Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0061

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Table of Contents for this Volume
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The Beatitudes

61

 of the earth destined to vivify and preserve others, consequently that they themselves must not lose their savor. Jesus explained all this to them at full length, making use of numerous examples and para­bles. After that He rowed across the lake.

The disciples (the fishermen) and Saturnin began their work of baptizing in the valley of Capharnaum. The son of the widow of Naim was here baptized and named Martial, Saturnin imposing hands upon him. The holy women did not follow Jesus to the instructions, but remained behind to celebrate with the widow of Naim the baptismal feast of her son.

There were with Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea's nephews, who had come from Jerusalem; Nathanael; Manahem of Korah; and many other disciples. In these last days I saw about thirty of them gathered together in Capharnaum.

On landing at the east side of the lake just below the mouth of the Jordan, the traveler ascended the mountain to the east and then, turning westward, went on to the spot upon which the instruction was to be given. Another way could be taken, namely, that over the Jordan bridge to the north of the lake. But this latter way, on account of the wild charac­ter of the country and its numerous ravines, was rather a difficult road to the mountain. Bethsaida-Julias was situated on the eastern bank of the mouth of the Jordan, the river there forming a bend. The western shore was high, and to it ran a road.

There was no teacher's chair on the mountain, only an eminence surrounded by a mound of earth and covered by an awning. The view from the west and southwest extended over the lake and to the opposite mountains. One could even descry Mount Thabor. Crowds of people, most of them pagans that had received Baptism, were encamped around. There were Jews also present. Separation between them was not so rigorously observed here, since commu­nication between the Jews and Gentiles was greater

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 in these parts, and on this side of the lake the lat­ter enjoyed certain privileges.

Jesus began by enumerating the Eight Beatitudes, and then went on to explain the first: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven." He related examples and parables, spoke of the Messiah, and especially of the conversion of the Gentiles. Now was accomplished what the Prophet foretold of the Desired of Nations: "And I will move all nations. And the Desired of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." (Agg. 2:8). There was no curing on this day, for the sick had been healed on the pre­ceding days. The Pharisees had come over in one of their own boats and they listened to Jesus' words with chagrin and jealousy. The people had brought with them food, which they ate during the pauses of the instruction. Jesus and the disciples had fish, bread, and honey, also little flasks of some kind of juice, or balm, a few drops of which were mixed with the water they drank.

Toward evening the people from Capharnaum, Bethsaida, and other neighboring places returned to their homes in the boats that awaited them on the lake. Jesus and His disciples went down toward the valley of the Jordan and into a shepherd inn, where they passed the night. Jesus still continued to teach the disciples, thus to prepare them for their future mission.

Jesus devoted fourteen days to instructions on the Eight Beatitudes, and spent the intervening Sab­bath in Capharnaum.

On the following day He continued His preaching on the mountain. Mary, Mary Cleophas, Maroni of Naim, and two other women were present. When Jesus with the Apostles and disciples went back to the lake, He spoke of their vocation in these words: "Ye are the light of the world!" He illustrated by the similitude of the city seated on a mountain, the light

The Ten Commandments

63

 on the candlestick, and the fulfilling of the Law. Then He rowed to Bethsaida, and put up at Andrew's.

Among the neophytes whom Saturnin baptized on those days near Capharnaum were some Jews from Achaia whose ancestors had fled thither at the time of the Babylonian Captivity.

Bethsaida-Julias was a recently built city inhab­ited mostly by pagans. There were, however, some Jews, and the city possessed a famous school in which all kinds of knowledge were taught. Jesus had not yet visited it, but the inhabitants went out to the instruction and also to Capharnaum, where their sick were cured. Bethsaida-Julias was beautifully sit­uated in the narrow valley of the Jordan, built a lit­tle up on the eastern side of the mountain, one-half hour from the point where the river flows into the lake. One hour northward, a stone bridge spanned the Jordan.

While going down from the mountain whereon He had been teaching, Jesus again instructed the dis­ciples, and spoke of the sufferings and sharp perse­cutions in store for them. He slept that night in Peter's barque.

