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answered: "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the son of man hath not where to lay his head. 991 Innumerable instances in His public life give evidence of His humility. He hides His knowledge and virtues in order to avoid the admiration of the people, frequently forbids those whom He cures to make known the miracle He has wrought upon them, and disappears from the crowd when they wish to make Him king.

We find also in this period of the Saviour's life many lessons concerning prayer, mortification, labor and zeal for the glory of God, patience, and simplicity. He often spent whole days, even nights in prayer; He passed forty days in prayer in preparation for His public life, prayed before selecting His apostles, made a most remarkable prayer after His last discourse to them, and devoted three hours to most earnest prayer before beginning His sacred Passion. In these and other instances He teaches the necessity of prayer and shows the qualities that should attend prayer, particularly resignation to the will of God. He also endured fatigues, fasts, and watchings with great submission and profound peace of soul, thereby giving to mankind a lesson of mortification and selfdenial. In His untiring labor for the glory of God, He gives an example of the zeal with which we should try to draw souls to the love and service of their Creator. In His meekness and gentleness toward His enemies, His silent endurance of their jeers and insults, and of the sufferings inflicted upon Him during His Passion, He teaches patience in the sufferings, trials, and difficulties of this life. His admirable simplicity is shown in His easy, natural manner toward all those with whom He came in contact; He has no wish to conceal His origin, His past history, His present position, from fear that it might be unfavorable to His reputation and success, He makes no demur when He is spoken of as the carpenter's son; He exhibits no eccentric habits, no singularity in manner, has no particular building in which to assemble those who desire to listen to His discourses; He spoke to all people, the poor as well as the rich, the lowly as well as those of rank, and showed as deep an interest and zeal for the welfare of a single person as for the instruction of the multitude; He used no formal or lofty method of discourse, but spoke naturally, using simple and familiar

language. However, in spite of His simple and unassuming manner, His teaching was delivered in a tone of authority which was neither boastful nor harsh, but which gave force and strength to His words and conveyed an impression which could not be resisted, for "He was teaching them as one having power, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees.''92

Many other lessons of virtue, besides those cited above, were taught by the life of the Master, e. g. sinlessness, absence of selfishness, compassion for humanity, serenity, the principle of pure and lofty motives governing all His actions. A sufficient number of examples has been given, however, though briefly, to show that the life of Christ from beginning to end was one long series of lessons, incalculable both in quality and in quantity. Moreover, this method of teaching, by action and example, is by far the most powerful and far-reaching in its results, for "oral teaching acts upon the understanding, but example upon the appetitive faculty which is generally far more powerful, but especially and in a particular way upon the innate tendency to imitate." Example, therefore, is the more efficient method in the teaching of moral virtues, since the purpose of the teacher is not primarily to impart knowledge, but to move the will to carry out into action the lessons that have been taught.

Let us pass now to a consideration of the miracles of our Divine Master and the lessons which they inculcate. A miracle, according to the Christian idea, is "an extraordinary effect produced in the material creation, either contrary to the known laws of nature, or beyond the usual course of nature, above the abilities of natural agents, and performed either by God himself, or by His holy angels. ''94 The Bible also calls these extraordinary occurrences "signs" and "wonders"; the term sign refers to the ethical end for which Christ performed the miracle, and the term wonder designates the effect of the work, i. e. the astonishment which the action excited in the minds of the eyewitnesses. The miracles wrought by our Divine Master may be divided into four main classes: 1) the deliverance of those possessed by the devil, 2) the miracles wrought upon nature, 3) cures in the literal sense of the word, and 4) the resurrection of the dead.

92 St. Matthew, VIII, 29.

93 Raue, Christus als Lehrer und Erzieher, p. 71.

94 Hay, The Scripture Doctrine of Miracles Displayed, Vol. I, p. 21. New York.

Viewing the miracles as a whole, two important lessons stand out prominently as flowing directly from these supernatural actions, one of which is doctrinal, the other moral. The doctrinal lesson taught by the miracles of Christ is that of His Divinity and His Messiahship; the moral lesson is that inculcated by His great compassion for suffering and His readiness to relieve all pain, provided the sufferer possessed the proper dispositions of soul. We shall consider these two lessons more in detail.

