Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
and lifting up his hands he blessed
them. While he blessed them, he parted
from them and was carried up into
heaven. And they returned to Jerusalem
with great joy.
Luke 24: 50-52 (New Revised Version)
When Samuel came home to the house of his father, he was greeted with great joy. Even Senobia’s children were all anxious to spend time with their uncle Samuel. Neither Samuel nor his father could get enough of stealing looks at each other. They exchanged many stories of joy and sorrow while Senobia and Onofrio simply watched the display of love reunited. His most recent exploit with the wife of Pontius Pilate and Mary of Magdala governed his conversation. Extracting a solemn promise to keep what he said about the two ladies within the family. Furthermore he admonished his sister Senobia, for keeping an unfounded opinion of Mary of Magdala in her mind. He supplicated Senobia to cleanse her mind and heart of rumors she did not know as fact. Only once did Senobia rebuke her brother’s appeal with a stinging barb.
“As a man you would be one to enjoy her demeanor and shows of open flesh. I am not surprised that you would defend her so.”
Brother and sister have quarreled since the dawn of time. Today would not be one of those days. Samuel with easy calm quietly asked,
“Have you ever been in the presence of Mary of Magdala?”
“Of course not,” why do you even ask?” She pouted in near anger.
“I have. And I saw a dedication rare among people. A dedication to He that cleansed her soul of human faults. She said it herself when she said that her savior, Jesus had shown her the way to walk on rainbows.
Remember this; she will pay for her brother’s resurrection with devotion to Jesus of Nazareth for the rest of her life. Also learn from this, the first casualty of truth is always gossip. Don’t fall victim to those that embellish stories for gain of their own.”
With due respect Samuel asked Tremiyo if he could proceed and was granted approval with a degree of admiration.
“Baby sister, I love you so. It delights me to see you so happy. But you are suffering from one of the sins that Mary of Magdala is accused of. I believe you are suffering from a case of groundless jealousy. Fear not baby sister. Your husband would never seek Mary of Magdala out for sinful pleasure. You may rest assured of that. That leaves you with a blemish on your soul. Pray to your Jesus that he forgive you or condemn your soul to hell for raising falsehoods against one that has done you no harm. You betray father’s teachings by harboring such thoughts.” Tremiyo sat in awe at his son’s hard gained maturity.
Tremiyo literally roasted the fatted calf for his son’s weeklong visit. The invitation went out to all four corners of Judea, “come feast with the son of Tremiyo, Stewart of the house of Serou”. Unexpected Serou, the lady Clavenia (his wife) and their two daughters Banafrit and Irisi now near teen agers attended the day long festival. An event carefully planned by he that had planned so many others. Barrels of wine, tubs of vegetables, stacks of condiments and wagon loads of bread made for an awesome feast for so many guests. There were tables stacked with tid-bits to eat of unimaginable variety. And nobody was shy to try them all. Senobia and Onofrio dressed in all white. They were specially groomed and transmitted a near regal appearance. Onofrio’s once tinge of premature gray had progressed and he was now crowned with a collage of gray and dark brownish copper hair, adding dignity to his character. He remained clean shaven and although tempted refused to grow a beard. Senobia held her chin high filled with pride at the side of her husband always clinging to his forearm. She never let a moment pass without showing her love for him. In spite of delivering three children her figure had expanded very little and granted her a more appealing figure. The children behaved well, except Horacio who preferred to be close To Banafrit and Irisi.
Since their relationship had developed into a closer bond, Serou came to Onofrio and borrowed a bit of his foster son’s humor. “I’m here to tell you to keep your son away from my daughters, as I fear the wolf has come to call.” Serou had reason to experience premature concern as Horacio was keenly interested in the younger sister, Irisi. They were close to the same age and appeared to prefer each other’s company. Both men enjoyed a laugh watching their pre-teen children and lodged their thoughts for a later time.
