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Table of Contents

275. Avarice and the Foolish Rich Man..........................................1 276. In the Garden of Mary of Magdala: Love for ne!s "eigh#o$r....................................................15 277. %es$s &ends the &eventy'()o *isci+les.............................2, 27-. %es$s Meets$s at the Field of the Galileans..........,/ 270. (he &eventy'()o *isci+les Re+ort to %es$s 1hat (hey 2ave *one...........................................................,3 2-/. At the (e4+le for the (a#ernacles......................................31 2-1. At the (e4+le (hey Are A)are of 5r4aste$s6 of %ohn of 5ndor and of &yntyche......................................65 2-2. &yntyche &+ea7s in$s! 2o$se.....................................75 2-,. (he Mission of Fo$r A+ostles in %$daea............................-3 2-3. %es$s Leaves 8ethany for (rans'%ordan.............................-2-5. Arrival at Ra4oth )ith the Merchant fro4 the ther &ide of the 5$+hrates............................1/1 2-6. Fro4 Ra4oth to Gerasa........................................................11/ 2-7. 9reaching at Gerasa...............................................................112--. (he &a##ath at Gerasa..........................................................127 2-0. Fro4 Gerasa to the Fo$ntain of the :a4eleer.............1,7 20/. Going to 8o.rah.......................................................................151 201. At 8o.rah.................................................................................... 157 202. (he &er4on and Miracles at 8o.rah.................................165 20,. Fare)ell to the 1o4en *isci+les......................................172

203. At Ar#ela.................................................................................... 1-, 205. Going to Aera...........................................................................103 206. %es$s 9reaches at Aera..........................................................2/6 207. (he Little r+hans Mary and Matthias............................211 20-. Mary and Matthias Are 5ntr$sted to %ohanna of :h$.a............................................................22, 200. At "ain6 in the 2o$se of *aniel Raised fro4 the *ead..........................................................2,2 ,//. In the &hee+fold at 5ndor....................................................23, ,/1. Fro4 5ndor to Magdala........................................................23,/2. %es$s at "a.areth for the *edication...............................256 ,/,. %es$s )ith %ohn of 5ndor and &yntyche at "a.areth.. 26, ,/3. %es$s! Lesson to Mar;ia4......................................................266 ,/5. &i4on <ealot at "a.areth....................................................27, ,/6. An 5vening at 2o4e in "a.areth......................................27,/7. %es$s and the 1ife of 2is :o$sin &i4on.........................2-,/-. &i4on Goes 8ac7 to %es$s....................................................202 ,/0. &i4on 9eter at "a.areth......................................................,/1 ,1/. %es$s &+ea7s a#o$t the 2oly 5cono4y of =niversal Love...................................................................,/0 ,11. %ohn of 5ndor 1ill 2ave to Go to Antioch. 5nd of the &econd >ear.......................................................,15 ,12. (he 8eginning of the (hird >ear at "a.areth6 )hile +re+aring for *e+art$re..........................................,,2 ,1,. *e+art$re fro4 "a.areth.....................................................,33 ,

,13. (o)ards %i+hthahel.................................................................,53 ,15. %es$s! Fare)ell to the ()o *isci+les.................................,62 ,16. %es$s! &orro)6 9rayer and 9enance...................................,6,17. Leaving 9tole4ais for (yre...................................................,75 ,1-. *e+art$re fro4 (yre on a :retan &hi+............................,-5 ,10. &tor4 and Miracles on the &hi+........................................,0, ,2/. Arrival and Landing at &ele$cia..........................................3/2 ,21. Fro4 &ele$cia to Antioch.....................................................3/,22. At Antigonea............................................................................. 31,2,. Fare)ell to Antioch after 9reaching.................................3,/ ,23. Ret$rn of the 5ight A+ostles and Arrival at Ach.i#.....337 ,25. At Ach.i# )ith &i? A+ostles.................................................35,26. at the 8order of 9hoenicia.........................362 ,27. Arrival at Ale?androscene.....................................................360 ,2-. (he *ay after at Ale?androscene. 9ara#le of the @ineyard La#o$rers..................................375 ,20. (he &ons of (h$nder. Going to)ards Ach.i# )ith the &he+herd Annas......307 ,,/. (he :ananean Mother...........................................................5/6 ,,1. 8artholo4e) 2as =nderstood and &$ffered................523 ,,2. n the 1ay 8ac7 to Galilee.................................................5,1 ,,,. Meeting %$das Iscariot and (ho4as.................................5,5 ,,3. Ish4ael 8en Fa#i. (he 9ara#le of the 8anA$et.............53,,5. %es$s at "a.areth )ith 2is :o$sins and )ith 9eter and (ho4as.......................................................560 3

,,6. (he :ri++led 1o4an of Bora.i4......................................575 ,,7. Going to)ards &a+het. (he 9ara#le of the Good Far4er.....................................5-1 ,,-. Going to)ards Meiron..........................................................502 ,,0. At 2illel!s &e+$lchre at Giscala...........................................500 ,3/. (he *eaf'M$te :$red near the 9hoenician 8order.....61/ ,31. At Bedesh. (he &igns of the (i4es....................................617 ,32. Going to)ards :aesarea 9hili++i. 9eter!s 9ri4acy......6,2 ,3,. At :aesarea 9hili++i...............................................................63/ ,33. At the :astle in :aesarea 9aneas......................................651 ,35. %es$s 9redicts 2is 9assion for the First (i4e. 9eter is Re+roached.............................................................65,36. 9ro+hecy on 9eter and Mar;ia4. (he 8lind Man at 8ethsaida...............................................67, ,37. Fro4 :a+erna$4 to "a.areth )ith Manaen and the 1o4en *isci+les.......................670 ,3-. (he (ransfig$ration and the :$ring of the 5+ile+tic...607 ,30. Lesson to the *isci+les after the (ransfig$ration........713 ,5/. (he (ri#$te to the (e4+le and the &tater in the Mo$th of the Fish.................................717 ,51. (he Greatest in the Bingdo4 of 2eaven. Little 8en;a4in of :a+erna$4..........................................723 ,52. &econd Miracle of the Loaves.............................................736 ,5,. (he 8read fro4 2eaven........................................................751 ,53. "icola$s of Antioch. &econd Anno$nce4ent of the 9assion..........................771 5

,55. Going to)ards Gadara..........................................................7-2 ,56. (he "ight at Gadara and the &er4on on *ivorce.......702 ,57. At 9ella........................................................................................ -/7 ,5-. In Matthias! 2o$se #eyond %a#esh'Gilead.....................-21 ,50. Rose of %ericho.........................................................................-,, ,6/. Miracle on the %ordan in Flood..........................................-5, ,61. n the ther 8an7. %es$s Meets 2is Mother and the 1o4en *isci+les..................................................-60

,62. At (ho4as! 2o4e In Ra4ah. (he "$4#er of the 5lect.....................................................-70 ,6,. At the (e4+le. (he C $r FatherD and a 9ara#le on (r$e &ons........................................................-01 ,63. At Gethse4ane and 8ethany. (he #oy disci+le Mar;ia4 acc$ses %$das of #eing a desecrator.............0/6 ,65. Letters fro4 Antioch..............................................................026 ,66. (he (h$rsday #efore 9assover. Morning 9reli4inaries.........................................................03, ,67. (he (h$rsday #efore 9assover. At the (e4+le.............037 ,6-. (he (h$rsday #efore 9assover. Instr$ctions to the A+ostles...............................................063 ,60. (he (h$rsday #efore 9assover. In %ohanna of :h$.a!s 2o$se............................................07, ,7/. (he (h$rsday #efore 9assover. (he 5vening...............1/// ,71. 9re+aration *ay. (he Morning.........................................1/15 ,72. 9re+aration *ay. At the (e4+le......................................1/2, ,7,. 9re+aration *ay. In the &treets of %er$sale4..............1/,1 6

,73. 9re+aration *ay. (he 5vening..........................................1/32 ,75. (he &a##ath of the =nleavened 8read.........................1/56 ,76. Mary 2as :hosen the 8etter 9art....................................1/71 ,77. %es$s &+ea7s at 8ethany.....................................................1/70 ,7-. (o)ards Mo$nt Ado4in....................................................1/03 ,70. After the Retreat $+on Mo$nt :herith..........................1/0,-/. (he 9ara#le of the =nfaithf$l &te)ard. 5ssenes and 9harisees.......................................................11/, ,-1. In "i7e!s 2o$se...................................................................... 1121 ,-2. At the Ford #et)een %ericho and 8etha#ara...............11,1 ,-,. In &olo4on!s 2o$se. ld Ananias...................................1132 ,-3. At the :ross'Road near &olo4on!s @illage. 9ara#le of the La#o$r Agents.........................................1151 ,-5. (o)ards the 1estern 8an7 of the %ordan....................1161 ,-6. At Gilgal. (he 8eggar gla. (he ()elve &tones.........1163 ,-7. (o)ards 5ngedi. (a7ing Leave of %$das Iscariot and &i4on <ealot................................................................1176 ,--. Arrival at 5ngedi....................................................................11-5 ,-0. 9reaching and Miracles at 5ngedi...................................11-0 ,0/. 5lisha of 5ngedi..................................................................... 12/1 ,01. At Masada............................................................................... 121/ ,02. At the :o$ntry 2o$se of Mary Mother of %$das.......121,0,. Fare)ell to Berioth. 9ara#le of the ()o 1ills.............1225 ,03. Anne of Berioth. Fare)ell to %$das! Mother................12,1 ,05. Fare)ell to %$ttah..................................................................1232 7

,06. Fare)ell to 2e#ron...............................................................125/ ,07. Fare)ell to 8eth.$r..............................................................1257 ,0-. At 8ether.................................................................................. 1265 ,00. %es$s at 8ether )ith 9eter and 8artholo4e).............1273 3//. Fare)ell to 8ether.................................................................12-2 3/1. &i4on of %onah!s &tr$ggle and &+irit$al @ictory.......1201 3/2. Going to)ards 544a$s on the 9lain............................1206 3/,. Little Michael and 9reaching near 544a$s on the 9lain...............................................1,/, 3/3. At %o++a %es$s &+ea7s to %$das of Berioth and to &o4e Gentiles........................................................1,22 3/5. In the 5state of "icode4$s. (he 9ara#le of the ()o &ons..........................................1,3/ 3/6. At the 5state of %ose+h of Ari4athea. CIf yo$ have as 4$ch faith as the si.e of a 4$stard seed...D.........1,5/ 3/7. In the 2o$se of %ose+h of Ari4athea on a &a##ath. %ohn6 a Me4#er of the &anhedrin................................1,6/ 3/-. (he A+ostles &+ea7..............................................................1,71 3/0. (he Mirac$lo$s Gleaning in the 9lain............................1,70 31/. (he Lily of the @alley...........................................................1,01 311. In %er$sale4 for 9entecost................................................1,07 312. %es$s at the 8anA$et of 2el7ai6 the 9harisee and Me4#er of the &anhedrin................................................131/ 31,. At 8ethany............................................................................... 1326

This is the Voice of the Teacher. It roars and caresses. It roars when it is addressed to those who do not want to be converted. It caresses when it speaks to those who, though imperfect, have the good will to find God and his ord and, having found Them, to sanctif! themselves. "or these it becomes the caress of a "riend and the blessing of #esus. $

275. Avarice and the Foolish Rich Man.

10th and 14th Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is on one of the hills on the western coast of the lake. The towns and villages spread on both shores are displayed under His eyes. Directly under the hill are Magdala and Tiberias, the former with its luxurious district strewn with gardens, clearly separated from the poor houses of fishermen, peasants and common people by a little torrent now completely dry the latter magnificent in every !uarter, a town unaware of misery and decay, looking beautiful and fresh in the sunshine before the lake. "etween the two towns there are a few but well kept vegetable#gardens on the short plain, while olive#trees climb the hill con!uering it. $rom this hill#top one can see behind Jesus the saddles of the Mount of "eatitudes, at the foot of which there is the main road which goes from the Mediterranean %ea to Tiberias. &erhaps Jesus has chosen this place because it is so close to a very busy road, and thus people can come here from many towns both on the lake and in the inland of 'alilee, and then go back home in the evening or find hospitality in many of the towns. The climate is also mild because of the height and also because the tall trees on the upper slopes have replaced the olive#trees. There are in fact many people besides the apostles and disciples. &eople who need Jesus for health reasons, or for advice, people who have come out of curiosity, or led by friends or in a spirit of imitation. (n brief, there is a large crowd. The season, which is no longer hot but tends to the languid pleasantness of autumn, encourages pilgrims to come in search of the Master. Jesus has cured sick people 1

and has spoken to the crowd on the sub)ect of wealth un)ustly attained and detachment there from, as is necessary in everyone who wishes to gain Heaven and is essential in those who want to be His disciples. He is now replying to the !uestions of this or that rich disciple, who is somewhat upset by such re!uirement. John, the scribe, says* + Must ( destroy what ( have, thus depriving my family of what is due to them,+ .o. 'od gave you some property. /et it be useful to Justice and make )ust use of it. That is, assist your family by means of it, which is your duty treat your servants humanely, and that is charity help the poor, and the poor disciples in need. 0our wealth thus will not be a hindrance, but an aid.Then addressing the crowds He says* + ( solemnly tell you that also the poorest disciple can be in the same danger of losing Heaven through attachment to riches, if he acts against )ustice by coming to terms with rich people, after he has become a priest of Mine. 1 rich or wicked man will often endeavour to seduce you with gifts to make you agreeable to his way of living and to his sin. 1nd among My ministers there will be some who will yield to the temptation of presents. That must not happen. $ollow the "aptist2s example. 1lthough he was not a )udge or a magistrate, he possessed the perfection of )udge and magistrate as pointed out in Deuteronomy* 30ou must be impartial, you must take no bribes, for a bribe blinds wise men2s eyes and )eopardises the cause of the )ust.4 Too often man allows the edge of the sword of )ustice to be blunted by the gold which a sinner rubs on it. .o, that must not happen. /earn how to be poor, how to die, but never come to terms with sin. .ot even with the excuse of 2

using that gold for the poor. (t is cursed gold and would bear no good. (t is the gold of a disgraceful compromise. 0ou have been appointed masters that you may be masters, doctors and redeemers. 5hat would you be, if your own interest led you to agree to wickedness, Masters of evil science, doctors who kill their patients, not redeemers but parties to the ruin of hearts.6ne of the crowd comes forward and says* + ( am not a disciple. "ut ( do admire 0ou. 1nswer this !uestion of mine* 3(s it lawful to keep the money of another person,4+ .o, man. (t is larceny, like robbing the purse of a passer#by.+ 7ven if it is family money,+ 6f course. (t is not right that one should take possession of the money belonging to all the others.+ Then come to 1belmaim, Master, on the road to Damascus, and order my brother to share with me the inheritance of our father who died without leaving a written will. He took everything for himself. 1nd remember that we are twins, born at the first and only birth. %o ( have the same rights as he has.Jesus looks at him and says* + (t is a painful situation and your brother is certainly not behaving righteously. "ut all ( can do is to pray for you and for him, that he may change, and ( can come to your village and evangeli8e and thus touch his heart. The road is no burden to Me if ( can bring about peace between you.The man becomes furious and bursts out* + 5hat2s the use of 0our words, (t takes much more than that in this case9,

+ Did you not tell Me to order your brother to...+ To order is not to evangeli8e. 1n order is always )oined to a threat. Threaten to strike his person, if he does not give me what is due to me. 0ou can do that. 1s 0ou give health 0ou can give a disease.+ Man, ( came to convert, not to strike. "ut if you have faith in My words, you will have peace.+ 5hich words,+ ( told you that ( will pray for you and for your brother, that you may be comforted and he may be converted.+ .onsense9 ( am not such a fool as to believe that. :ome and order.Jesus, 5ho has been meek and patient, becomes impressive and severe. He straightens up ; before He was bending over the little stout angry man ; and He says* + Man, who appointed Me )udge or arbitrator between you, .obody. "ut to avoid a rupture between two brothers ( was willing to come and practise My mission of conciliator and redeemer, and if you had believed My words, on going back to 1belmaim you would have found your brother already changed. "ut you will not believe. 1nd you will have no miracle. (f you had been able to get hold of the treasure before your brother, you would have kept it, depriving your brother of it, because as it is true that you were born twins, it is also true that you have twin passions and both you and your brother have but one love* gold, and one faith* gold. "e therefore with your faith. 'oodbye.The man goes away cursing Jesus while all the people present are scandalised and would like to punish him. 3

"ut Jesus ob)ects saying* + /et him go. 5hy dirty your hands striking a brute, ( forgive him because he is possessed and led astray by the demon of gold. $orgive him as well. /et us rather pray for the unhappy man so that he may become humane again with a beautiful free soul.+ That is true. 7ven his countenance was dreadful because of his greed. Did you notice it,- the disciples and those who were close to the miser ask one another. + That is true, indeed9 He did not look the same person as before.+ 0es. 1nd when he re)ected the Master, he almost struck Him while cursing Him, and his countenance was demoniac.+ 1 tempting demon. He wanted to lead the Master to wickedness...+ /isten- says Jesus. + (t is true that the alterations of the spirit are reflected on one2s face. (t is as if the demon appeared on the surface of his possession. 6nly few people who are demons, either in deeds or appearance, do not disclose what they are. 1nd those few are perfect in evil and perfectly possessed. The countenance of a )ust man, instead, is always beautiful, even if his face is materially disfigured, because of a supernatural beauty, which from the interior exudes exteriorly. 1nd it is not )ust a saying, but a real fact, that we notice a bodily freshness as well in those who are free from vices. The soul within us envelops our whole being. The stench of a corrupt soul affects also the body, whereas the scent of a pure soul preserves it. 1 corrupt soul drives the flesh to obscene sins, which age and disfigure the body. 1 pure 5

soul incites the body to a pure life, which grants a fresh complexion and imparts ma)esty. 7ndeavour to keep your youth spiritually pure, or to revive it, if you have already lost it, and beware of greed, both for sensual pleasures and for power. The life of man does not depend on the abundance of his wealth, neither in present life and much less in the next one, eternal life. (t depends instead on his way of living, as well as his happiness, both on the earth and in Heaven. "ecause a vicious man is never really happy. 6n the contrary, a virtuous man is always happy with a celestial )oy, even if he is poor and alone. .ot even death upsets him. "ecause he has no sins or remorse making him fear to meet 'od, neither does he regret what he leaves on the earth. He knows that his treasure is in Heaven and like a man who goes to take the inheritance due to him, a holy inheritance, he goes happily and solicitously towards death, which opens to him the gate of the <ingdom where is his treasure. %tore up your treasure at once. "egin in your youth, you young people work incessantly, you older people, who are closer to death because of your age. "ut since the date of death is unknown, and a child often dies before a venerable old man, do not postpone the work of storing up your treasure of virtues and good deeds for the next life, lest death should reach you before you have placed a treasure of merits in Heaven. Many people say* 36h9 ( am young and strong9 ( will en)oy myself for the time being on the earth, and ( will turn later.4 1 big mistake9
/isten to this parable. 1 rich man2s estate had yielded a good harvest. 1 really miraculous harvest. He looks happily at so much abundance piling up in his fields and 6

threshing#floors and which is to be stored in provisional sheds and even in the rooms of his house, since his barns cannot hold it all, and says* 2( have worked like a slave but ( have not been disappointed by my fields. ( have worked as much as for ten harvests, and ( am going to rest )ust as long. 5hat shall ( do to put away all this crop, ( do not want to sell it otherwise ( would be compelled to work to have a new crop next year. This is what ( will do* ( will knock down my granaries and build larger ones, capable of holding all my crops and my goods. 1nd then ( will say to my soul* 26h, my soul9 0ou have aside goods for many years. =est, therefore, eat, drink and have a good time2.4 The man, like many more people, mistook his soul for his body and mixed the sacred and the profane, because in actual fact a soul does not re)oice in revelries and idleness, but languishes. 1nd the man, like many, after the first good harvest in the fields of virtue, stopped, as he thought he had done everything. "ut do you not know that once you have laid your hand on the plough you must persevere for one, ten, one hundred years, as long as your life lasts, because to stop is a crime against oneself, as one denies oneself a greater glory, and it is a regression, because generally he who stops not only does not proceed further, but turns back , The treasure of Heaven must increase year by year to be good. "ecause if Mercy is benign to those also who had few years to store it up, it will not be an accomplice of la8y people who in a long life do little. (t is a treasure increasing continuously. 6therwise it is no longer a fruit# bearing treasure, but an unfruitful one, which is 7

detrimental to the readily available peace of Heaven. 'od said to the foolish man* 3$ool9 0ou mistake body and wealth of the earth for what is spirit and you turn the grace of 'od into evil. This very night the demand will be made for your soul, and it will be taken away and your body will lie lifeless. 1nd this hoard of yours, whose will it be then, 5ill you take it with you, .o. 0ou will come to My presence despoiled of earthly crops and spiritual works and you will be poor in the next life. (t would have been better if you had used your crops for works of mercy on behalf of your neighbour and yourself. "ecause if you had been merciful towards others, you would have been merciful to your own soul. 1nd instead of fostering idle thoughts, you could have plied a trade which would have given an honest profit for your body and great merit for your soul until ( called you.4 1nd the man died that night and was severely )udged. ( tell you solemnly that that happens to those who store up treasure for themselves but do not grow rich in the eyes of 'od. 'o now and avail yourselves of the doctrine explained to you. &eace be with you.- 1nd Jesus blesses and withdraws into a thicket with His apostles and disciples to take some food and rest. 1nd while eating He continues to speak on the same lesson, repeating a sub)ect already explained several times to the apostles and which ( think will never be clarified enough, because man is too easily sei8ed with foolish fears. + 0ou must believe- He says, + that man should worry only about making himself rich in virtue. "ut mind you* you must not worry anxiously or painfully. 'ood is the enemy of anxiety, of fears, of haste, which still show too many traces of avarice, )ealousy and human mistrust. /et -

your work be constant, confident, peaceful, without rough starts and stops, as onagers do. "ut no one makes use of them, unless one is mad, to go on a safe )ourney. "e peaceful in victory and peaceful in defeat. 1lso tears shed for an error you made and which grieves you because by it you have displeased 'od, must be peaceful, comforted by humility and trust. &rostration, anger against oneself are always a symptom of pride and lack of confidence. He who is humble knows that he is a poor man sub)ect to the miseries of the flesh, which at times triumphs. He who is humble puts his trust not so much in himself as in 'od, and is serene also when defeated and says* 3$orgive me, $ather. ( know that 0ou are aware of my weakness which overwhelms me at times. ( will believe that 0ou pity me. ( am fully confident that 0ou will help me in future even more than heretofore, notwithstanding ( please 0ou so little.4 Do not be indifferent or avaricious with regard to the gifts of 'od. 'ive generously what you possess of wisdom and virtue. "e active in spiritual matters as men are with regard to their bodies. 1nd as far as your bodies are concerned do not imitate the people of the world who always tremble for their future, fearing they may lack what is superfluous, that they may be taken ill, or die, that enemies may be harmful, and so on. 'od knows what you are in need of. Therefore be not afraid for your future. "e free from tears, which are heavier than the chains of galley#slaves. Do not be anxious about the necessities of life* what you will eat, or drink and how you will clothe yourself. The life of the spirit is worth more than the life of the body and the body is worth more than clothes, because you live with your bodies and not with your clothes and through the mortification of your bodies you

help your souls to attain eternal life. 'od knows how long He will leave your souls in your bodies, and He will give you what is necessary until that hour. He gives it to crows, impure birds which feed on corpses and the reason for their being is )ust to remove putrifying corpses. 1nd will He not give you what is necessary, :rows have neither larders nor granaries and 'od feeds them )ust the same. 0ou are men, not crows. 1t present you are the cream of men because you are the disciples of the Master, the evangeli8ers of the world, the servants of 'od. 1nd can you possibly think that 'od may neglect you, even for what concerns your clothes, since He takes care of the lilies of the valleys and makes them grow and clothes them with such beautiful robes that %olomon never possessed the like, and yet they do no work but scent worshipping 'od, (t is true that by yourselves you cannot add one tooth to a toothless mouth, or lengthen by one inch a contracted leg, or make dimmed eyes bright. 1nd if you cannot do such things, can you think you may be able to repel misery and diseases and turn dust into food, 0ou cannot. "ut do not be of little faith. 0ou will always have what you need. Do not worry like the people of the world who strive to satisfy their pleasures. 0ou have your $ather 5ho knows what you need. 1ll you must seek, and it must be your first care, is the <ingdom of 'od and His )ustice, and all the rest will be given to you as well.
"e not afraid, My little flock. My $ather was pleased to call you to the <ingdom, that you may have His <ingdom. 0ou may, therefore, aspire to it and assist the $ather through your good will and holy activity. %ell your property and give the money to charity, if you are alone. 'ive your relatives means of subsistence as compensation for your abandoning the house to follow Me, because it is 1/

unfair to deprive children and wife of their daily bread. 1nd if you cannot sacrifice money, sacrifice the wealth of your affections. They are money which 'od evaluates for what they are* gold which is purer than any other gold pearls which are more precious than those taken from the sea, and rubies which are rarer than those found in the bowels of the earth. "ecause to renounce one2s family for My sake is love which is more perfect than the purest gold, it is a pearl made of tears, a ruby made of blood wailing from the wound of one2s heart, torn to pieces by the separation from father and mother, wife and children. "ut such purses never wear out, such treasures never fail. Thieves cannot break into Heaven. 5ood#worms cannot eat what is deposited there. 1nd have Heaven in your hearts and your hearts in Heaven near your treasures. "ecause a heart, whether good or wicked, is with what you consider your dear treasure. %o as a heart is there where its treasure is >in Heaven?, so the treasure is there where the heart is >within you?, nay, the treasure is within the heart and with the treasure of saints, in the heart there is the Heaven of saints.

"e always ready like those who are about to depart or are waiting for their master. 0ou are the servants of the Master#'od. He can call you where He is any moment, or come where you are. "e, therefore, always ready to go, or to pay Him homage, with work or travelling belt round your waists and lamps lit in your hands. :oming out of a wedding party with one who has preceded you in Heaven and in being consecrated to 'od on the earth, 'od may remember that you are waiting and may say* 3/et us go to %tephen or to John, or to James and to &eter.4 1nd 'od is fast in coming or saying* 3:ome.4 %o be ready to open the door to Him when He arrives or to leave, should

He call you. "lessed are those servants whom the Master finds vigilant on His arrival. ( tell you solemnly that to reward them for their faithful waiting, He will gird His waist, make them sit at the table and serve them. He may come at the first, or second or third watch. 0ou do not know, so be always vigilant. 1nd you will be happy if you are so and the Master finds you thus9 Do not flatter yourselves by saying* 3There is time. He will not come tonight.4 7vil would befall you. 0ou do not know. (f one knew when a thief is going to come, one would not leave the house unguarded so that a robber may force the door and coffers. "e prepared as well, because when you least expect Him, the %on of man will come saying* 3(t is time.4&eter, who has even forgotten to finish his food, to listen to the /ord, when he sees that Jesus is silent, asks* + 5hat 0ou said, is it for us or for everybody,+ (t is for you and for everybody. "ut it is primarily for you, because you are like stewards put by the Master at the head of the servants and it is your duty to be twice as vigilant, both as stewards and as simple believers. 5hat must a steward be like, once he has been put by his master at the head of the servants, so that he may give each his fair portion at the right moment, He must be shrewd and loyal, in order to fulfill his own duty and make his subordinates fulfill theirs. 6therwise the interests of the master would suffer a loss, whereas he pays so that the steward may act on his behalf and safeguard his interests while he is away.

