Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 3. And
Satan entered into Judas. The meaning only seems to be, that the devil tempted and overcame him. (Witham) --- Satan entered
into Judas not all at once, but by degrees. He first gained possession by avarice, next by theft, and lastly he impelled him
to the blackest treachery and cruel parricide. The Scripture only says that Satan had entered into him when he was entirely
abandoned to iniquity, had hardened his heart against all grace, and shut his ears against every instruction of Jesus. In
like manner the Scripture says of a good man, who is strengthened in grace, that the Holy Spirit dwells in him. (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Many
even now shudder at the mention of the crime of Judas, and are surprised to think that he could be guilty of such ingratitude,
when themselves are negligent in avoiding the like crimes. For he who breaks the law of charity and truth, betrays Christ,
who is charity and truth, and does it not through any infirmity or ignorance, but designedly and maliciously. (Ven. Bede)
Ver. 15. With
desire I have desired: literally, with a desire have I desired. The repetition expresseth a great and earnest
Ver. 17. Taken
the chalice. This is not the chalice of his blood, (the latter is spoken of ver. 20, and 1 Corinthians xi. 25.) but it
is the cup which the master of the repast blessed with ceremony, then drank of it, and gave it to all the guests. The modern
Jews still observe this custom; not only on the Pasch, but on all other great feasts. The father of the family pours wine
into a cup, takes it in his right hand, elevates it, blesses it, tastes, and gives it round to the invited. Our Saviour on
this occasion complies with the custom; and after supper takes the chalice, which he converts into his own blood. (Calmet)
Ver. 18. I
will not drink, &c. i.e. from this hour of the supper, to the time of his resurrection, in which he will come in the
kingdom of God, he would not taste wine. For St. Peter testifies, (Acts x. 41.) that he took meat and drink after his resurrection.
Ver. 19. THIS
IS MY BODY. See the annotations on the same words of consecration, Matthew xxvi. 26.; Mark xiv. 22. and 1 Corinthians xi.
24. --- Do this for a commemoration of me. By these words he gave a power and precept to them, and their successors,
to all bishops and priests, to consecrate and offer up the same; yet so, that they are only the ministers and instruments
of Jesus Christ, who instituted this sacrifice, this and all other sacraments, who is the chief and principal Priest, or offerer.
It is Christ that chiefly consecrates and changes the elements of bread and wine into his own body and blood; it is he that
chiefly and principally forgiveth sins in the sacraments of baptism, penance, &c. It is what St. Augustine so often repeats
against the Donatists, that it is Christ that baptizeth, though the instrumental minister be a sinner or a heretic; and this
is what all Catholics confess and profess. --- The holy sacrifice and sacrament is to be offered and received with a devout
and grateful remembrance of Christ's benefits, and especially of his sufferings and death for all mankind. But to teach that
it is a bare, though devout memorial, or a remembrance only, so as to exclude the real presence of Christ, under
the outward appearances of bread and wine, is inconsistent with the constant belief and consent of all Christian churches,
both of the west and east, and contradicts the plain words of Christ. The learned bishop of Meaux, in his Exposition of
the Catholic Faith, desires all Christians to take notice, that Christ does not command them to remember him, but to
take his body and blood with a remembrance of him, and his benefits: this is the import of all the words, put together.
