St Mark 15:40-47

St Mark 15:

40 Erant autem et mulieres de longe aspicientes: inter quas erat Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi minoris, et Joseph mater, et Salome: 41 et cum esset in Galilæa, sequebantur eum, et ministrabant ei, et aliæ multæ, quæ simul cum eo ascenderant Jerosolymam. 42 Et cum jam sero esset factum (quia erat parasceve, quod est ante sabbatum), 43 venit Joseph ab Arimathæa nobilis decurio, qui et ipse erat exspectans regnum Dei, et audacter introivit ad Pilatum, et petiit corpus Jesu. 44 Pilatus autem mirabatur si jam obiisset. Et accersito centurione, interrogavit eum si jam mortuus esset. 45 Et cum cognovisset a centurione, donavit corpus Joseph. 46 Joseph autem mercatus sindonem, et deponens eum involvit sindone, et posuit eum in monumento quod erat excisum de petra, et advolvit lapidem ad ostium monumenti. 47 Maria autem Magdalene et Maria Joseph aspiciebant ubi poneretur.

[40] And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joseph, and Salome:[41] Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem. [42] And when evening was now come, (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the sabbath,) [43] Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. [44] But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. [45] And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. [46] And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. [47] And Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of Joseph, beheld where he was laid.


de Lapide:

Ver. 42. Because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before one Sabbath. The Greek is, which is the Prosabbatum. For Parasceve is the came as Preparation. Friday was so called because food and things needful for the Sabbath were prepared upon it. Hence it was called the Pro-Sabbath, i.e., the day before, or the vigil of the Sabbath.

Catena Aurea:

GLOSS. After the Evangelist has related the Passion and the death of Christ, he now goes on to mention those things which followed after the death of our Lord. Wherefore it is said: And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; The veil of the temple is rent, that is, the heaven is opened. 

THEOPHYL. Again, God by the rending of the veil implied that the grace of the Holy Spirit goes away and is rent from the temple, so that the Holy of Holies might be seen by all; also that the temple will mourn amongst the Jews, when they shall deplore their calamities, and rend their clothes. This also is a figure of the living temple, that is, the body of Christ, in whose Passion His garment is torn, that is, His flesh. Again, it means another thing; for the flesh is the veil of our temple, that is, of our mind. But the power of the flesh is torn in the Passion of Christ, from the top to the bottom, that is, from Adam even down to the latest man; for also Adam was made whole by the Passion of Christ, and his flesh does not remain under the curse, nor does it deserve corruption, but we all are gifted with incorruption. 

And when the centurion who stood, over against him saw. He who commands a hundred soldiers is called a centurion. But seeing that He died with such power as the Lord, he wondered and confessed. 

BEDE; Now the cause of the centurion's wonder is clear, that seeing that the Lord died in that way, that is, sent forth His spirit, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. For no one can send forth his own spirit, but He who is the Creator of souls. 

AUG. This also he most of all wondered at, that after that voice which He sent forth as a figure of our sin, He immediately gave up His spirit. For the spirit of the Mediator showed that no penalty of sin could have had power to cause the death of His flesh; for it did not leave the flesh unwillingly, but as it willed, for it was joined to the Word of God in the unity of person. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; But the last are now made the first. The Gentile people confesses. The blinded Jew denies, so that their error is worse than the first. 

THEOPHYL. And so the order is inverted, for the Jew kills, and the Gentile confesses; the disciples fly, and the women remain. For there follows: There were also women looking on afar off, amongst whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome. 

ORIGEN; But it seems to me, that here three women are chiefly named, by Matthew and Mark. Two indeed are set down by each Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James; the third is called by Matthew, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, but by Mark she is called Salome. 

BEDE; He means by James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, who was also called the brother of our Lord, because he was the son of Mary, our Lord's mother's sister, whom John mentions, saying, Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. And he seems to call her Mary of Cleophas, from her father or some relation. But he was called James the Less, to distinguish him from James the Great, that is, the son of Zebedee, who was called amongst the first of the Apostles by our Lord. Further, it was a Jewish custom, nor was it thought blamable after the manners of an ancient people, that women should furnish to teachers food and clothing out of their substance. Wherefore there follows: Who also when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered to him. They ministered to the Lord of their substance, that He might reap their carnal things whose spiritual things they reaped, and that He might show forth a type for all masters, who ought to be content with food and clothing from their disciples. But let us see what companions He had with Him, for it goes on: And many other women which came up with him into Jerusalem. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; As the female sex through the virgin Mary is not shut out from salvation, so it is not thrust away from the knowledge of the mystery of the cross, and of the resurrection, through the widow Mary Magdalene, and the ethers, who were mothers.

GLOSS. After the passion and death of Christ, the Evangelist relates His burial, saying, And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea. 