Happy is the servant whom the master finds acting


loyally, diligently and honestly, on his returning home. ( tell you solemnly that he will appoint his steward over other estates, over all his estates, and will relax and re)oice in his heart because of the reliability of his servant. "ut if the servant says* 35ell9 My master is very far away and has written to me that he will be delayed in coming back home. %o ( can do what ( like and ( will do the necessary when ( think he is about to come.4 1nd he begins to eat and drink until he gets drunk and gives cra8y orders and, as the good servants under him refuse to carry them out not to cause damage to their master, he beats servants and maids until they are taken ill and decline. 1nd thinking that he is happy he says* 31t last ( relish being the master and feared by everybody.4 "ut what will happen to him, (t will happen that the master will arrive when he least expects him, catching him perhaps in the very act of pocketing money or bribing some of the most unreliable servants. Then, ( tell you, the master will throw him out, depriving him of his position as steward, and refusing to keep him among his servants, because it is not right to keep unfaithful traitors among honest people. 1nd the more the master previously loved and instructed him, the more he will be punished.
"ecause the more one is aware of the will and mind of the master, the more one is obliged to fulfill it accurately. (f one does not act as the master explained in so great detail that nobody else was told so clearly, one will be severely beaten, whereas an inferior servant, who knows little and does wrong while he thinks he is doing right, will receive a less severe punishment. Much will be re!uested of him who was given much, and he who has much in his care, will have to return much, because My stewards will be asked to give an account also of the soul 1,

of a baby one hour old. My election is not a cool relaxation in a flowery little wood. ( came to bring fire on the earth and what can ( wish for but that it may light up, That is why ( tire Myself and ( want you to tire yourselves until you die and until the whole earth is a celestial bonfire. ( am to be baptised with a baptism. 1nd how distressed ( will be until it is accomplished9 1re you not asking why, "ecause through it ( will be able to make you $ire#bearers, agitators who will act in every and against every social stratum, to make it one thing only* the flock of :hrist. Do you think that ( have come to bring peace to the earth, 1nd according to the way of thinking of the earth, .o. 6n the contrary, ( came to bring discord and separation. "ecause from now on, and until the whole world becomes one only flock, of five people in one house two will be against three, and the father will be against his son, and the son against the father, the mother against her daughters and the daughters against the mother and mothers#in#law and daughters#in#law will have a further reason not to understand each other, because a new language will be spoken by some lips, and it will be like "abel, because a deep disturbance will agitate the reign of human and superhuman affections. Then the time will come when everything will be unified in a new language, spoken by all those who have been saved by the .a8arene, and feelings will be filtered like water, as the dross will sink to the bottom, while the limpid waves of celestial lakes will shine on the surface. Truly, it is not restful to serve Me, according to the meaning man attaches to that word. Heroism and indefatigability are re!uired. "ut ( tell you that at the

end it will be Jesus, still and always Jesus, 5ho will gird His waist to serve you, and will sit with you at an eternal ban!uet and all labour and sorrow will be forgotten.
.ow, since no one has been looking for us, let us go to the lake. 5e shall rest at Magdala. (n the gardens of Mary of /a8arus there is room for everybody and she has put her house at the disposal of the &ilgrim and His friends. There is no need for Me to tell you that Mary of Magdala died with her sin and she has risen again from her repentance as Mary of /a8arus, the woman disciple of Jesus of .a8areth. 0ou are already aware of that because the news spread like the fury of the wind in a forest. "ut ( will tell you something you do not know* all the personal wealth of Mary is for the servants of 'od and the poor people of :hrist. /et us go...-

27". #n the $arden of Mar% of Ma&dala' (ove for )ne*s +ei&hbo,r.

1"th Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is no longer where He was during the last vision. He is in a large garden which extends as far as the lake, and in the middle of it there is a house surrounded by the garden, which at the rear of the house is at least three times as large as on the front and sides. There are flowers, but above all trees, thickets and green nooks, some around fountain#basins of precious marbles, some like bowers around tables and stone seats. 1nd there must have been statues here and there, both along the 15

paths and in the centre of the basins. 6nly the pedestals of the statues are now left as a remembrance, near laurel and box shrubs or reflected in the basins full of limpid water. The presence of Jesus with His disciples and of people from Magdala, among whom there is little "en)amin who dared to tell the (scariot that he was a bad man, makes me think that they are the gardens of the Magdalene2s house... which have been conveniently altered for a new function by removing what might have disgusted or scandalised or reminded one of the past. The lake is a grey#blue cr@pe reflecting the sky, where clouds are sailing swiftly, laden with the first autumn rain. "ut it is beautiful even so, in the still placid light of a day which is not clear but not entirely rainy. (ts shores are no longer covered with flowers, they are however painted by the great painter which is autumn and they show ochre and purple hues and the exhausted pallor of the withering leaves of trees and vineyards, which change colour before yielding to the earth their living clothing. (n the garden of a villa overlooking the lake like this one, there is a spot which has turned red, as if it poured blood into the water, due to the presence of a hedge of flexible branches, which autumn has coloured with a bla8ing copper hue, while the willow#trees spread along the shore, not far from the garden, seem to be trembling, as their slender silver#green leaves !uiver and look paler than usual before dying. Jesus is not looking at what ( am watching. He is looking at some poor sick people whom He cures. He is looking at some old beggars to whom He gives some money. He is looking at some children offered to Him by their mothers 16

that He may bless them. 1nd He is looking pitifully at a group of sisters, who are informing Him of the behaviour of their only brother, who has caused their mother to die of a broken heart and has brought about their ruin, and the poor women beg Him to give them some advice and to pray for them. + ( will certainly pray for you. ( will ask 'od to give you peace and ( will pray for him, that he may turn and remember that you are his sisters, giving you what is fair and above all that he may love you once again. "ecause if he does that, he will do everything else. "ut do you love him, or have you a grudge against him, Do you forgive him wholeheartedly or is there anger in your tears, "ecause he is unhappy, too. More than you are. 1nd notwithstanding his riches, he is poorer than you are, and you must pity him. He no longer loves and is without the love of 'od. %ee how unhappy he is, The sad life he made you lead will end in happiness for you and first of all for your mother. "ut not for him. 6n the contrary, from the false present en)oyment he would pass to an eternal dreadful torture. :ome with Me. "y speaking to you ( will speak to everybody.1nd Jesus goes towards the centre of a meadow, where once there must have been a statue and the site is now strewn with groups of flowers. 6nly the pedestal is now left and it is surrounded by a low hedge of myrtle and miniature roses. Jesus goes towards that hedge and begins to speak. The people become silent and crowd round Him. + &eace be with you. /isten. (t is written* 3/ove your neighbour as you love yourself.4 "ut who is our neighbour, The whole of mankind, in a general meaning. 17

(n a narrower sense all our countrymen in an even narrower sense, all our fellow citi8ens then in a more and more narrow meaning, all our relatives finally, the last circle of this crown of love closed like the petals of a rose round the heart of the flower, the love for our full# brothers* our first neighbour. 'od is the centre of the heart of the flower of love, so love for Him is the first to be had. 1round His centre there is the love for our parents, the second to be had, because father and mother are really the little 3'od4 on the earth, as they procreated us and cooperated with 'od to our creation, besides taking care of us with untiring love. The various love rings press round that ovary which shines with pistils and exhales the perfume of the most choice love. The first is the love for our brothers born of the same womb and same blood as ourselves. How is our brother to be loved, 6nly because his flesh and blood are the same as ours, 7ven the little birds which are together in one nest can do that. (n fact, this is all they have in common* they were born in the same brood and have on their tongues the flavour of their father2s and mother2s saliva. 5e men are worth more than birds. 5e have more than flesh and blood. 5e have the $ather besides having a father and mother. 5e have a soul and we have 'od, the $ather of all men. %o we must love our brother as a brother, because of our father and mother who gave birth to us, and as a brother because of 'od 5ho is the universal $ather.

5e must love him, therefore, spiritually not only corporeally. 5e must love him not only because of his body and blood, but because of the spirit which we have in common. 1nd we must love, as it is to be loved, the spirit of our brother more than his body. "ecause the

spirit is more important than the body. "ecause the $ather 'od is more important than the man father. "ecause the spirit is worth more than the flesh. "ecause our brother would be much more unhappy if he lost the $ather 'od than he would be if he lost his man father. (t is heart#rending to be deprived of the man father, but it is only half an orphanhood. (t is detrimental only to what is earthly, that is to our need for help and caresses. "ut the spirit, if it can believe, is not damaged by the death of the father. 6n the contrary, in order to )oin the )ust father where he is, the spirit of the son rises as if it were attracted by a loving force. 1nd ( tell you solemnly that that is love, love for 'od and for the father, who has ascended with his soul to the place of wisdom. He ascends to the place where he is closer to 'od and acts with greater rectitude, because he does not lack true help, that is the prayers of the father whom he now loves perfectly, neither does he lack restraint due both to the certainty that the father does now see the deeds of his son, better than he did in his lifetime, and to the desire to be able to )oin him through a holy life. That is why one must take greater care of the spirit than of the body of the brother. (t would certainly be a very poor love if it took care of what is perishable, neglecting what is not perishable and which, if neglected, may lose eternal )oy. Too many people tire themselves with useless things and worry themselves about what is of comparative merit, losing sight of what is really necessary. 'ood sisters and brothers must not worry only about keeping clothes tidy and having meals ready, or helping their brothers with their work. "ut they must bend over their spirits and listen to their voices, perceive their faults, and with loving patience busy themselves to

give them a wholesome holy spirit, if in those voices and faults they see a danger for their eternal lives. 1nd if their brother has sinned against them, they must forgive him and get 'od to forgive him, through his return to love, without which 'od will not forgive.
(t is written in /eviticus* 30ou must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart, you must openly tell him of his offence, this way you will not take a sin upon yourself because of him.4 "ut there is an abyss between not hating and loving. 0ou may think that aversion, detachment, indifference are not sins, because they are not hatred. .o. ( have come to bring new light to love, and conse!uently, to hatred, because what makes the former shine in every detail, makes every detail of the latter shine as well. The very elevation to high spheres of the former, brings out, as a conse!uence, a greater detachment from the latter, because the higher love ascends, the lower hatred seems to sink.

My doctrine is perfection. (t is refinement of feelings and )udgement. (t is truth without metaphors and paraphrases. 1nd ( tell you that aversion, detachment and indifference are already hatred. %imply because they are not love. Hatred is the opposite of love. :an you find another name for aversion, $or being detached from a being, $or indifference, He who loves has a liking for the person loved. %o if he dislikes him, he no longer loves him. He who loves, even if he is separated materially from the person he loves, continues to be near him with his spirit. %o if one is detached with one2s spirit from the other, one no longer loves the other. He who loves is never indifferent towards the person he loves, on the contrary he is interested in everything concerning that

person. %o if one is indifferent towards another, it means that one does not love the other. 0ou can thus see that those three attitudes are branches of one plant* hatred. .ow what happens when we are offended by one whom we love, (n ninety per cent of cases, if hatred does not arise, aversion, detachment or indifference will result. .o. Do not do that. Do not free8e your hearts by means of those three forms of hatred. /ove.
"ut you are asking yourselves* 3How can we,4 ( reply to you* 31s 'od can, as He loves those who offend Him. 1 sorrowful but still good love.4 0ou say* 3How do we do that,4 ( am giving a new law on the relationship with a guilty brother, and ( say* 3(f your brother offends you, do not humiliate him by reproaching him in public, but urge your love to cover up your brother2s fault in the eyes of the world.4 "ecause great will be your merit in the eyes of 'od, by barring, out of love, every satisfaction to your pride.

6h9 How man loves to let people know that he was offended and grieved thereby9 /ike a foolish beggar he does not go to a king asking for alms in gold, but he goes to other foolish beggars like himself asking for handfuls of ash and manure and mouthfuls of burning poison. That is what the world gives to the offended person who goes complaining and begging for comfort. 'od, the <ing, gives pure gold to him, who, being offended, goes without any grudge to weep only at His feet and ask Him, /ove and 5isdom, for comfort of love and how to behave in the sorrowful circumstance. Therefore, if you want comfort, go to 'od and act with love.
( say to you, correcting the old law* 3(f your brother has sinned against you, go and correct him by yourself. (f he 21

listens to you, you have gained your brother once again. 1nd at the same time you have gained many blessings from 'od. (f your brother does not listen to you, but he re)ects you persisting in his fault, take with you two or three grave, clever, reliable witnesses, so that no one may say that you are agreeable to his fault or indifferent to the welfare of his soul, and go back to your brother with them, and kindly repeat your remarks in their presence, so that the witnesses may be able to repeat that you have done everything in your power to correct your brother in a holy way. "ecause that is the duty of a good brother, since the sin committed by him against you is detrimental to his soul, and you must take care of his soul. (f that is of no avail, inform the synagogue, so that he may be called to order in the name of 'od. (f even so he does not make amends and he re)ects the synagogue or the Temple as he re)ected you, consider him as a publican and a 'entile.4

Do that both with your full brothers and with the people you love. "ecause also with your remote neighbour you must behave with holiness, generosity, flexibility and love. 1nd when it is a law#suit and it is necessary to go to court and you go with your adversary, ( tell you, o man, who often find yourself in greater evils through your own fault, to do everything in your power, while you are on the way, to make your peace with him, whether you are right or wrong. "ecause human )ustice is always imperfect and a shrewd man generally defeats )ustice and the offender might be considered innocent, whilst you, who are innocent, might be found guilty. 1nd then not only your right would not be acknowledged, but you would lose the case and from being innocent you would be found guilty of slander and so the )udge would hand you

over to the law#executor who would not let you free until you had paid down to the last penny.

"e conciliating. Does your pride suffer by it, Aery well. (s money s!uee8ed out of you, "etter still. &roviding your holiness increases. Do not feel nostalgia for gold. Do not crave for praises. /et 'od praise you. 7nsure that you have your purse in Heaven. 1nd pray for those who offend you. That they may make amends. (f that happens, they themselves will give you back honour and goods. (f they do not, 'od will.
'o, now, because it is time for your meal. /et only the beggars stay and sit at the apostolic table. &eace be with you.-

277. -es,s Sends the Sevent%.T/o 0isciples.

17th of Septe ber 1!45.

1fter the meal Jesus dismisses the poor guests and remains with His apostles and disciples in the garden of Mary of Magdala. They sit at the very end of it, near the calm water of the lake, on which some sailing boats are fishing. + They will have a good catch- comments &eter who is watching them. + 0ou will have a good catch, too, %imon of Jonah.+ Me, my /ord, 5hen, Do 0ou want me to go out and fish for our food for tomorrow, ( will go at once and...2,

+ 5e do not need any food in this house. 0ou will have a good catch in future, in the spiritual field. 1nd most of these will be very good fishermen like you.+ .ot everyone, Master,- asks Matthew. + .ot everyone. "ut those who will persevere and become My priests will have good catches.+ :onversions,- asks James of Bebedee. + They will convert, forgive, lead back to 'od. 6h9 so many things.+ /isten, Master. 0ou said before that if a man does not even listen to his brother in the presence of witnesses, the synagogue is to admonish him. .ow, if ( have understood correctly what 0ou have been telling us since we met, ( think that the synagogue will be replaced by the :hurch, the thing that 0ou want to found. (f so, where will we go to have our pig#headed brothers admonished,+ 0ou will do that yourselves, because you will be My :hurch. %o believers will come to you, for advice for themselves or for advice for other people. ( will tell you more. 0ou will not be able only to give advice. 0ou will be able to absolve in My .ame. 0ou will be able to release people from the chains of sin and you will be able to )oin two people who love each other so that they become one body. 1nd what you do will be valid in the eyes of 'od, as if 'od Himself had done it. ( tell you solemnly that whatever you bind on the earth will be bound in Heaven and whatever you absolve on the earth will be absolved in Heaven. 1nd ( say to you also, to make you understand the power of My .ame, of brotherly love and prayer, that 23

if two disciples of Mine, and ( mean as such all those who will believe in the :hrist, will gather together to ask for any )ust thing in My .ame, that thing will be granted to them by My $ather. "ecause prayer is a great power, brother union is a great power, My .ame is a very great infinite power and so is My presence among you. 1nd where two or three people are gathered in My .ame, ( shall be in the midst of them, and ( will pray with them and the $ather will not refuse anything to those who pray with Me. Many do not get what they ask for, because they pray by themselves, or they ask for what is illicit, or they pray with pride or sin in their hearts. Make your hearts pure, so that ( can be with you, then pray and you will be heard.&eter is thoughtful. Jesus notices it and asks him why. 1nd &eter replies* + ( am thinking of the great duty to which we are destined. 1nd ( am afraid of it. ( am afraid ( cannot accomplish it properly.+ (n fact %imon of Jonah or James of 1lphaeus or &hilip, and so on, would not do it properly. "ut &eter the priest, James the priest, &hilip the priest or Thomas will do very well because they will be acting together with Divine 5isdom.+ 1nd... how many times will we have to forgive our brethren, How many times if they sin against the priests and how many if they sin against 'od, "ecause, if things will happen then, as they do now, they will certainly sin against us, since they sin against 0ou so many times. Tell me whether ( have to forgive always or a number of times. $or instance, seven times, or more,+ ( will not say to you seven times, but seventy times 25

seven. 1n endless number. "ecause also the $ather of Heaven will forgive you many times, a great number of times, and you ought to be perfect. %o do as He does with you, because you will represent 'od on the earth. .ay, listen. ( will tell you a parable which will help everybody.1nd Jesus, 5ho was surrounded by the apostles only, in a box thicket, goes towards the disciples who are respectfully gathered in a open space adorned with a fountain#basin full of clear water. Jesus2 smile is a like a sign that He is going to speak. 1nd while He walks with long slow steps, so that in a few moments He covers a good distance without rushing, they are all delighted and press round Him as children gather round those who make them happy. (t is a circle of keen faces, until Jesus leans against a tall tree and begins to speak. + 5hat ( said before to the people is to be completed for you who have been chosen from the people. The apostle %imon of Jonah asked Me* 3How many times must ( forgive, 5hom, 5hy,.4 ( replied to him privately and ( will now repeat My reply as it is fair that you should know now as well. /isten how many times, how and why you have to forgive. 0ou must forgive as 'od forgives, 5ho forgives a thousand times, if one sins a thousand times and repents. &roviding He sees that in man there is no will to sin, no pursuit of what makes one sin and that sin is only the result of man2s weakness. (n the case of voluntary persistence in sin there can be no forgiveness for sins against the /aw. "ut with regard to the grief such sins cause you individually, you are to forgive them. 1lways forgive those who harm you. $orgive, so that you may be 26

forgiven, because you have sinned also against 'od and your brothers. $orgiveness opens the <ingdom of Heaven both to him who is forgiven and to him who forgives. (t is like what happened to a king and his servants.
1 king wanted to draw up the accounts with his servants. He called them one by one, beginning with those who were in the highest positions. There was one who owed the king ten thousand talents. "ut the servant could not pay back the advance the king had given him to build his house and purchase all kinds of goods, because in actual fact, for many more or less )ustified reasons, he had not made a very diligent use of the money lent to him for that purpose. The king and master was angry at his sloth and breakage of his word, and ordered him, his wife, children and all his possessions to be sold until he settled his debt. "ut the servant threw himself at the king2s feet and weeping implored him* 3/et me go. Have a little more patience and ( will give you back everything ( owe you to the last penny.4 The king was moved by so much distress ; he was a good king ; and not only agreed to his re!uest, but when he heard that diseases had been the cause of his lack of diligence and failure to pay, he also remitted his debt. The servant went away happily. "ut on his way out he ran into another servant, a poor fellow to whom he had lent one hundred denarii taken from the ten thousand talents received from the king. 1s he felt sure of the king2s protection he thought everything was permissible to him and he sei8ed the unhappy fellow by the throat saying* 3'ive me what you owe me.4 (n vain the man stooped weeping to kiss his feet imploring* 3Have mercy on me as ( have had much bad luck. Have a little 27

patience and ( will pay everything back to you to the last penny.4 The cruel servant sent for militiamen and had the poor wreck taken to prison so that he would make up his mind and pay him, or lose his freedom or his very life. The friends of the unhappy man came to know about it, and being very upset, they went and told the king and master, who, upon hearing the news, ordered the pitiless servant to be brought before him and looking at him severely said* 30ou wicked servant, ( helped you the first time, that you might become merciful, that you might become a rich man, then ( helped you by remitting your debt when you implored me to have patience. 0ou did not have pity on your fellow servant, whilst (, a king, had so much pity on you. 5hy did you not treat your fellow servant as ( treated you,.4 1nd in his anger he handed him over to the )ailors to be kept by them until he paid everything back, saying* 31s he did not have pity on one who owed him very little, while he had so much pity from me who am a king, so ( will no longer have pity on him.4 1nd that is how My $ather will deal with you if you are pitiless towards your brothers, if you are more guilty than a believer, after receiving so much from 'od. =emember that it is your duty to be more faultless than anybody else. =emember that 'od gives you a great treasure in advance, but He wants you to render an account of it. =emember that no one must be able to grant love and forgiveness like you. Do not be servants exacting much for yourselves and giving nothing to those who ask you for help. 1s you do to others, it will be done to you. 1nd you will be asked to 2-

give an account of how other people behave, if they have been led to good or to evil by your examples. 6h9 (f you have sanctified people, your glory in Heaven will be really great9 "ut, likewise, if you have been corrupters or only sluggish in sanctifying, you will be severely punished. ( say to you once again* if any of you does not feel like being the victim of his own mission, let him go away. "ut let him not fall in it. ( mean* let him not fail in what is pernicious to his own and other people2s perfection. 1nd let him have 'od as his friend, always forgiving your weak brothers from your hearts. Then each of you, who will thus forgive, will be forgiven by 'od the $ather. 6ur stay has come to an end. The time of Tabernacles is close at hand. Those to whom ( spoke separately this morning, as from tomorrow will go ahead of Me announcing Me to the people. Those who are staying must not lose heart. ( have kept some of them for prudential reasons, not because ( disdain them. They will be staying with Me and ( will soon send them as ( am now sending the first seventy#two disciples.

The harvest is rich, but the labourers are too few compared to what is needed. %o there will be work for everyone. "ut that is not sufficient. %o, without being )ealous, ask the /ord of the harvest to send new labourers to His harvest. (n the meantime, you may go. During the past days, the apostles and ( have completed your instructions on the work you have to do, and ( have repeated to you what ( told the Twelve before sending them.
6ne of you asked Me* 3How will ( cure in 0our .ame,4 20

1lways cure the spirit first. &romise the sick people the <ingdom of 'od if they can believe in Me, and once you have ascertained their faith, order the disease to depart and it will go away. 1nd do likewise with those whose souls are ill. %timulate their faith first of all. "y means of sound words inspire them with Hope. ( will then come to grant them Divine :harity, as ( put it into your hearts after you believed in Me and hoped for Mercy. 1nd be not afraid of men or of demons. They will not hurt you. The only things you are to fear are* sensuality, pride, avarice. Through them you would hand yourselves over to %atan and devilish men, who also exist.
'o therefore, preceding Me along the roads of the Jordan. 1nd when you arrive in Jerusalem go and )oin the shepherds in the valley of "ethlehem, and come with them to Me, in the place you know, and we will celebrate together the holy feast, and we will then go back to our ministry more invigorated than ever. 'o in peace. ( bless you in the holy .ame of the /ord.-

271. -es,s Meets (a2ar,s at the Field of the $alileans.

11th Septe ber 1!45.

The famous $ield of the 'alileans ; ( think that is the meaning of the word used by Jesus to point out the meeting place with the seventy#two disciples sent ahead of Him ; is part of the Mount of 6lives, towards the road ,/

to "ethany, which actually passes there. 1nd it is precisely in this place that in a vision of long ago, ( saw Joachim and 1nne camp with 1lphaeus, then a little boy, near other tents made with branches, at the $east of the Tabernacles, which preceded the conception of the "lessed Airgin. The summit of the Mount of 6lives is smooth* everything is smooth and pleasant on that mountain* the slopes, the view, the summit. (t really inspires peace, clad as it is with olive#trees and silence. "ut not now. "ecause it is swarming with people intent on making their tents. "ut generally it is a place of tran!uillity and meditation. 6n the left hand side, with respect to those facing north, there is a light depression, and then another summit which is even smoother than the previous one. 1nd it is on this tableland that the 'alileans camp. ( do not know whether it is an age#old religious custom or whether they do so by order of the =omans to avoid conflicts with Judaeans and peoples of other regions, who are never very kind to 'alileans. ( do not know. ( know that ( can see many 'alileans, amongst them 1lphaeus of %arah from .a8areth Judas, the old land owner from Merom Jairus, the head of the synagogue and other people from "ethsaida, :apernaum and other towns in 'alilee, but whose names ( do not know. Jesus points out the place where they should put up their tents, on the eastern edge of the $ield of the 'alileans. 1nd the apostles, together with some disciples, among whom there is John the priest and John the scribe, Timoneus, the head of the synagogue, %tephen, 7rmasteus, Joseph of 7mmaus, 1bel of "ethlehem in 'alilee, begin to make their tents with branches. ,1

5hile they do so, Jesus speaks to some children from :apernaum, who have pressed round Him asking Him do8ens of !uestions and confiding to Him as many pieces of information, when /a8arus arrives from the "ethany road with Maximinus, his inseparable companion. Jesus is facing the opposite direction and cannot see him. "ut the (scariot does and he informs the Master, 5ho leaves the children and goes towards His friend smiling. Maximinus stops a few steps behind, to leave the two completely free in their first approach. 1nd /a8arus covers the last few yards, as fast as he can, walking more painfully than ever, with a smile which trembles with pain on his lips and shines with tears in his eyes. Jesus opens His arms and /a8arus falls on to His heart, bursting into tears. + 5hat, My dear friend, 1re you still weeping,...- asks Jesus, kissing his temple. He is so much taller than /a8arus, from His shoulders upwards, and looks even taller, as /a8arus is bent in his embrace of love and respect. 1t last /a8arus looks up and says* + 0es, ( am weeping. /ast year ( gave 0ou the pearls of my sad tears, it is therefore fair that ( give 0ou the pearls of my tears of )oy. 6h9 Master, my Master9 ( think that there is nothing more humble and holy than good tears... 1nd ( give them to 0ou, to say* 3Thank 0ou4 for my Mary who is now a kind, happy, serene, pure good girl... 6h, much better than when she was a little girl. 1nd (, ( who felt that ( was much above her, in my pride of an (sraelite faithful to the /aw, now ( feel ( am so tiny, so... nothing, as compared to her, who is no longer a woman, but a flame. 1 sanctifying flame. (... ( cannot understand where she ,2

finds the wisdom, the words, the actions, which edify the whole household. ( look at her as one looks at a mystery. "ut how could so much fire, such a )ewel be hidden under so much rottenness and be there comfortably, .either ( nor Martha can ascend where she ascends. "ut how can she, if her wings were broken by vice, ( do not understand...+ 1nd there is no need for you to understand. (t is enough that ( understand. "ut ( tell you that Mary has turned the powerful energy of her being towards 'ood. %he has bent her character towards &erfection. 1nd since her character is of powerful absolutism, she thrusts herself unreservedly on that way. %he makes use of her experience in evil to be as powerful in good as she was in evil and using the same method of giving herself entirely, as she did in evil, she has given herself entirely to 'od. %he has understood the law of 3love 'od with your whole being, with your body, your soul and with all your strength.4 (f (srael were made of Maries, if the world were made of Maries, we would have the <ingdom on 'od on the earth, as it will be in the most high Heaven.+ 6h9 Master9 1nd it is Mary of Magdala who deserves such words9...+ (t is Mary of /a8arus. The great friend, the sister of My great friend. How did you know that ( was here, if My Mother has not yet come to "ethany,+ The steward of the :lear 5ater has come to me, by forced marches, and told me that 0ou were coming. 7very day ( sent a servant here. 1 little while ago he came saying* 3He has arrived and is at the $ield of the 'alileans.4 ( left immediately...,,

+ "ut you are suffering...+ %o much, Master9 My legs...+ 1nd you came. ( would have come, soon...+ My anxiety to tell 0ou my )oy was tormenting me. ( have had it in my heart for months. 1 letter9 How can a letter say such things, ( could not wait any longer... 5ill 0ou come to "ethany,+ 6f course. (mmediately after the $east.+ 0ou are anxiously awaited... That 'reek girl... 5hat a mind9 ( speak very much with her, anxious as she is to learn about 'od. "ut she is very well educated... and ( succumb, because ( do not know certain things very well. (t takes 0ou.+ 1nd ( will come. .ow let us go to Maximinus, and then ( beg 0ou to be My guest. My Mother will be happy to see you and you will be able to rest. %he will soon be here with the boy.1nd they go to Maximinus who kneels down greeting Him...