This is my body: this is my blood: do this in, for, or with a remembrance of me. (Witham) --- This
sacrifice and sacrament is to be continued in the Church to the end of the world, to shew forth the death of Christ, until
he cometh. But this commemoration, or remembrance, is by no means inconsistent with the real presence of his body and blood,
under these sacramental veils, which represent his death; on the contrary, it is the manner that he himself hath commanded,
of commemorating and celebrating his death, by offering in sacrifice, and receiving in the sacrament, that body and blood
by which we were redeemed. (Challoner) --- Which is given, &c. He does not say, which shall be offered for you,
but which is offered; because it was already a true sacrifice, in which Christ was truly present which he offered in advance
to his eternal Father, before that which he was going to offer the next day, in a different manner, on the cross. This sacrifice
was the consummation of the figurative Pasch, and the promise or pledge of the bloody offering, which Christ would make on
the cross. ... It was not the mere figure of his body, which was crucified, but the true body and the true blood. In the same
manner it is both the one and the other which are given, and really present, in the Eucharist. (Calmet) --- To renew the memory
of what I have this day done, in giving you my body; and what I shall do to-morrow, in delivering my blood and my life for
the whole world, do you hereafter what you now see me do. Take bread, break it, sand say, This is my body; and it will become
so really and truly, as it now is in my hands. (Calmet)
Ver. 29. And
I assign to you, as my Father hath assigned to me, a kingdom; i.e. as my heavenly Father decreed to exalt me, even as
man, and with my human nature, above all creatures; so will I also make you, according to your different merits, partakers
of my glory. (Witham)
Ver. 30. That
you may eat and drink of the spiritual banquet of the joys of heaven which in the Scriptures are divers times compared
to a feast or banquet. (Witham) --- Sit upon thrones. Judas is excepted from the dignity of this great promise. For
it is probable he had gone out before the Lord spoke these words. They likewise are excepted, who (St. John vi. 66.) having
heard the words of an incomprehensible mystery, turned back and went away. (Ven. Bede)
Ver. 31. Satan
hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. In these words is expressed both what Satan desired, and what
God permitted. Satan desired leave to tempt them, that he might make them fall from their faith in Christ. Almighty God permitted
this temptation, this trial, to convince them how weak they were of themselves: he permitted their frailty to be partly overcome,
yet so that rising again by his grace, they should be cleansed and purified as wheat when it is sifted: and that shortly
after, being strengthened and confirmed by the coming of the Holy Ghost, they might become new men, enabled to stand firm
against all the attacks of their greatest adversaries. (Witham)
Ver. 32. That
thy faith fail not. The faith of Peter, established by the coming of the Holy Ghost, hath never failed, nor can fail,
being built upon a rock, which is Christ himself, and being guided by the spirit of truth, as Christ promised. (John xv. 26.
and xvi. 13.) --- And thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren, even all the other apostles and bishops, over
whom I have made and constituted thee and thy successors the chief head, that such a head being appointed by divine authority,
all occasions of schisms and divisions might cease, says St. Jerome. (Witham) --- Admire the superabundance of the divine
patience. That the disciple might not lose courage, he promised him pardon before he has committed the crime, and restores
him again to his apostolic dignity, saying, confirm thy brethren. (St. Cyril)
Ver. 36. That
hath not, &c. Whilst the apostles are contending for prerogative, he reminds them that now is the time of danger and
slaughter; for I, your Master, (says he) shall be led to a dishonourable death, and reputed among the wicked: as all which
hath been foretold of me shall have their end; that is, be fulfilled. Wishing also to insinuate the violence of the assaults
they themselves will have to sustain, he mentions a sword; but does not reveal all, lest they should be too much alarmed;
nor does he entirely suppress the mention of it, lest sudden attacks might overpower them, had they not been forewarned. (Theophylactus)
Ver. 38. Behold
here are two swords, &c. The disciples not understanding the hidden meaning of the words in the preceding verse, and
thinking they should have need of swords against the attack of the traitor Judas, say, behold here two swords. (St. Cyril)
--- But if he had wished them to rely upon human aid, not even a hundred swords would have sufficed; but, if the power of
man was unnecessary in their regard, even two swords are sufficient, and more than are wanted. (St. Chrysostom) --- Even two
swords are sufficient testimony of our Saviour's having suffered spontaneously. One to shew that the apostles had courage
to contend for their Master, and that their Lord had the power of healing the servant, Malchus, who was maimed; the other,
which was not drawn from its scabbard, shews that the apostles were withheld from doing in his defence as much as they could
have done. (Ven. Bede)
Ver. 43. An
angel ... strengthening him. Christ, our Redeemer, was truly God and truly man. And being made man by a real union of
his divine person and nature, to our weak and infirm human nature, he likewise took upon him our infirmities, sin excepted.
