
of Henry, stand against me. The Centurists of Magdeburg own the same to have been the doctrine of Cyprian, Tertullian,
and also of Irenĉus, in the end of the second age; and that St. Gregory of Nazianzen, in the fourth age, calls it an unbloody
sacrifice; incruenti sacrificii. (Witham)
This is my body.
To shew how these words have been interpreted by the primitive Church,
we shall here subjoin some few extracts from the works of some of the most eminent writers of the first five centuries.
St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was a disciple and contemporary with
some of the apostles, and died a martyr, at Rome, in a very advanced age, An. 107, speaking of certain heretics of those times,
says: "They abstain from the Eucharist and from oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of our
Saviour Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins." See epis. genuin. ad Smyrnĉos. --- He calls the Eucharist the medicine of
immortality, the antidote against death, by which we always live in Christ. --- In another part he writes: "I desire the bread
of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and for drink, his blood." Again: "use one Eucharist; for the flesh of our Lord
Jesus Christ is one, and the cup is one in the unity of his blood. There is one altar, as there is one bishop with the college
of the priesthood," &c.
St. Justin, the philosopher, in an apology for the Christians, which
he addressed to the emperor and senate of Rome, about the year 150, says of the blessed Eucharist: "No one is allowed to partake
of this food, but he that believes our doctrines are true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission
of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread, and common drink, but in the same
manner as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, hath both flesh and blood for our salvation; so we
are taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in
his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." Apology ii. in fin. he calls it, Panem eucharistisatum ton
arton eucharistethenta, the bread blessed by giving thanks, as he blessed and miraculously multiplied the loaves, eulogesen
St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who suffered martyrdom in 258, says: "the
bread which our Lord delivered to his disciples, was changed not in appearance, but in nature, being made flesh by the Almighty
power of the divine word."
St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who was born in the commencement of the
4th century, and died in 386, explaining the mystery of the blessed Eucharist to the newly baptized, says: "Do not look upon
the bread and wine as bare and common elements, for they are the body and blood of Christ; as our Lord assures us. Although
thy senses suggest this to thee, let faith make thee firm and sure. Judge not of the thing by the taste, but be certain from
faith that thou has been honoured with the gift of Christ's body and blood. When he has pronounced and said of the bread,
this is my body, who will after this dare to doubt? And when he has assured, and said, this is my blood, who
can ever hesitate, saying it in not his blood? He changed water into wine at Cana; and shall we not him worthy of our belief,
when he changed wine into blood? Wherefore, let us receive them with an entire belief, as Christ's body and blood; for under
the figure of bread, is given to thee his body, and under the figure of wine, his blood; that when thou hast received Christ's
body and blood, thou be made one body and blood with him; for so we carry him about in us, his body and blood being distributed
through our bodies." (St. Cyril, catech.) --- St. Ambrose, one of the greatest doctors of the Latin Church, and bishop of
Milan, who died in 396, proving that the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is really possible
to God, and really takes place in the blessed Eucharist, uses these words: "Will not the words of Christ have power enough
to change the species of the elements? Shall not the words of Christ, which could make out of nothing things which did not
exist, be able to change that, which already exists, into what it was not? It is not a less exertion of power to give a new
nature to things, than to change their natures. Let us propose examples from himself and assert the truth of this mystery
from the incarnation. Was it according to the course of nature, that our Lord Jesus Christ should be born of the Virgin Mary?
It is evident that it was contrary to the course of nature for a virgin to bring forth. Now this body, which we produce, was
born of the virgin. Who dost thou seek for the order of nature in the body of Christ, when our Lord Jesus Christ was born
of a virgin. (St. Ambrose, lib. de initiandis, chap. ix.)
St. Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, who died in 407, does not
speak less clearly on this subject. "He," (i.e. Jesus Christ,) says the holy doctor, hom. l. in Matt. "has given us himself
to eat, and has set himself in the place of a victim sacrificed for us." And in hom. lxxxiii.: "How many now say they could
wish to see his form, his garments, &c.; you wish to see his garments, but he gives you himself not only to be seen, but
to be touched, to be eaten, to be received within you. Than what beam of the sun ought not that hand to be purer, which divides
this flesh! That mouth, which is filled with this spiritual fire! That tongue, which is purpled with this adorable blood!