27!. The Sevent%.T/o 0isciples Report to -es,s 3hat The% 4ave 0one.
1!th Septe ber 1!45.

The seventy#two disciples come back at the long twilight of a clear 6ctober day with 7lias, Joseph and /evi. They ,3

are tired and covered with dust, but so happy9 The three shepherds are happy that they are now free to serve the Master. They are happy also because, after so many years of separation, they are with their companions of long ago. The seventy#two are happy because they have accomplished their first mission satisfactorily. Their faces shine more than the little lamps which light up the little tents built for the large group of pilgrims. Jesus2 tent is in the centre and under it there is the "lessed Airgin with Mar)iam who helps Her to prepare supper. 1round it there are the tents of the apostles. Mary of 1lphaeus is in the tent of James and Judas Mary %alome and her husband are in John and James2 in the one near it there is %usanna with her husband, who is not an apostle or disciple... officially,... but he must have made a claim to stay there, since he granted his wife permission to be entirely of Jesus. Then, around them, there are the tents of the disciples, some of whom are with their families, some without. 1nd those who are alone, as most of them are, have )oined one or more companions. John of 7ndor has taken in the solitary 7rmasteus, but he has endeavoured to be as close as possible to Jesus2 tent, so that Mar)iam often goes to him, taking one thing or another and cheering him up with the words of an intelligent child who is happy to be with Jesus, Mary and &eter, and at a feast as well. 1fter supper Jesus goes towards the slopes of the olive grove and the disciples follow Him all together. 5hen they are far from the babel and the crowd, after praying together, they report to Jesus in greater detail than they were able to do before, among those going and coming. 1nd they are ama8ed and happy when they say* + ,5

Do 0ou know, Master, that not only diseases but also demons obeyed us because of the power of 0our .ame, 5hat a wonderful thing, Master9 5e poor men were able to release a man from the dreadful power of a demon, only because 0ou had sent us9...- and they tell of many cases which happened here or there. 6nly of one possessed they say* + His relatives, or rather his mother and neighbours brought him to us by force. "ut the demon scoffed at us saying* 3( have come back here by his will after the .a8arene had driven me out and ( will not leave him again because he loves me more than he loves your Master and he looked for me4 and with indomitable strength he suddenly tore the man away from those who were holding him and hurled him down a precipice. 5e ran to see whether he had been dashed to pieces. He had not9 He was running like a young ga8elle repeating curses and !uips not really of this world... 5e felt sorry for his mother... "ut he9... 6h9 can the demon do all that,+ 1ll that and much more- says Jesus sadly. + &erhaps if 0ou had been there...+ .o. ( admonished him* 3'o and do not relapse into your sin.4 "ut he did. He knew he wanted evil and he agreed. He is lost. There is a difference between a man who is possessed the first time through his ignorance and a man who wants to be possessed knowing that by doing so he sells himself again to the demon. "ut do not speak of him. He is a member cut off without hope. He is a volunteer of 7vil. /et us rather praise the /ord for the victories He granted you. ( know the name of the culprit and the names of those who have been saved. ( could see %atan fall from heaven like a thunderbolt through your merits )oined to My .ame. "ecause ( saw also your sacrifices, ,6

your prayers, the love with which you went towards unhappy people to do what ( had told you to do. 0ou have acted with love and 'od blessed you. 6thers will do what you do, but they will do it without love. 1nd they will not get conversions... "ut do not re)oice because you have subdued spirits, but re)oice because your names are written in Heaven. .ever remove them from there...+ Master, when will those come who will not get conversions, &erhaps when 0ou are no longer with us,asks one of the disciples whose name ( do not know. + .o, 1gapo. 1ny time.+ 5hat, 1lso when 0ou teach and love us,+ 0es. ( will always love you, also when you are far from Me. My love will always come to you and you will perceive it.+ 6h9 that is true. ( perceived it one evening when ( was vexed because ( did not know how to reply to one who was asking me !uestions. ( was on the point of running away shamefully. "ut ( remembered 0our words* 3"e not afraid. 0ou will be given at the right moment the words to be spoken4 and ( invoked 0ou in my spirit. ( said* 3Jesus certainly loves me. ( am calling His love to assist me4 and 0our love came to me. /ike a fire, a light... a strength... The man before me was watching me sneering ironically and winking at his friends. He was sure to win the argument. ( opened my mouth and it was like a river of words which flowed out )oyfully from my silly mouth. Master, did 0ou really come, or was it an illusion, ( do not know. ( know that at the end the man ; he was a young scribe ; threw his arms round my neck saying* 30ou are blessed and blessed is He who has led you to such ,7

wisdom4 and he seemed anxious to find 0ou. 5ill he come,+ Man2s thoughts are as labile as words written on water, and his will is as restless as the wing of a swallow flying about for its last meal of the day. "ut pray for him... 0es. ( did come to you. 1nd Matthias and Timoneus, and John of 7ndor and %imon and %amuel and Jonah* they all had Me. %ome were conscious of My presence, some were not. "ut ( was with you. 1nd ( shall be with those who serve Me with love and truth forever and ever.+ Master, 0ou have not yet told us whether among those who are present there will be someone without love...+ (t is not necessary to know that. (t would be lack of love on My part to instigate indignation towards a companion who is not capable of loving.+ "ut are there any, 0ou can tell us that...+ 0es, there are. /ove is the simplest, sweetest and rarest thing there is, and even when it is sown, it does not always take root.+ "ut if we do not love 0ou, who can,- There is almost anger among the apostles and disciples who are upset by suspicion and sorrow. Jesus closes His eyes. He conceals them that they may give no hint. "ut He makes a resigned, kind, sad gesture with His hands, which He stretches out with open palms, His gesture of resigned confession and admission and He says* + That is how it should be. "ut it is not so. Many do not know themselves yet. "ut ( know them. 1nd ( pity them.,-

+ 6h9 Master9 (s it ( perhaps,- asks &eter going close to Jesus, s!uee8ing poor Mar)iam between himself and the Master and throwing his short muscular arms towards the shoulders of Jesus 5hom he grasps and shakes, looking mad with the terror of being one who does not love Jesus. Jesus opens His bright but sad eyes and looking at &eter2s in!uisitive and frightened face, He says to him* + .o, %imon of Jonah. .ot you. 0ou know how to love and you will love more and more. 0ou are My %tone, %imon of Jonah. 1 good stone. ( will lay on it the things dearest to Me and ( am sure that you will support them without any disturbance.+ 1nd (,-, + (,-, + (,-. The !uestion is being repeated like an echo from mouth to mouth. + &eace9 &eace9 "e calm and endeavour, all of you, to possess love.+ "ut which of us knows how to love most,Jesus looks round at everyone* a smiling caress... He then lowers His eyes and looks at Mar)iam still s!uee8ed between Himself and &eter and pushing &eter aside a little, He turns the boy round with his face towards the little crowd and says* + Here is he who knows how to love most among you. The boy. "ut you, whose cheeks are covered with beards and whose hair is grey, must not tremble with fear. 5hoever is born again in Me becomes 3a child.4 6h9 go in peace9 &raise 'od 5ho called you, because you really see with your eyes the wonders of the /ord. "lessed are those who will also see what you see. "ecause ( assure you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but they did not see it, and ,0

many patriarchs would have liked to know what you know, but they did not know, and many )ust people would have liked to hear what you hear but they were not able to hear it. "ut from now on those who love Me, will know everything.+ 1nd after, 5hen 0ou have gone, as 0ou say,+ 1fterwards you will speak on My behalf. 1nd later... 6h9 large groups, not by number but by grace, of those who will see, know and hear what you now see, know and hear9 6h9 large beloved multitudes of My 3little#big4 ones9 7ternal eyes, eternal minds, eternal ears9 How can ( explain to you, who are around Me, what this eternal living will be, rather than eternal, endless living of those who will love Me and whom ( will love to the extent of abolishing time, and they will be 3the citi8ens of (srael4 even if they live when (srael will be simply the remembrance of a nation, and they will be the contemporaries of Jesus living in (srael. 1nd they will be with Me and in Me, until they learn what time has cancelled and pride has confused. 5hat name shall ( give them, 0ou apostles, you disciples, the believers will be called 3:hristians.4 1nd those, 5hat name will they have, 1 name known only in Heaven. 5hat reward will they receive from the earth, My kiss, My voice, the warmth of My body. 1ll Myself. (, they. They, (. Ctter communion... 'o. ( will stay to delight My spirit in the contemplation of those who in future will know and love Me in an absolute manner. &eace be with you.-


210. At the Te ple for the Tabernacles.

20th Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is going to the Temple. The male disciples precede Him in groups, the women disciples follow Him, also in groups, that is, His Mother, Mary of :lopas, Mary %alome, %usanna, Johanna of :hu8a, 7li8a of "eth8ur, 1nnaleah of Jerusalem, Martha and Marcella. The Magdalene is not there. The twelve apostles and Mar)iam are around Jesus. Jerusalem is in the pomp of its solemn festivities. There are people in every street and from every country. %inging, talking, whispering of prayers, the cursing of ass#drivers, the weeping of children can be heard everywhere. 1nd above all the confusion there is the clear sky visible between houses and a pleasant sunshine which brightens up the colours of garments and enlivens the dying shades of pergolas and trees, glimpses of which can be caught here and there, beyond the walls of closed gardens and terraces. Jesus at times meets ac!uaintances and their greetings are more or less respectful according to the mood of the person He meets. 'amaliel in fact bows deeply but superciliously and stares at %tephen, who smiles at him from the group of disciples and whom 'amaliel calls aside, after bowing to Jesus, and says a few words to him. %tephen then goes back to his group. The salutation of :leopas of 7mmaus, the old head of the synagogue, is revering he is on his way to the Temple with his fellow citi8ens. 1s harsh as a curse is the reply of the &harisees of :apernaum to Jesus2 greeting. Johanah2s peasants, led by their steward, greet Jesus by throwing themselves on 31

the ground and kissing His feet in the dust of the road. The crowds are ama8ed and stop to watch the group of men who at a cross#roads prostrate themselves with a cry at the feet of a young man, who is neither, a &harisee nor a famous scribe, who is neither a satrap nor a powerful courtier, and some ask who he is and a whisper spreads* + He is the =abbi of .a8areth, the one who is said to be the Messiah.- &roselytes and 'entiles then crowd in!uisitively, pressing the group against the wall, causing obstruction in the little s!uare, until a group of ass#drivers scatters them shouting imprecations. "ut the crowd soon gathers again, separating women from men, in a harsh demanding manner which is also a manifestation of faith. 7verybody wishes to touch Jesus2 garments, say a word to Him, ask Him !uestions. Their efforts are !uite futile, because in their haste, in their anxiety and restlessness to move forward, they push one another so that no one is successful and even !uestions, and answers become muddled in the babel. The only one who disregards the scene is Mar)iam2s grandfather, who replied with a shout to his grandson2s shout, and immediately after revering the Master has clasped the boy to his heart and remaining thus, sitting back on his heels, his knees on the ground, is holding him on his lap, admiring and caressing him with tears and )oyful kisses, asking him !uestions and listening to him. The old man is already in &aradise, so happy as he is. The =oman troops rush to the spot thinking there is a brawl and they push through the crowd. "ut when they see Jesus they smile and withdraw tran!uilly and merely advise the people present to clear out of the important 32

cross#roads. Jesus obeys at once, taking advantage of the space made by the =omans, who are walking a few steps ahead of Him, as if they were making way for Him, whereas in actual fact they are going back to their outpost the =oman guard has in fact been reinforced, as if &ilate were aware of the ill#feeling of the crowds and were afraid of an insurrection when Jerusalem is full of Jews from all over. 1nd it is beautiful to see Him go, preceded by the =oman s!uad, like a king, to whom they make way, while he goes to his possessions. 5hen passing by, He says to the boy and the old man* + =emain together and follow Me- and to the steward* + &lease leave your men with Me. They will be My guests until this evening.The steward replies respectfully* + 7verything will be done as 0ou wish- and he goes away after bowing deeply. The Temple is now close at hand and the swarming of the crowds, )ust like ants near the ant#nest, is even denser, when one of Johanah2s peasants shouts* + There is our master9- and falls on his knees to greet him, imitated by all the others. Jesus remains standing in the middle of a group of people prostrated, because the peasants had gathered round Him. He turns round looking towards the place pointed out by the peasant, and meets the glance of a &harisee pompously dressed, whom ( have already seen, but ( do not know where. Johanah, the &harisee, is with other people of his caste* a heap of precious clothes of fringes, buckles, sashes, phylacteries, all larger than common ones. Johanah looks at Jesus attentively* a glance of mere curiosity, but not 3,

disrespectful. .ay, his salutation is a stiff one* )ust a slight inclination of the head. "ut it is a greeting to which Jesus replies respectfully. Two or three more &harisees greet Him, whilst others look scornfully or pretend to be looking elsewhere, only one hurls an insult and the people near Jesus start, and even Johanah turns round immediately, fulminating with his eyes the offender, a man younger than he is, with hard conspicuous features. 6nce they have gone by and the peasants dare to speak, one of them says* + That is Doras, Master4, the one who cursed 0ou.+ .ever mind. ( have you who bless Me- replies Jesus calmly. /eaning against an archivolt there is Manaen with other people, and as soon as he sees Jesus, he raises his arms with a cry of )oy* + This is surely a )oyous day, as ( found 0ou9- and he moves towards Jesus, followed by those who are with him. He reveres Jesus under the shady archivolt, where voices resound like under a dome. 5hile Manaen is greeting Jesus, His cousins %imon and Joseph pass near the apostolic group with other .a8arenes... but they do not even say hullo... Jesus looks at them sadly but does not say anything. Judas and James speak to each other excitedly, Judas !uivers with rage and runs away, resisting restraint by his brother. "ut Jesus calls him with such a commanding voice* + Judas, come here9- that 1lphaeus2 vexed son comes back... + /eave them alone. They are like seed which has not yet felt springtime. /eave them in the dark of the insensitive sod. ( will penetrate it )ust the same, even if the sod should become )asper closed round the seed. ( will 33

do it in due time."ut the weeping of Mary of 1lphaeus, who is desolate, resounds louder than the answer of Judas of 1lphaeus. The long weeping of a distressed person... "ut Jesus does not turn round to comfort her although her groaning is very clearly heard under the archivolt resounding with echoes. He continues to speak to Manaen who says to Him* + These are disciples of John2s and have come with me. /ike me, they want to be 0ours. + &eace be with good disciples. 6ver there are Matthias, John and %imeon, who are now with Me for good. ( welcome you as ( welcomed them, because everything that comes from the holy &recursor is dear to Me.They have now reached the enclosure of the Temple. Jesus gives instructions to the (scariot and %imon Bealot for the ritual purchases and offerings. He then calls John, the priest, and says to him* + %ince you come from this place, make arrangements to invite some /evites whom you know to be worthy of becoming ac!uainted with the Truth. "ecause this year ( can really celebrate a )oyful feast. .ever again will the day be so pleasant...+ 5hy, my /ord,- asks John, the scribe. + "ecause ( have you around Me, all of you, either with your visible presence or with your souls.+ "ut we shall always be9 1nd many more with us- states the apostle John emphatically. 1nd everybody echoes him. 35

Jesus smiles, but remains silent, while John, the priest, goes away, to the Temple, together with %tephen, to carry out the order. Jesus shouts after him* + Join us at the &orch of the &agans.They enter and almost immediately they meet .icodemus, who bows deeply, but does not approach Jesus. "ut he exchanges with Jesus a meaningful smile full of peace. 5hile the women stop where they are allowed, Jesus goes with the men to the place of Jews, to pray, and after accomplishing the rite, He comes back to )oin those who are waiting for Him at the &orch of the &agans. The very large and high porches are crowded with people listening to the lessons of the rabbis. Jesus directs His steps to the spot where the two apostles and the two disciples sent ahead are standing waiting for Him. He is soon surrounded by people, as many people, spread in the crowded marble court, )oin the apostles and disciples. :uriosity is such that some disciples of rabbis also approach the circle round Jesus, but ( do not know whether they do so spontaneously or because their masters have sent them. Jesus asks point blank* + 5hy are you pressing round Me, Tell Me. 0ou have well known rabbis, who are well liked by everybody. ( am the Cnknown and Disliked 6ne. %o why do you come to Me,+ "ecause we love 0ou- reply some, some say* + "ecause 0our words are different from the words of the others-, some* + To see 0our miracles- or* + "ecause we have heard people talk about 0ou- or* + "ecause 0ou alone have words of eternal life and deeds corresponding to 36

0our words-, and finally some say* + "ecause we want to )oin 0our disciples.Jesus looks at the people while they speak, as if He wanted to pierce them with His eyes and read their most hidden thoughts and some of them, who cannot resist His glance, go away or hide behind a column or behind people taller than they are. Jesus resumes* + "ut do you know what it means and what it is to follow Me, ( am replying to those words only, because curiosity does not deserve a reply and because those who hunger for My words obviously love Me and wish to )oin Me. %o, those who have spoken form two groups* curious people whom ( disregard, and volunteers, whom ( wish to ac!uaint with the severity of that vocation.

To follow Me as a disciple means renouncing all affections for one only love* Mine. The selfish love for oneself, the guilty love for riches, sensuality or power, the honest love for one2s wife, the holy love for one2s father and mother, the deep love for and of children and brothers, must all yield to My love, if one wishes to be Mine. ( tell you solemnly that My disciples must be more free than birds flying in the sky, more free than winds blowing across the firmament without anyone or anything holding them back. They must be free, with no heavy chains, with no ties of material love, without even the thin cobwebs of the slightest barrier. The spirit is a delicate butterfly enclosed in the heavy cocoon of the flesh and even the iridescent impalpable web of a spider can slow down its flight or stop it all together* the spider of sensuality, of the lack of generosity in sacrifice. ( want everything, unreservedly. The spirit needs such freedom

and generosity in giving, to be sure that it is not entangled in the cobwebs of affections, habits, considerations, fears, stretched out like as many threads by the monstruous spider which is %atan, the robber of souls.

(f one wants to come to Me and does not hate in a holy manner father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, and one2s very life, one cannot be My disciple. ( said* 3hate in a holy manner.4 5ithin your hearts you are saying* 3Hatred, as He taught us, is never holy. %o He is contradicting Himself.4 .o. ( am not contradicting Myself. ( say that you must hate the heaviness of love, the sensual passionateness of love for your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and for your very life, on the contrary ( order you to love relatives and life with the light freedom of spirits. /ove them in 'od and for 'od, never postponing 'od to them, endeavouring and taking care to lead them where the disciple has already arrived, that is to 'od, the Truth. 0ou will thus love 'od and relatives in a holy manner, safeguarding each love, so that family ties will not be a burden but wings, not a fault, but )ustice. 0ou must be prepared to hate even your lives in order to follow Me. He hates his life who without fear of losing it or making it sad from a human point of view, uses it to serve Me. "ut it is only an appearance of hatred. 1 feeling erroneously called 3hatred4 by man who cannot elevate himself, as he is entirely earthly, by little superior to brutes.
(n actual fact such apparent hatred, which consists in denying sensual satisfaction to one2s life in order to give a more and more intense life to the spirit, is love. (t is love, of the highest degree and the most blessed. To deny 3-

oneself base satisfactions, to re)ect sensual affections, to risk unfair reproaches, criticism and punishment, being re)ected, cursed and perhaps persecuted, all that is a se!uence of grief. "ut it is necessary to embrace such grief and take it upon yourselves, like a cross, a scaffold on which all past faults are expiated to be )ustified by 'od, from 5hom you can obtain every true, mighty, holy grace for those whom we love. He who does not carry his cross and does not follow Me, he who cannot do that cannot be My disciple. Therefore, you who say* 35e have come because we want to )oin 0our disciples4 must ponder on that very carefully. (t is not a shame, but it is wisdom to weigh and )udge oneself and admit both to oneself and others* 3( am not the stuff of which disciples are made.4 5hat, The heathens have as a basis of one of their doctrines the necessity of 3knowing oneself4, and could you (sraelites not do that to gain Heaven, "ecause, remember this, blessed are those who will come to Me. "ut rather than come to betray Me and Him 5ho sent Me, it is better not to come at all, and remain children of the /aw, as you have been so far. 5oe betide those who, after saying* 3( will come4, cause damage to the :hrist by being the betrayers of the :hristian idea, the scandalisers of little ones and of good people9 5oe betide them9 1nd yet there will always be some of them9 0ou ought therefore to imitate him who wants to build a tower. $irst he carefully works out the necessary expenses and counts his money to ensure that he has enough to complete the work, lest, after laying the foundation, he may have to stop building through lack of money. (n which case he would lose what he had 30

previously and would be left without tower and without talents and over and above he would be scoffed at by people saying* 3He began to build but was not able to finish the )ob. He can now stuff his stomach with the ruins of his unfinished building.4 (mitate the kings of the earth also, by letting the poor events of the world be useful for supernatural teaching. 5hen they want to go to war with another king, they calmly and carefully examine everything, the pros and cons, they consider whether the benefit of the con!uest is worth the lives of the sub)ects, they study whether it is possible to con!uer the place, whether their forces, which are half those of their enemy, but more pugnacious, can win and as they rightly think that it is unlikely that ten thousand can beat twenty thousand soldiers, before clashing with the enemy, they send ambassadors with rich gifts for the other king, and thus soothe him, as his suspicions had already been aroused by the military movements of the other, they disarm him with some proof of friendship, they dispel his doubts and fears and make a treaty of peace with him, which is always more advantageous than a war, both from the human and spiritual point of view. That is what you must do before beginning a new life and fighting the world. "ecause to be My disciples implies going against the stormy and violent trend of the world, of flesh and of %atan. 1nd if you feel that you do not have the courage to renounce everything for My sake, do not come to Me, because you cannot be My disciples.+ 1ll right. 5hat 0ou say is true- agrees a scribe who has mingled with the crowd. + "ut if we divest ourselves of everything, with what shall we serve 0ou, The /aw 5/

contains commandments which are like money which 'od has given man so that by making use of it he may buy eternal life. 0ou say* 3=enounce everything4 and 0ou mention father, mother, riches, honours. 'od has given us those things also, and through Moses He has told us to use them in a holy way in order to appear )ust in the eyes of 'od. (f 0ou take everything away from us, what will 0ou give us,+ True love, as ( said, rabbi. ( give you My doctrine which does not take one iota away from the old /aw, but perfects it.+ %o we are all disciples alike, because we all have the same things.+ 5e all have them according to the Mosaic /aw. "ut not everybody has them according to the /aw perfected by Me according to /ove. .ot everyone achieves in it the same amount of merits. 7ven among My disciples not everybody will have the same amount of merits and some not only will not have an amount, but will lose also the only coin they have* their souls.+ 5hat, 5ho was given more will be left with more. 0our disciples, or rather 0our apostles, are following 0ou in 0our mission and are aware of 0our ways of behaving, and have had very much, 0our real disciples have received much, those who are disciples only by name have received less, and those who like me listen to 0ou only by accident receive nothing. (t is obvious that 0our apostles will have very much in Heaven, 0our real disciples much, 0our disciples by name less, those like me nothing.+ (t is obvious from a human point of view, but even from 51

a human point of view it is wrong. "ecause not everybody is capable of making the goods received yield a profit. /isten to this parable and forgive Me if My lesson is too long. "ut ( am a swallow of passage, and ( stop in the House of the $ather only for a little while, as ( came for the whole world, and also because this little world, which is the Temple of Jerusalem, will not allow Me to interrupt My flight and remain where the glory of the /ord calls Me.+ 5hy do 0ou say that,+ "ecause it is the truth.The scribe looks round and lowers his head. He can see that it is the truth as it is written on the faces of many members of the %anhedrin, of rabbis and &harisees who have been enlarging the crowd around Jesus. $aces green with bile, or purple with wrath, looks e!uivalent to words of curse and spittle of poison, ill#feeling fomenting everywhere, desire to ill#treat the :hrist, which remains a mere desire only because of fear of the many people surrounding the Master with affection and who are ready for anything in order to defend Him, and perhaps because of fear of punishment by =ome, benign towards the meek 'alilean Master. Jesus calmly resumes clarifying His thought by means of a parable* + 1 man, who was about to set out on a long )ourney, and thus be away for a long time, called all his servants and committed all his wealth to them. He gave some of them five silver talents, some two silver talents, some only one gold talent* each according to his position and capability. 1nd then he left. .ow the servant who had received five silver talents, negotiated them 52

diligently and after some time they brought him five more. The servant who had received two silver talents, did the same and doubled the amount received. "ut the servant to whom the master had given most, one talent of pure gold, was sei8ed with fear that he might not be successful, with the fear of thieves and of many fanciful conceptions and above all with la8iness, and he dug a deep hole in the ground and hid his master2s money in it. Many months went by and the master came back. He immediately called his servants to give back the money committed to them. The one who had received five silver talents came and said* 3Here, my /ord. 0ou gave me five. 1s ( thought it was wrong not to make what you had given me yield some profit, ( did my best and ( gained five more talents. ( was not able to do moreD.4 35ell, very well, my good faithful servant. 0ou have been faithful, willing and honest in little. ( will give you authority over much. :ome and )oin in your master2s happiness.4 .ext came the man of two talents and said* 3( have taken the liberty of making use of your money to your own profit. Here is the account of how ( used your money. %ee, There were two talents, now there are four. 1re you glad, my lord,.4 1nd the master gave the good servant the same reply given to the first one. /ast came the one who en)oyed the greatest confidence of the master and had received a gold talent from him. He took it out of the casket and said* 30ou gave me the greatest value because you know that ( am wise and loyal, as ( know that you are uncompromising and exacting and will not tolerate loss of your money, but if misfortune befalls you, you make it up with those who are close to you. (n actual fact you reap where you have 5,

not sown and you harvest where you have not scattered seed and you do not remit a penny to your banker or to your steward for any reason whatever. 0our money must be as much as you say. .ow, as ( was afraid of reducing the value of this treasure, ( took it and hid it. ( trusted nobody, not even myself. ( have now dug it up and ( give it back to you. Here is your talent.4 36 un)ust la8y servant9 =eally, you have not loved me, because you have not known me and you have not loved my welfare, because you left it inactive. 0ou have betrayed the confidence ( had in you and you belie, accuse and condemn yourself by yourself. 0ou knew that ( reap where ( have not sown and ( harvest where ( have scattered no seed. 5hy, then, did you not ensure that ( could reap and harvest, (s that how you come up to my confidence, (s that how you know me, 5hy did you not take the money to a banker, so that ( might draw it on my return with its interest, ( diligently instructed you how to do that and you, silly la8y servant, took no heed of what ( told you. 0our talent and everything else will be taken off you and given to the man of the ten talents.4 3"ut he already has ten, while this man is deprived of it...4 they ob)ected. 31nd that is right. He who has and works with what he has, will be given more and even in excess. "ut he who has nothing, because he did not want anything , will be deprived also of what was given to him. 5ith regard to the useless servant who betrayed my confidence and left inactive the gifts ( had given him, throw him out of my property and let him go and weep and eat his heart out.4 That is the parable. 1s you see, rabbi, he who had most 53

was left with less, because he did not deserve to keep the gift of 'od. 1nd it is not necessarily true that one of those whom you call a disciple only by name, having thus little to negotiate, or even one of those who listen to me only by accident, as you say, and have only their souls as money, cannot be successful in getting the gold talent and the interest of it, which will be taken from one who had been given most. The surprises of the /ord are endless because the reactions of man are endless. 0ou will see 'entiles reaching eternal life and %amaritans possessing Heaven, and you will see pure (sraelites and followers of Mine losing Heaven and eternal /ife.Jesus becomes silent as if He wished to put an end to the debate and He turns towards the enclosure of the Temple. "ut a doctor of the /aw, who had sat down listening gravely under the porch, gets up and standing in His way, asks Him* + Master, what must ( do to gain eternal life, 0ou have replied to others, please reply to me as well.+ 5hy do you want to tempt Me, 5hy do you want to lie, 1re you hoping that ( may say something different from the /aw because ( add brighter and more perfect ideas to it, 5hat is written in the /aw, Tell Me9 5hat is the first commandment of the /aw,+ 30ou shall love the /ord your 'od with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your intelligence. 0ou shall love your neighbour as yourself 3.+ 0our reply is correct. Do that and you will have eternal life.55

