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sence of God, he will say to thee: I absolve thee, I will not condemn thee. Go in peace!
The right of pardoning, the sole privilege of God, has become in the Church and Christian society the inost beautiful privilege of authority. The Church has inultiplied pardons after the example of her Founder and penetrated her heart with His meekness. And in Christian society, sentiments of compassion, pity, and forgiveness, formerly unknown, surround the guilty.*)
But to His absolution the Saviour added an admonition. “Go," He said to her, and 110w sin no more!''
*) “The quality of mercy is not strain'd ;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from Heaven
Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, Act. IV. Go, return home to thy work, to thy daily duties; nothing else I ask of thee; nor do I impose on thee any legal or special penalty: -but sin no more! Then, when no longer a sinner, the esteem of Redemption's grace and price shall steadily grow in thee and become in thy soul a canticle of praise and love.
Restored by Jesus to the supernatural life, this pardoned sinner understands how the Almighty takes pleasure in transforming impure, stagnant waters into limpid and refreshing dews, and in making of the sinner an apostle for so many of her sisters, who, as she, are waiting for the hand that uplifts and pardons.
Who, indeed, knows better how to remedy evil in others than she who has suffered herself? Wlio is more deft in lifting the fallen than the one who has fallen herself?
JUSTA, THE CANANEAN.
FOR HER FAITH JESUS GRANTS HER PETITION.
LREADY in the first year of His
public teaching, Jesus found many enemies among the Pharisees in
Judea. Therefore, He left that country and, with His disciples, traversed the valleys and mountains of Galilee and then directed His steps towards the confines of Syria and Phenicia, where the remembrance of Elias and his stay at the widow's in Sarepta was still alive in the memory of many.
Syria, like Judea, was for the Jews a sacred country, because it paid the tithes and celebrated the Sabbath Year. Hence Jews were allowed to travel there at any time without incurring legal impurity.
The fame of Jesus had already gone beyond the limits of Palestine. According to St. Matthew, it had spread over all Syria, Idumea, and the neighboring
the neighboring countries. Travelers spoke of the novelty of His doctrine and extolled His innumerable miracles. On this journey, Jesus approached a city, probably Tyre, when a woman of Canaan, who came out of these coasts, crying out, said to Him: “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David: my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil."'*)
Cananean, according to St. Matthew, because of her origin; Syro-Phenician, according to St. Luke, who had in view the place where she lived, she is called Justa in a work of the fourth century. **)
Compassion and suffering drive this woman to the feet of Jesus. No one can help her; all human assistance has been in vain. He alone can deliver her child from the evil that torments her. It is no ordinary sickness; Justa knows it and she is not afraid to say so. But whence did this woman draw the faith that the Jews, constant observers of the Saviour's miracles, so obstinately refused Him?
*) Matt., XV. 21–28.
**) The Clementines. author calls Berenice.
Her daughter the same
God has secret adorers and friends among all men of good will, who seek Him with an upright heart and live up to the dictates of their conscience, although, at times, erroneous. Word of God, Thou speakest secretly to the soul that, though ignorant of religious truth, loves sincerity. Thou stirrest it by Thy grace and sometimes renderest it capable of actions and sentiments even superior to those of many of Thy faithful. How much more dost thou do so, when, blended with their good desires, Thou seest suppliant tears and hearest the cry: “Have pity on me!”
Jesus apparently paid no attention to the woman; He and His disciples continued their march on this much frequented and dusty road under a parching sun. behind them, keeps up her cries and her tears—a picture of human sorrow and misery that manifested itself in the midst of silent, passible nature.
Will Jesus not listen to her? Will He remain insensible to the supplications of her sorrow? Shall it be in vain that Justa repeats