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Main Page The Childhood of Jesus CYOU-39 Chapter

Chapter 39. – Cyrenius' moderation in food and drink. Joseph's expression of thanks and his positive impact on Cyrenius. Joseph's words on death and everlasting life. The nature and value of mercy.

39,1. Although the Romans were accustomed to lengthy feasts, Cyrenius was an exception to this.

39,2. When he did not need to arrange such feasts now and then in the honour of the Roman emperor, his meals were short affairs; for he believed in the philosophy that says: "Man does not live to eat, but eats to live, – and that does not require feasts that go on for days."

39,3. And so even the sanctified meal was short in duration and only as long as necessary for strengthening the body.

39,4. After the brief meal, Joseph thanked the Lord for the food and drink and blessed the host for it.

39,5. The host was deeply moved by this and said to Joseph: "O how much greater your religion is over mine! – And how much closer you are to the almighty God than I am!

39,6. And how much better a human being you are than I can ever be!"

39,7. To this Joseph replied: "Noble friend, you are worried about what the Lord has just now given you!

39,8. I tell you: Remain as you are; however, in your heart submit yourself only to God, the eternal Lord, and try to do good in private to all men, and so you will be as close to God as my ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

39,9. See, the almighty God has visited you in the form of this Child; you have carried Him in your arms! – What more do you want? I tell you, you are saved from eternal death and you will henceforth never again see, feel, or taste death!" –

39,10. At this Cyrenius jumped in joy and spoke: "Good fellow! – What are you saying?! – I will not die?!

39,11. Oh tell me, how is such a thing possible?! – See, until now no man has ever escaped death! – Shall I thus really be included in the band of the immortal gods, as I now live?!"

39,12. Joseph spoke: "Noble friend, you have misunderstood me; I will tell you what occurs at your earthly end. So listen to me briefly!

39,13. If you had died without this grace, then severe illness, pain, sorrow and doubt would have killed your spirit and your soul, in conjunction with your body, and after this death you would have nothing left than a tormenting, spiritless consciousness of yourself.

39,14. In that case you would resemble someone over whom his own house has collapsed and who is almost buried alive and thus must feel death while still alive and experience death as bitter in his despair, because he cannot help himself.

39,15. However, if you die now in this grace of God, then only your physical body will be painlessly taken away from you, and you will awaken in an eternal perfect life, in which you will not anymore ask: "Where is my earthly body?!

39,16. And when the Lord calls you from this life, you will, according to your spiritual freedom, be able to get rid of your body just as if you would take off an old and inconvenient garment!"

39,17. These words made the most powerful impression on Cyrenius. He fell before the Child and spoke: "O Heavenly Lord! So leave me then in such grace!" The Child smiled at him and raised a tiny hand over him. –

Main Page The Childhood of Jesus CYOU-39 Chapter