+ 1nd who is my neighbour, The world is full of good and of wicked people, known and unknown, friendly and hostile to (srael. 5hich is my neighbour,+ 1 man going from Jerusalem down to Jericho through the mountain gorges, ran into highwaymen, who after wounding him severely, despoiled him of all his belongings and his very clothes and left him more dead than alive on the edge of the road. 1 priest, who had finished his turn at the Temple, travelled down the same road. 6h9 He was still smelling of the incense of the Holy9 1nd his soul should have been scented with supernatural kindness and love, after being in the House of 'od, almost in touch with the Most High. The priest was in a hurry to get back home. %o he looked at the wounded man but did not stop. He passed by hurriedly leaving the poor man on the edge of the road. 1 /evite passed by. %hould he become contaminated who must serve in the Temple, .ever9 He gathered his tunic so that it might not get stained with blood, he cast a glance over the man moaning in his blood and !uickened his pace towards Jerusalem, towards the Temple. Third came a %amaritan, who was travelling from %amaria towards the ford. He noticed the blood, he stopped, saw the wounded man in the deepening twilight, he dismounted and approached the wounded man, whom he gave a sip of strong and generous wine, he then tore his mantle to make bandages, and gently dressed the man2s wounds after bathing them with vinegar and applying oil to them. He mounted the man on his horse and carefully led the animal, supporting the man at the same time, comforting him with kind words, without 56

worrying about all the trouble or being annoyed because the man was of Jewish nationality. 5hen he arrived in town, he took him to an inn, watched over him during the night and at dawn, seeing that he was better, he entrusted him to the innkeeper, paying him in advance with some denarii and saying* 3/ook after him as you would look after me. 6n my way back ( will make good any extra expense you have, with a good measure, if you do everything well.4 1nd he went away. Tell Me now, doctor of the /aw. 5hich of these three was a 3neighbour4 for the man who had run into highwaymen, The priest perhaps, 6r the /evite perhaps, 6r was it not the %amaritan who did not ask who the wounded man was, why he was wounded, whether he was doing the wrong thing by assisting him, wasting time and money and running the risk of being taken for his wounder,The doctor of the /aw replies* + The last one, who took pity on him, was his 3neighbour.4+ Do the same yourself and you will love your neighbour and 'od in your neighbour and you will deserve eternal life..obody dare speak and Jesus takes advantage of the situation to )oin the women waiting for Him near the enclosure and return to town with them. 1 couple of priests have now )oined the disciples, or rather* a priest and a /evite, a venerable old man the former, a very young one the latter. Jesus is now speaking to His Mother, having Mar)iam in the middle, between Himself and Her. 1nd He asks Her* + Did 0ou hear Me, Mother,57

+ 0es, %on, and My sadness has been added to Mary of :lopas2. %he wept a little before entering the Temple...+ ( know, Mother. 1nd ( know why. "ut she must not weep, but pray.+ 6h9 %he prays so much9 (n the past nights, in her tent, while her sons were sleeping, she prayed and wept. ( could hear her through the thin partition of the branches. To see Joseph and %imon only a few steps away, so close, and yet so divided...9 1nd she is not the only one to weep. Johanna, who seems so tran!uil, has been weeping with Me...+ 5hy, Mother,+ "ecause :hu8a... is behaving... very oddly. 1t times he seconds her in everything. 1t times he opposes her in everything. (f they are alone where no one can see them, he is the usual exemplary husband. "ut if there are other people, of the :ourt naturally, with him, then he becomes dictatorial and disdainful of his meek wife. %he does not understand why...+ ( can tell 0ou. :hu8a is Herod2s servant. Cnderstand Me, Mother. 3%ervant.4 ( will not tell Johanna, not to hurt her. "ut that is what he is. 5hen he is not afraid of being blamed or )eered at by his sovereign, he is good :hu8a. "ut when he fears that, he is no longer so.+ (t is because Herod is very angry because of Manaen and...+ (t is because Herod is mad with tardy remorse for yielding to Herodias. "ut Johanna already has so much happiness in life. Cnder her coronet, she must wear her cilice.5-

+ 1nnaleah also weeps...+ 5hy,+ "ecause her fiancE is going astray... against 0ou.+ Tell her not to weep. (t is a solution. 1 grace of 'od. Her sacrifice will bring %amuel back to 'ood. $or the time being she will be left free from any pressure for marriage. ( promised her to take her with Me. %he will precede Me in death...+ %on9...- Mary presses Jesus2 hand, while Her face becomes deadly pale. + Dear Mother9 (t is for the sake of men. 0ou know. (t is for the love of men. /et us drink our chalice with good will. (s that right,Mary stifles Her tears and replies* + 0es-. 1 tortured heartrending + yes-. Mar)iam looks up and says to Jesus* + 5hy do 0ou say these dreadful things which grieve Mother, ( will not let 0ou die. ( will defend 0ou as ( defended the lambs.Jesus caresses him and to raise the spirits of the two distressed ones, He asks the boy* + 5hat will your little sheep be doing now, Do you not miss them,+ 6h9 ( am with 0ou9 "ut ( always think of them and ( wonder* 35ill &orphirea have led them to pasture, and will she watch that $oam does not go to the lake,4 $oam is so lively, you know, Her mother calls her repeatedly... without avail9 %he does what she likes. 1nd %now, she is so greedy that she eats until she is sick. Do 0ou know, Master, ( know what it is to be a priest in 0our .ame. ( understand better than the others. They >and he points at 50

the apostles who are coming behind? they say so many big words, they make so many plans... for the future. ( say* 3( will be a shepherd for men, as ( am for sheep. 1nd that will be enough.4 My Mummy and 0ours told me yesterday such a lovely passage of the prophets... and %he said to me* 36ur Jesus is )ust like that.4 1nd in my heart ( said* 3( will be like that, too.4 Then ( said to our Mother* 3$or the time being ( am a lamb, later ( will be a shepherd. Jesus instead is at present the %hepherd and He is also the /amb. "ut 0ou are always a ewe#/amb, our dear, white, beautiful ewe#/amb, 5hose words are sweeter than milk. That is why Jesus is such a lamb* because He was born of 0ou, the /ittle /amb of the /ord.4Jesus stoops and kisses him fondly. He then asks him* + %o you really want to be a priest,+ 6f course, my /ord9 That is why ( try to become good and learn so much. ( always go to John of 7ndor. He treats me as a man and so kindly. ( want to be the shepherd of the sheep both misled and not misled, and the doctor#shepherd of those which are wounded or suffer from fractures, as the &rophet says. 6h9 How lovely9- and the boy takes a )ump clapping his hands. + 5hat has this blackcap got that he is so happy,- asks &eter coming forward. + He sees his way. Aery clearly. Cntil the end. 1nd ( consecrate his vision with My approval.They stop before a high building, which, if ( am not mistaken, is near the 6phel district, but in a more refined spot. 6/

+ 1re we stopping here,+ This is the house which /a8arus offered Me for our )oyful ban!uet. Mary is already here.+ 5hy did she not come with us, $or fear of being )eered at,+ 6h9 .o9 ( told her.+ 5hy, /ord,+ "ecause the Temple is more sensitive than a pregnant wife. 1s long as ( can, and not out of cowardice, ( do not want to collide with it.+ (t will be of no use to 0ou, Master. (f ( were 0ou, ( would not only collide with it, but ( would hurl it down from Moriah with all those who are in it.+ 0ou are a sinner, %imon. 6ne must pray for one2s fellow creatures, not kill them.+ ( am a sinner. "ut 0ou are not... and... 0ou ought to do it.+ There is who will do it. 1fter the measure of sin has been filled.+ 5hich measure,+ 1 measure that will fill the whole temple, overflowing in Jerusalem. 0ou cannot understand... 6h9 Martha9 6pen your house to the &ilgrim9Martha makes herself known and opens the door. They all go into a long hall ending in a paved yard with a single tree in each of the four corners. There is a large hall above the ground floor and from its open windows it 61

is possible to see the whole town with its hills and slopes. ( thus realise that the house is in the south or south#east side of the town. The table has been laid for many guests. Many tables are set in parallel rows. 1bout one hundred people can comfortably have a meal. Mary Magdalene, who was busy in the store room, arrives and prostrates herself before Jesus. Then /a8arus comes in with a happy smile on his drawn face. The guests enter little by little, some seem rather embarrassed, some are more sure of themselves. "ut the kindness of the women soon makes them all feel at home. John, the priest, introduces to Jesus the two he has brought from the Temple. + Master, my good friend Jonathan and my young friend Bacharias. They are true (sraelites without malice or ill#will. + &eace be with you. ( am happy to have you. The rite must be kept also in these pleasant customs. 1nd it is lovely that the ancient $aith gives a friendly hand to the new $aith which has come from the same origin. %it beside Me while we wait for dinner time.The patriarchal Jonathan speaks, while the young /evite looks around curiously, and seems ama8ed and somewhat shy. ( think he wants to give himself easy manners, but in actual fact he is like a fish out of water. $ortunately %tephen comes to his aid and brings him, one after the other, the apostles and the main disciples. The old priest says caressing his white beard* + 5hen John came to me, his master , to show me that he had been cured, ( wanted to meet 0ou. "ut, Master, ( hardly ever leave my enclosure. ( am old... "ut ( was hoping to 62

see 0ou before dying. 1nd Jehovah has heard me. May He be praised9 Today ( heard 0ou in the Temple. 0ou excel the old wise Hillel. ( do not want to doubt, nay, ( cannot doubt that 0ou are what my heart is expecting. "ut do 0ou know what it is to have imbibed for almost eighty years the faith of (srael as it has become through centuries of... human handling, (t has become our blood. 1nd ( am so old9 To hear 0ou is like hearing the water that gushes out of a cool spring. 6h9 yes9 1 virgin water9 "ut (... ( am full of the tired water which comes from so far away... and has been made heavy by so many things. How can ( get rid of that saturation and en)oy 0ou,+ "y believing and loving Me. .othing else is re!uired for )ust Jonathan.+ "ut ( will die soon9 %hall ( have time to believe everything 0ou say, ( shall not even be able to follow all 0our words or learn them from other people. Then,+ 0ou will learn them in Heaven. 6nly a damned soul dies to 5isdom. "ut he who dies in the grace of 'od draws life and lives in 5isdom. 5hom do you think ( am,+ 0ou can but be the 7xpected 6ne, 5hom the son of my friend Bacharias foreran. Did 0ou meet him,+ He was a relative of Mine.+ 6h9 %o 0ou are a relative of the "aptist,+ 0es, priest.+ He is dead... and ( cannot say* 3&oor man9.4 "ecause he died faithful to )ustice, after accomplishing his mission and because... 6h9 The dreadful times we live in9 (s it not 6,

better to go back to 1braham,+ 0es. "ut more dreadful times will come, priest.+ Do 0ou think so, =ome, eh,+ .ot only =ome. 'uilty (srael will be the first cause.+ (t is true. 'od is striking us. 5e deserve it. "ut also =ome... Have 0ou heard of the 'alileans killed by &ilate while they were offering a sacrifice, Their blood mingled with the victim2s. :lose to the very altar9+ 0es, ( heard about it.1ll the 'alileans begin to riot because of that act of tyranny. They shout* + (t is true that he was a false Messiah. "ut why kill his followers after striking him, 1nd why at that moment, 5ere they bigger sinners perhaps,Jesus brings about peace and then says* + 0ou are asking whether they were bigger sinners than many other 'alileans and whether that is why they were killed, .o, they were not. ( tell you solemnly that they paid and many more will pay if you do not turn to the /ord. (f you do not do penance, you will all perish alike, both in 'alilee and elsewhere. 'od is indignant with His people. ( tell you. 0ou must not think that those who have been struck are the worst. 7ach of you should examine and )udge himself, and no one else. 1lso the eighteen people on whom the tower of %iloam fell and killed them, were not the most guilty in Jerusalem. ( tell you. Do penance if you do not want to be crushed as they were, also in your souls. :ome, priest of (srael. The meal is ready. (t is your duty to offer and bless the food, because a priest is always to be honoured for the (dea which he represents and calls 63

to our minds, and it is your duty because you are a patriarch among us, and we are all younger than you are.+ .o, Master9 .o9 ( cannot do that in 0our presence9 0ou are the %on of 'od9+ 0ou do offer incense before the altar9 1nd do you perhaps not believe that 'od is there,+ 0es, ( do believe that9 5ith all my strength9+ 5ell, then, (f you are not afraid of offering in the presence of the Most Holy 'lory of the Most High, why should you be afraid in the presence of the Merciful 6ne, 5ho took upon Himself human flesh to bring to you also the blessing of 'od before night comes to you, 6h9 0ou people of (srael do not know that ( covered with the veil of flesh My unendurable Divinity, so that man might approach 'od and not die thereof. :ome, believe and be happy. ( revere in you all the holy priests, from 1aron down to him who will be the last priest of (srael with Justice, you, perhaps, because priestly holiness really is languishing among us, like a forsaken plant.-

211. At the Te ple The% Are A/are of 5r aste,s6 of -ohn of 5ndor and of S%nt%che.
21st Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is on His way to "ethany with the apostles and disciples and is speaking to the disciples, whom He 65

orders to part, so that the Judaeans will go through Judaea and the 'alileans up Trans#Jordan announcing the Messiah. The instruction raises some ob)ections. ( get the impression that Trans#Jordan did not en)oy a very good reputation among (sraelites. They talk of it as if it were a pagan region. 1nd that offends the disciples from that area, among whom the most influential is the head of the synagogue of the :lear 5ater and then a young man, whose name ( do not know, and both vigorously defend their towns and fellow citi8ens. Timoneus says* + :ome, my /ord, to 1era, and 0ou will see how they respect 0ou there. 0ou will not find as much faith in Judaea, as there is there. .ay, ( do not want to go there. /et me stay with 0ou and send a Judaean and a 'alilean to my town. They will see how they believed in 0ou on my word only.1nd the young man says* + ( believed without even seeing 0ou. 1nd ( looked for 0ou after my mother had forgiven me. "ut ( am happy to go back there, although that means being mocked by wicked citi8ens as ( was once, and being reproached by good people for my behaviour in the past. "ut it does not matter. ( will preach 0ou through my example.+ 0ou are right. 0ou will do as you said. 1nd then ( will come. 1nd you, Timoneus, are right, too. %o Hermas will go with 1bel of "ethlehem in 'alilee to announce Me at 1era, while you, Timoneus, will stay with Me. "ut ( do not want such disputes. 0ou no longer are Judaeans or 'alileans* you are disciples. That is enough. That name and your mission make you all e!ual with regard to 66

birthplace, rank, everything. (n one thing only you may differ* in holiness. That will be individual and in the measure which each of you will be able to attain. "ut ( would like you all to have the same measure* the perfect one. %ee the apostles, They were divided like you by race and other things. .ow, after a little over a year of instruction, they are simply the apostles. Do the same, and as among you, priests are together with old sinners and rich people with former beggars, and young men with old venerable people, cancel likewise divisions brought about by belonging to this or that region. "y now you have one $atherland only* Heaven. "ecause you have set off on the way to Heaven each of his own free will. .ever give My enemies the impression that you are hostile to one another. %in is your enemy, nothing else.They proceed in silence for some time. Then %tephen approaches the Master and says* + ( have something to tell 0ou. ( was hoping that 0ou would ask me, but 0ou did not. 0esterday 'amaliel spoke to me...+ ( saw him.+ 1re 0ou not asking me what he told me,+ ( am waiting for you to tell Me, because a good disciple has no secrets from his Master.+ 'amaliel... Master, come a little ahead with me...+ 5ell... let us go. "ut you could have spoken in the presence of everybody...They move away a few yards. %tephen blushing says* + ( must give 0ou a piece of advice, Master. $orgive me...+ (f it is good, ( will accept it. Tell Me.67

+ (n the %anhedrin, they know everything sooner or later. (t is an institution with a thousand eyes and one hundred ramifications. They penetrate everywhere, see everything and hear everything. (t has more informers than there are bricks in the walls of the Temple. Many live thus...+ %pying. 0ou may say so. (t is the truth and ( know. %o, 5hat has been said, more or less true, at the %anhedrin,+ 7verything... has been said. ( do not know how they can find out certain things. .either do ( know whether they are true... "ut ( will tell 0ou literally what 'amaliel told me* 3Tell the Master to have 7rmasteus circumcised or to send him away for good. (t is not necessary to say anything else.4+ (n fact it is not necessary to say anything else. $irst of all because ( am going to "ethany )ust for that and ( will remain there until 7rmasteus is fit to travel again. %econdly because no )ustification could demolish the pre)udice and... standoffishness of 'amaliel, who is scandalised because ( have with Me a man who is not circumcised in a member of his body. 6h9 if he looked around and within himself9 How many uncircumcised people in (srael9+ "ut 'amaliel...+ He is the perfect representative of old (srael. He is not wicked, but... /ook at this pebble. ( could split it, but ( could not make it malleable. He is like that. He will have to be crushed in order to be recomposed. 1nd ( will do that9+ Do 0ou want to oppose 'amaliel, "e careful9 He is powerful96-

+ 6ppose, 1s if he were an enemy, .o. (nstead of fighting against him, ( will love him, satisfying one of his desires for his mummified brains and spreading on him a balm which will dissolve him to recompose him.+ ( will pray also that that may happen, because ( am fond of him. 1m ( wrong,+ .o. 0ou must love him by praying for him. 1nd you will do that. ( am sure you will. .ay, you will help Me to prepare the balm... However, you will tell 'amaliel, to calm him, that ( had already provided for 7rmasteus and that ( am grateful to him for his advice. Here we are at "ethany. /et us stop so that ( may bless you all, because this is where we part.- 1nd after )oining the large group of apostles mingled with disciples, He blesses and dismisses them all, with the exception of 7rmasteus, John of 7ndor and Timoneus. Then with the disciples left Jesus walks at a good pace the short distance to /a8arus2 gate, which is already wide open to receive Him, He enters the garden raising His hand to bless the hospitable house, in the large park of which are the owners of the house and the pious women, who are laughing at Mar)iam running along the paths adorned with the last roses. 1nd with the owners and the women, also Joseph of 1rimathea and .icodemus come out of a path, when they hear the women shout they also are guests of /a8arus, to be in peace with the Master. 1nd they all make haste towards the Master Mary with Her kind smile, and Mary of Magdala with her cry of love* + =abboni9-, and /a8arus limping, the two grave members of the %anhedrin, and last, the pious women of Jerusalem and of 'alilee* wrinkle#furrowed faces and smooth faces of young women and, as gentle as the face of an angel, 60

the virginal face of 1nnaleah, who blushes in greeting the Master. + (s %yntyche not here,- asks Jesus after the first greeting. + %he is with %arah, Marcella and .aomi laying the tables. "ut here they are coming.1nd they come, in fact, with old 7sther of Johanna, two faces marked by age and by sorrow, between two serene faces and the grave yet bright peaceful face of the 'reek girl, different by race and by something which distinguishes her. 1nd ( could not say that she is a real and true beauty. 1nd yet her dark eyes softened by a nuance of very deep indigo, under a high and very noble forehead, are more impressive than her body, which is definitely more beautiful than her face. 1 slender but not meagre body, which is well proportioned and has a graceful gait and carriage. "ut it is her expression that strikes one. 1n intelligent, frank, deep look, which seems to inhale the whole world, selecting it, keeping what is useful, holy, good, and re)ecting what is evil a look which allows its very depths to be searched and from which her soul looks out to scan those approaching her. (f it is true that it is possible to know an individual through his eyes, ( say that %yntyche is a woman with unerring )udgement and firm honest thoughts. %he kneels also with the other women and waits to stand up until the Master tells her. Jesus proceeds along the green garden as far as the porch before the house and then enters a hall where the servants are ready to serve refreshments and assist guests in the ablutions before meals. 5hile all the women 7/

withdraw Jesus remains with the apostles in the hall, and John of 7ndor and 7rmasteus go to the house of %imon Bealot to leave the bags they are carrying. + (s the young fellow who has gone with John, the one# eyed man, the &hilistine whom 0ou have accepted,- asks Joseph. + 0es, Joseph, he is. How do you know,+ Master... .icodemus and ( have been wondering for some days how we know and how, unfortunately, the others of the Temple know about it. The fact is that we do know. "efore the Tabernacles, in the meeting which is always held before such festivities, some &harisees said that they knew for certain that among 0our disciples, beside... ; forgive me, /a8arus ; known and unknown prostitutes and publicans ; forgive me, Matthew of 1lphaeus ; and former galley#slaves, there were an uncircumcised &hilistine and a heathen girl. 5ith regard to the heathen girl, who is certainly %yntyche, one can understand how it became known, or at least guess so. The =oman made a great fuss about her and he became the laughing stock of his people and of the Jews, also because he searched for his runaway everywhere, complaining and threatening, and he even troubled Herod saying that she was hiding in Johanna2s house and that the Tetrarch should order his steward to hand her back to her master. "ut it is strange, very strange that it should be known that among the many men who follow 0ou, there is an uncircumcised &hilistine, and a former galley#slave9... Do 0ou not think so,+ (t is and it is not strange. ( will provide for %yntyche and the former galley#slave.71

+ 0es, do. 1bove all 0ou ought to send John away. 0our group of apostles is not a place for him.+ Joseph, have you perhaps become a &harisee,- asks Jesus severely. + .o... but...+ 1nd should ( humiliate a soul which has been regenerated, because of the silly scruple of the worst &harisaism, .o, ( will not9 ( will provide for his tran!uilF lity. His, not Mine, ( will watch over his perfecting as ( watch over innocent Mar)iam2s. =eally there is no difference in their spiritual ignorance9 6ne speaks for the first time words of wisdom, because 'od has forgiven him, because he is re#born in 'od, because 'od has embraced the sinner. The other speaks the same words, passing from a forlorn childhood to a boyhood, watched over by the love of man beside the love of 'od, and opens his soul to the sun like a corolla and the %un enlightens him with Himself. His %un* 'od. 1nd one is about to speak his last words... :an your eyes not see that he is wearing himself out with penance and love, 6h9 ( would really like to have many Johns of 7ndor in (srael and among My servants. ( would like you, too, Joseph and you, .icodemus, to have hearts like his and above all ( wish his informer had it, the vile snake that hides under the appearance of a friend and is acting as a spy before becoming an assassin. The snake that envies the bird its wings, and lays snares for it to tear them off and enthrall it. .o9 The bird is about to change into an angel. 1nd even if it could tear them off, which it will never be able to do, once they were put on to its slimy body, they would change into wings of a devil. 7very spy is already a devil.72

+ "ut where can such a rogue be, Tell me so that ( may go at once and tear his tongue out- exclaims &eter. + 0ou had better pull his poisonous teeth out- says Judas of 1lphaeus. + .o9 (t2s better to strangle him9 %o he will not be able to hurt in any way. %uch people can always be harmfulremarks the (scariot firmly. Jesus stares at him and concludes* + ... and can always lie. "ut no one must do anything against him. (t is not worth while letting the bird perish, to deal with the snake. 5ith regard to 7rmasteus, ( am staying here, in /a8arus2 house, )ust for the circumcision of 7rmasteus himself, who is embracing the holy religion of our people for My sake and to avoid the persecution of narrow# minded Jews. (t is the passage from dark to /ight. "ut it is not necessary to make /ight come to a heart. "ut ( have agreed to calm down the susceptibility of (srael and to show the true will of the &hilistine to come to 'od. "ut ( tell you, in the times of :hrist, that is not necessary to belong to 'od. 5ill, love, and a righteous conscience are sufficient. 1nd how can we circumcise the 'reek woman, (n which part of her spirit, if she was able to perceive 'od better than many people in (srael, (t is true that among the people present many are in darkness as compared to those who are despised by you for being in darkness. (n any case, both the informer and you, members of the %anhedrin, can tell the people concerned that the scandal has been removed as from today.+ 5ith regard to whom, To all three,+ .o, Judas of %imon. 5ith regard to 7rmasteus. ( will see to the other two. Have you anything else to ask Me,7,

+ .o, Master.+ .either have ( anything else to tell you. "ut ( ask you to tell Me, if you know, what has happened to %yntyche2s master.+ &ilate shipped him back to (taly by the first boat available, to avoid having trouble with Herod and the Jews in general. &ilate is in a tight corner at present... and has enough worries- says .icodemus. + (s the news certain,+ ( can check on it, if 0ou wish so, Master- says /a8arus. + 0es. Do so. 1nd then let Me know the true situation.+ "ut in my house %yntyche is safe )ust the same.+ ( know. (srael also protects a slave who has run away from a foreign cruel master. "ut ( want to know.+ 1nd ( would like to know who is the spy, the informer, the pretty spy of the &harisees... and ( want to know, and this can be found out, who are the denouncing &harisees. /et us have the names of the &harisees and of their towns. ( mean of the &harisees who have done the lovely work of informing, following the betrayal of one of us, because we, old and new disciples, are the only ones to know things a fine piece of work indeed it was to inform the %anhedrin of the deeds of the Master, which are thoroughly honest, and who says or thinks the contrary is a devil and...+ 1nd that is enough, %imon of Jonah. (t is an order.+ 1nd ( obey, even if the veins of my heart should burst because of the effort. (n the meantime the beauty of the 73

day has gone...+ .o. 5hy, Has anything changed among us, %o, 6 My %imon9 :ome here beside Me and let us talk of what is good...+ They have come to tell us that dinner is ready, Mastersays /a8arus. + /et us go, then...-

212. S%nt%che Spea7s in (a2ar,s* 4o,se.

22nd Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is sitting in the porched courtyard, which is inside the house in "ethany, the courtyard which ( saw crowded with disciples on the morning of :hrist2s =esurrection. %itting on a marble seat covered with cushions, leaning with His back against the wall of the house, surrounded by the owners of the house, by the apostles and the disciples John and Timoneus, together with Joseph and .icodemus, and by the pious women, He is listening to %yntyche, who standing in front of Him, seems to be replying to a !uestion of His. 1ll the people present are more or less interested and are listening in various postures, some sitting on benches, some on the floor, some standing or leaning against the columns or the wall. + ... it was necessary. (n order not to feel all the burden of my situation. (t was necessary not to be convinced, to refuse to be convinced that ( was all alone, a slave banished from my fatherland. (t was necessary to think 75

that my father, mother, brothers and the so fond and kind (smene were not lost forever. 1nd that, even if the whole world persisted in separating us, )ust as =ome had divided and sold us like baggage animals, although we were free citi8ens, a place would gather us all together again in the next life. ( had to think that our life is not only matter to be chained. 6n the contrary it has a free power that no chain can bind, except the voluntary one to live in moral disorder and in material revel. 0ou call that 3sin.4 Those who were my light in my night as a slave, give it a different definition. "ut they also agree that a soul nailed to a body by wicked corporal passions will not reach what you call the <ingdom of 'od, and we call living together with the gods in Hades. (t is therefore necessary to abstain from falling into materialism and strive to achieve freedom from the body, procuring for oneself a heritage of virtue in order to possess a happy immortality and be reunited to those whom one loves. 1nd ( could but think that the souls of the dead are not prevented from helping the souls of the living, so that a daughter could feel her mother2s soul close to her and see her face and hear her voice speaking to the daughter, who could reply* 30es, mother. %o that ( may come to you. 0es, not to upset you. 0es, not to make you weep. 0es, in order not to darken Hades where you are in peace. $or all that ( will keep my soul free. (t is the only thing which ( possess and which nobody can take away from me. 1nd ( want to preserve it pure so that ( may reason according to virtue.4 (t was freedom and )oy to think thus. 1nd that is what ( wanted to think. 1nd act accordingly. "ecause it is only a half and sham philosophy to think one way and 76

then act in a different one. To think thus was to rebuild a fatherland also in exile. 1n intimate fatherland, with its altars, faith, teaching, affections in one2s ego ... 1 great mysterious fatherland, yet not even so, because of the mystery of the soul which is consciously aware of the next world, even if at present it knows it only as a sailor at sea can see the details of the sea#coast in a misty morning* vaguely, in a rough draft, with only a few spots clearly outlined and which are enough for the tired seaman tortured by storms to say* 3There is the harbour, peace is over there.4 The fatherland of souls, the place of our origin... the place of /ife. "ecause life is generated by death... 6h9 ( could understand only half of that until ( heard one of 0our words. /ater it was as if a sunbeam struck the diamond of my thought. 7verything became enlightened and ( understood to what extent the 'reek masters were right and how later they became confused, as they lacked one datum, only one, to solve the theorem of /ife and Death. The datum was* The True 'od, the /ord and :reator of everything existing9 May ( mention Him with my heathen lips, 6f course ( may. "ecause ( come from Him, like everybody else. "ecause He gifted the minds of all men with intelligence, and the wiser ones with a superior intelligence, whereby they seem demigods with a superhuman power. "ecause He made them write the truths which are already religion, if not a divine religion like 0ours, a moral one, capable of keeping souls 3alive4, not only for the period of time we remain here, on the earth, but forever. 77