The angels beholding it tremble, and dare not look thereon through awe and fear, on account of the rays, which dart from that,
wherewith we are nourished, with which we are mingled, being made one body, one flesh with Christ. What shepherd ever fed
his sheep with his own limbs? Nay, many mothers turn over their children to mercenary nurses; whereas he feeds us with his
own blood!" --- On another occasion, to inspire us with a dread of profaning the sacred body of Christ, he says: "When you
see Him exposed before you, say to yourself: this body was pierced with nails; this body which was scourged, death did not
destroy; this body was nailed to a cross, at which spectacle the sun withdrew his rays; this body the Magi venerated." ---
"There is as much difference between the loaves of proposition and the body of Christ, as between a shadow and a body, between
a picture and the reality." Thus St. Jerome upon the epistle to Titus, chap. i. See more authorities in the notes on St. Mark's
Gospel, chap. xiv, ver. 22, on the real presence, and also in the following verses and alibi passim.
Ver. 27. Drink
ye all of this. This was spoken to the twelve apostles; who were the all then present; and they all drank of
it, says Mark xiv. 23. But it no ways follows from these words spoken to the apostles, that all the faithful are here
commanded to drink of the chalice, any more than that all the faithful are commanded to consecrate, offer and administer this
sacrament; because Christ upon this same occasion, and as I may say, with the same breath, bid the apostles do so, in these
words, (St. Luke xxii. 19,) Do this for a commemoration of me. (Challoner) --- It is a point of discipline, which the
Church for good reasons may allow, or disallow to the laity, without any injury done to the receiver, who according to the
Catholic doctrine of the real presence, is made partaker of the same benefit under one kind only; he that eateth of this
bread shall live for ever. (John vi.) ... When our adversaries object to us, in opposition to the very clear and precise
proofs we produce from the primitive writers of the doctrine of the real presence, that is called sometimes bread,
a figure, a sign; we reply, that they can only mean that the outward forms of bread and wine, which remain after consecration,
are a figure, a sign, a commemoration. They nowhere teach that the consecrated species are barely figures or signs, and nothing
more. On the contrary, with St. Cyril above quoted, they say: "Let your soul rejoice in the Lord, being persuaded of it, as
a thing most certain, that the bread, which appears to our eyes, in not bread, though our taste do judge it to be so, but
the body of Christ: and that the wine which appears to our eyes, is not wine, but the blood of Christ" (Myst. catech. 4, p.
528); and with St. Gregory of Nyssa, born in 331, "the bread, which at the beginning was common bread, after it has been consecrated
by the mysterious word, is called, and is become, the body of Christ." And with St. Paulinus, in the same age, "the flesh
of Christ, with which I am nourished, is the same flesh as that fastened to the cross; and the blood, with which my heart
is purified, is the same blood that was spilt upon the cross."
This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. The Greek text in St.
Luke shews that the words shall be shed, or is shed, cannot, in construction, be referred to the blood of
Christ shed on the cross, but to the cup, at the institution of the holy sacrament. This cup (says Luke xxii.