When Jesus next day went down from the moun­tain to Capharnaum, He found a crowd of people assembled to bid Him welcome. He repaired to Peter's house near the city. It stood outside the gate to the right on entering the city from the valley. When it was known that Jesus and the disciples were in the house, a crowd soon gathered around Him. The Scribes and Pharisees also hastened out to hear Him. The whole court around the open hall in which Jesus sat and taught with the disciples and Scribes was full. He spoke of the Ten Command­ments and, coming to the words recorded in the Gospel of the Sermon on the Mount: "You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill," He based upon them His instruction on the forgive­ness of injuries and the love of one's enemies. Just

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 at this moment a loud noise arose on the roof of the hall, and through the usual opening in the ceiling a paralytic on his bed was lowered by four men, who cried out: "Lord, have pity upon a poor sick man!" He was let down by two cords into the midst of the assembly before Jesus. The friends of the sick man had tried in vain to carry him through the crowd into the courtyard, and had at last mounted the out­side steps to the roof of the hall, whose trap door they opened. All eyes were fixed upon the invalid, and the Pharisees were vexed at what appeared to them a great misdemeanor, a piece of unheard-of impertinence. But Jesus, who was pleased at the faith of the poor people, stepped forward and ad­dressed the paralytic, who lay there motionless: "Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee!" words which were, as usual, particularly distasteful to the Pharisees. They thought within themselves: "That is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins?" Jesus saw their thoughts and said: "Wherefore have ye such thoughts of bitterness in your heart? Which is easier to say to the paralytic: Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say: Arise, take up thy bed, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, I say to thee" (here Jesus turned to the paralytic): "Arise! Take up thy bed, and go into thy house!" And immediately the man arose cured, rolled up the coverlets of his bed, laid the laths of the frame together, took them under his arm and upon his shoulder, and accompanied by those that had brought him and some other friends went off singing canticles of praise while the whole multitude shouted for joy. The Pharisees, full of rage, slipped away, one by one. It was now the Sabbath, and Jesus, followed by the multitude, repaired to the synagogue.

Jairus and His Daughter

65

12. Jairus and His Daughter. Her Relapse. Cure of a Woman Afflicted With an Issue of Blood, of Two Blind Men, and of a Pharisee

Jairus, the Chief of the synagogue, was also pre­sent at that last miracle in the synagogue. He was very sad and full of remorse. His daughter was again near death, and truly a frightful death, as it had fallen upon her in punishment of her own and her parents' sins. Since the preceding Sabbath she had lain ill of a fever. The mother and her sister together with Jairus' mother, who all lived in the same house, had, along with the daughter herself, taken Jesus' miraculous healing in a very frivolous way, without gratitude and without in any way altering their life. Jairus, weak and yielding, entirely under the con­trol of his vain and beautiful wife, had let the women have their own way. Their home was the theater of female vanity, and all the latest pagan styles of fin­ery were brought into requisition for their adorn­ment. When the little girl was well again, these women laughed among themselves at Jesus and turned Him into ridicule. The child followed their example. Until very recently she had retained her innocence, but now it was no longer so. A violent fever seized upon her. The burning and thirst that she had endured were something extraordinary; the last week was spent in a state of constant delirium, and she now lay near death. The parents suspected that it was a punishment of their frivolity, though they would not acknowledge it to themselves. At last the mother became so ashamed and so frightened that she said to Jairus: "Will Jesus again have pity on us?" and she commissioned her husband once more humbly to implore His assistance. But Jairus was ashamed to appear again before the Lord, so he waited till the Sabbath instructions were over. He had full faith that Jesus could help him at any

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 time, if He would. He was too ashamed to be seen by the people again asking for help.