/ater ( understood the meaning of* 3/ife is generated by death.4 He who said that was like one not completely drunk, whose intelligence had already become dullish. He spoke a sublime word, but did not understand it fully. (, forgive me my pride, /ord, ( understood more than he did and ( have been happy since that moment.+ 5hat did you understand,+ That our present life is but the embryonal beginning of life and that true /ife begins when death gives birth to us... to Hades, as a heathen, to eternal /ife, as a believer in 0ou. 1m ( wrong,+ 0ou are right, woman- approves Jesus. .icodemus interrupts* + "ut how did you hear of the Master2s words,+ He who is hungry, seeks food, sir. ( was looking for my food. ( was a reader, and as ( was learned with a good voice and pronunciation, ( was in a position to read much in the libraries of my masters. "ut ( was not yet satisfied. ( could feel that there was something else beyond the walls decorated with human science, and as a prisoner looking for gold, ( hammered with my knuckles, ( forced doors open to get out, to find... 5hen ( came to &alestine with my last master ( was afraid ( was going to fall into darkness... ( was going instead towards the /ight. The words of the servant at :aesarea were like as many blows with a pick which demolished the walls making wider and wider breaches through which 0our 5ord came in. 1nd ( picked up those words and the news. 1nd like a child stringing beads, ( lined them up and adorned myself with them, drawing strength to become more and more purified in order to receive the Truth. ( felt that by 7-

purifying myself ( would find it. 7ven on this earth. 1t the cost of my life ( wanted to be pure to meet the Truth, 5isdom, Divinity. My /ord, ( am speaking foolish words. They are looking at me as if they were thoroughly confounded. "ut 0ou asked me...+ %peak. 'o on speaking. (t is necessary.+ ( resisted external pressure with strength and moderation. ( could have been free and, happy, according to the world, if ( had wanted. "ut ( would not barter knowledge for pleasure. "ecause it is of no avail to have other virtues without wisdom. He, the philosopher, said* 3Justice, moderation and strength separated from knowledge are like painted scenary, virtues befitting slaves, without anything firm and real.4 ( wanted to have real things. The master, an imbecile, used to speak of 0ou in my presence. Then the walls seemed to become a veil. (t was enough to want to tear the veil and )oin the Truth. ( did it.+ 0ou did not know what you were going to find- says the (scariot. + ( knew how to believe that the god rewards virtue. ( did not want gold, or honours, or physical freedom, no, not even that. "ut ( wanted the truth. ( asked 'od for that or to die. ( wanted to be spared the humiliation of becoming an 3ob)ect4, and even more, of agreeing to become one. =enouncing everything which is corporal in looking for 0ou, o /ord, because a research through senses is never perfect ; as 0ou noticed when seeing 0ou ( ran away, deceived as ( was by my eyes ; ( abandoned myself to 'od 5ho is above us and within us and informs souls of Himself. 1nd ( found 0ou because my soul led me to 70

0ou.+ 0ours is a heathen soul- remarks once again the (scariot. + "ut a soul always has something divine within itself, particularly when it has striven to be preserved from error... (t therefore tends to things of its own nature.+ 1re you comparing yourself to 'od,+ .o.+ 5hy do you say that, then,+ 5hat, 1re you, a disciple of the Master, asking me, Me, a 'reek woman and only recently freed, Do you not listen to Him when He, speaks, 6r is the ferment in your body such that it blunts your mind, Does He not always say that we are the children of 'od, %o we are gods if we are the children of the $ather, of His and our $ather, of 5hom He always speaks to us. 0ou may reproach me for not being humble, but not for not believing or not paying attention.+ %o you think that you are worth more than ( am, Do you think that you have learned everything from your 'reek books,+ .o, neither one nor the other. "ut the books of wise men, wherever they come from, have given me the minimum necessary to support myself. ( do not doubt that an (sraelite is worth more than ( am. "ut ( am happy with the destiny which comes to me from 'od. 5hat else could ( wish for, (n finding the Master ( found everything. 1nd ( think that was my destiny, because ( really see a &ower watch over me and it has fixed a great -/

destiny for me and ( have done nothing but comply with it, as ( feel it is a good one.+ 'ood, 0ou have been a slave, and of cruel masters... (f the last one, for instance, had recaptured you, how could you have complied with your destiny, you very wise woman,+ 0our name is Judas, is it not,+ 0es, and so,+ 1nd so... nothing. ( want to remember your name besides your irony. "ear in mind that irony is not advisable even in virtuous people... How would ( have complied with my destiny, &erhaps ( would have killed myself. "ecause in certain cases it is better to die than to live, although the philosopher says that that is not right and it is impious to procure welfare by oneself because only the gods have the right to call us to stay with them. 1nd this waiting for a sign of the gods to do it, has always kept me from doing it, even in the chains of my sad fate. "ut now, in being recaptured by my filthy master, ( would have seen the supreme sign. 1nd ( would have preferred to die rather than live, (, too, have my dignity, man.+ 1nd if he recaptured you now, 0ou would still be in the same situation...+ .ow ( would not kill myself. .ow ( know that violence against the flesh does not in)ure the spirit that does not consent. ( would now resist until ( were bent by force and killed by violence. "ecause ( would take that as a sign from 'od that through such violence He would call me to Himself. 1nd ( would now die tran!uilly, knowing that ( -1

would be only losing what is perishable.+ 0ou have replied very well, woman- says /a8arus and .icodemus gives his approval as well. + %uicide is never allowed- says the (scariot. + Many are the things which are forbidden, but the prohibition is not complied with. "ut, %yntyche, you must consider that as 'od has always guided you, so He would have prevented you from doing violence to yourself. 'o now. ( will be grateful to you if you look for the boy and bring him here- says Jesus kindly. The woman bows to the ground and goes away. They all follow her with their eyes. /a8arus whispers* + %he is always like that9 ( fail to understand how what in her has been 3life4 is instead 3death4 for us (sraelites. (f 0ou still have the chance of examining her again, 0ou will see that whilst Hellenism corrupted us, though we already possessed 5isdom, it saved her. 5hy,+ "ecause the ways of the /ord are wonderful. 1nd He opens them to whoever deserves it. 1nd now, My friends, ( will dismiss you because night is falling. ( am happy that you all have heard the 'reek woman speak. 1s you have ascertained that 'od reveals Himself to the best people, you must conclude that it is hideous and dangerous to exclude all those who are not (sraelites from the people of 'od. "ear that in mind for the future... Do not grumble, Judas of %imon. 1nd you, Joseph, do not have un)ustified scruples. .one of you are contaminated for approaching a 'reek woman. Make absolutely sure that you do not approach or give hospitality to the devil. -2

'oodbye, Joseph goodbye, .icodemus. 5ill ( be able to meet you again, while ( am here, Here is Mar)iam... :ome, boy, say goodbye to the heads of the %anhedrin. 5hat do you say to them,+ &eace be with you... and ( say also* pray for me at the hour of incense.+ 0ou have no need for that, child. "ut why )ust at that hour,+ "ecause the first time ( entered the Temple with Jesus, He spoke to me of the evening prayer... 6h9 (t is so beautiful9...+ 1nd will you pray for us, 5hen,+ ( will pray... in the morning and in the evening. That 'od may preserve you from sin during the day and the night.+ 1nd what will you say, my child,+ ( will say* 3Most High /ord, let Joseph and .icodemus be true friends of Jesus.4 1nd that will be enough, because he who is a true friend, does not grieve his friend. 1nd he who does not grieve Jesus is sure to possess Heaven.+ May 'od preserve you thus, child9- say the two members of the %anhedrin caressing him. They then greet the Master, the "lessed Airgin and /a8arus individually and all the others in a body and go away.


218. The Mission of Fo,r Apostles in -,daea.

28rd Septe ber 1!45.

Jesus is on His way back from an apostolic trip in the neighbourhood of "ethany. (t must have been a short trip, because they are not carrying any food bags. They are speaking to one another saying* + The idea of %olomon, the boatman, was a good one, Master, wasn2t it,+ 0es, it was.The (scariot, of course, disagrees with the others* + ( do not see much good in it. He gave us what is no longer of any use to him as a disciple. There is no reason why he should be praised...+ 1 house is always useful- says the Bealot gravely. + 0es, if it were like yours. "ut what is his house, 1n unhealthy shanty.+ (t is all %olomon has- retorts the Bealot. + 1nd as he grew old in it without aches and pains, we shall be able to stay there now and again. 5hat do you expect, 1ll the houses to be like /a8arus2,- adds &eter. + ( do not expect anything. ( cannot see the necessity of that gift. 6nce you are there you can be in Jericho )ust as well. There are only a few stadia between the two places. 1nd what are a few stadia for the like of us, who are compelled to wander about all the time, like persecuted people,Jesus intervenes before the others lose all patience as -3

clear signs indicate is about to happen* + %olomon, in proportion to his riches, has given more than anybody else. "ecause he has given everything. He gave it out of love. He gave it to let us have a shelter in case we are caught in the rain, or in a flood, in that not very hospitable area and above all in case the Judaean ill#will should become so strong as to advise us to stay on the other side of the river. 1nd that is with regard to the gift. That a humble, coarse but so faithful and willing disciple has been able to be so generous, which is clear evidence of his firm will to be a disciple of Mine for good, fills Me with great )oy. ( can truly see that many disciples, with the few lessons which they have received from Me, have excelled you who have received so many. 0ou cannot sacrifice, particularly you, Judas, even what costs nothing* your personal opinions. 0ou maintain yours stubbornly, unyieldingly.+ 0ou said that the struggle against oneself is the hardest...+ 1nd thus you want to tell Me that ( am wrong when ( say that it costs nothing. (s that right, "ut you have understood perfectly well what ( mean9 1ccording to men, and you really are a true and proper man, only what is marketable is valuable. 6ne2s ego cannot be sold for money. 7xcept... when a man sells himself to someone hoping to make a profit. 1n illicit trade like the one stipulated by a soul with %atan, even worse. "ecause it involves not only the soul but also man2s thoughts, or )udgement or freedom, you may call it as you like. There are some wretched people like that... "ut for the time being, let us forget about them. ( praised %olomon because ( see how good his deed is. 1nd that is enough.-5

There is silence, then Jesus resumes speaking* + (n a few days2 time 7rmasteus will be able to walk without any trouble. 1nd ( will go back to 'alilee. "ut you will not all come with Me. %ome will remain in Judaea and will come up later with the Judaean disciples, so that we shall all be reunited for the feast of the Dedication.+ %uch a long time, 6h dear9 5hose turn will it be,- the apostles ask one another. Jesus hears their whispering and replies* + (t will be the turn of Judas of %imon, of Thomas, "artholomew and &hilip. "ut ( did not say that you will have to be in Judaea until the feast of the Dedication. 6n the contrary ( want you to gather the disciples and inform them to be there for the feast of the Dedication. %o you will now go and look for them, gather them together and tell them in the meantime you will watch over them and assist them and later you will come up after Me, bringing with you those you have found, and leaving instructions for the others to come. 5e have now friends in the main places in Judaea and they will do us the favour of informing the disciples. 1nd on your way up to 'alilee through Trans# Jordan, remember that ( will be going through 'erasa, "o8rah, 1rbela, as far as 1era, and collect also those who did not dare to come to Me asking for a miracle or doctrine, and later have regretted not doing so. "ring them to Me. ( will stay in 1era until you arrive.+ (n that case we had better go at once- says the (scariot. + .o, you will leave the evening before My departure and will stay with Jonah at 'ethsemane until the following day, and then you will set out for Judaea. 0ou will thus be able to see your mother and help her )ust now that she -6

is selling her farm produce.+ %he learned to do that by herself years ago.+ Don2t you remember that last year she could not do without you at vintage time,- asks &eter rather slyly. Judas becomes as red as a poppy and looks ugly in his anger and shame. "ut Jesus provides against any possible reply by saying* + 1 son is always of help and comfort to his mother. %he will not see you again until &assover and after &assover. %o go and do as ( tell you.Judas does not reply to &eter, but he gives vent to his anger against Jesus* + Master, do 0ou know what ( must tell 0ou, That ( am under the impression that 0ou want to get rid of me, or at least keep me away from 0ou, because 0ou suspect me and 0ou wrongly think that ( am guilty of something, because 0ou lack charity towards me, because...+ Judas9 That is enough9 ( could tell you many words. "ut ( say only* 36bey94- Jesus is ma)estic in saying so. Tall as He is, with shining eyes and severe countenance, He strikes everybody with fear... 1nd Judas trembles. He goes behind all the apostles, while Jesus, all alone, walks ahead of them. The speechless apostolic group is thus between them.


214. -es,s (eaves 9ethan% for Trans.-ordan.

24th Septe ber 1!45.

+ /a8arus, My dear friend, ( ask you to come with Mesays Jesus appearing at the door of the hall where /a8arus is reading a roll, half reclining on a little bed. + ( will come at once, Master. 5here are we going,- asks /a8arus getting up immediately. + (nto the country. ( need to be all alone with you./a8arus looks at Him with a worried expression and asks* + Have 0ou sad news to give me secretly, 6r... .o, ( do not even want to think of that...+ .o, ( only wish to seek advice from you and not even the air must be aware of what we shall say. 6rder a wagon, because ( do not want you to get tired. 5hen we are out in the open country ( will speak to you.+ (n that case ( will drive it myself. %o no servant will know what we say.+ 0es, do that.+ ( am going at once, Master. (2ll soon be ready- and he goes out. Jesus also goes out after standing somewhat pensive in the middle of the magnificent hall. 5hile engrossed in thought, He mechanically moves two or three ob)ects and picks up a roll which had fallen on to the floor, and when putting it in its place in a cabinet, because of His inborn instinct for order, which is so deeply rooted in Jesus, He remains with His arm raised, looking at the strange art of some ob)ects lined up in the cabinet, which are --

different from the current art in &alestine. "y the embossed work and design imitating the ornaments of the temples of ancient 'reece and of funeral urns, they appear to be very old amphoras and cups. 5hat He sees beyond the articles themselves, ( do not know... He leaves the hall and goes into the inner yard, where the apostles are. + 5here are we going, Master,- they ask when they see Jesus tidy His mantle. + .owhere. ( am going with /a8arus. 0ou will stay here and wait for Me. ( shall soon be back.The Twelve look at one another. They are not very happy... &eter says* + 1re 0ou going alone, "e careful...+ Do not be afraid. 5hile waiting, do not be idle. Teach 7rmasteus, that he may have a better knowledge of the /aw and be good company to one another, without arguments or rudeness. "ear with and love one another.He sets out towards the garden and they all follow Him. 1 closed cart soon arrives with /a8arus in it. + 1re 0ou going in that cart,+ 0es, so that /a8arus may not tire his legs. 'oodbye, Mar)iam. "e good. &eace to you all.He climbs into the cart, which grinding the pebbles of the avenue leaves the garden and turns into the main road. + 1re 0ou going to the :lear 5ater, Master,- Thomas shouts after Him. -0

+ .o, ( am not. 6nce again ( tell you to be good.The horse starts at a steady trot. The road going from "ethany to Jericho runs through the country, which is becoming bare. The more they descend towards the plain, the more the fading of the greenery in the fields becomes noticeable. Jesus is pensive. /a8arus is silent and intent only on driving the cart. 5hen they are down in the plain, a fertile plain, which is ready to nourish the seed of future corn, and where all the vineyards seem to be asleep, like a woman who has recently given birth to her fruit and is resting after her pleasant labour, Jesus beckons /a8arus to stop. /a8arus stops at once and leads the horse into a side road, which takes to houses far away... and he explains* + 5e shall be safer here than on the main road. These trees will conceal us from the eyes of many people.(n fact a thicket of low trees acts as a screen against the curiosity of passers#by. /a8arus is standing before Jesus, waiting. + /a8arus, ( must send away John of 7ndor and %yntyche. 0ou can see that both prudence and charity advise Me to do so. (t would be a dangerous test and useless grief for both of them to be aware of the persecutions set in motion against them... and which, for at least one of them, could bring about most grievous surprises.+ (n my house...+ .o. .ot even in your house. &erhaps they would not be troubled materially. "ut they would be humiliated morally. The world is cruel. (t crushes its victims. ( do not want those two beautiful and powerful souls to get lost 0/

like that. %o, as one day ( )oined (shmael to %arah, ( will now )oin My poor John to %yntyche. ( want him to die in peace, ( do not want him to be left alone, and he must go away feeling that he is being sent elsewhere, not because he was formerly a galley#man, but because he is the proselyte disciple who can be sent away to announce the Master. 1nd %yntyche will help him... %he is a beautiful soul and will be a great strength in the future :hurch and for the future :hurch. :an you advise Me where to send them, ( do not want them to stay in Judaea or in 'alilee and not even in the Decapolis, where ( go with My apostles and disciples. .or in the heathen world. %o, where, 5here, so that they may be safe and usefull,+ Master... (... how can ( give 0ou advice9+ .o, tell Me. 0ou love Me, you do not betray Me, you love those whom ( love, you are not narrow#minded like the others.+ (... well... ( would advise 0ou to send them where ( have some friends. To :yprus or to %yria. Make 0our choice. ( have trustworthy people in :yprus. 1nd even more in %yria9... ( have also a little house, watched over by a manager, who is as faithful as a pet lamb. 6ur old &hilip9 He will do for my sake anything ( tell him. 1nd, if 0ou do not mind, those who are persecuted by (srael and are dear to 0ou, will be my guests as from now on, and will be safe in the house... 6h9 (t is not a palace9 (t is a house where &hilip lives alone with a nephew, who looks after the gardens at 1ntigonium. The beloved gardens of my mother. 5e have kept them as a remembrance of her. %he had taken there the plants of her Judaean gardens... plants of rare essences... Mother9... How much good she did to the poor with them... (t was her secret domain... 01

My mother... Master, ( will soon be going to say to her* 3=e)oice, my good mother. The %aviour is on the earth.4 %he was expecting 0ou...- Tears stream down /a8arus2 drawn face. Jesus looks at him and smiles. /a8arus recovers his strength* + "ut let us speak of 0ou. Do 0ou think it is a good place,+ ( think it is. 1nd ( thank you once again, also on their behalf. 0ou have relieved Me of a heavy burden...+ 5hen will they leave, ( am asking so that ( may prepare a letter for &hilip. ( will say that they are two friends of mine, from here, in need of peace. 1nd that will suffice.+ 0es, that is enough. "ut, ( beg you, not even the air is to be aware of this. 0ou can see that yourself. They are spying upon Me...+ ( know. ( will not mention it even to my sisters. "ut how will 0ou take them there, 0ou have the apostles with 0ou...+ ( will now go up as far as 1era without Judas of %imon, Thomas, &hilip and "artholomew. (n the meantime ( will teach %yntyche and John thoroughly, so that they may go with large provisions of Truth. ( will then go down to lake Merom and later to :apernaum. 1nd when ( am there, ( will send the four apostles away once again, on some other mission, and in the meantime ( will send the two off to 1ntioch. That is what they are compelling Me to do...+ To be afraid of 0our own people. 0ou are right... Master, it grieves me to see 0ou worried...+ "ut your kind friendship is of great comfort to Me... 02

/a8arus, ( thank you... ( am leaving the day af ter tomorrow and ( will be taking your sisters away. ( need many women disciples to conceal %yntyche amongst them. Johanna of :hu8a also is coming. $rom Merom she will go to Tiberias, where she will be spending the winter months. Her husband has decided so to have her close to him, because Herod is going back to Tiberias for some time.+ (t will be done as 0ou wish. My sisters are 0ours, as ( am, as my houses, servants and belongings are. 7verything is 0ours, Master. Make use of it to do good. ( will prepare 0our letter for &hilip. (t is better if ( give it to 0ou personally.+ Thank you, /a8arus.+ That is all ( can do... (f ( were well... :ure me, Master, and ( will come.+ .o, My dear friend ... ( need you as you are.+ 7ven if ( do not do anything,+ 0es, even so. 6h9 My /a8arus9- and Jesus embraces and kisses him. They get on the cart and go back. /a8arus is now silent and engrossed in thought, and Jesus asks him why. + ( was thinking that ( am going to lose %yntyche. ( was attracted by her science and goodness...+ Jesus will gain her...+ That is very true. 5hen shall ( see 0ou again, Master,0,

+ (n spring.+ %hall ( not see 0ou again until spring, /ast year 0ou were here with me for the feast of the Dedication.+ This year ( will satisfy the apostles. "ut next year ( will be with you !uite a lot. (t is a promise."ethany appears in the 6ctober sunshine. They are about to arrive when /a8arus stops the horse to say* + Master, 0ou are right in sending away the man from <erioth. ( am afraid of him. He does not love 0ou. ( do not like him. ( never liked him. He is sensual and greedy. 1nd thus he may commit any sin. Master, it was he who denounced 0ou.+ Have you any proof,+ .o, ( have not.+ 5ell, in that case, do not )udge. 0ou are not very clever at )udging. =emember that you considered your Mary as inexorably lost... Do not say that it was My merit. %he sought Me first.+ That is true, too. However, beware of Judas.%hortly afterwards they enter the garden, where the apostles are curiously awaiting them. ############### The absence of four apostles, and above all of Judas, makes the remaining group more intimate and happy. The group which leaves "ethany on a clear 6ctober morning on its way to Jericho, to cross to the other side of the Jordan, is )ust like a family, the heads of which are Jesus and Mary. The women are gathered round Mary, 03

only 1nnaleah is absent from the group of the women disciples, which comprises the three Maries, Johanna, %usanna, 7li8a, Marcella, %arah and %yntyche. &eter, 1ndrew, James and Judas of 1lphaeus, Matthew, John and James of Bebedee, %imon Bealot, John of 7ndor, 7rmasteus and Timoneus, are grouped round Jesus, while Mar)iam )umping about like a little kid, goes to and fro from one group to the other, which are only a short distance apart. 1lthough laden with heavy bags, they proceed )oyfully in the mild sunshine, through the country so solemn in its rest. John of 7ndor proceeds with some difficulty under the weight hanging from his shoulders. &eter notices it and says* + 'ive your useless load to me since you have decided to carry it round. 5ere you missing it,+ The Master told me to bring it.+ Did He, How lovely9 5hy,+ ( don2t know. 0esterday evening He said to me* 3&ack your books again and follow Me with them.4+ /ovely indeed9... "ut if He told you, it must be for a good reason. &erhaps it is for that woman. How accomplished she is9 1re you as learned,+ 1lmost as much as she is. %he is very clever.+ "ut you are not going to follow us with this load all the time, eh,+ 6h9 ( don2t think so. ( don2t know. "ut ( can carry it myself.05

+ .o, my dear friend. ( don2t want you to be taken ill. 0ou are looking very poorly, you know,+ ( know. ( feel as if ( were dying.+ Don2t be silly9 1t least wait until 5e arrive in :apernaum. (t is so lovely now that we are by ourselves without that... :urse my tongue9 ( have failed once again in my promise to the Master9... Master, Master,+ 5hat do you want, %imon,+ ( have spoken ill of Judas, and ( had promised 0ou that ( would not do it any more. $orgive me.+ 0es, ( do. "ut try not to do it again.+ ( still have GHI times to be forgiven by 0ou...+ 5hat are you talking about, brother,- asks 1ndrew who is obviously utterly ama8ed. 1nd &eter, whose placid countenance is humorously bright, twisting his neck under the weight of John of 7ndor2s bag, exclaims* + Don2t you remember that He said that we have to forgive seventy times seven. %o ( am still to be forgiven GHI times and ( must keep an accurate account of them...They all laugh Jesus cannot help smiling either. "ut He replies* + 0ou had better keep count of all the times you are capable of being good, you big boy.&eter approaches Him and embracing with his right arm Jesus2 waist he says* + My dear Master9 How happy ( am to be with 0ou without... :ome on, admit it9 0ou are happy, too... 1nd 0ou know what ( mean. 5e are all friendly here. 0our Mother is here. There is also the boy. 06

5e are going towards :apernaum. The season is beautiful... $ive good reasons to be happy. 6h9 1nd it is beautiful to travel with 0ou9 5here are we staying tonight,+ 1t Jericho.+ /ast year we met the Aeiled woman there. ( wonder what has happened to her... ( am rather curious to know... 1nd we found also the man of the vineyards...&eter2s laughter is so loud that it is contagious. They all laugh remembering the scene of the meeting with Judas of <erioth. + 0ou are really incorrigible, %imon9- remarks Jesus reproachingly. + ( did not say anything, Master. "ut ( had to laugh remembering his countenance when he found us there... in his vineyards...- &eter laughs so wholeheartedly that he is compelled to stop, while the others proceed laughing against their will. &eter is )oined by the women. Mary asks him kindly* + 5hat is the matter with you, %imon,+ 1h9 ( cannot tell 0ou or ( will be lacking in charity once more. "ut, Mother, tell me, since 0ou are so wise. (f ( throw out innuendos against someone, or worse still, if ( utter slander about someone, ( obviously commit a sin. "ut if ( laugh at something, at an event, which is known to everybody, something which makes people laugh, for instance, if we remember the surprise, the embarrassment and excuses of a liar when he was found out and we laugh again as we did in the past, is that still wrong,07

