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Chapter 6. – The wonderful reception of Mary by Elizabeth. Humility and wisdom of Mary. Mary returning home to Joseph.
6,1. On arrival at Elizabeth's house, being in a rather timid frame of mind, she knocked on the door, in accordance with Jewish custom.
6,2. As Elizabeth heard the timid knocking, she wondered: "Who knocks so very softly?
6,3. It must be a neighbour's child; for it cannot be my husband, who is still mute in the temple and awaiting his redemption!
6,4. My work however is important; shall I put it aside on account of a mischievous child of neighbour?
6,5. No, I will not do so, for I have work to do for the temple, which is of greater importance than a child's naughtiness, who probably just wants to tease and make fun of me again.
6,6. Therefore I will continue to work and let the child knock for a good bit of time."
6,7. Mary knocked once more, and the baby in Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy, and the mother heard a soft voice coming from the region of her leaping baby, and the voice said:
6,8. "Mother, go, go quickly; for it is the mother of my and your Lord, of my and your God, who is knocking at the door and comes to you in peace!"
6,9. Elizabeth, as soon as she heard this, threw down everything she was holding, ran to open the door for Mary,
6,10. gave her blessings according to custom, embraced her with open arms and said to her:
6,11. "O Mary, blessed are you among women! Blessed are you among all women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
6,12. O Mary, purest virgin of God! – Why do I deserve such grace, that the mother of my Lord and my God should come to me?!"
6,13. Mary, however, who did not grasp the meaning behind these words, spoke to Elizabeth:
6,14. "O dear aunt! – I have just come to pay you a friendly visit; how is it that you speak of things about me that I do not understand? – Am I then really pregnant, that you call me a mother?!"
6,15. Elizabeth however replied to Mary: "As you knocked at the door for the second time, the baby in my womb leaped for joy and spoke to me and greeted you in advance!"
6,16. Then Mary looked up to the heavens and thought about what the archangel Gabriel had said to her, although she still did not understand any of these things, and spoke:
6,17. "O great God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, what have You done to me? Who am I that all people of the earth bless me?
6,18. Elizabeth however spoke: "O Mary, chosen by God, come into my house and fortify yourself; let us talk and jointly praise and glorify God with all our might!"
6,19. And Mary soon followed Elizabeth into her house and ate and drank and refreshed herself, and was happy in spirit.
6,20. Elizabeth asked Mary many things about her life in the temple as a ward of the Lord, and how all things had happened.
6,21. Mary however said: "Dearest aunt, blessed by the Lord! – I think that these things are too lofty for us to comprehend, and it would be unwise for us women to discuss things that the Lord has put upon the sons of Aaron.
6,22. That is why I believe that we women should leave divine matters to God and to those He has given responsibility for these matters, and not ponder over them.
6,23. If we love God above all and obey His commandments, we will be living according to our status; whatever is beyond it, should be left to men who are called and chosen by the Lord.
6,24. Dear relative, I believe that is right, so release me from gossip from the temple; for the temple will not become any better or worse for it. When the Lord deems it proper, He will castigate the temple and reform it at the right time."
6,25. Elizabeth recognized Mary's great humility and modesty and said to her:
6,26. "Yes, virgin of God, full of grace! With such convictions you must surely find great mercy before God!
6,27. Only a highly innocent person can speak as you do; - and whoever lives thus, surely lives righteously before God and the entire world."
6,28. Mary however spoke: "Righteous living is not for us, but the Lord's, and is a grace!
6,29. Whoever believes that he lives righteously, he surely lives least righteously before God; however he who constantly confesses his fault before God, he is the one who lives righteously before God.
6,30. I do not know how I live, my life is a pure grace of the Lord, which is why I can do nothing but love, praise and glorify Him with all my might! – If your life is like mine, then do the same me, and the Lord will be more pleased than if we carry on talking about the conditions in the temple."
6,31. Elizabeth recognized that Mary was a divine spirit, and therefore stopped her questions about the temple and devoted herself to praising and glorifying God in His will. –
6,32. Thus Mary spent three full months with Elizabeth and helped her with the housework just like a maidservant.
6,33. In the meantime, Joseph had completed his construction and was back at home with his sons, working on his small, merely leased, property.
6,34. One evening, he spoke to his eldest son: "Joel, make my pack animal ready for tomorrow morning. I must go and fetch Mary!
6,35. The maiden has already been away from my house for three months, and I do not know how she is faring.
6,36. Although she is with the wife of the mute High Priest, one cannot know whether their house is free from all the temptations of he who enticed Eve!
6,37. So I will go there tomorrow and bring the maiden back, so that in time there can be gossip about me by the sons of Israel, and the Lord will not punish for my lack of care for the maiden."
6,38. And Joel went and did as Joseph had requested; but Joel had barely completed the task, when Mary already stood at the forecourt, greeted Joseph and requested his permission to enter his house.
6,39. Joseph, completely taken by surprise at Mary's appearance, immediately asked her: "Is that really you, o unfaithful one of my house?"
6,40. And Mary spoke: "Yes, it is I, but not unfaithful to your house; and I would have returned much earlier but did not dare walk alone in the wooded mountains, - and you also did not send any messenger for me! Thus I had to stay away this long!
6,41. However, three Levites visited Zachariah's wife, and when they returned home to Jerusalem, they took me along with them, brought me to the border of your property, blessed me and your house and then continued on their way, and I hastened back to you, my dear father Joseph!"
6,42. Although Joseph would have willingly rebuked her for her long absence, he could not bring himself to do so, as firstly, Mary's voice had deeply touched his noble heart, and secondly, he recognized his own culpability, as he had not fetched Mary through a messenger for such a long time.
6,43. He thus allowed the maiden to come to him, so that he could bless her, and the maiden sprang to him and cuddled him, just as the most innocent children tend to cuddle their parents or other benefactors.
6,44. Joseph was deeply touched and was full of great joy and spoke: "I am a poor man and already quite old, but your childlike love makes me forget my poverty and my age! The Lord has given you to me for great happiness, so I will go and work with joy to provide you, my little child, with a decent livelihood!"
6,45. At these words tears dropped from his eyes. Mary nimbly dried his wet cheeks and thanked God for giving her such a good foster father.
6,46. During this time, it seemed to Joseph that psalms were being sung in front of his house. – –
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