We must consider him as man, when we read of his being tempted in the wilderness, (Matthew iv.) when he wept at the raising
of Lazarus out of the grave, (John xi.) as often as we read of his praying; and here, when we read of his praying, and redoubling
his prayer in the garden, when we find him seized with fear, sadness, and grief: for though, as God, he could prevent and
hinder these passions and affections natural to man, yet he could also permit them to affect his human nature; as he permitted
himself to be seized with hunger, after fasting forty days; and so he permitted his human nature to be seized with fear and
grief in this garden of Gethsemani. As angels came and ministered to him after his fast in the wilderness, so an angel came
as it were to propose to him the divine decree, that he was to suffer and die for the redemption of mankind; and as man, he
is said to be strengthened and comforted by the angel: he, who as God, was Lord and maker of the angels, and so needed not
to be strengthened by his creatures. Besides what happened to Christ as man, were ordained as instructions for us. We are
taught by angels appearing, that they were not only ready to assist and wait upon Christ, but that, by the order of divine
Providence, they are also ready to assist us in our temptations and afflictions. --- In an agony. This Greek word signifies,
a strife, or combat; not that there could be any opposition or contrariety in the interior of Christ, whose human will was
always perfectly subject to his divine will, and the sensitive part to reason: yet, inasmuch as he was truly man, his human
nature dreaded all those sufferings which at that time were represented to his soul, and which in a few hours he was to undergo.
Ver. 44. And
his sweat became as drops of blood, &c. This has sometimes happened, though in a lesser degree, to persons under extraordinary
grief, if we believe Aristotle, lib. iii. Animanium, chap. xix. p. 891, and lib. de part. Animalium, chap. v. p. 1156. Ed.
Aureliæ Allobr. an 1607. --- This passage of Christ's bloody sweat, and of the apparition of the angel, was heretofore wanting
in divers both Greek and Latin copies; as appears by St. Jerome, (lib. ii. cont. Pelagianos. tom. iv, part 2, p. 521) and
by St. Hilary, lib. x. de Trin. p. 1062. Nov. Ed. It seems to have been left out by ignorant transcribers, who thought it
not consistent with the dignity of Christ. But we find it in the above-said place, in St. Jerome, in St. Chrysostom (hom.
lxxxiv. in Matt.), in St. Augustine (in Psalm cxl. tom. iv, p. 1564, and in Psalm xciii, p. 1013.) in St. Epiphanius in Ancorato,
p. 36, Ed. Petav. (Witham)
 Ver. 15. With a desire have I desired. This is commonly reputed
a Hebraism, or form of speech peculiar to the Hebrews: hearing, I have heard; seeing, I have seen, &c. But the
judicious critic, Mr. Blackwall, has produced parallel expressions out the most exact Greek classics, in his learned book,
entitled, The Sacred Classics defended and illustrated; and has clearly proved, by examples, that many forms of speech,
called, reputed, and carped at, as Hebraisms, are frequently found in the best Greek classics. (Witham)
 Ver. 19. In the original, the present tense is used in this and in
the following verse. Touto esti to soma mou, to uper umon didomenon. And, Touto to poterion,
... to uper umon ekchunomenon. Here we must also remark, that the relative To, which, is
not governed or ruled (as some would perhaps think) by the noun, blood, but by the word chalice, or cup;
(poterion) which evidently sheweth that the blood, as the contents of the chalice, or as in the chalice, is
shed for us: (in the present tense, for so the Greek hath it, and not only as upon the cross) And, therefore, as it followeth
hence evidently, that it is no bare figure, but his blood indeed, so it followeth necessarily that it is a sacrifice and propitiatory,
as shed for our sins. For all who know Scripture phraseology, know also that blood to be shed for sin, is to be sacrificed
in atonement for sin. --- Beza, in his Annot. Nov. Test. an. 1556, [erroneously] says this cannot be truly said either of
the chalice, or of the contents of the chalice; which is to give the lie to the evangelist, or to deny it to be true Scripture,
though he declares the words are found in all both Greek and Latin copies. (Bristow)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The treason of Judas. The last supper. The first part
of the history of the Passion.
1 Now* the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Pasch, was
2 And the chief priests, and the Scribes, sought how they might put Jesus
to death: but they feared the people.
3 *And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the
4 And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests, and the magistrates,
how he might betray him to them.
5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
6 And he promised. And he sought for an opportunity to betray him in
the absence of the multitude.
7 And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary
that the Pasch should be killed.
8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare for us the Pasch
that we may eat.
9 But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare?
10 And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall
meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house, which he entereth into:
11 And you shall say to the master of the house: The Master saith to
thee: Where is the guest-chamber, where I may eat the Pasch with my disciples?
12 And he will shew you a large dining-room furnished: and there prepare.
13 And they going, found as he had said to them, and they made ready
14 *And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles
15 And he said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch
with you before I suffer.
16 For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it may
be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And having taken the chalice, he gave thanks, and said: Take, and
divide it among you.
18 For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine,
till the kingdom of God come.