From the definition of a miracle above cited, we have seen that it is a work which is above the abilities of natural agents, hence it is beyond merely human power. It has never been known that man, even though he be possessed of extraordinary skill and ingenuity, has ever raised the dead to life, or has by a simple word or movement cured the sick, given sight to the blind, calmed the waves, or driven the evil spirit from a body possessed. Hence He who accomplished such wonderful works must be more than human, He must be divine. Furthermore, the prophets of pre-Christian times had foretold concerning the Messiah that He should make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk, as seen in the writings of Isaias: "Say to the fainthearted: Take courage and fear not; behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense; God Himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free; for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness. ' '95 Hence it follows that He in whose works this prophecy was fulfilled, must be the promised Messiah. The Divine Master Himself cited these miraculous works as a conclusive proof of His Messiahship. When St. John the Baptist sent his disciples to Christ with the question, "Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another?" the Saviour answered them: "Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them.''96 The doctrinal lesson therefore, of the Divinity and the Messiahship of Christ is established beyond doubt or denial by the miracles wrought by Him.

95 Isaias, XXXV, 4-6.

The moral lesson taught by the Divine Master in His miracles is equally clear and certain. He did not work any one of His miracles for the mere purpose of satisfying the curiosity of the people or for any other unworthy motive. On the contrary we find Him in several instances refusing to perform a miracle which had been solicited by the people, when the desired miracle would have served an unworthy purpose, or if it would not redound to the glory of God, or the physical or spiritual wellbeing of man. St. Mark tells us that after the multiplication of the loaves, the Pharisees came to Christ "asking him a sign from heaven, tempting him. And sighing deeply in spirit, he saith: Why doth this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, a sign shall not be given to this generation.'' After our Saviour's forty days' fast in the desert, the tempter seeking a proof for His divinity "said to Him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. ''98 The Saviour refused to work the miracle and dismissed the tempter with a rebuke. In the narrative of our Saviour's trial and Passion St. Luke relates that Herod was pleased to receive Christ, "for he was desirous of a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to see some sign wrought by him. And he questioned him in many words. But he answered him nothing."'" The Master was unwilling to satisfy the curiosity of this prince, knowing that it would effect no good. On many other occasions the Scribes and Pharisees sought for a sign, but it was not given them, since they had not the dispositions to profit by the Saviour's miracles.

It is evident, then, that the Divine Master wrought His miracles only for worthy motives, always for the cure of man either physically or spiritually, or both, never to the destruction of His creatures. His miracles were, therefore, always a proof of His kindness and His goodness, not merely an exhibition of His power. Two of the miracles recorded in the Gospels seem not in keeping with this statement, but when properly interpreted they are found to be only apparently in opposition to it. They are the destruction of swine by the legion of devils, and the withering of the barren fig tree. In the first of these, Our Saviour wished to show the great force or power from which He had delivered the two demoniacs, and to give a proof

97 St. Mark, VIII, 11-12. 98 St. Matthew, IV, 3.

of His greater power and kindness; to show His willingness to deliver them from every misfortune which the powers of darkness might bring upon them. In the cursing of the barren fig tree, the Saviour wished to place before the eyes of the Apostles and all future believers a warning lesson concerning the cause of the rejection of the Jews. He desired to show that the mere appearance of piety without true virtue cannot preserve His believers from the like fate.100 In the great majority of the miracles there was evident a spiritual purpose, for in effecting the cure of the body, Christ ordinarily brought about also the salvation of the soul.

That these two lessons were taught effectively by the miracles of the Master is seen from many passages of the sacred text. Many people followed Him because of the miracles which they had seen Him perform and were led gradually to believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. St. John relates the first public miracle which the Saviour wrought, viz. the changing of water into wine at the marriage feast at Cana, and he concludes his recital with these words: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.''101 To St. John also are we indebted for many similar remarks, which testify to the faith of the people roused by the miracles of Christ. In speaking of the pasch of the Jews, when Jesus drove the buyers and sellers from the temple, the evangelist says: "Many believed in his name, seeing his signs which he did. ''102 During the conversation of Christ with the Samaritan woman at the well, after He had shown a miraculous knowledge of her previous history, the woman exclaimed: "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. ''103 And when her friends, hearing of her remarkable interview with the Master, came to Him to obtain personal evidence of His character they said to the woman: "We now believe, not for thy saying, for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world. ''104 When a certain ruler, who had besought Our Lord to come and heal his son, was met by the messengers announcing the son's cure, and heard the hour wherein he grew better, he "knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself

100 Raue, Op. cit., p. 196.

101 St. John, II, 11.

102 Ibid., II, 23.

103 Ibid., IV, 19.

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