+ (t is an imperfection against charity. (t is not a sin like backbiting, or slander or innuendo, but it is still lack of charity. (t is like a thread pulled out of a piece of cloth. (t does not tear or wear the cloth out, but it affects the firmness and beauty of the fabric and makes it sub)ect to tears and holes. Do you not think so,&eter rubs his forehead and feeling rather humiliated he replies* + ( do. ( had never thought of that.+ Think about it now and do not do it any more. /aughter may be more offensive to charity than slaps in the face. Has someone made a mistake, 5e have found someone guilty of lying or of other faults, %o, 5hy remember it, 5hy remind other people, /et us cover with a veil the faults of our brother, saying* 3(f ( were the culprit, would ( like another person to remember my fault or remind other people of it,4 There are people who blush in their inmost heart, %imon, and suffer so much because of it. Do not shake your head. ( know what you want to say. "ut, believe Me, also guilty people may blush thus. 0ou must always think* 35ould ( like that done to me,4 0ou will then see that you will no longer sin against charity. 1nd you will always have so much peace in your heart. /ook how happily Mar)iam is )umping and singing, because his heart is not worried. He does not have to think about itineraries, expenses or what to say. He knows that someone else takes care of all that on his behalf. Do the same yourself. 1bandon everything to 'od. 1lso )udgement on other people. 1s long as you can be like a child led by 'od, why take upon yourself the burden of deciding and )udging, The day will come when you must be )udge and arbitrator and then you will say* 36h9 How easier and less dangerous it was formerly4 and you will 0-

say that you were foolish in burdening yourself before the time with so much responsibility. How difficult it is to )udge other people9 Did you hear what %yntyche said some days ago, 31 research through senses is never perfect.4 %he is !uite right. 5e very often )udge according to the reactions of our senses. That is, with the utmost imperfection. 'ive up )udging...+ 0es, Mary. ( sincerely promise 0ou. "ut ( do not know all the beautiful things which %yntyche knows9+ 1nd are you worried about that, man, Do you not know that ( want to get rid of all that, in order to have only what you know,+ Do you, 5hy,+ "ecause science may support you on the earth, but through wisdom you gain Heaven. Mine is science, yours is wisdom.+ "ut by means of your science, you were able to come to Jesus9 %o it is a good thing.+ (t is mixed with so many errors, that ( would like to divest myself of it and clothe myself with wisdom only. ( do not want ornate vain dresses. /et the severe inconspicuous dress of 5isdom be mine, as it clothes like an everlasting garment not what is corruptible, but what is immortal. The flame of %cience flickers and !uivers, The flame of 5isdom shines unvaryingly and steadily and is like the Divinity from which it originates.Jesus has slackened His pace in order to hear. He turns round and says to the 'reek woman* + 0ou must not yearn to divest yourself of everything you know. "ut you 00

must select from your knowledge what is a particle of eternal (ntelligence con!uered by minds of undeniable value.+ Have, therefore, those minds repeated within themselves the myth of the fire stolen from the gods,+ 0es, woman. "ut it was not stolen in this case. They were able to pick it when the Divinity gra8ed them with its fire, caressing them as specimens, spread among decayed mankind, of what man is, gifted with reason.+ Master, 0ou should tell me what ( must keep and what ( must leave. ( would not be a good )udge. 1nd then 0ou ought to fill with the light of 0our 5isdom, the spaces left empty.+ That is what ( intend doing. ( shall point out to you to what extent is wise what you know and ( will develop it from that point to the end of the true idea. %o that you may know for certain. 1nd that will be useful also to those who are destined to have many contacts with the 'entiles in future.+ 5e shall not understand anything, my /ord- moans James of Bebedee. + 0ou will understand little, for the time being, but one day you will understand both the present lessons and their necessity. 1nd you, %yntyche, will expound to Me those points which are most obscure to you. 1nd ( will clarify them when we stop to rest.+ 0es, my /ord. (t is the desire of my soul which merges in 0our desire. ( am the disciple of the Truth, 0ou the Master. (t is the dream of all my life* to possess the 1//


215. Arrival at Ra oth /ith the Merchant fro the )ther Side of the 5,phrates.
25th Septe ber 1!45.

1fter walking a long way across a fertile plain on the other side of the Jordan ; and it is pleasant to walk in the serene mild season as it is now at the end of 6ctober ; and after resting in a little village lying at the foot of the lower slopes of a rather bulky chain of mountains, some summits of which can really be called mountains, Jesus sets out once again, following a long caravan of many !uadrupeds and well armed men, to whom He had previously spoken while they were watering their animals at the fountains in the s!uare. They are mostly tall swarthy men, with typical 1sian features. The head of the caravan is riding a very strong mule and is armed to the teeth and weapons are hanging from his saddle. 1nd yet he had great respect for Jesus. The apostles ask Jesus* + 5ho is he,+ 1 rich merchant from the other side of the 7uphrates. ( asked him where he was going and he replied politely. He will be passing through the towns where ( intend to go. 5hich is providential in these mountains, when we have the women with us.+ 1re 0ou afraid of something,1/1

+ ( am not afraid of being robbed, as we possess nothing. "ut it would be enough to frighten the women. 1 handful of robbers will never attack so strong a caravan, which will be most useful to us because we shall also find out the best passes and shall be able to cross over the difficult ones. He asked Me* 31re 0ou the Messiah,4 and when he heard that ( was, he said* 3( was in the :ourtyard of the Heathens some days ago and ( heard 0ou more than ( could see 0ou, because ( am a small man. 5ell, ( will protect 0ou and 0ou will protect me. ( have a very valuable load.4+ (s he a proselyte,+ ( do not think so. "ut perhaps he is of our extraction.The caravan proceeds slowly, as if they did not want to exhaust the strength of the !uadrupeds by going too far. (t is therefore easy to follow them and sometimes it is necessary to stop as the drivers let the laden animals pass one by one holding them by their halters in the most difficult spots. 1lthough a true and proper mountainous area, it is fertile and well cultivated. &erhaps the high mountains to the north act as a protection against the cold northern winds or the harmful eastern ones and that helps cultivation. The caravan marches along a stream which flows into the Jordan and is rich in water which comes down from ( wonder which top. The view is beautiful and becomes more and more beautiful as one climbs up, stretching westwards across the plain of the Jordan and reaching, beyond it, the graceful hills and mountains of northern Judaea, while to the east and north the view changes continuously, stretching far out and wide, or showing overlapping rounded hills and green or rocky mountain tops, which seem to obstruct the 1/2

road like the sudden wall of a labyrinth. The sun is about to set behind the mountains of Judaea, colouring sky and slopes with a deep red, when the rich merchant, who has stopped to let the caravan pass, says to Jesus* + 5e must reach the village before night. "ut many of 0our people look tired. This is a long hard leg. /et them mount the spare mules. They are !uiet animals. (n any case they will be resting all night and the weight of a woman is no burden to them.Jesus agrees and the man orders the caravan to stop to let the women mount the mules. Jesus makes John of 7ndor get on horseback as well. 1nd those on foot, including Jesus, hold the reins to make the women feel safer. Mar)iam wants to be... a man, and although he is exhausted, he refuses to go on horseback with anyone and he takes one of the reins of the "lessed Airgin2s mule, 5ho is thus between Jesus and the boy, and he walks bravely. The merchant has remained near Jesus and he says to Mary* + %ee that village, Donna, That is =amoth. 5e will stop there. ( am well known at the hotel because ( come this way twice a year, and ( go along the coast, also twice a year to purchase and sell. My life is a hard one. "ut ( have twelve children and they are all young. ( got married late. The last one was nine days old when ( left him. 1nd he will have cut his first teeth when ( see him.+ 1 lovely family...- comments Mary, and %he adds* + May Heaven preserve it for you.+ 1s a matter of fact ( cannot complain of its help although ( do not really deserve it.1/,

Jesus asks him* + 1re you at least a proselyte,+ ( should be... My ancestors were true (sraelites. Then... we became acclimatised there...+ 1 soul becomes acclimatised in one atmosphere only* in Heaven2s.+ 0ou are right. "ut 0ou know... My great grandfather married a woman who was not an (sraelite. His children became less faithful... The sons of his children once again married women who were not from (srael and their children were respectful only of their Jewish names because we are of Jewish extraction. .ow (, a grandson of grandsons... ( am nothing. "eing in touch with everybody ( have taken after everyone, with the result that ( belong to no one.+ That is not a good reason and ( can prove it to you. (f going along this road, which you know to be a good one, you should meet five or six people who said to you* 3.o, don2t go this way94, 3'o back4, 3%top4, 3'o eastwards4, 3Turn westwards4, what would you do,+ ( would say* 3( know that this is the right road and the shortest, and i am not going to leave it.4+ /ikewise* if you are negotiating some business and you know the best way to do it, would you listen to those who either through boasts or interested cunning advised you to act differently,+ .o. ( would follow the method which my experience tells me is the best.+ Aery well. Millennia of faith are behind you, a descendant of (srael. 0ou are neither stupid nor 1/3

uneducated. %o why are you influenced by contacts with everybody in matters of faith, whereas you re)ect them when money or road safety is concerned, Do you not think it is dishonourable also from a human point of view, To place 'od after money and the road...+ ( do not postpone 'od. "ut ( have lost sight of Him...+ "ecause business, money, your life are your gods. "ut it is still 'od 5ho allows you to have such things... Then, why did you go to the Temple,+ 6ut of curiosity. :oming out of a house where ( had negotiated some goods, ( saw a group of men pay their respects to 0ou and ( remembered the words ( had heard at 1shkelon from a woman who made carpets. ( asked who 0ou were, as ( suspected 0ou might be the 6ne of 5hom the woman had spoken to me. 1nd when ( found out that it was 0ou, ( followed 0ou. ( had done my business for that day... Then ( lost sight of 0ou. ( saw 0ou once again at Jericho. "ut only for a moment. .ow ( have found 0ou again... That2s it...+ %o 'od has )oined and interlaced our ways. ( have no gifts to offer you to thank you for your kindness. "ut before leaving you ( hope to be able to give you a present, unless you leave Me beforehand...+ .o, ( will not. 1lexander Misace does not take back what he offers9 Here we are. The village begins after that turn. ( will go ahead. 5e will meet at the hotel- and he spurs his mule leaving almost at a gallop on the edge of the road. + He is an honest unhappy man, %on- says Mary. + 1nd 0ou would like him to be happy according to 1/5

5isdom, would 0ou not,1nd they smile kindly at each other in the first shadows of the evening. ...The pilgrims are all gathered in a large hall of the hotel, waiting to go to bed, in the long 6ctober evening. The merchant is in a corner, all by himself, intent on his accounts. Jesus, with His group, is in the opposite comer. There are no other guests. "raying, neighing and bleating can be heard coming from the stables, which makes one assume that there are other people in the hotel. &erhaps they are already in bed. Mar)iam has fallen asleep in 6ur /ady2s arms, forgetting all of a sudden that he was + a man-. &eter is do8ing and is not the only one. 1lso the whispering elderly women are half asleep and are silent. Jesus, Mary, /a8arus2 sisters, %yntyche, %imon Bealot, John and Judas are well awake. %yntyche is searching John of 7ndor2s bag looking for something. "ut she prefers to come close to the others and listen to Judas of 1lphaeus who is speaking of the conse!uences of the exile in "abylon and concludes* + ...and perhaps that man is still a conse!uence of that. 7very exile is a ruin...-. %yntyche nods unintentionally but does not say anything and Judas of 1lphaeus concludes* + However, it is strange that one can so easily divest oneself of what has been a treasure for centuries to become entirely new, particularly in matters of religion, and a religion like ours...Jesus replies* + 0ou must not be surprised if you see %amaria in the lap of (srael.1/6

There is silence... %yntyche2s dark eyes are staring at Jesus2 serene profile. %he looks at Him intensely, but does not speak. Jesus perceives her glance and turns round to look at her. + Have you not found anything to your liking,+ .o, my /ord. ( have got to the point that ( am no longer able to reconcile the past with the present, former ideas with present ones. 1nd ( feel as if it were a defection because my former ideas have helped me to have the present ones. 0our apostle spoke the truth... "ut my ruin is a happy one.+ 5hat is your ruin,+ 1ll my faith in heathen 6lympus, my /ord. "ut ( am somewhat upset because on reading 0our %criptures ; John gave me them and ( read them because there is no possession without knowledge ; ( found out that also in your history... of the beginning, shall ( say, there are events which do not differ much from ours. .ow, ( would like to know...+ ( have already told you* ask Me and ( will answer your !uestions.+ (s everything wrong in the religion of the gods,+ 0es, woman. There is but one 'od, 5ho does not originate from anybody else and is not sub)ect to human passions and needs* one 6nly, 7ternal, &erfect 'od, the :reator of everything.+ ( believe that. "ut ( want to be able to reply to the !uestions which other heathens may ask me not in a way which does not admit any discussion, but by discussing in 1/7

order to be convinced. (, by myself and by virtue of beneficent paternal 'od, have given myself informal answers, but sufficient to give peace to my spirit. "ut ( was willing to reach the Truth. 6thers may be less anxious than ( am in that respect. "ut everybody ought to be keen in such research. ( do not want to be inactive with souls. ( would like to give what ( have received. "ut ( must know in order to be able to give. 'rant me knowledge and ( will serve 0ou in the name of love. Today, on the way, while ( was watching the mountains and certain views reminded me of the chains of Hellas and of the history of my :ountry, by association of ideas the myths of &rometheus and Deucalion crossed my mind... 0ou have something similar in the fulmination of /ucifer, in the infusion of life into clay, in the $lood of .oah. /ight concomitances, yet they are a remembrance... .ow tell me* how could we be aware of them if there was no contact between you and us, if you certainly had them before we did, and although we had them, we do not know how we got them, 5e still ignore one another, in many things. %o how could we, thousands of years ago, have legends which are remembrances of 0our Truth,+ 5oman, you ought to be the last one to ask Me. "ecause you have read works which could answer your !uestions by themselves. Today, by association of ideas, from the remembrance of your native mountains you have gone on to the remembrance of native myths and comparisons. (s that right. 5hy,+ "ecause my awakened thought remembered.+ Aery well. 1lso the souls of the very ancient people who gave a religion to your land remembered. Aaguely, as 1/-

someone who is imperfect can do, someone separated from the revealed religion. "ut they have always remembered. There are many religions in the world. .ow, if we had here in a clear picture all their details, we would see that there is something like a golden thread, lost in much mud, a thread with many knots in which fragments of the real Truth are enclosed.+ "ut do we not all come of the same stock, 0ou say so. %o why were the very ancient ones, who came of the original stock, why were they not able to bring the Truth with them, 5as it not un)ust to deprive them of it,+ 0ou have read 'enesis, have you not, 5hat have you found, 1 complex sin at the beginning, a sin embracing the three states of man* matter, thought, spirit. Then a fratricide. Then a double homicide to counterbalance the work of 7noch to keep light in hearts, then corruption, when the sons of 'od, out of lust, married the daughters of man. 1nd notwithstanding the purification by the Deluge and the remaking of the race from good seed, not from stones as your myths state, likewise the first clay modelled by 'od to His image and in the shape of man was endowed with life through the work of 'od by the infusion of vital $ire, and not through the theft of vital fire by man, there was a fresh outburst of pride, an insult to 'od* 3/et us touch the sky4 and the divine curse* 3/et them be scattered and let them no longer understand one another.4... 1nd the only stock became divided, like water clashing against a rock is divided into little streams and does not come together again, and the race was divided into races. Mankind driven away by its sin and by divine punishment was scattered and never came together again, carrying with itself the confusion created by pride. 1/0

"ut souls remember. There is always something left within them. 1nd the most virtuous and wise see a light indistinctly, a feeble light in the dark of myths* the light of Truth. (t is the remembrance of the /ight seen before life, which inspires them with some truth, in which are fragments of the revealed Truth. (s that clear to you,+ 6nly partly. "ut ( will think about it. .ight is the friend of those who meditate and collect their thoughts.+ 5ell, let us go and collect our thoughts. /et us go, My friends. &eace to you, women. &eace to you, My disciples. &eace to you, 1lexander Misace.+ 'oodbye, my /ord. 'od be with 0ou- replies the merchant bowing...

21". Fro

Ra oth to $erasa.

2"th Septe ber 1!45.

The peculiarity of this village lying on a raised rocky platform in the middle of a crown of mountain tops, some of which are higher, some lower than it, appears in all its typical beauty in the rather hard light of a somewhat windy morning. (t looks like a huge granite tray with buildings, little houses, bridges, fountains lying on it, for the amusement of a gigantic child. The houses seem to be engraved in calcareous rock which is the basic matter in the area. They are s!uare shaped and built with blocks laid one upon another, some are not plastered, the blocks of some are still in their rough 11/

natural state, they really look like the little houses decorating a :hristmas crib built with cubes by a big clever boy. 1nd around the little village one can contemplate its fertile country, covered with trees, variously cultivated, so that from above it looks like a carpet of s!uares, trape8ia, triangles, some of which are brown owing to the recently hoed earth, some emerald green because of the grass grown after autumn rain, some reddish because of the last leaves of vineyards and orchards, some grey# green because of poplars or willows, or enamel green because of oaks and carobs, or bron8e#green owing to cypresses and conifers. "eautiful, really beautiful9 1nd one can see roads which, like ribbons parting from a knot, run from the village to the remote plain, or towards the high mountains and dive under woods or divide with a grey line the green meadows or brown ploughed fields. 1nd there is a pleasant stream of water, which is silvery beyond the village towards its spring, and blue fading to )ade on the other side, where it flows down to the valley between gorges and slopes, and it appears and disappears playfully, and it grows stronger and stronger and bluer and bluer as its water increases, thus preventing the reeds and grass, which have grown in its bed during the droughty months, from tinging it green and it thus reflects the sky, after burying the stalks in its deep water. The sky is unreal blue* a precious scale of deep enamel blue, without the least impure flaw in its wonderful texture. 1nd the caravan sets off again, with the women still on 111

horseback, because, as the merchant says, the road is very difficult after the village and it is necessary to walk fast in order to get to 'erasa before night. They are all muffled up and they proceed swiftly, as they are well rested, along a road which climbs up through wonderful woods, skimming the highest slopes of a solitary mountain, which rises like a huge block resting on the shoulders of the other mountains under it. 1 real giant as one can see in the highest parts of our 1pennines. + 'alaad- says the merchant, pointing at it he has remained near Jesus 5ho is leading the Airgin2s little mule holding its reins. 1nd the merchant adds* + 1fter this the road is much better. Have 0ou ever been here,+ .o, never. ( wanted to come here in springtime. "ut ( was re)ected at 'algala.+ 0ou re)ected, How dreadful9Jesus looks at him and is silent. The merchant has taken Mar)iam up on his saddle, as the boy with his short legs was finding it difficult to keep up with the !uick pace of the horses. 1nd &eter is well aware that it is a !uick pace9 He is plodding along with all his might, imitated by the others, but he is always outdistanced by the caravan. He is perspiring, but is happy because he can hear Mar)iam laugh, he sees that 6ur /ady is resting and the /ord is happy. He puffs and blows while speaking to Matthew and his brother 1ndrew, who are left behind with him, and he makes them laugh saying that if in addition to his legs, he had wings, he would be happy that morning. He got rid of all loads, like the rest, tying the bags to the saddles of the women2s mounts, but the road is really frightful, the 112

stone being slippery with dew. The two Jameses with John and Thaddeus are more clever as they are keeping up with the pace of the women2s mules. %imon Bealot is speaking to John of 7ndor. Timoneus and 7rmasteus are also leading mules. 1t last the worst of the road is over and an entirely different scenery is displayed to their ama8ed eyes. The Jordan valley has definitely disappeared. To the east one2s eyes rove over an imposingly wide tableland, where only a ripple of hills attempt to rise in order to interrupt the evenness of the landscape. ( would never have thought there could be any such thing in &alestine. (t seems that after the rocky storm of mountains, the storm itself has calmed down and become petrified in a huge billow which has been left hanging between the bottom level and the sky, with only one remembrance of its original fury in the tiny lines of hills, the foam of the crests solidified here and there, whilst the water of the billow has spread out over a wonderful and magnificent plain surface. 1nd one reaches this bright peaceful area through a last gorge, as wild as the abyss between two clashing billows, the last two waves of a sea#storm, in the depths of which there is a fresh foaming torrent flowing westwards and coming from the east, in a tormented enraged way between rocks and waterfalls in dire contrast with the remote peace of the huge tableland. + The road will be good now. (f 0ou do not mind ( will give the order to stop- says the merchant. + ( am being guided by you, man. 0ou know that.They all dismount and spread out along the slopes in search of wood to cook the food, and of water for their 11,

tired feet and parched throats. The animals, once relieved of their loads, gra8e the thick grass or go down to the limpid torrent to water. The smell of resins and roast meat rises from the little fires lit to cook some lambs. The apostles have lit a fire of their own on which they heat some salt fish after washing it in the cool water of the torrent. "ut the merchant sees them and he comes bringing a little skinned lamb, or a little kid, whichever it may be, and makes them accept it. 1nd &eter gets ready to roast it after stuffing it with fresh mint. The meal is soon prepared and is soon over. 1nd under the perpendicular midday sunshine they resume marching along a better road, which follows the torrent north#eastwards in a wonderfully fertile and well cultivated area, rich in sheep and swine herds, which run away grunting before the caravan. + That walled town is 'erasa, my /ord. 1 town with a great future. (t is now developing, and ( don2t think ( am wrong in saying that it will soon be competing with Joppa, 1shkelon, with Tyre and many more towns, in beauty, trade and wealth. The =omans have realised its importance, on this road which from the =ed %ea, that is, from 7gypt goes to the 7uxine %ea through Damascus. 1nd they are helping the 'erasenes to build... They are sharpsighted and have a good nose. $or the time being it only has a very good trade, but later9... 6h9 (t will be beautiful and rich9 1 little =ome, with temples, piscinae, circuses, thermal baths. ( only traded with them. "ut now ( have bought much ground, to build emporia, which ( will sell later at a high price, and perhaps ( will build a real gentleman2s house there, where ( can stay in my old days, when "altha8ar, .abor, $elix and %ydmia will be 113

able to look after and manage respectively the emporia at %inope, Tyre, Joppa and 1lexandria on the mouth of the .ile. (n the meantime the other three boys will grow up and ( will give them the emporia at 'erasa, 1shkelon and perhaps at Jerusalem. 1nd the rich and beautiful girls will be sought#after and they will make very good matches and give me many grandchildren...- the merchant has golden and rosy day#dreams for the future. Jesus asks him calmly* + 1nd then,The merchant rouses himself, looks at Him perplexedly and then says* + 1nd then, That is all. Then death will come... (t is sad. "ut that is it.+ 1nd will you leave all business, 0our emporia, 0our affections,+ My /ord9 ( would not like to. "ut as ( was born ( must also die. 1nd ( shall have to leave everything- and he heaves such a long sigh as to push the caravan forward with it... + "ut who told you that once you are dead you leave everything,+ 5ho, The facts of life9 6nce you are dead... that is all. 0ou have no hands, no eyes, no ears...+ 0ou are not only hands, eyes and ears.+ ( am a man. ( know. ( have other things. "ut they all end with death. (t is like the setting of the sun. (ts setting destroys it...+ "ut dawn creates it once more, or rather it presents it again. 0ou are a man, you said so. 0ou are not an animal like the one you are riding. 1n animal, once it is dead, is 115

really finished. .ot you. 0ou have a soul. Do you not know, Do you not even know that any more,The merchant hears the sad reproach, a sad but kind reproach, and he lowers his head whispering* + ( still know that...+ %o, Do you not know that the soul survives,+ ( know.+ 5ell, then, Do you not know that it still has an activity in the next life, 1 holy activity if it is holy. 1 wicked one if it is wicked. 1nd it has its sentiments. 6h9 (t has them indeed9 /oving ones, if it is holy. Hateful ones, if it is damned. Hateful against whom, 1gainst the causes of its damnation. (n your case* your business, the emporia, your exclusively human affections. /oving affections for whom, $or the same things. 1nd what blessings can a soul bring upon its children and their activity when it is in the peace of the /ord9The man is pensive. He says* + (t is late. ( am old, now.1nd he stops his mule. Jesus smiles and replies* + ( will not force you. ( advise you- and He turns round to look at the apostles, who in the halt before entering the town are helping the women to dismount and are picking up their bags. The caravan sets out again and soon enters the busy town through the gate watched over by towers. The merchant goes back to Jesus* + Do 0ou want to remain with me,+ (f you do not drive Me away, why should ( not want to,116

+ "ecause of what ( said to 0ou. ( must make 0ou, the Holy 6ne, sick.+ 6h9 no9 ( have come for people like you, whom ( love because you are the most needy. 0ou do not know Me as yet. "ut ( am the /ove who passes by begging for love.+ %o 0ou do not hate me,+ ( love you.Tears shine in the man2s deep eyes. "ut he says smiling* + (n that case we shall stay together. ( am stopping at 'erasa on business for three days. ( leave the mules here and take camels. ( have a caravan stage in the ma)or halting places and a servant looks after the animals ( leave in each place. 1nd what will 0ou do,+ ( will evangeli8e on the %abbath. ( would have left you, if you had not stopped, because the %abbath is sacred to the /ord.The man knits his brows, is pensive and with some difficulty he agrees* + ...6f course... (t is true. (t is sacred to the 'od of (srael. (t is sacred... it is indeed...- He looks at Jesus* + (f 0ou allow me, ( will consecrate it to 0ou.+ To 'od. .ot to His %ervant.+ To 'od and to 0ou, by listening to 0ou. ( will do my business today and tomorrow morning. 1nd then ( will listen to 0ou. 1re 0ou coming to the hotel now,+ ( have no option. ( have the women and ( am not known here.+ Here it is, it is mine. (t is mine because my stables are here year after year. ( have large rooms for the goods. (f 117

0ou wish...+ May 'od reward you. /et us go.-

217. :reachin& at $erasa.

27th Septe ber 1!45.

