Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 39 -
The Mastery Of Grace Over Death

HILE THE ROMANS as a rule were used to lengthy feasts, Cyrenius was nevertheless an exception.
When he did not have to arrange such feasts now and then in honor of the emperor, a meal with him was only short, for he was one of those philosophers who say: 'Man does not live to eat, but eats only to live - and that does not require feasts that last for days.'
Thus the hallowed meal was short and was only intended to restore the body.
After the short meal Joseph thanked the Lord for food and drink and blessed the host for it.
Cyrenius, deeply touched at this, admitted to Joseph, 'Oh, how indeed exalted is your religion above mine! How much closer are you to the almighty Deity than I!
And how much more of a human being are you than I can ever be!'
Here Joseph answered Cyrenius, 'Noble friend, you are anxious about that which the Lord has just now bestowed upon you!
But I say to you - Remain what you are, but humble yourself in your heart only before the eternal Lord God and secretly try to do good to all men, and you are as close to God as my fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
See, in this Child the almighty God has visited you. You have carried Him on your arms! What more do you want? I tell you - you are saved from eternal death and henceforth will neither see, nor feel, nor taste death!'
At this Cyrenius sprang up for joy and exclaimed: 'Oh man - what are you saying? I shall not die?
Oh tell me, how is that possible? See, until now no man has been spared from death! Shall I then really be accepted into the ranks of the eternally living gods, just as I now live?'
And Joseph replied: 'Noble friend, you did not understand me. Now I will tell you what will take place at your earthly end:
Had you died without this grace, then severe illness, pain, sorrow and despair would have put your spirit and your soul to death along with your body, and nothing would have remained for you after this death than a dull, tormenting consciousness of yourself.
In that case you would resemble someone who was half buried to death in his own house which collapsed on him and who was therefore buried alive and must feel and taste death in this manner in bitter despair, since he is totally unable to help himself.
But if you die in this grace of God, then only this heavy body will be taken from you, and you will awaken to an eternal, most perfect life in which you will no more ask - Where is my earthly body?
And once the Lord of life calls you, you will be able to put your body aside yourself like an old, burdensome garment when you have received your spiritual freedom!'
These words made a most profound impression on Cyrenius. He therefore fell down before the Child and entreated Him, 'O Lord of the heavens, so then retain me in such grace!' And the Baby smiled at him and lifted a little hand over him.