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St. Thomas Aquinas, 
Catena Aurea (Golden Chain), 
Gospel of Matthew 9:1-8
(John Henry Parker, v. I, J.G.F. and J. Rivington:London, 1842)
1. And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 
2. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, "Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee." 
3. And, behold, certain of the Scribes said within themselves, "This man blasphemeth." 
4. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 
5. For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 
6. But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house." 
7. And he arose, and departed to his house. 
8. But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. 

Chrys., Hom. xxix: Christ had above shewn His excellent power by teaching, when "he taught them as one having authority;" in the leper, when He said, "I will, be thou clean;" by the centurion, who said to Him, "Speak the word, and my servant shall be healed;" by the sea which He calmed by a word; by the daemons who confessed Him; now again, in another and greater way, He compels His enemies to confess the [p. 332] equality of His honour with the Father; to this end it proceeds, "And Jesus entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city." He entered a boat to cross over, who could have crossed the sea on foot; for He would not be always working miracles, that He might not take away the reality of His incarnation. 

Chrysologus, Serm. 50: The Creator of all things, the Lord of the world, when He had for our sakes straitened Himself in the bonds of our flesh, began to have His own country as a man, began to be a citizen of Judaea, and to have parents, though Himself the parent of all, that affection might attach those whom fear had separated. 

Chrys.: By "his own city" is here meant Capharnaum. For one town, to wit, Bethlehem, had received Him to be born there; another had brought Him up, to wit, Nazareth; and a third received Him to dwell there continually, namely, Capharnaum. 

Aug., De Cons. Evan., ii, 25: That Matthew here speaks of "his own city," and Mark calls it Capharnaum, would be more difficult to be reconciled if Matthew had expressed it Nazareth. But as it is, all Galilee might be called Christ's city, because Nazareth was in Galilee; just as all the Roman empire, divided into many states, was still called the Roman city. [margin note: civitas] Who can doubt then that the Lord in coming to Galilee is rightly said to come into "his own city," whatever was the town in which He abode, especially since Capharnaum was exalted into the metropolis of Galilee? 

Jerome: Or; This city may be no other than Nazareth, whence He was called a Nazarene. 

Aug.: And if we adopt this supposition, we must say that Matthew has omitted all that was done from the time that Jesus entered into His own city till He came to Capharnaum, and has proceeded on at once to the healing of the paralytic; as in many other places they pass over things that intervened, and carry on the thread of the narrative, without noticing any interval of time, to something else; so here, "And, to, they bring unto him a paralytic laying on a bed." 

Chrys.: This paralytic is not the same as he in John. For he lay by the pool, this in Capharnaum; he had none to assist him, this was borne "on a bed." 

Jerome: "On a bed," because he could not walk. 

Chrys.: He does not universally demand faith of the sick, as, for example, when they are mad, or from any other sore sickness are [p. 333] not in possession of their minds; as it is here, "seeing their faith;" 

Jerome: not the sick man's, but theirs that bare him. 

Chrys.: Seeing then that they shewed so great faith, He also shews His excellent power; with full power forgiving sin, as it follows, "he said to the paralytic, Be of good courage, son, thy sins are forgiven thee." 

Chrysologus: Of how great power with God must a man's own faith be, when that of others here availed to heal a man both within and without. The paralytic hears his pardon pronounced, in silence uttering no thanks, for he was more anxious for the cure of his body than his soul. Christ therefore with good reason accepts the faith of those that bare him, rather than his own hardness of heart. 

Chrys.: Or, we may suppose even the sick man to have had faith; otherwise he would not have suffered himself to be let down through the roof as the other Evangelist relates. 

Jerome: O wonderful humility! This man feeble and despised, crippled in every limb, He addresses as "son." The Jewish Priests did not deign to touch him. Even therefore His "son," because his sins were forgiven him. Hence we may learn that diseases are often the punishment of sin; and therefore perhaps his sins are forgiven him, that when the cause of his disease has been first removed, health may be restored. 

Chrys.: The Scribes in their desire to spread an ill report of Him, against their will made that which was done be more widely known; Christ using their envy to make known the miracle. For this is of His surpassing wisdom to manifest His deeds through His enemies; whence it follows, "Behold, some of the Scribes said among themselves, This man blasphemeth." 

Jerome: We read in prophecy, "I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions;" [Isa 43:25] so the Scribes regarding Him as a man, and not understanding the words of God, charged Him with blasphemy. But He seeing their thoughts thus shewed Himself to be God, Who alone knoweth the heart; and thus, as it were, said, By the same power and prerogative by which I see your thoughts, I can forgive men their sins. Learn from your own experience what the paralytic has obtained. "When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he said, Why think ye evil in your hearts?" 