He thought He was unknown9 5hen He sets foot outside 1lexander2s building the following morning, He finds people already waiting for Him. Jesus is with the apostles only. The women and disciples are still in the house, resting. The people greet Him gathering round Him and they say that they know Him because a man He had freed from demons has spoken to them about Him. The man is not there now because he has gone on with two disciples, who passed by some days ago. Jesus listens kindly to what they say and at the same time He walks through the town in some areas of which the noise of building yards is dreadfully loud. Masons, diggers, stone#cutters, blacksmiths, carpenters are working building, levelling, filling gaps, chiselling stones for walls, working iron for various purposes, sawing, planing, making poles out of strong trunks. Jesus passes by watching, He crosses a bridge on a babbling torrent flowing in the middle of the town, with a row of houses on each side pretending to form a riverside. He goes up to the higher part of the town, which is built on a rising ground so that the south east side is higher than the northern one, but they are both higher than the town centre, which is divided by the little stream. 11-

The view from the point where Jesus has stopped is beautiful. The whole town is displayed before the onlooker, and behind it, on the eastern, southern, western sides there is a horse#shoe shaped chain of low green hills, whereas to the north the eye roves over a wide open plain, with a ground elevation on the hori8on, so tiny that it cannot even be called a hill, but it is beautifully golden in the morning sunshine, which tinges with a yellowish hue the leaves of the vines which cover the ground, as if it intended to mitigate the melancholy of the withering leaves with the splendour of a touch of gold. Jesus is admiring the view and the people of 'erasa are looking at Him. He wins the regard of the people by saying to them* + This town is really beautiful. Make it beautiful also in )ustice and holiness. The hills, the stream, the green plain were given to you by 'od. =ome is now helping you to have homes and beautiful buildings. "ut it is up to you only to have your town called holy and )ust. 1 town is what its citi8ens make it. "ecause a town is a part of society closed within its walls, but it is the citi8ens that make the town. 1 town in itself does not commit sin. The stream, the bridge, the houses, the towers cannot sin. They are matter, not souls. "ut those who are within the town walls, in houses, shops, those who cross the bridge or bathe in the stream they can all sin. (f a town is factious and ruthless, people say* 3(t is a very bad town.4 "ut that is wrong. (t is not the town, it is the citi8ens who are very bad. Those individuals by )oining together become one complex thing, as well as one thing only, which is called 3town.4 .ow listen. (f in a town ten 110

thousand inhabitants are good, and only one thousand are not good, can we say that that town is wicked, .o, we cannot. /ikewise* if in a town of ten thousand inhabitants there are many parties and each struggles to favour his own, can we say that that town is still united, .o, we cannot. 1nd do you think that that town will thrive, .o, it will not. 0ou people of 'erasa are now all united striving to make your town great. 1nd you will succeed because you all want the same thing and you vie with one another in achieving your purpose. "ut if tomorrow opposed parties should arise among you and one said* 3.o, it is better to expand eastwards4 and another party said* 3.ot at all. 5e will build in the north where the plain is4, and a third one should say* 3.either here nor there. 5e all want to live close together in the centre, near the river4, what would happen, (t would happen that the work you have started would stop, those who have lent capitals would withdraw them, those who intended to settle here would go to another town with more agreeable people, and what you have already done would go to rack and ruin, as it would be exposed to the inclemency of the weather, before being completed, as a result of the !uarrels of citi8ens. (s that right or not, 0ou say it is, and you are right. %o the harmony of the citi8ens is re!uired for the welfare of the town, and conse!uently of the citi8ens themselves, because the welfare of a society is the welfare of its members. "ut there is not only the society of which you are thinking, the society of citi8ens, of fellow#countrymen, or the little dear family society. There is a vaster society, an infinite one* the society of spirits. 12/

7ach living man has a soul. The soul does not die with the body, but survives forever. The idea of 'od, the :reator, who gave each man his soul, was that all the souls of men should be gathered in one place only, in Heaven, forming the <ingdom of Heaven, whose monarch is 'od and whose blissful sub)ects were to be all men, after a holy life and a placid limbo of expectancy. %atan came to divide and upset, destroy and grieve 'od and spirits. 1nd he set sin in the hearts of men and with sin he brought death to the body at the end of its existence, hoping to give death to spirits as well. "ut the death of spirits is their damnation, which is still existence, but devoid of what is true life and eternal )oy, that is, devoid of the beatific vision of 'od and of His eternal possession in eternal light. 1nd Mankind became divided in its desires, like a town divided by opposed parties. 1nd it was thus brought to ruin. ( said elsewhere to those who were accusing Me of expelling demons with the assistance of "ee(8ebub* 37very kingdom divided in itself will be brought to ruin.4 (n fact if %atan expelled himself, he and his gloomy kingdom would ruin. ( have come, for the love that 'od has for mankind created by Him, to remind people that one <ingdom only is holy* the <ingdom of Heaven. 1nd ( have come to preach it, so that the better people may go towards it. 6h9 ( would like everybody, even the worst ones, to come to it, becoming converted, freeing themselves from the demon who keeps them enslaved, either openly, through corporal and spiritual possession, or secretly through a mere spiritual one. That is why ( move about curing sick people, expelling demons from possessed people, converting sinners, forgiving in the name of the /ord, preaching the <ingdom, working miracles to convince you 121

of My power and prove that 'od is with Me. "ecause no one can work a miracle unless 'od is his friend. %o if ( expel demons with the power of 'od, and ( cure sick people, ( cleanse lepers, convert sinners, announce and preach the <ingdom and ( call people to it in the name of 'od, and 'od2s compliance with Me is clear and indisputable, so that only disloyal enemies may assert the contrary, it is a sign that the <ingdom of 'od is among you and must be established because the hour of its foundation has come. How is the <ingdom of 'od established in the world and in hearts, "y going back to the Mosaic /aw or by becoming ac!uainted with it if one is ignorant of it and, above all, by abiding by it absolutely, in every event and moment of our life. 5hich is that /aw, %omething so severe as to be impracticable, .o. (t is a set of ten holy easy precepts, which even a really morally good man feels he must respect, even if he lives in the most impervious forest of mysterious 1frica. (t says* 3( am the /ord 0our 'od, you shall have no gods except Me. 0ou shall not utter the name of 'od in vain. 0ou shall keep the %abbath according to the commandment of 'od and to the needs of the human body. Honour your father and mother so that you may have a long life and be blessed both on the earth and in Heaven. 0ou shall not kill. 0ou shall not steal. 0ou shall not commit adultery. 122

0ou shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. 0ou shall not covet your neighbour2s wife. 0ou shall not covet your neighbour2s goods.4 5hich good natured soul, contemplating what is around him, even if he is a savage, will not say* 31ll this was not formed by itself. Therefore there must be 6ne, more powerful than nature and than man himself, who made this4, 1nd he worships the &owerful 6ne 5hose Most Holy .ame he may or may not know, but he feels He must exist. 1nd he has such reverence before Him, that when he utters the name which he has given Him or has been taught to utter to name Him, he trembles with respect and he feels that he prays when uttering it reverently. (n fact it is a prayer to utter the .ame of 'od with the intention of worshipping Him or making Him known to those who do not know Him. /ikewise, out of moral prudence alone every man feels that he must grant some rest to his limbs, so that they may resist as long as his life lasts. "y deeper reason, a man who knows the 'od of (srael, the :reator and /ord of the Cniverse, feels that he must consecrate his bodily rest to the /ord, so that he may not be like a beast of burden which rests, when tired, on litter crushing fodder with its strong teeth. "lood also calls for love for those from whom we originate, as we can see in that colt that is now running braying towards its mother which is coming from the market. (t was playing in the herd, it saw its mother, it remembers it was fed by her and licked with loving care, defended and warmed by its mother, and see, (t rubs her neck with its tender nostrils and )umps )oyfully rubbing 12,

its young crupper against the sides that carried it. (t is a duty and a pleasure to love one2s parents. 1nd there is no animal which does not love the mother which gave birth to it. 5hat, 5ill man be more vile than worms living in mud, 1 morally good man does not kill. He has a strong dislike of violence. He feels that it is not lawful to take anybody2s life, and that 'od only, 5ho gave it, has the right to take it. He abhors homicide. /ikewise, he who is morally sound does not take advantage of other people2s property. He prefers to eat plain bread with a clear conscience near a silvery fountain, rather than have a rich roast which is the fruit of a theft. He prefers to sleep on the ground with his head on a stone and friendly stars above him, pouring peace and comfort on his honest conscience, rather than toss about in a stolen bed. 1nd if he is morally sound, he is not eager for more women, which are not his, and he will not cowardly disgrace the nuptial bed of his neighbour. 1nd he will consider his friend2s wife as a sister and will not cast lustful glances at her, as no one does at a sister. 1 man with a righteous soul, even if only naturally righteous, with no other knowledge of 'ood but what comes to him from his honest conscience, will never take the liberty of giving false witness, as he would consider that the same as homicide and theft, which it is. "ut his lips are as honest as his heart, and his glances are honest, so he does not desire his neighbour2s wife. He does not crave for anything, as he knows that that is the first incentive to sin. 1nd he is not envious. "ecause he is 123

good. 1 good man is never envious. He is happy in his lot. Do you think that this law is so exacting as to be impracticable, Do not wrong yourselves9 ( am sure that you will not do that. 1nd if you do not, you will establish the <ingdom of 'od within yourselves and in your town. 1nd you will be happily )oined one day to those whom you loved and who like you have gained the eternal <ingdom in the everlasting )oy of Heaven. "ut we have within us passions, which are like citi8ens closed within the circle of town walls. (t is necessary for all the passions of men to want the same thing* that is, holiness, 6therwise some will tend to Heaven in vain, if others leave the doors unguarded and let the seducer enter or counteract the actions of part of the spiritual citi8ens through disputes or la8iness, making the interior part of the town perish and abandoning it to nettles, poison, couchgrass, snakes, scorpions, mice and )ackals, and owls, that is, to wicked passions and to %atan2s angels. 0ou must be unceasingly vigilant, like sentries placed at the walls, to prevent the 7vil one from entering where we want to build the <ingdom of 'od. ( solemnly tell you that as long as the strong man watches in arms the hall of his house, he is sure of everything which is in it. "ut if one stronger than he is comes, or if he leaves the door unguarded, then the stronger man will defeat him and disarm him, and when he is deprived of the weapons on which he relied, he loses heart and surrenders and the stronger man makes him a prisoner and takes his spoils. "ut if man lives in 'od, through loyalty to the /aw and )ustice practised holily, 'od is with him, ( am with him, and no harm can befall him. Cnion with 'od is the weapon which no strong man 125

can overcome. Cnion with Me is certainty of victory and of abundance of eternal virtues through which he will be given an eternal seat in the <ingdom of 'od. "ut he who turns his back on Me or becomes My enemy, re)ects thereby the weapons and certainty of My 5ord. He who re)ects the 5ord, re)ects 'od. He who re)ects 'od invokes %atan. He who invokes %atan destroys what he had to con!uer the <ingdom. Therefore, he who is not with Me is against Me. 1nd he who does not cultivate what ( have sown, will reap what the 7nemy has sown. He who does not harvest with Me, dissipates and will be poor and nude when he comes to the %upreme Judge, 5ho will send him to the master to whom he sold himself by preferring "ee(8ebub to :hrist. :iti8ens of 'erasa* build the <ingdom of 'od within yourselves and in your town.The trilling voice of a woman is clearly heard like the song of a skylark above the whispering of the admiring crowd, and it sings a new beatitude, that is the glory of Mary* + "lessed be the womb that bore 0ou and the breast that suckled 0ou.Jesus turns towards the woman who extolled His Mother admiring Her %on. He smiles, because He is pleased with the praise for His Mother. "ut He then says* + More blessed are those who listen to the word of 'od and practise it. Do that, woman.He then blesses the crowds and goes towards the country, followed by the apostles who ask Him* + 5hy did 0ou say that,+ "ecause ( tell you solemnly that in Heaven they do not 126

use the same measure as is used on the earth. 1nd My Mother will be blessed not so much because of Her immaculate soul as for listening to the word of 'od and practising it through obedience. (t was a prodigy of the :reator 3that Mary2s soul was immaculate.4 1nd He is to be praised for that. "ut the 3let what you have said be done to Me4 is a prodigy of My Mother. Her merit therefore is great. %o great that the %aviour of the world came only because of Her capability of listening to 'od, speaking through 'abriel2s lips, and because of Her will to practise the word of 'od, without weighing the difficulties and the immediate and future sorrows connected with Her assent. 0ou can thus see that %he is My blessed Mother not only because %he bore and suckled Me, but because %he listened to the word of 'od and practised it through obedience. "ut let us go home now. My Mother knew that ( was going to be out for a short while and %he may be worried because of My delay. 5e are in a half#pagan country. "ut in actual fact it is better than others. "ut let us go. 1nd let us go round the walls to avoid the crowds which would keep Me back. :ome down !uick behind this thicket...-

211. The Sabbath at $erasa.

21th Septe ber 1!45.

The hours of the day are long when one does not know what to do. 1nd those who are with Jesus do not know what to do on that %abbath, in a town where they have no ac!uaintances, in a house where they do not feel at home 127

because of different languages and habits, without taking into account the Jewish pre)udices which keep them apart from 1lexander Misace2s camel#drivers and servants. Many, therefore, have stayed in bed or are do8ing in the sun that makes the large s!uare yard of the house comfortably warm. (t is a yard suited to receive caravans, as it is fitted with basins and rings fixed to the walls or columns of a rustic porch, which runs along the four sides, with many stables and lofts for hay and straw on three sides. The women are in their rooms. ( do not see even one of them. Mar)iam amuses himself also in the closed yard, watching the work of the stable#men, who curry mules, change litters, examine hoofs, fasten loose horse#shoes, or, what is of greater interest to him because it is something entirely new, he is spellbound watching how the cameleers deal with the camels, preparing in advance the load for each animal, in proportion to each of them, balancing it, and how they make a camel kneel down and rise in order to load and unload it, rewarding each one with a handful of dry legumes, which ( think are broad beans, and at the end they gave them carobs, which the men also chew with relish. Mar)iam is utterly ama8ed and he looks round to find someone with whom he may share his ama8ement. "ut he is disappointed because adults are not interested in camels. They are either speaking to one another or do8ing. He goes to &eter who is sleeping blissfully with his head resting on soft hay, and shakes his arm. &eter half opens his eyes and asks* + 5hat is it, 5ho wants me,+ ( do, :ome and see the camels.12-

+ /et me sleep. ( have seen so many of them... Cgly animals.The boy then goes to Matthew, who is checking his accounts, as he is the treasurer during this trip* + 0ou know, ( have been to see the camels. They eat like sheep, did you know, 1nd they kneel down like men and they look like boats moving up and down. Have you seen them,Matthew, who has lost his count owing to the interruption, replies sharply* + 0es- and resumes counting his money. 1nother disappointment... Mar)iam looks round... There is %imon Bealot speaking to Judas Thaddeus... + How lovely camels are9 1nd how good9 They loaded and unloaded them and they lay down on the ground so that the cameleer should not have to work too hard. 1nd they eat carobs. The men also were eating them. ( would like... "ut ( cannot make myself understood. :ome with me...and he takes %imon by the hand. %imon, who is engrossed in peaceful conversation with Thaddeus, replies absent#mindedly* + 0es, dear... 'o... and watch that you do not hurt yourself.Mar)iam is astonished... %imon has not replied to the point. The boy is almost weeping. He goes away down# heartedly and leans against a column... Jesus comes out of a room and sees that he is sulky and alone. He goes towards the boy and lays a hand on his head. + 5hat are you doing all alone and so sad,+ .o one will listen to me...120

+ 5hat did you want from them,+ .othing ( was speaking of the camels... They are lovely... ( like them. (t must be like being on a boat to be up there... 1nd they eat carobs the men also eat them...+ 1nd you want to go up there and eat carobs. :ome, let us go to the camels- and Jesus takes him by the hand and goes to the end of the yard with the child, who has become cheerful once again. He goes straight to a cameleer and greets him with a smile. The man bows to Him and continues examining his animal, ad)usting its halter and reins. + Man, do you understand Me,+ 0es, /ord. ( have known 0our people for twenty years.+ This boy has a big desire* to climb up on a camel... 1nd a little one* to eat a carob- and Jesus smiles once again more lively. + 0our son,+ .o, ( have no children. ( am not married.+ 0ou, so handsome, so strong, 0ou have not found a woman,+ ( have not looked for one.+ 0ou have never felt the desire of a woman,+ .o. .ever.The man looks at Him and is spellbound. He then says* + ( have nine children at (schilo... ( go* one son. ( go* another son. 1lways.1,/

+ Do you love your children,+ They are of my blood9 "ut my work is hard. ( am here, my children are there. 5e are far apart... "ut ( do it for their bread. Do you understand,+ ( do. %o you can understand the boy who would like to mount a camel and eat carobs.+ 0es. :ome. 1re you afraid, .o, 'ood. /ovely boy9 ( have one, too, like you. Dark like you. Here. Take and hold it tight- and he puts into Mar)iam2s hand the strange handle which is in the front part of the saddle. + Hold it. ( will come on now. 1nd the camel will stand up. 0ou are not afraid, eh,1nd the man climbs up on the high saddle, he makes himself comfortable and spurs the camel, which stands up obediently with a heavy pitch. Mar)iam laughs happily. 1nd he is all the more happy because the cameleer has put a delicious carob into his mouth. The camel ambles along the yard, then the driver puts it into a trot, finally, seeing that Mar)iam is not afraid, he shouts something to one of his companions, who opens the very wide door at the rear of the yard and the cameleer disappears with his load in the green country. Jesus goes back towards the house and enters a large room where the women are. He smiles so happily that Mary asks Him* + 5hat has happened, %on, that 0ou are so happy,+ ( am as happy as Mar)iam who is galloping on a camel. :ome out so that we may see him coming back.1,1

They all go out into the yard and sit on the low wall near the basins. The apostles who are not sleeping approach them. Those who are at the windows in the rooms upstairs, look down, they see the group and go down to )oin them. Their shrill youthful voices, they are in fact the voices of John and of the two Jameses, awake also &eter and 1ndrew and arouse Matthew. They are now all together because John of 7ndor and the two disciples have also )oined the group. + "ut where is Mar)iam, ( don2t see him- asks &eter. + He has gone for a run on a camel. .one of you would listen to him... ( saw that he was so sad and ( took care of him.&eter, %imon and Matthew remember* + 6f course9 He was talking about camels... and carobs. "ut ( was sleepy9- + ( had to check my accounts as ( wanted to inform 0ou of what ( had received from the 'erasenes and what ( had given to the poor- + 1nd ( was speaking of faith with 0our brother.+ (t does not matter. ( saw to it. "ut, incidentally, ( tell you that to take care of children2s games is also love... "ut now let us talk of something else. The town is full of merriment. The only remembrance of our %abbath is general mirth. %o it is better to stay indoors. %o much so because if they want, they can find us as they know where we are. There is 1lexander inspecting his camels. ( will now tell him that one is missing through My fault.1nd Jesus hastens towards the merchant and speaks to him. They come back together. The merchant says* + Aery well. He will en)oy himself and a run out in the sun will 1,2

do him good. 0ou may rest assured that the man will treat him well. :alipius is a clever man. (n exchange for the run, ( ask 0ou to tell me something. /ast night ( was thinking of 0our words... those ( heard at =amoth, which 0ou exchanged with the woman, and those 0ou spoke yesterday. 1nd ( thought ( was climbing up a high mountain, like those where ( live, the tops of which reach up to the clouds. 0ou were carrying me higher and higher. ( was under the impression of being caught by an eagle, one of those eagles of our highest mountain, the first to emerge from the Deluge. ( saw entirely new things, of which ( had never thought before, all made of a light... 1nd ( understood them. Then ( became confused. Tell me more.+ 5hat shall ( tell you,+ ( don2t know... 7verything was so beautiful. 5hat 0ou said about meeting again in Heaven... ( understood that we will love there in a different way, and yet it will be the same. $or instance* we shall not be worried as we are now, it will be as if we were one family only* one for all and all for one. 1m ( wrong,+ .o. 6n the contrary9 5e shall one family also with the living. %ouls are not separated by death. ( am speaking of the )ust. They form one large family. Just imagine a large temple in which some worship and pray, and some work. The former pray also for those who are working, the latter work for those who are praying. The same applies to souls. 5e work on the earth. They help us with their prayers. "ut we must offer our sufferings for their peace. (t is a chain which does not break. (t is /ove that ties those who were to those who are. 1nd those who are must be good to be able to )oin those who were and want us to 1,,

be with them.%yntyche makes an involuntary gesture, which she soon cheeks. "ut Jesus notices it and invites her to come out of her habitual self#restraint. + ( was thinking... ( have been thinking about it for some days, and if ( must tell the truth, ( am worried, because ( feel that if ( believe in 0our &aradise, ( will lose my mother and sisters forever...- a sob breaks the voice of %yntyche, who stops to stifle tears. + 5hat thought worries you so much,+ ( now believe in 0ou. ( can only think of my mother as a heathen. %he was good... 6h9 very good9 1nd my sisters, too. /ittle (smene was the best daughter there ever was on the earth. "ut they were heathens... .ow, when ( was like them, ( thought of Hades and ( used to say* 35e will meet there again.4 .ow Hades no longer exists. There is 0our &aradise, the <ingdom of Heaven for those who have served the True 'od in )ustice. 1nd what about those poor souls, (t is no fault of theirs if they were born in 'reece9 .one of the priests in (srael ever came to say* 36ur 'od is the True 'od.4 %o, 1re their virtues and sufferings worth nothing, 5ill they be in eternal darkness and separated from me forever, ( tell 0ou* it is a torture9 ( seem to have almost disowned them. $orgive me, my /ord... ( am weeping...- and she falls on her knees weeping disconsolately. 1lexander Misace says* + There 0ou are9 ( also was wondering whether, if ( become a )ust man, ( will ever find my father, mother, my brothers and friends...Jesus lays His fingers on %yntyche2s brown#haired head 1,3

and says* + 6ne is at fault when one knows the Truth, but persists in 7rror. .ot when one is convinced of being in the Truth, and no voice has ever come to say* 3The Truth is what ( am bringing you. $orsake your chimeras for this True 'od and you will gain Heaven.4 'od is )ust. :an you believe that He will not reward virtue which was perfected all by itself in the corruption of the heathen world, Do not worry, My daughter.+ 5hat about the original sin, 1nd their nefarious cult, 1nd...More ob)ections would come from the (sraelites to grieve %yntyche2s already desolate soul, if Jesus with a gesture did not impose silence. He says* + The original sin is common to everybody, whether one is from (srael or not. (t is not a peculiarity of heathens. The pagan cult will be sinful after the /aw of :hrist has been spread throughout the world. Airtue will always be virtue in the eyes of 'od. 1nd in virtue of My union with the $ather ( say, and ( say this in His name, translating His Most Holy Thought into words, that the ways of 'od2s merciful power are manifold, and they are so intent on giving )oy to virtuous people that they will remove barriers between souls, and peace will be given to those who deserve peace. .ot only, but ( say that in future those who follow the religion of their ancestors with )ustice and holiness, convinced of being in the Truth, will not be disliked and punished by 'od. 5ickedness, bad will, deliberate refusal of the known Truth, above all refutation of the revealed Truth and opposition to it, vicious living will really separate forever the souls of the )ust from those of sinners. Take heart, %yntyche. %uch de)ection is an assault of hell due to %atan2s wrath 1,5

against you, as you are a prey he has lost forever. There is no Hades. There is My &aradise. "ut it is not the cause of grief, but of )oy. .othing of the Truth is to be the cause of de)ection or doubt, on the contrary it must give you strength for a greater faith and cheerful certainty. 1lways inform Me of your anxieties. ( want the light in you to be as certain and steady as the light of the sun.%yntyche, still kneeling, takes His hand and kisses it... The cry of the cameleer makes the group understand that the camel is about to come back, at a slow pace, without making any noise on the thick grass outside the rear door, which a servant opens at once. 1nd Mar)iam comes back, he is happy and his face is flushed after the run. He is a tiny little man hoisted onto the high back of the camel, and he laughs waving his arms, while the camel kneels down and he slides down from the odd saddle, caressing the swarthy cameleer. He then runs towards Jesus shouting* + How lovely9 Did the 5ise men come from the 7ast on those animals to worship 0ou, ( will go on them to preach 0ou all over the world9 The world seems larger when seen from up there and it says* 3:ome, you who know the 'ospel9.4 6h9 Do 0ou know,... That man also is in need of it... 1nd you, too, merchant, and all your servants... How many people are waiting and die without receiving it... More people than the sand in the river... They are all without 0ou, Jesus9 6h9 Make haste and announce it to everybody9- and he clings to Jesus2 sides looking up at Him. 1nd Jesus bends kissing him and promising* + 0ou will see the <ingdom of 'od evangeli8ed as far as the most remote borders of =ome. 1re you happy,1,6

+ ( am. 1nd then ( will come and say to 0ou* 3This, that, and that other :ountry... they all know 0ou.4 ( will then know the names of those remote :ountries. 1nd what will 0ou say to me,+ ( will say* 3:ome, little Mar)iam. Have a crown for every country in which you have preached Me and then come here beside Me, as on that day at 'erasa, and rest after all your work, because you have been a faithful servant and it is right that you should be happy in My <ingdom.4-

21!. Fro

$erasa to the Fo,ntain of the Ca eleer.

2!th Septe ber 1!45.

The caravan leaves 1lexander2s large courtyard, in perfect order as if it were on a military parade. Jesus is at the rear with all His group. The camels are proceeding, their heavy loads swaying rhythmically and their heads, on their arched necks, seem to be asking at each step* + 5hy, 5hy,- in their silent but familiar gait, like the movement of doves, which at each step seem to be saying* + 0es, 0es- to everything they see. The caravan has to cross the town and it does so in the clear morning air. 7veryone is all wrapped up because it is cool. The harness#bells of the camels, the cries of the camel#drivers, the screech of a camel regretting the idle stable inform the 'erasenes of Jesus2 departure. The news spreads as fast as lightning and some 'erasenes rush to greet Him offering fruit and other 1,7

foodstuffs. There is also a man with a sick little boy. + "less him, that he may recover. Have mercy on us9Jesus raises His hand and blesses the child saying* + 'o and do not worry. Have faith.1nd the man says + yes- so trustfully, that a woman asks* + 5ould 0ou cure my husband whose eyes are ulcered,+ ( will, if you can believe.+ 5ell, ( will go and bring him here. 5ait for me, /ordand she runs away as fast as a swallow. 5ait9 7asier said than done9 The camels are moving on. 1lexander, at the head of the caravan, does not know what is wanted at its rear. The only thing to be done is to send word to the man. + =un, Mar)iam. 'o and tell the merchant to stop before going out of the walls- says Jesus. 1nd Mar)iam dashes away to fulfill his mission. The caravan stops and the merchant comes towards Jesus. + 5hat is the matter,+ %tay here and you will see.The woman of 'erasa is soon back with her husband whose eyes are diseased. (t is much worse than ulcers9 His eyes are two holes full of suppuration. They look dimmed, reddened, half#blind in the centre of the holes, among repulsive dripping tears. 1s soon as the man lifts the dark bandage dimming the light, tears flow more copiously as the light increases the pain of the diseased eyes. The man moans* + Have mercy9 ( suffer so much91,-

+ 0ou have also sinned very much. 1re you not complaining of that, 1re you only grieved at the possibility of losing the poor sight of the world, Do you know nothing about 'od, 1re you not afraid of eternal darkness, 5hy did you sin,The man is weeping and he bends without speaking. His wife is also weeping and she moans* + ( have forgiven...+ 1nd ( will forgive him as well, if he swears to Me that he will not relapse into his sin.+ 0es, ( do9 $orgive me. ( now know the conse!uences of sin. $orgive me. $orgive me as my wife did. 0ou are the 'ood 6ne.+ ( forgive you. 'o to that stream, wash your face in the water and you will be cured.+ :old water will make him worse, /ord- moans the woman. "ut the man is not concerned with anything else and he begins to grope until the apostle John pitifully takes him by the hand and leads him by himself at first, until the wife supports him by the other hand. The man goes down as far as the edge of the ice cold water babbling among stones, he bends. He takes some water cupping his hands and washes his face. He does not show any sign of pain. 6n the contrary, he appears to be relieved. He then climbs up the bank, with his face still wet, and goes back to Jesus, 5ho asks him* + 5ell, 1re you cured,+ .o, /ord. .ot yet. "ut 0ou said so and ( will be cured.+ 5ell, remain in your hope. 'oodbye.1,0

The woman collapses weeping... %he is disappointed. Jesus beckons to the merchant that they can go on. 1nd the merchant, who is also disappointed, passes the word on. The camels march off again with their motion resembling a boat which raises and lowers its prow with its cut#water on the waves they go out of the walls and take to the wide dusty caravan#route south#westwards. The last couple of the apostolic group, that is, John of 7ndor and %imon Bealot, have )ust left the walls a few yards behind, when a shrill cry is heard in the silent air. (t seems to spread all over the world, and is repeated in a higher and higher pitch, singing hosannas happily* + ( can see9 My blessed Jesus9 ( can see9 ( believed. ( see9 Jesus9 Jesus9 My blessed Jesus9- and the man, whose face is completely cured, with two beautiful eyes* two carbuncles full of light and life, rushes to Jesus2 feet and falls almost under the camel of the merchant, who manages to move his mount away from the prostrated man )ust in time. The man kisses Jesus2 garment repeating* + ( believed9 ( believed and ( can see9 My blessed Jesus9+ %tand up and be happy. 1nd, above all, be good. Tell your wife to believe unreservedly. 'oodbye.- 1nd Jesus frees Himself from the grasp of the miraculously cured man and resumes His way. The merchant strokes his beard pensively... 1t last he asks* + 1nd if he had not persisted in believing, after his disappointment in washing,+ He would have remained as he was.+ 5hy do 0ou exact so much faith to work a miracle,13/

