The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Feb 5: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 5, 2011

Ver 30. And the Apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.31. And He said unto them, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while:” for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.32. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.33. And the people saw them departing, and many knew Him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and out went them, and came together unto Him.34. And Jesus, when He came out, saw many people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and He began to teach them many things.

Gloss.: The Evangelist, after relating the death of John, gives an account of those things which Christ did with His disciples after the death of John, saying, “And the Apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.”

Pseudo-Jerome: For they return to the fountain-head whence the streams flow; those who are sent by God, always offer up thanks for those things which they have received.

Theophylact: Let us also learn, when we are sent on any mission, not to go far away, and not to overstep the bounds of the office committed, but to go often to him, who sends us, and report all that we have done and taught; for we must not only teach but act.

Bede: Not only do the Apostles tell the Lord what they themselves had done and taught, but also His own and John’s disciples together tell Him what John had suffered, during the time that they were occupied in teaching, as Matthew relates.  It goes on: “And He said to them, Come ye yourselves apart, &c.”

Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 45: This is said to have taken place, after the passion of John, therefore what is first related took place last, for it was by these events that Herod was moved to say, “This is John the Baptist, whom I beheaded.”

Theophylact: Again, He goes into a desert place from His humility. But Christ makes His disciples rest, that men who are set over others may learn, that they who labour in any work or in the word deserve rest, and ought not to labour continually.

Bede: How arose the necessity for giving rest to His disciples, He shews, when He adds, “For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat;” we may then see how great was the happiness of that time, both from the toil of the teachers, and from the diligence of the learners.  It goes on: “And embarking in a ship, they departed into a desert place privately.”

The disciples did not enter into the ship alone, but taking up the Lord with them, they went to a desert place, as Matthew shews. [Matt 14] Here He tries the faith of the multitude, and by seeking a desert place He would see whether they care to follow Him. And they follow Him, and not on horseback, nor in carriages, but laboriously coming on foot, they shew how great is their anxiety for their salvation.

There follows: “And the people saw them departing, and many knew Him, and ran afoot [p. 120] thither out of all cities, and outwent them.”

In saying that they outwent them on foot, it is proved that the disciples with the Lord did not reach the other bank of the sea, or of the Jordan, but they went to the nearest places of the same country, where the people of those parts could come to them on foot.

Theophylact: So do thou not wait for Christ till He Himself call you, but outrun Him, and come before Him.

There follows: “And Jesus when He came out saw many people, and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep having no shepherd.”

The Pharisees being ravening wolves did not feed the sheep, but devoured them; for which reason they gather themselves to Christ, the true Shepherd, who gave them spiritual food, that is, the word of God.  Wherefore it goes on: “And He began to teach them many things.”

For seeing that those who followed Him on account of His miracles were tired from the length of the way, He pitied them, and wished to satisfy their wish by teaching them.

Bede, in Marc., 2, 26: Matthew says that He healed their sick, for the real way of pitying the poor is to open to them the way of truth by teaching them, and to take away their bodily pains.

Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, however, the Lord took apart those whom He chose, that though living amongst evil men, they might not apply their minds to evil things, as Lot in Sodom, Job in the land of Uz, and Obadiah in the house of Ahab.

Bede, in Marc., 2, 25: Leaving also Judaea, the holy preachers, in the desert of the Church, overwhelmed by the burden of their tribulations amongst the Jews, obtained rest by the imparting of the grace of faith to the Gentiles.

Pseudo-Jerome: Little indeed is the rest of the saints here on earth, long is their labour, but afterwards, they are bidden to rest from their labours. But as in the ark of Noah, the animals that were within were sent forth, and they that were without rushed in, so is it in the Church, Judas went, the thief came to Christ. But as long as men go back from the faith, the Church can have no refuge from grief; for Rachel weeping for her children would not be comforted. Moreover, this world is not the banquet, in which the new wine is drank, when the new song will be sung by men made anew, when this mortal shall have put on immortality.

Bede, in Marc., 2, 26: But when Christ  goes to the deserts of the Gentiles, many bands of the faithful leaving the walls of their cities, that is their old manner of living, follow Him.

One Response to “Feb 5: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34)”

  1. […] Aquinas Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34). 12:10 AM EST. […]

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