Thursday, February 24, 2022

When Jesus Bilocated

Popular writings of the mystics of the Church on the life of Jesus and Mary propose many additional details on their lives. For example, in the The Life of Jesus Christ by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich we read that on the way to Calvary, Jesus fell or collapsed a total of seven times, not just three. The Mystical City of God by Venerable Maria Agreda states that Mary was taken up to the empyrean Heaven right after her birth, and Luisa Piccarreta reports this occurred even while Mary was in St. Anne’s womb.

Perhaps the most thorough life of Christ and Mary written by a mystic is Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man-God, which asserts that Jesus often bilocated. It should come as no surprise that our Lord bilocated during His earthly life. Quite a number of Catholic saints, most notably Padre Pio, have received this gift, and Jesus is the “Saint of saints.”

In the visions she received for the third year of Christ’s public life, Valtorta describes what she saw and heard on the day Jesus read, to some of His apostles, a letter He received from a fervent disciple. This letter from Antioch (written on a scroll) was relayed by a trusted follower to the Lord in Judea. The writer was an aged disciple known as John of Endor. He had been a murderer and was an escaped convict from a Roman prison. He had been forced into exile from Israel by fear of the Sanhedrin Pharisees, who were persecuting Jesus for consorting with unsavory characters and non-Israelites. Joining old John in his exile was a young Greek girl, also converted by the Lord, who had formerly been pressed into slavery. Both were doing what they could to spread the message of Jesus, the message of love, forgiveness and mercy, to the unbelievers in the area of Antioch.

John was very weak and knew that death was approaching. One of his greatest desires was to have Jesus present to comfort him as he passed away. Jesus in fact had promised that He would be present at the man’s death. Nevertheless, John had been despairing, and had begun to doubt that this would be possible since he was an exile in Syria, while the Lord was preaching the Gospel in Israel. But in the letter, he now rejoices that his doubt has gone. He writes that he truly knows that distance is no obstacle to Jesus. Neither seas nor mountains can prevent Him from giving the comfort of His “tangible presence” to those whom He loves. He knows the Lord will be there when he breathes his last, and asks Him to come soon to lead him to peace!

After Jesus finishes reading John’s letter to the Apostles, they bombard Him with questions regarding His presence to John. They wonder whether it is possible, how is it possible, and did the woman who was exiled with John know anything?

But the Lord proceeds to unroll the scroll sent by the Greek woman, whose name is Syntyche. She is still young and healthy and has been looking after the ailing John of Endor. She writes that upon returning from visiting a sick person, she found John transfigured and in ecstasy, and heard the words he was speaking to someone she could not see. Yet she prostrated herself, realizing that it was Jesus Who was present. She writes that she does not regret that she did not see Him, since everything He does and gives is good and sufficient. It is right that old John has Jesus visibly, while she has Him in her soul only.

About a day later, when some of the Apostles were alone with Jesus, they resumed their questioning about this mysterious event. Simon Peter said that he had been thinking about the extraordinary grace given to John, but not to the Apostles. He told Jesus that it would have been a great comfort to them when they were sent out into the world – to have even a word from Him, to clear up doubtful points. But why does He appear to him and not to them? Peter would like to know three things: why is it granted to John; whether it is a grace for him only; and whether one day it can happen to the Apostles – to see Him miraculously and be told what should be done?

In answer to the first question, the Lord explained that John of Endor is a willing spirit, but because of his past adventures and life he has some weaknesses hidden in his flesh, in his interior. He had been penetrated by the poisons of the world for years, and though his spirit is strong, his body is debilitated. He needs help in his purification, and for his resistance over his resurgent past. John’s suffering is bitter, and He solaces him the best He can, because he deserves it.

Peter is satisfied with this answer, and proceeds to the second question, does He appear to John only? The Lord answers no, there are others, even far away, who are laboring to build up their holiness all alone. As to who they are, there is no need to know that.

James (the Lesser) asks what about the Apostles – when they are harassed and tormented by the world, will they be helped by His presence? The Lord replies that they will be sent the Paraclete. Simon Peter objects that he does not know Him and will never succeed in understanding Him, since Peter considers himself such a blockhead. This Paraclete is too difficult for a poor fisherman, He will be a passing whiff, and who will perceive Him? Peter begs the Lord to promise the Apostles that He Himself will appear to them as He is in flesh and blood, so that they may see and hear Him.

But Jesus warns that He might appear in order to reproach them. The Apostles John and James, concur with Peter that it does not matter, at least they will know what is to be done. The Lord then promises them that He will appear, to tell them to be ready for this or that, or to do this or that. Although he feels better now, Peter pleads with Jesus to come often, otherwise he will be like a poor, lost child, and he almost begins to weep.

Overview from The Poem of the Man-God, Chapters 365 and 368.

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