For Augustine, the putting on of two coats has connotations of duplicity, and the missionaries of Christ are not deceitful and have no need of anything but the Lord. Prudentius notes that the Apostolic mission must not be weighed down with extravagant wishes or mundane yearnings. Cyprian adds that the one who is anointing should be baptised so that, having received the chrism, he may be anointed of God, and have in him the grace of Christ. The grace to folloe the command to take no money in Apostolic ministry is received voluntarily, not as an oppressive regulation of law. It is given to those who are being readied eventually to receive the fullness of sanctifying grace, St Jerome writes.
The Venerable Bede notes that the Lord did not grudge those who were to preach in his name his own virtues; as he himself healed, so would they be able to heal. All is to be done in his name. They should trust in him, and he would provide for their wants; their minds should not be occupied with the trivia of this world.
Our harvest from the Fathers in terms of St Mark’s Gospel is, as so often, small, but we see here the beginning of the Great Commission to ‘preach repentance’ to the world – one the Church still carries on and will, until he comes again in glory.