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

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 11:27-33

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 25, 2013

27. And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,
28. And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?
29. And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
30. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
31. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
32. But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.
33. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

THEOPHYLACT. They were angry with the Lord, for having cast out of the temple those who had made it a place of merchandize, and therefore they come up to Him, to question and tempt Him. Wherefore it is said: And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the Chief Priests, and the Scribes, and the elders, and say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee authority to do these things? As if they had said, Who art thou that doest these things? Dost thou make thyself a doctor, and ordain thyself Chief Priest?

BEDE. (ubi sup.) And indeed, when they say, By what authority doest thou these things, they doubt its being the power of God, and wish it to be understood that what He did was the devil’s work. When they add also, Who gave thee this authority, they evidently deny that He is the Son of God, since they believe that He works miracles, not by His own but by another’s power.

THEOPHYLACT. Further, they said this, thinking to bring Him to judgment, so that if He said, by mine own power, they might lay hold upon Him; but if He said, by the power of another, they might make the people leave Him, for they believed Him to be God. But the Lord asks them concerning John, not without a reason, nor in a sophistical way, but because John had borne witness of Him. Wherefore there follows: And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

BEDE. (ubi sup.) The Lord might indeed have confuted the cavils of his tempters by a direct answer, but prudently puts them a question, that they might be condemned either by their silence or their speaking, which is evident from what is added, And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? As if He had said, He whom you confess to have had his prophecy from heaven bore testimony of Me, and ye have heard from him, by what authority I do these things. It goes on: But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people. They saw then that whatever they answered, they should fall into a snare; fearing to be stoned, they feared still more the confession of the truth. Wherefore it goes on: And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell.

PSEUDO-JEROME. They envied the Lamp, and were in the dark, wherefore it is said, I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed; his enemies will I clothe with shame. (Ps. 132:17, 18) There follows: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

BEDE. (ubi sup.) As if He had said, I will not tell you what I know, since ye will not confess what ye know. Further, we must observe that knowledge is hidden from those who seek it, principally for two reasons, namely, when he who seeks for it either has not sufficient capacity to understand what he seeks for, or when through contempt for the truth, or some other reason, he is unworthy of having that for which he seeks opened to him.

One Response to “Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 11:27-33”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 11:27-33). […]

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