This short blog continues a story that began last week. It is well worth reading last week’s episode first, if you have not already done so, and then continuing with this one. Remember you are in the company of some Christians of the very first epoch of Christianity, the first Christians who were, in that sense, our Mother Church, the Mother of all Churches, the Church of the first disciples in the Holy Land……. Father Jonathan.

– Tell us some more about Him,

they started saying after the silence had enchanted them.

 – I have spoken about him many times to you.

 – Tell us again about Him….

 “Simon was the one who first spoke to me about Him. He came into the house like a strong gust of wind, all agitated. He shouted, and then he whispered, whispered and then shouted. “He’s here, it’s Him, He has actually come; the Messiah, so long awaited, He has come; I myself have met Him”. He kissed my daughter and gave me a big hug.

“Is he the anointed one of the Lord?” I asked, after he had calmed down a bit.

 “Yes, He is, He truly is!”

“John the Baptist, the anointed one?”

“No, no, no, not John.”

I was surprised. For days we had been anxiously awaiting Simon to come home. Together with others from Capernaum and the area around he had gone down the length of the Jordan where John was baptizing, attracted by his growing fame. People said he was the Messiah.

“No, he is not the Messiah,” Simon repeated. “He said that, more than once, to the Scribes sent from Jerusalem. ‘I am not the Messiah, nor the Prophet, nor Elijah…’” We were among the first that felt ‘let down’. But we decided to stay there, because we had the feeling something ‘new’, in the air, was about to happen. Something ‘big’ did happen. One day, the Baptist pointed out a young man, one among many others who was there to be baptised. “Look, there is the one we are waiting for”, he said. “He will free us from all our sins.”

Jesus is Baptised by John in the River Jordan 

Andrew, Simon’s brother, was there at that moment, and also heard. He ran, as fast as he could to his brother, full of emotion, and together, they went to meet the one for whom we were waiting. It was Jesus, a Galilean like us, from Nazareth.

“The Messiah, from Nazareth?” I said, smiling at Simon. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“That’s precisely what we said, but you will have to go and see him.”

Simon could not say any more. His eyes were shining, his mouth was open but no words appeared.

“You will have to go and see him,” he kept repeating, as if in a daze.

Then at last he added: “He told me that I am a rock!”

I already knew that he was a rock. When the sea took away my husband, I and my little girl were lost. But the Lord has pity on widows and orphans, and his pity had a name: ‘Simon’. When he took my daughter, as his wife, he also took me into his home, and he quickly became our rock, the rock of his house, where we are now gathered – the house of Peter.

We heard nothing about the ‘Prophet from Nazareth’ for days and days. Simon was so restless. At table, he used to say from time to time: “You should go and see him,” and his gaze was lost in the distance, and he didn’t eat. He had been with Him only a few hours, and he was completely captivated.

In the end, we heard that He had decided to go and visit the villages around here, saying that He had important news to share, and that you needed an open heart, to understand His words.

The next thing: that Sabbath in my house. What a Sabbath that was for Capernaum! In the morning, there was a meeting in the Synagogue with our people, the exorcism, my healing. The afternoon … goodness it was quiet, and such a full afternoon, around the table, listening to His wise words. I listened to Him, like you now are listening to me. He spoke like nobody else has ever spoken. His talking enveloped me, went right inside me, and had the strength and warmth of His hand. Then, in the evening, so many people invaded the house. Everyone wanted to touch Him, speak to Him, and hear His voice. The miracle that happened to me, happened to many others.

Jesus Heals

It got late, like this evening. Silence descended and sleep came over everyone after being intoxicated by that ‘light’. Only I managed to stay awake. How could I have slept when new life was beating in my veins?

It was still dark when I heard Him get up and make for the door.

“Master”, I said, “can I do anything for you?”

“I am going to my Father,” He quietly replied.

On the sea shore He was lost in a heaven of prayer.

As dawn came, He set out again, taking Simon and Andrew with Him. Already, this was his home, and he used to come back here, and go off from here. Until he went away on his last journey, and Simon and my daughter went with Him. But, this is still his home. He is here with us, for ever. This is Peter’s home, and the home of Jesus.”

– Tell us some more about Him,

they started saying after the silence had enchanted them.

– I have spoken about him many times to you.

– Tell us again about Him….

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