20,) is the New Testament in my blood; which cup shall be shed, or is shed for you. St. Paul also saith:
this cup is the New Testament in my blood. And if any one will needs insist upon the words, as related by St. Matthew
and St. Mark, the sense is still the same; viz. that this cup was not wine, but the blood of Christ, by which the New Testament
was confirmed, or alliance betwixt God and man. --- For many. St. Luke and St. Paul, instead of many, say for
you. Both are joined in the canon of the mass. Euthymius says, for many, is the same as for all mankind. This new
alliance was made with all, and the former with the Jews only. (Witham) --- As the Old Testament was dedicated with blood
in these words: This is the blood of the Testament, (Hebrews ix. 20,) so here is the institution of the New Testament,
in Christ's blood, by these words: This is the blood of the New Testament, which God contracts with you, to communicate
to you his grace and justice, by the merits of this blood, which shall be shed for you on the cross; and which is here mystically
shed for many, for the remission of sins: for the Greek is in the present tense in all the three evangelists, and in St. Paul,
1 Corinthians xi, and the Latin Vulgate of St. Luke, xxii. 19. Hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis datur: didomenon,
Ver. 29. I
will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine. In St. Luke, (xxii. 15, 16,) Christ said to his disciples; I
earnestly desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer; (or this paschal sacrifice) for I say to you,
that, from this time I will not eat thereof, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. These expressions seem to import
no more, than that it was the last time he would eat and drink with them in a mortal body. And if, as some expound it, Christ,
by the generation of the vine, understood the consecrated cup of his blood, he might call it wine, or the fruit
of the vine; because he gave them his blood under the appearance of wine; as St. Paul calls the body of Christ bread,
because given under the appearance of bread. (1 Corinthians xi. 26.) (Witham) --- Fruit of the vine. These words, by
the account of St. Luke, (xxii. 18,) were not spoken of the sacramental cup, but of the wine that was drunk with the paschal
lamb. Though the Sacramental cup might also be called the fruit of the vine, because it was consecrated from wine,
and retains the likeness, and all the accidents, or qualities, of wine. (Challoner) --- As St. Paul calleth the body of Christ
bread, so the blood of Christ may still be called wine, for three reasons: 1. Because it was so before; as in
Genesis xi.[ii.?] 23, Eve is called Adam's bone; in Exodus vii, Aaron's rod devoured their rods, whereas they were
not now rods but serpents; and in John ii, He tasted the water made wine, whereas it was now wine not water. 2. Because
the blessed Eucharist retaineth the forms of bread and wine, and things in Scripture are frequently called from their appearance;
as Tobias v, the archangel Raphael, is called a young man; and Genesis xviii, three men appeared to Abraham; whereas they
were three angels. 3. Because Jesus Christ in the blessed Sacrament is the true bread of life, refreshing us in soul and body
to everlasting life. (Bristow) --- Drink it new, after a different manner most wonderful and hitherto unheard of, not
having a passible body, but one clothed with immortality; and henceforth no longer in need of nourishment. Thus he brings
to their minds the idea of his resurrection, to strengthen them under the ignominies of his passion, and eats and drinks with
them, to give them a more certain proof of this grand mystery. (S. Chrysostom, hom lxxxiii.)
Ver. 30. And
when they had sung a hymn. Christ, with his disciples, after supper, sung a hymn of thanksgiving. Here in order to follow
those incomparable instructions, which we read in St. John, chap. xiv. xv. xvi. and xvii. (Witham)
Ver. 31. Scandalized
in me, &c. For as much as my being apprehended shall make you all run away and forsake me. (Challoner)
Ver. 33. I
will never be. After our Saviour had assured them of the prediction of the prophet, that the flock should be dispersed,
and had confirmed it himself, still Peter denied it; and the more Christ assured him of his weakness, the more, according
to St. Luke, (chap. xxii.) did Peter affirm that he would not deny him. Whence this confidence in Peter? who when our Lord
had said, that one of them would betray him, feared for himself, and though conscious of nothing, still prevailed on St. John
to put the question to our Saviour. Freed now from that solicitude and anxiety, which had so much oppressed him concerning
the treason of Judas, he began to trust to himself. Let us learn from this fall of the chief of the apostles, ever to assent
with the greatest sincerity to the words of God. Let us believe him in every possible circumstance, though it may appear to
our senses and understanding contradictory; for, the word of God can never be made void; but our senses may easily be deceived.
When, therefore, he says, this is my body, let us without any the least hesitation immediately believe and contemplate
the mystery with the eyes of our understanding. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxxiii.)
Ver. 34. Before
the cock crow. St. Mark is more particular; before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. The sense
seems to be, before the time that the cocks crow the second time, towards the morning. (Witham)
Christ's prayer and agony in the garden. He is seized, and
carried before Annas and Caiphas.
Ver. 36. Gethsemani.
St. John tells us it was a garden, whither Jesus was accustomed to go with his disciples, which Judas knew. St. Luke
says, he went according to his custom to the mount of Olives; i.e. where he used to spend part of the nights in prayer.
