The Gospel According to Yeshua’s Cat
Author: C.L. Francisco, PHD
The voice you hear as you open to the prologue might surprise readers. It is the voice of a special cat, named Mari. A man that is known as Yeshua ben Yosef named Mari. Mari was in dire need of help and Yeshua ben Yosef saved his life from the paws of a group of wild dogs. Picking Mari up and tending to her wounds he begins their journey with a prayer. Living in the Judean desert this bright, insightful cat takes readers on a journey back in time to where Jesus of Nazareth lived, prayed, healed some many and sought refuge and solitude “ in the wastes beyond Qumran.” “Little Mother,” he called her from the start. Naming her Mari they bonded from the moment she opened her eyes and able to communicate with words was miraculous. “Mother of Life,” was how he referred to her and she instantly decided to call him not just Yeshua but created her own special name for this man. To her, to Mari he became: Adamah, son of Earth.
The author continues by taking both Yeshua and Mari on their first journey and explains to her the meaning of the word Fast and how it affects him and what his purpose is for fasting. Explaining his reasons and why he cannot stop until he receives the answers from The One or God that he seeks, worries Mari as she sees his appearance seems to be pale, thin and his bones or ribs pronounced. A voice comes through within the first chapter and we hear “the phantom of darkness,” try and reason with him but he does not heed his words. Doubts, fears, or perhaps the “the one he calls father does not hear him,” or does not care is said to provide doubts within his mind. The rest of the argument you can hear for yourself as you listen to their words within pages 11-13.
The journey begins but not before the author includes what she titles: a Cat’s Musing at the end of each chapter which sums up just how Mari feels, understands and questions what she had learned within that chapter.
Friendships take on many different roles and Mari and the son of Earth
Have the capacity to speak to each other as she can communicate with animals. From the Desert Light, to their Journey to help John, we learn of the many roles this man plays in the lives of so many until we finally meet him in Nazareth. Mari is bright, observant and her presence guides him through many rough patches and places. Hidden beneath his sling under his robe, she feels honored, treasured and adores spending time close to the heart of his man. How does this Egyptian Mau, not accustomed to living with humans and in a civilized world manage to get along? Listen to her words, hear her voice and smile.
Mari is our primary narrator who is telling the story of the life of Jesus of Nazareth from her very special point of view. Thinking about him trying to comprehend what she has learned and has been taught is not easy. Watching him heal those in need, she hides beneath his sling when people get too close. As you take the journey along with Mari to many different places lessons in life will be learned as the Yeshua quotes many scriptures from the Bible, explains what we can learn from the many experiences related and how everyone can become closer to God.
Miracles are something we all or some of us believe in as we watch Yeshua heal the sick, stop disasters and change or transform many things on Earth when performing them. At times we feel that Mari seems left behind, alone and often wanders the streets, docks and pathways to find her own way and learn more about the world she is now living in. Other times she sticks close to him hoping to be near his heart feel about of his life and feel loved.
Mari learns to live with pain, fear and uncertainty as Yeshua tries to enlighten the children of Israel and bring them back into the fold. Attacks, fires, burning of towns, anger, tensions and more rise as both a Mari and Yeshua take many journeys to Jerusalem for the Passover festival, the Day of Atonement and Nazareth. But, the most compelling and heartbreaking experience described is when Mari is injured and attacked by Lazarus who and others who claim that she is unclean and want her removed from his home. Truths are revealed, healings are observed as a young girl named Maryann experiences a miracle and then learns about Mari. In each chapter the author through Yeshua teaches readers many life lessons about how we should treat and understand others, that love is so important and forgiveness of sins hard at times but allowing us to show our understanding of others. His understanding of others, the human heart and Mari’s sense of right, wrong and humor gives the story a natural flow. As Mari befriends Mary Magdala and watches as he changes many and creates miracles on earth.
His friendship with Maryann as she followed him on his journey. The many disciples we meet those that welcomed him and others that questioned him powers and ability to heal. Mari questions at one point
“Why are those men so angry with you?” “ I don’t understand son of Earth.” When he answers he explains that they speak for men of wealth and power and their voices of their own greed. Hoping that they would hear his voice but few did. Throughout the book he reminds everyone that those filled with the love of The One will not submit to evil nor will they be deceived. There are numerous lessons that everyone can take away from reading this book. As he explains within pages 141-142 many of his powers what they were fortunate to have and why.
There are many scriptures quoted and well-known passages from the gospels too. What is really endearing is how much Mari and the Son of Earth or Jesus love each other and their devotion is remarkable. Within the story we hear many voices that ring out in hate and we understand how God’s love and devotion to us as well as compassion will bring us through hard times. The fasts, the fires, the destruction and his final journey to Jerusalem where he faces his own death and then rises again. The final chapters The Last Mountain, City of Prophets, Night and finally Morning as we hear Mari search for him, asking if he is still alive and the harsh realization that he must leave her. Understanding that he will always be near to her heart and answer her call.
The final paragraphs are quite compelling as we hear Mari’s thoughts and she understands the meaning of human deaths and that of Jesus, his family and his friend Simon Peter. But, the final ending and the final words you need to read for yourself as Mari sends back to all of us his words in the last paragraph of the outstanding book.
Told in a very unique way through the eyes of a cat that is so special as Mari and so many witness many miracles, many famines, many difficult times and each one questions his powers, his love and his strength as we hear his voice so many times reassuring those that need help and taking those to task that defy his wishes or disagree with his teachings. Teacher they called him and the many other teachers that were his followers that were supposed to spread his word.
A book filled with so many life lessons that each chapter can serve as a starting point for some interesting group discussions. Young children and young teens can learn many important lessons dealing with hate, prejudice, love , honor , joy and faith. Each chapter provides its own theme and its own direction leading readers to the climatic ending. This is one book that children in religious schools would find interesting to read as well as informative and church groups can use for discussions.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer