King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Mark 2

Christ heals one sick of the palsy. (1-12) Levi’s call, and the entertainment given to Jesus. (13-17) Why Christ’s disciples did not fast. (18-22) He justifies his disciples for plucking corn on the sabbath. (23-28)

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Christ heals one sick of the palsy

1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye 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 unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Levi’s call, and the entertainment given to Jesus

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Why Christ’s disciples did not fast

18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while 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 shall they fast in those days.

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

He justifies his disciples for plucking corn on the sabbath

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

27 And he said unto 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.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible 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. B.

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 Matt. xvi. 19. and xviii. 18. Whereupon S. Jerom 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 S. Chrys. more at large, l. iii. de Sacerd.

Ver. 12. This paralytic is not the same as that mentioned in S. 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. Theophy.

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 infra ix. 9.

Ver. 17. The Greek printed copies, and some MSS. add to penance, as we read in Luke v. 33.

Ver. 18. See Matt. 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 Matt. 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. B.

Ver. 26. Under Abiathar. The priest from whom David had these loaves, is called Achimelech, 1 K. 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 K. xxii.) is called Abiathar, the son of Achimelech, is called 2 K. viii. 17, Achimelech, the son of Abiathar. See also 1 Par. xviii. 16. Wi. — Others say that Abiathar, son of Achimelech, was present, and sanctioned the deed of his father, thus making it his own. Dion. Carth.

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, (v. 26, supra) 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.