Ver. 37. He
began to grow sorrowful. The Greek signifies to be dispirited. St. Mark, to be in a consternation with fear:
to wit, when all he was to undergo was represented to him, as well as the ingratitude of sinners. (Witham)
Ver. 38. My
soul is sorrowful. The cause of our Lord's grief was not the fear of suffering; since he took upon himself human nature,
to suffer and to die for us; but the cause of his grief was the unhappy state of Judas, the scandal his disciples would take
at his passion, the reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the destruction of the miserable Jerusalem. Our Lord also suffered
himself to be thus dejected, to convince the world of the truth and reality of his human nature. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 39. Going
a little further. St. Luke says, about a stone's cast, kneeling down; or as here in Matthew, prostrating himself.
He did both. --- Father, if it is possible. Which is the same, says St. Augustine, as if he said, if thou wilt,
let this cup of sufferings pass from me. --- Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He that was God
and man, had both a divine and a human will. He was pleased to let us know what he naturally feared, as man,
and in the sensitive part of his soul; yet shews his human will had nothing contrary to his divine will, by presently adding,
but not my will, but thine be done. Here, as related by St. Luke, followed his bloody sweat. (Luke xxii. 43[44?].)
(Witham) --- These words are a source of instruction for all Christians. These words inflame the breasts of confessors; the
same also crown the fortitude of the martyrs. For, who could overcome the hatred of the world, the assaults of temptations,
and the terrors of persecutors, unless Christ in all, and for all, had said to his eternal Father: Nevertheless, not as
I will, but as thou willest. Let all the children of the Church then understand well these words, that when calamities
violently beat upon us, we may with resignation exclaim: nevertheless, not as I will, but, &c. (St. Leo the great)
Ver. 41. Watch
ye and pray, &c. We watch by being intent on good works, and by being solicitous that no perverse doctrine seize our
hearts. Thus we must first watch, and then pray. (Origen) --- The spirit indeed is willing, &c. This is addressed
to the disciples; that they were not to trust too much to their own courage; for although their spirit was ready to undergo
any temptation, their bodies were still so weak, that they would fail, unless strengthened by prayer. (St. Hilary)
Ver. 44. He
prayed the third time, to teach us perseverance in our prayers. Of these particulars Christ might inform his disciples
afterwards; or they were revealed to them. (Witham) --- Our Lord prayed three different times, to obtain of his heavenly Father
pardon for our past sins, defence against our present evils, and security against our future misfortunes; and that we might
learn to address ourselves in prayer to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Rabanus)
Sleep on now. These were words spoken, as it were, ironically. The hour is come, that I am to be betrayed. (Witham)
--- It seems more probable that he then permitted them to sleep for some time, compassionating their weakness, and leaving
them undisturbed. For, it is not very probable that after the agony he had just been in, he should address his disciples ironically;
so that the words in the next verse, Rise, let us go, seem to have been spoken after he had permitted them to enjoy
a short repose. (Jansenius) --- St. Augustine also supposes that after our Lord said, sleep ye now, he was silent for
some time, and only then added, it is enough, the hour is come.
Ver. 48. Judas
wished to give them a sign, because Jesus had before been apprehended, and had escaped from them on account of their ignorance
of his person; which on this occasion he could also have done, if such had been his pleasure. (St. John Chrysostom)
Ver. 49. Hail,
Rabbi. And he kissed him. This kind of salutation was ordinary with the Jews. St. Luke tells us, Christ called Judas friend;
and added, Is it with a kiss thou betrayest the Son of man? By what we read in St. John, these men that came with Judas,
seem not to have known our Saviour: for when he asked then, whom seek you? they do not answer, thyself, but Jesus of
Nazareth. They were struck with a blindness, which St. Chrysostom looks upon as done miraculously. The second miracle was,
that when Christ said, I am he, they fell to the ground, as thunder-struck. The third was, let these go,
by which they had no power to seize any one of his disciples. The fourth was, the healing of Malchus's ear. (Witham)
Ver. 51. Drew
out his sword. Peter did not comprehend the meaning of what Christ had said, Luke xxii. 36. He that hath not a sword,
let him buy one, which was no more than an intimation of the approaching danger. Now Peter, or some of them, asked, and
said: Lord, shall we strike? But he struck without staying for an answer. (Witham)
Ver. 52. Shall
perish by the sword. This was not to condemn the use of the sword, when employed on a just cause, or by lawful authority.