Chrys.: He did not indeed contradict their suspicions so far as they had supposed Him to have [p. 334] spoken as God. For had He not been equal to God the Father, it would have behoved Him to say, I am far from this power, that of forgiving sin. But He confirms the contrary of this, by His words and His miracle; "Whether is it easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say, Arise, and walk?" By how much the soul is better than the body, by so much is it a greater thing to forgive sin than to heal the body. But forasmuch as the one may be seen with the eyes, but the other is not sensibly perceived, He does the lesser miracle which is the more evident, to be a proof of the greater miracle which is imperceptible. 

Jerome: Whether or no his sins were forgiven He alone could know who forgave; but whether he could rise and walk, not only himself but they that looked on could judge of; but the power that heals, whether soul or body, is the same. And as there is a great difference between saying and doing, the outward sign is given that the spiritual effect may be proved; "But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins." 

Chrys.: Above, He said to the paralytic, "Thy sins are forgiven thee," not, I forgive thee thy sins; but now when the Scribes made resistance, He shews the greatness of His power by saying, "The Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins." And to shew that He was equal to the Father, He said not that the Son of Man needed any to forgive sins, but that "He hath power." 

Gloss, ap. Anselm: These words "That ye may know," may be either Christ's words, or the Evangelist's words. As though the Evangelist had said, They doubted whether He could remit sins, "But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath the power to remit sins, he saith to the paralytic." If they are the words of Christ, the connexion will be as follows; You doubt that I have power to remit sins, "but that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power to remit sins" = the sentence is imperfect, but the action supplies the place of the consequent clause, "he saith to the paralytic, Rise, take up thy bed." 

Chrysologus: That which had been proof of his sickness, should now become proof of his recovered health. "And go to thy house," that having been healed by Christian faith, you may not die in the faithlessness of the Jews. 

Chrys.: This command He added, that it might be seen there was no [p. 335] delusion in the miracle; so it follows to establish the reality of the cure, "And he arose, and went away to his own house." But they that stood by yet grovel on the earth, whence it follows, "But the multitude seeing it were afraid, and glorified God, who had bestowed such power among men." For had they rightly considered among themselves, they would have acknowledged Him to be the Son of God. Meanwhile it was no little matter to esteem Him as one greater than men, and to have come from God. 

Hilary: Mystically; When driven out of Judaea, He returns into His own city; the city of God is the people of the faithful; into this He entered by a boat, that is, the Church. 

Chrysologus: Christ has no need of the vessel, but the vessel of Christ; for without heavenly pilotage the bark of the Church cannot pass over the sea of the world to the heavenly harbour. 

Hilary: In this paralytic the whole Gentile world is offered for healing, he is therefore brought by the ministration of Angels; he is called Son, because he is God's work; the sins of his soul which the Law could not remit are remitted him; for faith only justifies. Lastly, he shews the power of the resurrection, by taking up his bed, teaching that all sickness shall then be no more found in the body. 

Jerome: Figuratively, the soul sick in the body, its powers palsied, is brought by the perfect doctor to the Lord to be healed. For every one when sick, ought to engage some to pray for his recovery, through whom the halting footsteps of our acts may be reformed by the healing power of the heavenly word. These are mental monitors, who raise the soul of the hearer to higher things, although sick and weak in the outward body. 

Chrysologus: The Lord requires not in this world the will of those who are without understanding, but looks to the faith of others; as the physician does not consult the wishes of the patient when his malady requires other things. 

Rabanus: His rising up is the drawing off the soul from carnal lusts; his taking up his bed is the raising the flesh from earthly desires to spiritual pleasures; his going to his house is his returning to Paradise, or to internal watchfulness of himself against sin. 

Greg., Mor. xxiii, 24: Or by the bed is denoted the pleasure of the body. He is commanded now he is made [p. 336] whole to bear that on which he had lain when sick, because every man who still takes pleasure in vice is laid as sick in carnal delights; but when made whole he bears this because he now endures the wantonness of that flesh in whose desires he had before reposed. 

Hilary: It is a very fearful thing to be seized by death while the sins are yet unforgiven by Christ; for there is no way to the heavenly house for him whose sins have not been forgiven. But when this fear is removed, honour is rendered to God, who by His word has in this way given power to men, of forgiveness of sins, of resurrection of the body, and of return to Heaven.