Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. Some Greek and Latin copies have, after eight days.
Ver. 4. Such diligence ought to be used to bring sinners to Christ, by means of the sacraments, as was used to procure for this man, through Christ, the health of his body. (Bristow)
Ver. 5. When Jesus saw their faith. Our Lord is moved to shew mercy to sinners, by the faith and desires, and prayers of others; for this man was not more helpless in his limbs, than in his soul. From this example, we are taught that in sickness the sacraments and helps of the Church, which are the medicines of the soul, should be called for in the first instance; for Christ first healed the sick man’s soul, before he removed his bodily infirmity. We also learn that many diseases originate in sin, and that we are to remove the effect by removing the cause.
Ver. 10. The Son of man. Jesus Christ here proveth that himself as man, and not as God only, hath power to forgive sins; by this, that he was able to do miracles, and make the sick man suddenly rise; so the apostles and their successors, though they be not God, may in like manner have authority from God to remit sins, not as God, but as God’s ministers, and acting in his name, and vested with his delegated authority. — On earth. This power which the Son of man hath to remit sins on earth, was never taken from him, but is perpetuated in his sacraments and ministers, by whom he still remitteth sins in the Church, and not in heaven only. Relative to sin, there is one court of conscience on earth, and another in heaven, and the judgment of heaven followeth and approveth this on earth; as is plain by the words of our Saviour, to Peter first, and then to all the apostles: Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall by bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. See Matthew xvi. 19. and xviii. 18. Whereupon St. Jerome sayeth: that priests having the keys of the kingdom of heaven, judge in some manner before the day of judgment. (Ep. v. ad Heliod; and St. Chrysostom, more at large, lib. iii. de Sacerd.)
Ver. 12. This paralytic is not the same as that mentioned in St. John; for that distressed man had no one to assist him, whereas this person had four; the former was by the side of the Probatica, but the latter in a house at Capharnaum. (Theophylactus)
Ver. 14. To follow Christ, is to imitate him; wherefore this apostle, that he might be able to follow Christ, the model of poverty, not so much by his bodily steps, as by the inward affections of his soul, forsook all; he not only forsook his present goods, but despised all danger, which he incurred by leaving his business abruptly, and without rendering any account of it to his employers or governors. (Ven. Bede) — The person to whom Christ addresses the words, follow me, was Matthew: see Matthew ix. 9.
Ver. 17. The Greek printed copies, and some manuscripts add to penance, as we read in Luke v. 33.[32.?]
Ver. 18. See Matthew ix. 14, and Luke v. 33.
Ver. 20. Jesus Christ here foretelleth that fasting shall be used in his Church, no less than in the old law, or in the time of John the Baptist. See Matthew ix. 15. — When first we begin to be converted to God, the spiritual consolations which God infuses into our souls, cause in us an overflowing of spiritual delights, so that we then feast, and are in the midst of delight; but when the Bridegroom shall be taken away, when these spiritual consolations cease, then we fast, and find the commandments difficult. It is then we must prepare ourselves for tribulation. (Ven. Bede)
Ver. 25. When he had need. In necessity many things are done without sin, which in other circumstances it would be unlawful to do. (Bristow)
Ver. 26. Under Abiathar. The priest from whom David had these loaves, is called Achimelech, 1 Kings xxi. The most probable answer to this difficulty is, that the priest had both these names of Achimelech and of Abiathar, as also his father had before him. For he that (1 Kings xxii.) is called Abiathar, the son of Achimelech, is called 2 Kings viii. 17, Achimelech, the son of Abiathar. See also 1 Paralipomenon xviii. 16. (Witham) — Others say that Abiathar, son of Achimelech, was present, and sanctioned the deed of his father, thus making it his own. (Denis the Carthusian)
Ver. 28. The maker of the law may abrogate or dispense with it when and where, for just cause, it seemeth good to him: thus the Church can dispense with, change, or abrogate, for just reasons, the discipline of the Church founded upon Church authority. This we prove also from the action of David, (ver. 26, above) which the Scripture notices without blaming it, because the observance of the law, prescribed for the utility of man, must yield to the necessities of man.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ heals the sick of the palsy: calls Matthew; and excuses his disciples.
1 And *again he entered into Capharnaum after some days.
2 And it was heard that he was in the house, and many came together, so that there was no room, not even at the door: and he spoke to them the word.
3 *And they came to him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four.
4 And when they could not offer him to him for the multitude, they uncovered the roof where he was: and opening it, they let down the bed wherein the man sick of the palsy lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he saith to the sick of the palsy: Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.
6 And some of the Scribes were sitting there, and thinking in their hearts:
7 Why doth this man speak thus? He blasphemeth. *Who can forgive sins, but God only?
8 Which Jesus presently knowing in his spirit, that they so thought within themselves, saith to them: Why think you these things in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the sick of the palsy: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk?
10 But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
11 I say to thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house.
12 And immediately he arose: and taking up his bed, went his way in the sight of all: so that all wondered, and glorified God, saying: We never saw the like.
13 And he went forth again to the sea side: and all the multitude came to him, and he taught them.
14 *And when he was passing by, he saw Levi, the son of Alpheus, sitting at the receipt of custom; and he saith to him: Follow me. And rising up, he followed him.
15 And it came to pass, that as he sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat down together with Jesus and his disciples: for they were many, who also followed him.
16 And the Scribes and Pharisees, seeing that he did eat with publicans and sinners, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
17 *Jesus hearing this, saith to them: They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: for I came not to call the just, but sinners.
18 Now the disciples of John, and the Pharisees, used to fast: and they come, and say to him: Why do the disciples of John, and of the Pharisees, fast; but thy disciples do not fast?
19 And Jesus saith to them: Can the children of the marriage fast, as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 *But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them: and then they shall fast in those days.
21 No man seweth a piece of raw cloth to an old garment: otherwise the new piecing taketh away from the old, and there is made a greater rent.
22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: otherwise the wine will burst the bottles, and both the wine will be spilled, and the bottles will be lost. But new wine must be put into new bottles.
23 *And it came to pass again, as the Lord walked through the corn-fields on the sabbath, that his disciples began to go forward and to pluck the ears of corn.
24 And the Pharisees said to him: Behold, why do they on the sabbath-day that which is not lawful?
25 And he said to them: *Have you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry, he and they that were with him?
26 How he went into the house of God, under Abiathar, the high priest, and did eat the loaves of proposition, *which it was not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave to them who were with him?
27 And he said to them: The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
1: about the year A.D. 31.
3: Matthew ix. 1.; Luke v. 18.
7: Job xiv. 4.; Isaias xliii. 25.
14: Matthew ix. 9.; Luke v. 27.
17: 1 Timothy i. 15.
20: Luke v. 35.
23: Matthew xii. 1.; Luke vi. 1.
25: 1 Kings xxi. 6.
26: Leviticus xxiv. 9.