Euthymius looks upon it as a prophecy that the Jews should perish by the sword of the Romans. (Witham) --- Our divine Saviour
would not permit this apostle to continue in his pious zeal for the safety of his Master. He says to him: put up thy sword.
For he could not be unwilling to die for the redemption of man, who chose to be born for that end alone. Now, therefore, he
gives power to his implacable enemies to treat him in the most cruel manner, not willing that the triumph of the cross should
be in the least deferred; the dominion of the devil and man's captivity in the least prolonged. (St. Leo)
Ver. 53. More
than twelve legions of angels. A legion was computed about 6,000. (Witham) --- These would amount to 72,000; but our Lord
means no more than a great number.
Ver. 55. In
that same hour, &c. The reason why the Jewish princes did not seize our Lord in the temple, was, because they feared
the multitude; on which account Jesus retired, that he might give them an opportunity, both from the circumstances of place
and time, to apprehend him: thus shewing us, that without his permission they could not so much as lay a finger upon him.
The evangelist informs us in the following verse of the reason of this conduct; that the writings of the prophets might
be fulfilled. (St. Chrysostom) See Luke xxii. 53.
Ver. 56. All
leaving him, fled away. Yet Peter and another soon followed after at a distance. St. Mark says (xiv. 51,) that a young
man followed with nothing on but a linen cloth. Perhaps it was some one that upon the noise came hastily out of the
neighbourhood; and when they catched hold on him, fled away naked. It is not known who he was. (Witham)
Ver. 57. To
Caiphas. Our Saviour Christ was led in the night time, both to Annas and Caiphas: and first to Annas; (John xviii. 13,)
perhaps because the house of Annas was in their way; or that they had a mind to gratify the old man with the sight of Jesus,
now taken prisoner and bound with ropes. (Witham) --- After the chief priests had bribed Judas to betray Christ, they bring
him to Caiphas, not as to his judge, but as to his enemy, to insult over him: and then they began to examine him concerning
his doctrine and disciples, that they might find some heads of accusation from his answers: thus they shewed that they acted
contrary to common justice, in apprehending a person before they had any thing to lay to his charge. (Jansenius) --- Josephus
relates that Caiphas had purchased the high priesthood for that year; although Moses, at the command of God, had ordained
that a regular succession be kept up, and the son should succeed the father in the high priesthood. It is no wonder then if
an iniquitous judge passed an iniquitous sentence. (St. Jerome)
Ver. 58. Peter
followed. To wit, to the court of Caiphas, where a great many of the chief priests were met. --- And another disciple.
Many think this disciple was St. John himself. (Witham)
Ver. 60. False
witnesses. But how were these men false witnesses, who affirm what we read in the gospel? That man is a false witness,
who construes what is said in a sense foreign to that of the speaker. Jesus Christ spoke of the temple of his body. Our divine
Saviour had said, Destroy this temple; and they affirm that he had said, I am able to destroy. Had the Jews
attended sufficiently to our Saviour's words, they would easily have perceived of what Christ was speaking, from what he there
says: and in three days I will raise it up. (St. Jerome) --- These words of Jesus Christ are only mentioned by St.
John ii. 19, who marks on what occasion and in what sense there were spoken. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 61. This
man said: I am able to destroy the temple of God. These men that gave this evidence, are called false witnesses.
They relate not the true words of Christ; which were not, I can destroy, but destroy you this temple, &c.