19 *And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake, and gave to them, saying:
This is my body which is given for you: Do this for a commemoration of me.
20 In like manner, the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This
is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.
21 *But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me, is with me on
22 And the Son of man indeed goeth, *according to that which is determined:
but wo to that man by whom he shall be betrayed.
23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that
should do this thing.
24 And there was also a strife amongst them, which of them should seem
to be the greater.
25 And he said to them: *The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them;
and they that have power over them, are called beneficent.
26 But you not so: but he who is the greater among you, let him be as
the younger: and he who is the leader, as he that serveth.
27 For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth?
Is not he that sitteth at table? but I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth.
28 And you are they who have continued with me in my temptations:
29 And I assign to you, as my Father hath assigned to me, a kingdom,
30 That you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom: and may sit
upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have
you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou being
once converted, confirm thy brethren.
33 But he said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison
and to death.
34 *And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day,
till thou thrice deny that thou knowest me. And he said to them:
35 *When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want
36 But they said: Nothing. Then said he to them: But now he that hath
a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.
37 For I say to you, that this, which is written, must yet be fulfilled
in me: *And he was reckoned with the wicked: For the things concerning me have an end.
38 But they said: Lord, behold here are two swords. And he said
to them: It is enough.
39 *And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the mount of
Olives. And his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye
enter into temptation.
41 *And he was withdrawn away from them a stone`s cast: and kneeling
down, he prayed,
42 Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: nevertheless,
not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared to him an Angel from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony, he prayed the longer.
44 And his sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground.
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he
found them sleeping for sorrow.
46 And he said to them: Why sleep you? arise, pray, lest you enter into
47 * As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude: and he that was called
Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus, to kiss him.
48 And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with
49 And they that were about him, seeing what would follow, said to him:
Lord, shall we strike with the sword?
50 And a one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off
his right ear.
51 But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when he had touched
his ear, he healed him.
52 And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple,
and the ancients that were come to him: Are you come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs?
53 When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth
your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
54 *Then laying hold on him, they led him to the high priest's house:
but Peter followed afar off.
55 *And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were
sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them.
56 Whom, when a certain servant maid had seen sitting at the light, and
had looked upon him intently, she said, This man was also with him.
57 But he denied him, saying: Woman, I know him not.
58 And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art
one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not.
59 *And about the space of one hour after, another man affirmed, saying:
Surely this man was also with him: for he is also a Galilean.
60 And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately,
while he was yet speaking, the cock crew.
61 And the Lord turning, looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word
of the Lord, how he had said: *Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
63 And the men that held him, mocked him, and struck him.
64 And they blindfolded him, and smote him on the face. And they asked
him, saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck thee?
65 And many other things, blaspheming, they said against him.
66 *And as soon as it was day, the ancients of the people, and the chief
priests, and Scribes, came together, and they brought him into their council, saying: If thou be the Christ, tell us.
67 And he said to them: If I shall tell you, you will not believe me:
68 And if I shall also ask you, you will not answer me, nor let me go.
69 But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of
the power of God.
70 Then said they all: Art thou then the Son of God? He said: You say
that I am.
71 Then they said: What need we any farther testimony? For we ourselves
have heard it from his own mouth.
1: Matthew xxvi. 2.; Mark xiv. 1.; about the year A.D. 33.
3: Matthew xxvi. 14.; Mark xiv. 10.
14: Matthew xxvi. 20.; Mark xiv. 17.
19: 1 Corinthians xi. 24.
21: Matthew xxvi. 21.; Mark xiv. 20.; John xiii. 18.
22: Psalm xl. 9.
25: Matthew xx. 25.; Mark x. 42.
34: Matthew xxvi. 34.; Mark xiv. 30.
35: Matthew x. 9.
37: Isaias liii. 12.
39: Matthew xxvi. 36.; Mark xiv. 32.; John xviii. 1.
41: Matthew xxvi. 39.; Mark xiv. 35.
47: Matthew xxvi. 47.; Mark xiv. 43.; John xviii. 3.
54: Matthew xxvi. 57.; Mark xiv. 53.; John xviii. 24.
55: Matthew xxvi. 59.; Mark xiv. 66.; John xviii. 25.
59: John xviii. 26.
61: Matthew xxvi. 34.; Mark xiv. 30.; John xiii. 38.
66: Matthew xxvii. 1.; Mark xv. 1.; John xviii. 28.