When Jesus was leaving the synagogue, a great crowd pressed around Him, for there were many, both sick and well, who wanted to speak to Him. Jairus approached with trouble on his countenance. He threw himself at Jesus' feet, and begged Him again to have pity on his daughter whom he had left in a dying state. Jesus promised that He would return with him. And now there came someone from Jairus' house looking for him, because he stayed so long, and the mother of the girl thought that Jesus would not come. The messenger told Jairus that his daughter was already dead. Jesus comforted the father and told him to have confidence, It was already dark, and the crowd around Jesus was very great. Just then a woman afflicted with an issue of blood, taking advan­tage of the darkness, made her way through the crowd, leaning on the arms of her nurses. She dwelt not far from the synagogue. The women afflicted with the same malady, though not so grievously as herself, had told her of their own cure some hours earlier. They had that day at noon, when Jesus was passing in the midst of the crowd, ventured to touch His gar­ments, and were thereby instantly cured. Their words roused her faith. She hoped in the dusk of evening and in the throng that would gather round Jesus on leaving the synagogue, to be able to touch Him unno­ticed. Jesus knew her thoughts and consequently slackened His pace. The nurses led her as close to Him as possible. Standing near her were her daugh­ter, her husband's uncle, and Lea. The sufferer knelt down, leaned forward supporting herself on one hand, and with the other reaching through the crowd she touched the hem of Jesus' robe. Instantly she felt that she was healed. Jesus at the same moment halted, glanced around at the disciples, and inquired: "Who hath touched Me?" To which Peter answered: "Thou askest, 'Who touched Me?' The people throng

The Cure of Enue

67

 and press upon Thee, as Thou seest!" But Jesus re­sponded: "Someone hath touched Me, for I know that virtue is gone out from Me." Then He looked around and, as the crowd had fallen back a step, the woman could not longer remain hidden. Quite abashed, she approached Him timidly, fell on her knees before Him, and acknowledged in hearing of the whole crowd what she had done. Then she related how long she had suffered from the bloody flux, and that she believed herself healed by the touch of His garment. Turning to Jesus, she begged Him to forgive her. Then Jesus addressed to her these words: "Be com­forted, My daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole! Go in peace, and remain free from thy infirmity!" and she departed with her friends.

She was thirty years old, very thin and pale, and was named Enue. Her deceased husband was a Jew. She had only one daughter, who had been taken charge of by her uncle. He had now come to the Bap­tism, accompanied by his niece and a sister-in-law named Lea. The husband of the latter was a Phar­isee and an enemy of Jesus. Enue had, in her wid­owhood, wished to enter into a connection which to her rich relatives appeared far below her position; therefore they had opposed her.

Jesus with rapid steps accompanied Jairus to his house. Peter, James, John, Saturnin and Matthew were with Him. In the fore court were again gath­ered the mourners and weepers, but this time they uttered no word of mockery, nor did Jesus say as He did before: "She is only sleeping," but passed on straight through the crowd. Jairus' mother, his wife, and her sister came timidly forth to meet Him. They were veiled and in tears; their robes, the garments of mourning. Jesus left Saturnin and Matthew with the people in the forecourt, while accompanied by Peter, James, and John, the father, the mother, and the grandmother, He entered the room in which the dead girl lay. It was a different room from the first

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 time. Then she lay in a little chamber; now she was in the room behind the fireplace. Jesus called for a little branch from the garden and a basin of water, which He blessed. The corpse lay stiff and cold. It did not present so agreeable an appearance as on the former occasion. Then I had seen the soul hov­ering in a sphere of light close to the body, but this time I did not see it at all. On the former occasion, Jesus said: "She is sleeping," but now He said noth­ing. She was dead. With the little branch Jesus sprin­kled her with the blessed water, prayed, took her by the hand, and said: "Little maid, I say to thee, arise!" As Jesus was praying, I saw the girl's soul in a dark globe approaching her mouth, into which it entered. She suddenly opened her eyes, obeyed the touch of Jesus' hand, arose and stepped from her couch. Jesus led her to her parents who, receiving her with hot tears and choking sobs, sank at Jesus' feet. He ordered them to give her something to eat, some bread and grapes. His order was obeyed. The girl ate and began to speak. Then Jesus earnestly exhorted the parents to receive the mercy of God thankfully, to turn away from vanity and worldly pleasure, to embrace the penance preached to them, and to beware of again compromising their daughter's life now restored for the second time. He reproached them with their whole manner of living, with the levity they had exhibited at the reception of the first favor bestowed upon them, and their conduct afterward, by which in a short time they had exposed their child to a much more grievous death than that of the body, namely, the death of the soul. The little girl herself was very much affected and shed tears. Jesus warned her against concupiscence of the eyes and sin. While she partook of the grapes and the bread that He had blessed, He told her that for the future she should no longer live according to the flesh, but that she should eat of the Bread of Life, the Word of God, should do penance, believe, pray, and perform works