2. Christ spoke of the temple of his body, and they of the material temple. 3. It is not unlikely that they made other additions,
as well as false constructions, omitted by the evangelists. (Witham)
Ver. 63. I
adjure thee by the living God. They hoped this might make him own himself God; for which they were for stoning him. (John
x. 31.) --- St. Luke tells us, (xxii. 66,) that this question was put to Jesus, when it was day. St. Augustine thinks
it was put to him first in the night, and again the next morning. We must not forget that when Christ was examined by the
high priest, one of the servants standing by gave our blessed Redeemer a box on the ear, or on the face. See John xviii. 22.
(Witham) --- Our divine Saviour as God knew perfectly well, that whatever he said would be condemned; and therefore the more
Jesus was silent to what was alleged against him, the more did the high priest try to extort an answer from him, that he might
have some accusation against the Lord of glory. Hence he exclaimed in that violent manner: I adjure thee, or I command
thee by the living God, Exorkizo se kata tou Theou zontos. The law for witnesses is to be found in Leviticus
v. 1; where the witness is pronounced guilty who should suppress the truth, after he has heard the phonen orkismou.
This is the true meaning of that law, so very ill understood by many. See also Menochius, who on these very words of Leviticus
says: if any one shall be called upon to say what he knows of a point that another has confirmed by oath, he shall carry his
iniquity, i.e. the punishment of his iniquity, which God will inflict. (Menochius) --- See 1 Kings xiv. 24. 27; Numbers v.
19; 1 Thessalonians v. 27. The confession or denial of a person thus interrogated was decisive. (Calmet)
Ver. 64. Thou
hast said it. Or, as it is in St. Mark, I am. According to St. Luke, Christ in the morning, before he answered
directly, said to them: If I tell you, you will not believe me, &c. (Witham)
Ver. 65. The
same fury that made Caiphas rise from his seat, forced him also to rend his garments, saying: he hath blasphemed. It
was customary with the Jews, whenever they heard any blasphemous doctrines uttered against the majesty of the Almighty, to
rend their garments in abhorrence of what was uttered. (St. Jerome) --- This was forbidden the high priest; (Leviticus xxi.
10,) but the Pharisees allowed him to rend his clothes from the bottom, but not from the top to the breast.
Ver. 66. He
is guilty of death; i.e. of blasphemy, and so deserves to be stoned to death. (Witham)
Ver. 67. Then
they spat in his face, and buffetted him, &c. Here it was that this wicked council of the Sanhedrim broke up, in order
to meet again the next morning. Our blessed Saviour in the mean time was abandoned; that is, had abandoned himself for our
sake, to be abused, vilified, beaten and tormented by a crew of miscreants, by all the ways and means their enraged malice
could devise or invent: which St. Luke passeth over in a few words, telling us, that, blaspheming, they said many other
things against him. Let us, at least, compassionate our blessed Redeemer, and cry out with the angel in the Apocalypse:
thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive power and divinity, honour and glory for ever. (Witham) --- Behold with what accuracy
the evangelist mentions every, even the most ignominious circumstance, concealing nothing, ashamed of nothing, but esteeming
it his glory that the Creator of heaven and earth should suffer so much for man's redemption. Let us continually meditate
upon this; let us ever glory in this, and fix it irrevocably in our minds. (St. Chrysostom) See Mark xiv. 65; Luke xxii. 64.
Ver. 69. Peter
sat without in the palace: i.e. in the open court below, where the servants had lighted a fire. There came to him
a certain servant-maid, the portress, says St. John, xviii. 17. But he denied, saying: I know not what thou
sayest. In St. Luke, I know him not: in St. John, I am not. The sense is the same; and Peter might use all
these expressions. (Witham)
Ver. 71. As
he went out of the gate another maid. St. Mark says, he went out before the court. By the Greek, he seems to have
gone out of the court into the porch. He went from the fire, but returned thither again: for by St. John, (xviii. 25,) this
second denial was at the fire. St. Luke seems to say it was a man, that spoke to him: and St. John, that
they were several that spoke to him: it is likely both a girl and a man. (Witham)
Ver. 73. And
after a little while. St. Luke says, about an hour after: this seems to have been about the time that the cocks
crow the second time. --- They that stood by came. St. Luke says, another man. St. John says, the cousin
to him whose ear Peter cut off. It is probable not he alone, but others with him. --- Peter began to curse and swear.
