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It is the title of adoption. He gives it also to the sick woman whose divine consoler He had just been. “Daughter”', this single word of love reveals to her, aye, to the whole human family, hitherto still trembling before its false deities, the new familiar intercourse which the God-Man came to establish between Heaven and earth. Woman, especially, stood in need of hearing, first of all, these adorable words of the Law of Grace.
Poor woinan, arise in confidence; open thy heart to the love of Him Who alone has the word that heals. Arise! Understand and comprehend thy new dignity. He calls thee daughter, and His word effects what it says: rejoice in thy recovery from bodily infirmity, but much more in thy new dignity—of being a child of God.
“As he was yet speaking, there cometh one to the ruler of the synagogue, saying to him: Thy daughter is dead, trouble him not. And Jesus hearing these words, answered the father of the maid: Fear not! Believe only, and she shall be safe.” Constantly the Saviour forbids fear and exhorts to a living faith. And this necessary faith Jesus is willing to give to all who demand it, and, frequently, a single word of His makes it plain: “Only believe, and she shall be safe."
The faith of the woman under an issue of blood had quite a different life and energy. She faces all obstacles and concentrates all her efforts on reaching Jesus. And whilst she, by and for her faith, obtained instantaneous relief and received the consoling name of daughter, the young maid is lying on her couch, dying-dead,-an image of humanity plunged into vice and error; an image also of her sex, , helplessly immersed in spiritual sloth. Hence the girl needed another to intercede for her, and Christ heard the prayer of her father.
When Jesus came to the house, friends and neighbors had gathered there, and the body was about to be embalmed. The mournful cries of the hired women mingled with the sad tunes of the flute players.
“And going in he saith to them: Why make ye this ado? The damsel is not dead but sleepeth. And they laughed him to
And for this mockery they were all put out. To witness the divine works is a singular favor, which those alone receive who have the proper disposition. The father and the mother of the dead girl had been prepared by their sorrow to believe in the almighty power of the Saviour, since by that very sorrow they had been driven to Him and had obtained the benefit of His presence. As He is now with them, their agony is suspended, their hearts beat with hope. Jesus, therefore, together with His three favorite disciples, admits them to the death chamber. Then, taking the girl by the hand, He raises His voice, that voice divine, unknown to her, and commands her, saying: “Damsel, I say to thee, arise!"
Who but God can command the dead? “And immediately the damsel arose and walked.” Astounded and over-happy, even the parents forgot what care the condition of the child required. Not so Jesus, who called them to their duty, saying: “Give her to eat," and thereby showed a solicitude more attentive and more tender than maternal love itself. "So fatherly as Thou, O Lord, none; so tender as Thou, none!”?*)
Blessed therefore, are those children whose parents go for them to Jesus, asking Him to lead them by His hand.
*) “Tam pater nemo, tam bonus nemo.” Tertull.
Happy also all those who steadily fix their eyes upon the end of life, and in the light of death dispose all their actions.
But why are we told these two wonderful and successive facts, one concerning an aged woman, the other, a girl of twelve, each unable any longer to profit of human affection, intelligence or science? To convince us more and more of the absolute need we have of God, all along the path of life, and that outside of the manifest order, divinely established for the guidance of man, our whole being, soul and body, languishes, suffers, and dies when separated from the source of light. Woman, especially, as guardian of the hearth, falls deeper, the farther she recedes from the grace of Redemption, as from Christ Himself she has received the mission to communicate to the family, and through the family to society, that regenerating fire, that totality of Christian life, which alone will answer our innermost aspirations and longings after the ideal and real happiness.
Oh woman, He Who healed thee from thy infirmity; damsel, He Who took thee by the hand, restoring thee to life, - also wants to be
your guide and support for the remainder of your earthly pilgrimage. Do not withdraw your confidence from Him. Listen attentively and obediently to His words. He tells you, the greatest obstacle to the development of the spiritual life He has just communicated to you, is selfishness, narrow selfishness, that strangles mind and heart by concentrating them upon our own little self. If you want to vanquish that subtle enemy, who is all the more destructive the less he is perceived, go out of your own selves, aim at doing God's work, and by Him and with Him advance whatever is morally good and beautiful.
And thou, young maiden of our days, resuscitated by the word of Jesus, march on in life on the wings of youth, but be on thy guard against false doctors, who wish to take thee by the hand. They, like the flute players in the house of Jairus, have heard and still hear the words of the Master; but they answer with a sneer. They want thee to be an unbeliever and a free-thinker, alike to them. Be on thy guard against their soft but lying words, against the chains that await thee at the first denial of thy Saviour. Cling to Him