Samuel spent the best part of the afternoon greeting guests and shaking hands. Conversations bloomed in all directions on multiple subjects by different languages. While the story of the father and son’s reunion was repeated many times. Two sets of musicians entertained the crowd, while jugglers and acrobats added zest to the festivity. When the sun started painting the western sky with Nature’s majestic artistry the crowd began to wane. As the purple veil of early evening settled upon them the last few guests paid their respects and departed. Young Samuel would never be a stranger in Judea. His father had seen to that.
Appointed personnel were assigned to clean up and set all things right after such a celebration. Under candle light and pest repelling torches members of two families sat to enjoy the evening and mull over passing events. A delightful sense of ease blessed the guests as bits of conversation floated free among them. Clavenia, Serou’s wife spoke directly to her foster son, “Onofrio, not long ago we spoke of Judea being the cradle of miracles. I would like to know which the greatest miracles of Jesus were.”
Serou’s attention went on call. He was surrounded by the ladies in his life. The two girls leaned their heads against their father in sleepy nods seemingly happy to be there. In noted admiration Clavenia turned her attention to her husband, knowing he was always well informed. Patiently she waited as he gathered his thoughts. An easy task for the master of public works.
“Two or perhaps even three of the miracles he performed deserve volumes of historical attention. Let there be no doubt that all his cures and miracles deserve being noted. I am addressing his greatest Godly acts. I was in transit along the shores of the Sea of Galilee when I was literally mobbed by an immense crowd. I had grown accustomed to running into mobs anxious to hear Him speak. I even knew the scribes by name that hounded him for the latest word to drop from his lips. The landscape was infested in all directions with people. Mothers, fathers and their children all drawn to the same location. It was late afternoon, close to evening when I discovered the cause of such attention. I stopped a man and woman in possession of fish and barley bread, each with a respectable portion. I found it difficult to accept their gladdened revelation. Jesus and his disciples were passing out fish and loaves of barley bread to all that came to them. Jesus instructed his disciples to have those that were served to sit on the grass. Seated indicated they were fed. I lost count of the people I saw. I stopped my chariot and surveyed the area in all directions. People looked like ants whose nest has been disturbed. All coming to attend the feast of Jesus. My estimated guess arrived at upwards of three thousand people. I had no choice but to stop with so many people blocking my way and gauge for myself the end result of such abundance. Barley loaves and fish came from an endless source. There was no stopping the eternal flow. I was sorely tempted to avail myself of such abundance but my pride kept me from it. It amazed me that I actually felt a calling to come to his presence and receive what he had to give. I later remembered that bread is considered the staff of life and fish is the symbol of his mission. He was in effect inviting the endless mob to dwell in his words. I shamed a man that came to his donkey and filled a bag on the animals back with what he received. After he made the second trip, I stopped him to say, “What you do is stealing. Plain and simple theft.” Without shame he quickly answered, “You’re the rich Egyptian Master of public works. You don’t Know what it’s like to be hungry. I’ve got a family to feed,” and never stopped his endeavor. Not everybody ate bread on the spot. I saw many carrying away the benefit of their efforts. I even suspected in silence that some would sell what they gathered in the city. As the crowd subsided; I reined my animals close to the source of such generosity. I saw this man named Jesus and four others passing out the vestiges from their boundless cornucopia. They were five tired men with just enough left to feed themselves. But they had miraculously fed a crowd of uncounted people. My guess was only an estimate. I’m sure many people escaped my count. Nowhere in my knowledge of godly deeds have I known of such unrequited bounty. I had no cause to investigate how this was done. I simply added this to the list of his accomplishments. I recognized the men with Jesus but I am not sure of all their names. One was a fellow named Matthew, another was named Luke. I recognized a third individual as Mark and the last, I think was John. I had seen these men before but since they did not affect my concern, I always discharged their identity. They were among the followers of the Nazarene and so be it.”
Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a
multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to
Phillip, “How are we to buy bread so that these
People may eat?” This he said to test him, for
He himself knew what he would do. Andrew, Simon
Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a lad
here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
But what are they among so many?”
John 6: 5-9 (NIV)
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