BEDE; What is called, parasceue in Greek, is in Latin praeparatio; by which name those Jews, who lived amongst Greeks, used to call the sixth day of the week, because on that day they used to prepare what was necessary for the rest of the sabbath day. Because then man was made on the sixth day, but on the seventh the Creator rested from all His work, fitly was our Savior crucified on the sixth day, and thus fulfilled the mystery of man's restoration. But on the sabbath, resting in the tomb, He was waiting for the event of the resurrection, which was to come on the eighth day. So we must also in this age of time be crucified to the world; but in the seventh day, that is, when a man has paid the debt to death, our bodies indeed must rest in the grave, but our souls after good works in hidden peace with God; till in the eighth period, even our bodies themselves, glorified in the resurrection, receive incorruption together with our souls. 

But the man who buried the body of the Lord must needs by his righteous merits have been worthy, and by the nobility of worldly power able to perform this service. Therefore it is said, An honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God. He is called in Latin, decurio, because he is of the order of the curia, and served the office of a provincial magistracy; this officer was also called curialis, from his care of civic duties. Arimathaea is the same as Ramathain, the city of Elkanah and Samuel. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; It is interpreted, taking down, of which was Joseph, who came to take down the body of Christ from the cross. There follows: Came and went in boldly to Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 

THEOPHYL. He was bold with a praiseworthy boldness; for he did not consider within himself, I shall fall from my rich estate, and I shall be expelled by the Jews, if I beg for the body of Him, who was condemned as a blasphemer. It goes on: And Pilate marveled if he were already dead. For he thought that He should continue long alive upon the cross, as also the thieves used to live long, upon the instrument of their execution. It goes on: And calling to him the centurion, he asked him if he had been any while dead; that is, before the time when other executed persons usually died. 

There follows: And when he knew it of the centurion, (that is, that He was dead,) he gave the body to Joseph. 

BEDE; But it was not an obscure person, nor a man of mean rank, who could come to the governor and obtain the body. There follows: And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen. 

THEOPHYL. Burying the precious body preciously; for being a disciple of our Lord, he knew how greatly the Lord's body ought to be honored. 

BEDE; By this however, according to a spiritual meaning, we may understand that the body of the Lord should not be wrapped in gold or gems, or silk, but in a clean linen cloth. Hence it became a custom in the Church that the sacrifice of the altar should not be celebrated in silk, or in a dyed cloth, but in linen produced from the earth just as the body of the Lord was wrapped in clean linen; as, we read in the Pontifical acts, it was ordered by the blessed Sylvester. Though it has also another meaning, that he who receives Jesus in a pure mind wraps Him in clean linen. There follows: And laid him in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone to the door of the sepulcher. It is said that the sepulcher of the Lord is a round cell, hewn out of the rock which was around it, so high, that a man standing upright could scarcely touch the roof with his outstretched hand; and it has an entrance to the east, to which the great stone was rolled, and placed upon it. In the northern part of it is the tomb itself, that is, the place where our Lord's body lay, made of the same rock, seven feet in length, raised three palms higher than the floor. It is not open from above, but on the south side, the whole of which is open, and through which the body was brought in. The color of the sepulcher and of the recess is said to be a mixed white and red. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; By the burial of Christ we rise again, by His going down into hell we mount up into heaven; here is found the honey in the mouth of the dead lion. 

THEOPHYL. Let us too imitate Joseph, taking to ourselves the body of Christ by Unity, and let us place it in a sepulcher, hewn out of the rock, that is, in a soul recollected, never forgetful of God; for this is a soul hewn out of the rock, that is, out of Christ, for He is our rock, who holds together our strength. We ought also to wrap Him in linen, that is, to receive Him in a pure body; for the linen is the body which is the clothing of the soul. We must, however, not throw open, but wrap Him up; for He is secret, closed and hidden. 

There follows: And Mary Magadalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. 

BEDE; We read in Luke, that His acquaintances and the women who had followed Him stood afar off. When these then who were known to Jesus returned home after the burial of His body, the women alone, who were bound to Him with a closer love, after following the funeral, took care to see how He was laid, that they might be able at a fitting season to offer Him the sacrifice of their devotion. But on the day of the parasceue, that is, of the preparation, the holy women, that is, humble souls, do the same, when they burn with love for the Savior, and diligently follow the steps of His Passion in this life, where their future rest is to be prepared; and they weigh with a pious minuteness the order in which His passion was accomplished, if perchance they be able to imitate it. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; These things also fit the Jewish people, which finally is believing, which is ennobled by faith to become the child of Abraham. It lays aside its despair, it waits for the kingdom of God, it goes in to the Christians, that it may be baptized; which is implied by the name of Pilate, which is interpreted, 'One who works with a hammer,' that is, he who subdues the iron nations, that he may rule them with a rod of iron. It seeks for the sacrifice, that is, the viaticum, which is given to penitents at their last end, and wraps it up in a heart clean and dead to sin; it makes it firm in the safeguard of faith, and shuts it up with the covering of hope, through works of charity; (for the end of the commandment is charity;) whilst the elect, who are the stars of the sea, are looking on from afar, for, if it be possible, the very elect shall be offended.

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