Two Blind Men

69

 of mercy. The parents were very much moved and completely transformed. The father promised to break the bonds that bound him to worldliness, and to obey Jesus' orders, while the mother and the rest of the family, who had now come in, expressed their deter­mination to reform their lives. They shed tears and gave thanks to Jesus. Jairus, entirely changed, imme­diately made over a great part of his possessions to the poor. The daughter's name was Salome.

As a crowd had gathered before the house, Jesus told Jairus that they should make no unnecessary reports concerning what had just taken place. He often gave this command to those whom He cured, and that for various reasons. The chief was that the divulging and boasting of such favors troubles the recollection of the soul and prevents its reflection upon the mercy of God. Jesus desired that the cured should enter into themselves instead of running about enjoying the new life that had been given them, and thereby falling an easy prey to sin. Another reason for enjoining silence was that Jesus wanted to impress upon the disciples the necessity of avoiding vainglory and of performing the good they did through love and for God alone. Sometimes again, He made use of this prohibition in order not to increase the number of the inquisitive, the impor­tunate, and the sick who came to Him not by the impulse of faith. Many indeed came merely to test His power, and then they fell back into their sins and infirmities, as Jairus' daughter had done.

Jesus and His five disciples left Jairus' house by the rear, in order to escape the crowd that pressed around the door. The first miracle here was per­formed in clear daylight; that of today was after the Sabbath and by the light of lamps. Jairus' house was in the northern part of the city. Jesus, on leav­ing it, turned to the northwest off toward the ram­parts. Meanwhile two blind men with their guides were on the lookout for His coming. It seemed almost

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 as if they scented His presence, for they followed after Him, crying: "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have pity on us!" At that moment Jesus went into the house of a good man who was devoted to Him. The house was built in the rampart and had on the other side a door opening into the country beyond the city precincts. The disciples sometimes stopped at this house. Its owner was one of the guards in this sec­tion of the city. The blind men, however, still fol­lowed Jesus, and even into the house, crying in beseeching tones: "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" At last Jesus turned to them and said: "Do you believe that I can do this unto you?" and they answered: "Yea, Lord!" Then He took from His pocket a little flask of oil, or balsam, and poured some into a small dish, brown and shallow. Holding it and the flask in His left hand, with the right He put into the dish a little earth, mixed it up with the thumb and fore­finger of the right hand, touched the eyes of the blind men with the same, and said: "May it be done unto you according to your desire!" Their eyes were opened, they saw, they fell on their knees and gave thanks. To them also Jesus recommended silence as to what had just taken place. This He did to pre­vent the crowd from following Him and to avoid exasperating the Pharisees. The cries of the blind men as they followed Him had, however, already be­trayed His presence in this part of the country, and besides this, the two men could not forbear impart­ing their happiness to all whom they met. A crowd was in consequence soon gathered around Jesus.

Some people from the region of Sephoris, distant relatives of Anne, brought hither a man possessed of a dumb devil. His hands were bound, and they led him and pulled him along by cords tied around his body, for he was perfectly furious and oftentimes scandalous in his behavior. He was one of those Phar­isees that had formed a committee to spy the actions of Jesus. He was named Joas, and belonged to the

Life of Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
1774-1824
Vol 3

This document is: ACE_3_0061

[click an item below to go to other documents]

Previous document: ACE_3_0051 List of documents Next document: ACE_3_0071
Table of Contents for this Volume
Cover page with links to All Volumes (1 to 4)