It is in vain to pretend to excuse Peter, as if he meant that he knew not Jesus, as man; but knew him as God.
They (says St. Jerome) who are for excusing Peter in this manner, accuse Christ of a lie, who foretold that he should deny
him. (Witham) --- See how one fall draws on another, and generally a deeper: to a simple untruth is added perjury; and to
this, horrible imprecations against himself. Lord, Jesus, preserve me! or, I also shall deny thee!
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus. St. Augustine understands this rather of an interior illumination of grace:
but it is likely our Saviour then might be where he saw Peter, and gave him a glance of his eye. --- And going forth he
wept bitterly: even daily all his life-time, say the ancient historians of his life. (Witham) --- St. Clement, pope, in
his itinerary, relates how St. Peter was ever after accustomed to watch in prayer, from the first crow of the cock
till morning, pouring forth torrents of tears, and bitterly bewailing his heinous crime. (Denis the Carthusian) --- Let us
compassionate our blessed Lord under his sufferings, and in opposition to the cruel malice of his enemies, let his followers
cry out with the angel in the Apocalypse: Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive power and divinity, honour and glory, for
ever and ever.
 Ver. 2. Pascha fiet. to pascha ginetai fit. St.
Jerome on this place, (p. 125.) Pascha, quod Hebraicè dicitur Phase: non a Passione, ut plerique arbitrantur, sed a
transitu nominatur. So also St. Augustine, tract 55. in Joan.
 Ver. 20. Vespere facto. See the two evenings, Matthew xiv. 15.
 Ver. 26. Luther. Verum ego me captum video. ... Textus enim Evangelii
nimium apertus est.
 Ver. 26. See Luther, tom. 7. Ed. Wittemb. p. 391.
 Ver. 26. See Hospinianus, 2. part. Hist. Sacram. p. 187. He says the
Sacramentarians have a heart, according to a French translation, endiabolè, perdiabolè, transdiabolè.
 Ver. 28. Touto to poterion, e kaine diatheke en to aimati
mou, to uper umon ekchunomenon, and not ekchunomeno; so that it agrees with poterion,
 Ver. 34. The time towards the morning, called Gallicinium.
 Ver. 37. Lupeisthai kai ademonein. In St.
 Ver. 71. Aluis, eteros, says St. Luke. St.
John says, eipon auto.
 Ver. 73. St. Jerome, in Matt. p. 133, scio quosdam pii affectus erga
Apostolum Petrum, locum hunc ita interpretatos, ut dicerent Petrum non Deum negasse, sed hominem ... Hoc quam frivolum sit,
prudens Lector intelligit; qui sic defendunt Apostolum, ut Deum mendacii reum faciant.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The Jews conspire against Christ. He is anointed by Mary.
The treason of Judas. The last supper. The prayer in the Garden. The apprehension of our Lord: His treatment in the house
1 And *it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said
to his disciples:
2 *You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man
shall be delivered up to be crucified.
3 Then were gathered together the chief priests, and ancients of the
people, into the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiphas:
4 And they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend
Jesus, and put him to death.
5 But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be
a tumult among the people.
6 And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon, the leper,
7 There came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of precious ointment,
*and poured it on his head as he was at table.
8 And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose
is this waste?
9 For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
10 And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman?
for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11 For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always.
12 For she, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my
13 Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the
whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her.
14 *Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the
15 And he said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him
unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.
17 *And on the first day of the azymes, the disciples came to Jesus,
saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Pasch?
18 But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him:
The master saith: My time is near at hand, with thee I make the Pasch with my disciples.
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they prepared
20 *Now when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples.
21 And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen, I say to you, *that one
of you is about to betray me.
22 And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I,
23 But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish,
the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man indeed goeth, *as it is written of him: but wo to that
man, by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: It were better for that man if he had not been born.
25 And Judas, that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? he
saith to him: Thou hast said it.
26 *And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and
broke, and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat: This is my body.
27 And taking the chalice he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying: Drink
ye all of this.
28 For this is my blood of the new testament which shall be shed for
many, for the remission of sins.
29 And I say to you: I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of
the vine, until that day, when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.
30 And having sung a hymn, they went out to Mount Olivet.
31 Then Jesus saith to them: *All you shall be scandalized in me this
night. For it is written: **I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed.
32 *But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
33 And Peter answering, said to him: Though all men shall be scandalized
in thee, I will never be scandalized.
34 Jesus said to him: *Amen, I say to thee, that in this night, before
the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice.
35 Peter saith to him: *Though I should die with thee, I will not deny
thee. And in like manner said all the disciples.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a country place, which is called Gethsemani;
and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder, and pray.
37 And taking with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to
grow sorrowful and to be sad.
38 Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful, even unto death: stay
you here, and watch with me.
39 And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying:
My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith
to Peter: What? could you not watch one hour with me?
41 Watch ye and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed
is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 Again, he went the second time, and prayed, saying: My Father, if
this chalice can not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he cometh again, and findeth them asleep: for their eyes were
44 And leaving them, he went away again: and he prayed the third time,
saying the same words.
45 Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep on now,
and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.
47 *As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve came, and with him
a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people.
48 And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall
kiss, that is he, hold him fast.
49 And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed
50 And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came
up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.
51 And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his
hand, drew out his sword; and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear.
52 Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place. *For
all that take the sword, shall perish by the sword.
53 Thinkest thou, that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently,
more than twelve legions of Angels?
54 *How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?
55 In that same hour, Jesus said to the multitude: You are come out as
against a robber, with swords and clubs, to apprehend me: I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands
56 Now all this was done, that the *Scriptures of the prophets might
be fulfilled. Then the disciples **all leaving him, fled away.
57 But they holding Jesus, *led him to Caiphas, the high priest, where
the Scribes and the ancients were assembled:
58 But Peter followed him afar off, to the high priest's palace. And
going in, he sat with the servants, to see the end.
59 Now the chief priests, and the whole council, sought false witness
against Jesus, that they might put him to death:
60 And they found not, though many false witnesses had come in. And last
of all there came two false witnesses,
61 And they said: *This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of
God, and after three days to rebuild it.
62 And the high priest rising up, said to him: Answerest thou nothing
to the things which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said to him: I adjure
thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64 Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless, I say
to you, *hereafter you shall see the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of
65 Then the high priests rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed;
what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy:
66 What think you? But they answering, said: He is guilty of death.
67 *Then they spat in his face, and buffeted him, and others struck his
face with the palms of their hands;
68 Saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?
69 *But Peter sat without in the palace: and there came to him a servant-maid,
saying: Thou also wast with Jesus, the Galilean.
70 But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest.
71 And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith
to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus, of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath: That I know not the man.
73 And after a little while they that stood by came, and said to Peter:
Surely thou also art one of them: for even thy speech doth discover thee.
74 Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man. And
immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the
cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.
1: about the year A.D. 33.
2: Mark xiv. 1.; Luke xxii. 1.; John xii.
7: Mark xiv. 3.; John xi. 2. and xii. 3.
14: Mark xiv. 10.; Luke xxii. 3.
17: Mark xiv. 12.; Luke xxii. 7.
20: Mark xiv. 17.; Luke xxii. 14.
21: John xiii. 21.
24: Psalm xl. 10.
26: 1 Corinthians xi. 24.
31: Mark xiv. 27.; John xvi. 32. --- ** Zacharias xiii. 7.
32: Mark xiv. 28. and xvi. 7.
34: Mark xiv. 30.; John xiii. 38.
35: Mark xiv. 31.; Luke xxii. 33.
47: Mark xiv. 43.; Luke xxii. 47.; John xviii. 3.
52: Genesis ix. 6.; Apocalypse xiii. 10.
54: Isaias liii. 10.
56: Lamentations iv. 20. --- ** Mark xiv. 50.
57: Luke xxii. 54.; John xviii. 24.
61: John ii. 19.
64: Matthew xvi. 27.; Romans xiv. 10.; 1 Thessalonians iv. 15.
67: Isaias l. 6.; Mark xiv. 65.
69: Luke xii. 5.; John xviii. 17.