+ "ecause faith witnesses the presence of hope and love of 'od.+ 1nd why did 0ou want repentance first,+ "ecause repentance makes 'od friendly.+ %ince ( have no disease, what should ( do to testify that ( have faith,+ 0ou should come to the Truth.+ 1nd could ( come without 'od2s friendship,+ 0ou could not come without 'od2s goodness. 'od allows those who look for Him to find Him, even if they are not yet repentant because man generally repents when he knows 'od, either consciously or even with a faint consciousness of what his soul wants. "efore he is like a blockhead led only by instinct. Have you ever felt the need to believe,+ Many a time. 5ell, ( was not satisfied with what ( had. ( felt there was something else. %omething stronger than money, than my children, my hope... "ut ( did not bother to try to find out what ( was unknowingly seeking.+ 0our soul was seeking 'od. 'od2s kindness has let you find 'od. =epentance for your remote idle past will give you the friendship of 'od.+ %o... in order to have the miracle of seeing the Truth with my soul, ( should repent of my past,+ :ertainly. 0ou ought to repent and decide to change your life completely...The man begins to stroke his beard once again and he stares so intently that he seems to be studying and 131

counting the hairs on his camel2s neck. He unintentionally strikes with his heel the camel which takes the stroke as a spur to !uicken its step and it obeys taking the merchant towards the head of the caravan. Jesus does not keep him back. 6n the contrary He stops thus allowing the women and apostles to overtake Him, until %imon Bealot and John of 7ndor reach Him. Jesus )oins them. + 6f what are you speaking,- He asks. + 5e were speaking of the depression that those must feel who do not believe in anything or have lost the faith they had. %yntyche was really de)ected yesterday, although she has come to a perfect faith- replies the Bealot. + ( was saying to %imon that if it is grievous to pass from 'ood to 7vil, it is also disconcerting to pass from 7vil to 'ood. (n the former case one is tortured by one2s reproaching conscience. (n the latter case one is... tormented... /ike one who is taken to a completely unknown foreign country... 6r it is the dismay of a man, who being a poor unlearned wretch, should find himself at a king2s :ourt, among learned people and gentlemen. (t is a pain... ( know... %uch a long suffering... 6ne cannot believe that it is true, that it can last... that one can deserve it particularly when one2s soul is stained... as mine was...+ 1nd now, John,- asks Jesus. 1nd John of 7ndor2s worn out sad face brightens with a smile which makes it look less emaciated. He says* + .ow, it is no longer so. 6nly gratitude to the /ord remains, nay, it increases. This the /ord wanted. There is 132

still the memory of the past to keep me humble. "ut there is certainty. ( feel acclimatised, ( am no longer a foreigner in this kind world of forgiveness and love which is 0ours. 1nd ( am serene, happy and in peace.+ Do you consider your experience a good one,+ 0es, ( do. (f ( were not sorry for having sinned, because ( grieved 'od through my sin, ( would say that ( feel that my past was a good thing. (t can help me considerably to support willing but mislaid souls, in the first stages of their new belief.+ %imon, go and tell the boy not to )ump about so much. He will be exhausted this evening.%imon looks at Jesus, but he understands the truth behind the order. He smiles intelligently and goes away leaving the two all alone. + .ow that we are alone, John, listen to this desire of Mine. $or a number of reasons, none of My followers have the breadth of )udgement and thought which you have. 1nd your culture is wider than the average learning of (sraelites. %o ( ask you to help Me...+ 1m ( to help 0ou, How,+ 6n behalf of %yntyche. 0ou are such a clever teacher9 Mar)iam learns !uickly and well with you. %o much so that ( am thinking of leaving you together for some months, because ( want Mar)iam to have a wider knowledge than that of the little world of (srael. 1nd it gives you pleasure to take care of him. 1nd ( re)oice seeing you together, you teaching, him learning you growing young again, him maturing in learning. "ut you should take care of %yntyche as well, as if she were a lost 13,

sister. 0ou said it yourself* one feels lost... Help her to become acclimatised in My atmosphere. 5ill you do Me this favour,+ (t is a grace for me to do it, my /ord9 ( did not approach her because ( considered myself superfluous. "ut if 0ou wish so... %he reads my rolls. There are some which are sacred, some are only cultural* rolls from =ome and 1thens. ( see that she goes through them and meditates... "ut ( never intervened in order to assist her. (f 0ou want...+ 0es, ( do. ( want you to be friends. /ike Mar)iam and you, she will be staying in .a8areth for some time. (t will be lovely* My Mother and you the teachers of two souls opening to 'od. My Mother* the angelical Teacher of the %cience of 'od you* the experienced master of human knowledge, which you can now explain with supernatural references. (t will be lovely and useful.+ 0es, my blessed /ord9 Too beautiful for poor John9...and the man smiles at the thought of the oncoming peaceful days with Mary, in Jesus2 house...1nd the road winds along a beautiful country, which is now completely flat after skirting a few little hills )ust out of 'erasa, in the mild sunshine which is becoming warmer and warmer. (t is a well kept road on which it is comfortable to travel and to take to it again after the midday rest. (t is almost evening when ( hear %yntyche laugh wholeheartedly for the first time Mar)iam in fact has said something to her which makes all the women laugh. ( see the 'reek woman bend to caress the boy and kiss him lightly on his forehead. The boy then resumes )umping about as if he 133

did not feel at all tired. "ut all the others are tired and are glad for the decision to spend the night at the $ountain of the :ameleer. The merchant says* + ( always stop here overnight. The leg from 'erasa to "o8rah, is too long both for men and animals.+ The merchant is humane- remark the apostles, comparing him to Doras... The + $ountain of the :ameleer- is only a handful of houses around several wells. (t is a kind of oasis, not in the arid desert, because there is no aridity here, but an oasis in the vast uninhabited fields and orchards which follow one another for miles and which, as the 6ctober evening draws on, give the same sad sensation as the sea at twilight. Thus, the sight of houses, the noise of voices, of crying children, the smell of smoking chimneys and the first lights to be lit are as pleasant as one2s arrival at home. 5hile the cameleers stop to water the camels for the first time, the apostles and the women follow Jesus and the merchant who enter... the rather prehistoric inn which will shelter them during the night... ...They are all gathered near a very large fireplace which takes up the whole of the narrow wall of a large smoky room where they have taken their meal, and where the men will sleep and servants are already preparing straw beds on mats. The fire is on because it is a cold damp evening. + /et us hope that it will not start raining- says &eter with a sigh. 135

The merchant reassures him* + The bad weather will not begin until this lunation is over. (t is always like this in the evening here. "ut it will be sunshine tomorrow.+ (t2s for the women, you know, .ot for me. ( am a fisherman and ( live in water. 1nd ( can assure you that ( prefer water to mountains and dust.Jesus is speaking to the women and His two cousins. John of 7ndor and the Bealot are also listening to Him. (nstead Timoneus and 7rmasteus are reading one of John2s rolls and the two (sraelites are explaining to 7rmasteus the "ible passages which are more obscure to him. Mar)iam is listening spellbound, but he looks sleepy. Mary of 1lphaeus notices it and says* + That child is tired. :ome, dear, let us go to bed. :ome, 7li8a, come %alome. 6ld people and children are better in bed. 1nd you had all better go as well. 0ou are tired."ut besides the elder ones, with the exception of Marcella and Johanna of :hu8a, no one moves. 1fter they have gone, after being blessed, Matthew whispers* + 5ho would have told these women, only a short while ago, that they were to sleep on straw beds, so far from their homes9+ ( have never slept so well- states Mary of Magdala resolutely. 1nd Martha confirms her statement. "ut &eter admits that his companion is right* + Matthew is right. 1nd ( wonder why the Master has brought you here, something ( fail to understand.+ "ecause we are His disciples9136

+ 5ell, if He went where... lions are, would you go,+ 6f course, %imon &eter9 5hat an effort to go for a little walk9 1nd with Him9+ 5ell* in actual fact it is a long walk. 1nd for women who are not used to it..."ut the women protest and &eter shrugs his shoulders and becomes silent. James of 1lphaeus, on looking up, sees such a bright smile on Jesus2 face, that he asks Him* + 5ill 0ou tell us, privately, the real purpose of this )ourney, with the women... and with so little fruit, as compared to its fatigue,+ :ould you expect to see now the fruit of the seed buried in the fields which we have crossed,+ ( could not. ( will see it in springtime.+ ( also say to you* 30ou will see it in due time.4The apostles do not reply. The silvery voice of Mary is heard* + %on, we were talking today of what 0ou said at =amoth. 1nd each of us had different impressions and reflections. 5ould 0ou tell us 0our thought, ( said that it was better to call 0ou at once. "ut 0ou were speaking to John of 7ndor.+ (n actual fact ( raised the !uestion. "ecause ( am a poor heathen and ( do not have the splendid light of your faith. 0ou must sympathise with me.+ ( would like to have your soul, my dear sister9- says the Magdalene impulsively. 1nd exuberant as she is, she embraces %yntyche clasping her with one arm. Her 137

wonderful beauty seems to give light by itself to the miserable dwelling and to decorate it with the wealth of her sumptuous house. The 'reek woman, who is entirely different and yet has such a singular personality while embraced by the Magdalene, adds a meditative note to the cry of love which seems to be always bursting forth from passionate Mary, meanwhile the "lessed Airgin, sitting with Her gentle face raised towards Her %on, Her hands clasped as if %he were praying, Her most pure profile outstanding against the black wall, is the perpetual 1dorer. %usanna is do8ing in the shadow of a comer, while Martha, who is active notwithstanding her weariness and the pressure of the others, takes advantage of the light of the fireplace to fasten some buckles on Mar)iam2s garment. Jesus says to %yntyche* + "ut it was not a grievous thought. ( heard you laugh.+ 0es, because of the boy, who solved the !uestion easily, saying* 3( do not want to come back unless Jesus does. "ut if you want to know everything, go to the next world, then come back and tell us whether you remember.4They all laugh again and say that %yntyche was asking Mary for a clarification on the explanation, which she had not understood properly, of the remembrance which souls have and which explains a certain possibility for heathens to have vague recollections of the Truth. + ( was saying* 3Does that perhaps confirm the theory of reincarnation in which many heathens believe,4 and 0our Mother was telling me that what 0ou say is something entirely different. 5ill 0ou explain also this to 13-

me, my /ord,+ /isten. 0ou must not believe that the fact that souls have spontaneous recollections of Truth proves that we live several lives. "y now you have already learned enough to be aware of how man was created, how he sinned and was punished. 0ou have also been told that 'od incorporated a single soul in each man. That soul is created from time to time and is never again used for subse!uent incarnations. This certainty would seem to cancel My statement concerning the recollections of souls. (t should cancel it with regard to any other being with the exception of man, who is gifted with a soul made by 'od. 1nimals cannot remember anything, as they are born once only. "ut man can remember, although he is born once only. He remembers with his better part* his soul. 5here do souls come from, The soul of each man, $rom 'od. 5ho is 'od, The most intelligent, powerful, perfect %pirit. This wonderful thing which is a soul, a thing created by 'od to give man His image and likeness as an un!uestionable sign of His Most Holy &aternity, shows signs of the !ualities characteristic of Him 5ho creates it. (t is therefore intelligent, spiritual, free, immortal, like the $ather 5ho created it. (t is perfect when it originates from the divine thought and in the instant of its creation it is identical, for a thousandth of instant, with the soul of the first man* a perfection which understands the Truth through free gift. 1 thousandth of an instant. Then, once it is formed, it is stained by original sin. To make it clearer for you ( will say that it is as if 'od were pregnant with the soul which He creates and the creature, in being born, were wounded by an indelible mark. Do you understand Me,130

+ 0es, ( do. 5hile it is thought it is perfect. The creating thought lasts a thousandth of an instant. The thought then becomes actual fact and the fact is sub)ect to the law brought about by %in.+ 0our reply is correct. 1 soul becomes thus incarnate in a human body, bringing with it the memory of the :reator, that is of the Truth, as a secret gem in the mystery of its spiritual being. 1 baby is born. (t may become good, very good or wicked. (t may become anything because it is endowed with free will. The angelical ministry throws light on its 3memories4 and the tempter darkness. (f man craves after light and thus for a greater and greater virtue, making his soul the master of his being, the faculty of remembering increases in the soul, as if virtue made the wall interposed between soul and 'od thinner and thinner. That is why virtuous people in every country perceive the Truth, not in a perfect way, as they are dulled by contrasting doctrines or by lethal ignorance, but in a sufficient manner to give pages of moral perfection to the peoples to whom they belong. Have you understood, 1re you convinced,+ 0es. (n conclusion, the religion of virtue practised heroically predisposes the soul to the true =eligion and to the knowledge of 'od.+ 7xactly. 1nd now go and rest and may you be blessed. 1nd 0ou, too, Mother, and you sisters and disciples. May you rest in the peace of 'od.-


2!0. $oin& to 9o2rah.

80th Septe ber 1!45.

The merchant was right. 6ctober could not have granted the pilgrims a lovelier day. 1fter the sun had dispelled the ha8e which veiled the country, as if nature had laid a veil over the sleeping plants at night, the country appears in its solemn stretch of cultivated fields warmed by the sun. The fog seems to have gathered together on remote mountain tops decorating them with a transparent foam, thus softening them even more against the serene sky. + 5hat are those, Mountains we have to climb,- asks &eter anxiously. + .o. They are the Hauran mountains. 5e shall be on the plain, on this side of the mountains. "efore evening we shall be at "o8rah in Hauran. 1 beautiful good town. Much trade- says the merchant encouraging &eter and praising the town, considering, as usual, commercial prosperity as the basis of the beauty of a place. Jesus is all alone, in the rear, as He is wont to do at times when He so wishes. Mar)iam turns round several times looking at Him. 5hen he can resist no longer, he leaves &eter and James of Bebedee, he sits on the edge of the road, on a stone which must be a =oman military landmark, and waits. 5hen Jesus is at his level, the boy stands up and without speaking he goes beside Jesus, remaining a little behind Him so as not to annoy Him, and, he watches Him... 1nd he continues watching until Jesus comes out of His meditation and turns round on hearing the light footstep 151

behind Him and He smiles stretching His hand out to the boy and saying* + 6h9 Mar)iam9 5hat are you doing here all alone,+ ( was looking at 0ou. ( have been looking at 0ou for days. 7verybody has eyes but not everybody sees the same things. ( have noticed that now and again 0ou want to remain all alone... 6n the first days ( thought 0ou were hurt by something. Then ( noticed that 0ou do it always at the same time and that Mother, 5ho always comforts 0ou when 0ou are sad, does not say anything to 0ou when 0our countenance is like that. 6n the contrary, if %he happens to be speaking, %he becomes !uiet and concentrates on meditation. ( notice things, 0ou know, "ecause ( always look at 0ou and Her, in order to do what 0ou do. ( asked the apostles what 0ou do, because 0ou certainly do something. They said to me* 3He prays.4 1nd ( asked them* 35hat does He say,.4 .o one replied, because they do not know. They have been with 0ou for years, and they do not know. Today ( followed 0ou every time ( noticed that countenance and ( watched 0ou while 0ou were praying. "ut 0our countenance is not always the same. This morning, at dawn, 0ou looked like a bright angel. 0ou looked at things with such bright eyes that ( think they dispelled darkness more than the sun did. 1nd 0ou looked at things and people like that. 1nd then 0ou looked at the sky and 0our face was the same as when 0ou offer the bread at table. /ater, when we were crossing that little village, 0ou remained alone, in the rear, and 0ou seemed to me a father, as 0ou were so anxious to say kind words to the poor people of the village, while passing by. 0ou said to one* 37ndure your suffering with patience, because ( will soon relieve you and others like you.4 He was the slave of that bad man 152

who set his dogs on us. Then, while the food was being prepared, 0ou looked at us with eyes full of kind love. 0ou looked like a mother... "ut 0our countenance was now sorrowful... 5hat do 0ou think, Jesus, when 0ou are always like that,... "ut also in the evening, at times, if ( am not asleep, ( see that 0ou are very serious. 5ill 0ou tell me how 0ou pray, why 0ou pray,+ 6f course, ( will tell you. %o that you can pray with Me. The day is given to us by 'od. The whole day* the bright one and the dark one* day and night. (t is a gift to live and have light. 6ur way of living is a means of sanctification. (s that right, %o we must sanctify the moments of the whole day, to persevere in holiness and have the Most High and His bounty present in our hearts, and at the same time, keep the Demon away. 5atch the little birds. They sing at sunrise. They bless the light. 5e must bless the light as well, because it is a gift of 'od, and we must bless 'od 5ho grants it to us and 5ho is the /ight. 5e must crave for 'od as from daybreak to put a seal, a note of light on the whole oncoming day, that it may be entirely bright and holy. 1nd we must )oin the whole creation in praising the :reator. Then, as the hours go by, and going by they make us aware of how much sorrow and ignorance there is in the world, we must pray again that sorrow may be relieved and ignorance may vanish and 'od may be known, loved and prayed to by all men, who, if they knew 'od, would be comforted in their sufferings. 1nd at the sixth hour we must pray out of love for our family, to en)oy the gift of being united to those who love us. That is also a gift of 'od. 1nd we must pray that our eating, instead of being useful, may not become an occasion of sin. 1nd at sunset we pray remembering that death is the 15,

inevitable end waiting for all of us. 1nd we must pray that our end, be it today or later, may take place with our souls in grace. 1nd when the lights are lit, we must pray to thank for the day which is over and to ask for protection and forgiveness, so that we may go to sleep without any fear of a sudden )udgement or assaults of the demon. 1nd, finally, we must pray at night ; but this applies only to adults ; to make amends for the sins of the night, to keep %atan away from weak people, and that culprits may ponder, repent and make good resolutions which will become facts at sunrise. That is how and why a )ust person prays during the whole day.+ "ut 0ou have not told me why 0ou are so absorbed, so grave and imposing at the ninth hour... + "ecause... ( say* 3Through the %acrifice of this hour, let 0our <ingdom come to the world and may all those who believe in 0our 5ord be redeemed.4 %ay the same yourself... + 5hat sacrifice is it, 0ou said that incense is offered in the morning and evening, and the victims at the same hour, every day, on the altar of the Temple. 1nd that the victims for vows and expiation are offered at any hour. There is no indication of a special rite for the ninth hour.Jesus stops and takes the boy with both hands, and lifts him holding him in front of Himself, and as if He were saying a psalm, with His face raised, He says* + 31nd between the sixth and ninth hour, He 5ho has come as %aviour and =edeemer, He of 5hom the prophets speak, will consume His %acrifice after eating the bitter bread of betrayal and after giving the sweet "read of /ife, after crushing Himself like grapes in a vat and !uenching with 153

His whole being the thirst of men and plants, and making for Himself a =oyal purple with His own blood, and putting on a crown and sei8ing the sceptre, and taking His throne on the high place, so that Bion and (srael and the world might see it. /ifted up in the purple garment of His numberless wounds, in the dark to give /ight, in death to give /ife, He will die at the ninth hour and the world will be redeemed.4Mar)iam is frightened and pale and looks at Him with dismayed eyes and trembling lips on the point of bursting into tears. 5ith faltering voice he says* + "ut 0ou are the %aviour9 %o will 0ou be dying at that hour,- Tears begin to stream down his cheeks and his little mouth sips them, while he awaits a denial. "ut Jesus says* + ( will, My little disciple. $or you, too.1nd as the child bursts into convulsive sobs, He presses him to His heart and says* + 1re you sorry that ( die,+ 6h9 My only )oy9 ( do not want that9 (... /et me die in 0our place...+ 0ou are to preach Me all over the world. That is settled. "ut listen. ( will die happily because ( know that you love Me. Then ( will rise from the dead. Do you remember Jonah, He was more handsome when he came out of the belly of the whale well rested and strong. %o will (, and ( will come to you at once and ( will say to you* 3/ittle Mar)iam, your tears !uenched My thirst. 0our love kept Me company in the %epulchre. ( have now come to say to you* 2"e My priest24 and ( will kiss you with the scent of &aradise still on Me.+ "ut where will ( be, 5ill ( not be with &eter or Mother,155

+ ( will save you from the evil waves of those days. ( will save the most weak and innocent ones. 7xcept one... Mar)iam, little apostle, will you help me to pray for that hour,+ 6h9 0es, ( will, /ord9 1nd the others,+ That is a secret between you and Me. 1 great secret. "ecause 'od loves to be revealed to the little ones... Do not weep any more. %mile at the thought that afterwards ( will suffer no more and ( will only remember all the love of men, and yours first. :ome. /ook how far the others are. /et us run and )oin them- and He puts him down and holding him by the hand they start running until they reach the group. + Master, what have 0ou done,+ ( was explaining the hours of the day to Mar)iam.+ 1nd has the boy wept, He must have been naughty, and 0ou are excusing him out of kindness- says &eter. + .o, %imon. He watched Me praying. 0ou have not done that. He asked Me why. ( told him. The boy was moved by My words. .ow leave him alone. 'o to My Mother, Mar)iam. 1nd you all, listen to Me. The lesson will do no harm to you either.1nd Jesus explains once again the usefulness of prayer at the main hours of the day, leaving out the explanation of the ninth hour and concluding* + Cnion to 'od is to have Him present every moment to praise and invoke Him. Do so and you will make progress in the life of the spirit."o8rah is now close at hand. %tretched out on the plain it looks a large beautiful town with walls and towers. The 156

evening which is drawing on, tones down the shades of houses and country into a greyish languid lilac, in which all contours become vague, while grunting pigs and bleating sheep in the enclosures outside the walls, break the silence of the country. The silence comes to an end as soon as the caravan goes through the gate entering a labyrinth of narrow streets which disappoint those who from the outside thought the town was beautiful. Aoices, smells and... stench stagnate in the twisted lanes and accompany the pilgrims as far as a s!uare, the market s!uare, where the inn is. They thus arrive at "o8rah.

2!1. At 9o2rah.
1st )ctober 1!45.

"o8rah looks very dull in the morning mist, both because of the season and because the town is closed in its narrow streets. (t looks dull and dirty. The apostles, who have come back from their shopping at the market, are talking about it. Hotel practice in those days and in such places is so utterly anti!uated, that one has to see to one2s victuals. (nnkeepers obviously do not want to lose any money. %o they only cook what customers bring them, and let us hope that they do not steal any of that. 6r at most they buy food for customers or sell them what they have in stock, working as butchers, if necessary, preparing poor lambs to be roasted. &eter does not like buying from the innkeeper and is now 157

s!uabbling with him. The man, with a rather roguish face, goes to the point of insulting the apostle, calling him + 'alilean-, while &eter answers back, pointing to a little pig, which the host has )ust slaughtered for some guests* + ( am a 'alilean, and you are a pig, you pagan. ( would not stay in your stinking inn for one hour, if it depended on me. 0ou thief and... >and he adds here a very clear epithet... which ( leave in my pen?.- ( realise that between the people of "o8rah and the 'alileans there is one of the many regional or religious incompatibilities, of which (srael, or rather &alestine was full. The host shouts louder* + (f you were not with the .a8arene, and ( were not better than your filthy &harisees who hate Him without any good reason, ( would wash your face with the blood of the pig, so you would have to get out of here and rush to purify yourself. "ut ( respect Him, 5hose power is known. 1nd ( tell you, that notwithstanding all your fuss, you are sinners. 5e are better than you are. 5e do not lay snares neither do we betray. 0ou, faugh9 0ou are a lot of unfair traitors and rascals and you do not even respect the few holy people among you.+ 5ho are you calling traitors, Cs, 1h9 (n 'od2s truth (...&eter is furious and is about to break upon the man, when his brother and James hold him back, and %imon Bealot intervenes with Matthew. "ut &eter2s wrath is abated not so much by their intervention as by the voice of Jesus 5ho appears at one of the doors and says* + 0ou now, %imon, will be !uiet. 1nd you, too, man.+ /ord, this man was the first to insinuate and threaten.15-

+ .a8arene, ( was offended first.(, he. He and (. The two culprits cast blame on each other. Jesus comes forward seriously and calmly. + 0ou are both wrong. 1nd you, %imon, more than he is. "ecause you know the doctrine of love, of forgiveness, of meekness, of patience and brotherhood. (n order not to be ill#treated as a 'alilean, you must make yourself respected as a saint. 1nd you, man, bless the /ord if you feel that you are better than others and endeavour to be worthy of becoming better and better. 1nd above all, do not foul your soul with false charges. My disciples neither betray nor lay snares.+ 1re 0ou sure, .a8arene, 5ell, then, why did those four come and ask me whether 0ou had come, with whom 0ou were and so many more !uestions,+ 5hat, 5ho are they, 5here are they,- The apostles gather round him, forgetting that they are drawing close to a person still wet with the blood of a pig, which struck them with horror shortly before and kept them away. + 'o and mind your own business. 0ou may stay, Misace.The apostles go into the room from which Jesus came out, and only Jesus and the innkeeper are left in the yard, one facing the other. The merchant is a few steps from Jesus and is watching the scene spellbound. + Tell Me the truth, man. 1nd forgive if blood made one of My disciples furious. 5ho are those four and what did they say,150

+ ( do not know exactly who they are. They are certainly scribes and &harisees from the other side. ( do not know who brought them here. ( have never seen them. "ut they are well informed of 0ou. They know from where 0ou have come, where 0ou are going, with whom 0ou are. "ut they wanted confirmation from me. .o. ( may be a rascal. "ut ( know my business. ( know nobody and ( see nothing. ( know nothing. 5ith regard to others, of course. 1s far as ( am concerned, ( know everything. "ut why should ( tell others, particularly those hypocrites, what ( know, 1m ( a rascal, 0es. (f necessary ( side also with robbers. (n any case, 0ou know... "ut ( could not steal or try to steal 0our freedom, honour and life. 1nd those ; ( am no longer &hara of &tolemy if what ( say is not true and those are lying in wait for 0ou, to do 0ou harm. 1nd who sent them, &erhaps someone from &erea or the Decapolis, 6r someone from Trachonitis or 'aulanitis or Hauran, .o. 5e either do not know 0ou, or if we have heard of 0ou, we respect 0ou as a )ust man, if we do not believe in 0ou as a saint. %o, who sent them, %omeone on 0our side and perhaps one of 0our friends, because they know too many things...+ (t is easy to be informed of my caravan...- says Misace. + .o, merchant. .ot of you, but of the others who are with Jesus. ( do not know and ( do not want to know. ( do not see and ( do not want to see. "ut ( say to 0ou* if 0ou are guilty, make amends, if 0ou know that 0ou have been betrayed, take the necessary action.+ ( am neither guilty, man, nor betrayed. The only trouble is that (srael does not understand Me. "ut how do you know about Me,16/

+ Through a boy. 1 mischievous boy who had a bad reputation at "o8rah and 1rbela. Here, because he came here to commit his sins, there because he dishonoured his family. Then he became converted and more honest than a )ust man. 1nd he passed by with 0our disciples, a disciple himself, and is waiting for 0ou at 1rbela, to honour 0ou with his father and mother. 1nd he tells everybody that 0ou changed his heart through his mother2s prayers. (f this region ever becomes a holy one, &hilip of James will have the merit of having sanctified it. 1nd if there is anyone who believes in 0ou in "o8rah, it is due to him.+ 5here are the scribes now, who came here,+ ( don2t know. They went away because ( told them that ( had no rooms for them. ( had them, but ( did not want to give hospitality to snakes and thus have them close to the dove. They are certainly in this area. "e careful.+ Thank you, man, 5hat is your name,+ &hara. ( did my duty. =emember me.+ 0es. 1nd you must remember 'od. 1nd forgive My %imon. The great love he has for Me at times blinds him.+ .o harm. ( offended him as well... "ut it hurts to be insulted. 0ou do not insult...Jesus sighs... He then says* + 5ill you help the .a8arene,+ (f ( can...+ ( would be glad to speak from this yard...+ 1nd ( will let 0ou speak. 5hen,161

+ "etween the sixth and ninth hour.+ 'o wherever 0ou want and do not worry. "o8rah will know that 0ou are going to speak. ( will see to it.+ May 'od reward you for it- and Jesus smiles at him, a smile which is already a reward. He then goes to the room where He was before. 1lexander Misace says* + Master, will 0ou smile at me as well, like that,... ( am also going to tell the citi8ens to come and listen to the "ounty 5hich is speaking. ( know many. 'oodbye.+ May 'od reward you, too- and Jesus smiles at him. He enters the room. The women are around Mary, 5hose face is sorrowful and %he gets up at once and goes towards Her %on. %he does not speak. Her whole attitude is uncertainty. Jesus smiles at Her and He replies to Her saying to everybody* + "e free by the sixth hour. ( will speak here to many people. (n the meantime go, everybody, with the exception of %imon &eter, John and 7rmasteus. 'o and announce Me and give plentiful alms.The apostles go away. &eter slowly approaches Jesus 5ho is near the women and asks* + 5hy did 0ou not send me as well,+ 5hen one is too impulsive, one stays at home. %imon, %imon9 5hen will you learn to be charitable to your neighbour, $or the time being it is a burning flame, but only for Me, it is a straight and stiff blade, but only for Me. "e mild, %imon of Jonah.+ 0ou are right, Master. 0our Mother has already 162

reproached me, as %he knows how to, but without hurting. "ut it penetrated right into me. "ut... reproach me as well, but do not look at me so sadly.+ "e good... %yntyche, ( would like to speak to you privately. :ome up to the terrace. 5ill you come, as well, Mother...1nd on the rustic terrace, which covers one wing of the building, in the sunshine which warms the air, walking slowly between Mary and the 'reek woman, Jesus says* + Tornorrow we will part for a little while. 5hen near 1rbela, you women with John of 7ndor, will go towards the %ea of 'alilee and will continue together as far as .a8areth. "ut as ( do not want to send you by yourselves with an almost disabled man, ( will get My brothers and %imon &eter to accompany you. ( can foresee that there will be some reluctance to separate. "ut obedience is the virtue of the )ust. 5hen you go through the country over which :hu8a watches in Herod2s name, Johanna can find some more people to escort you on the rest of the way. 0ou will then send back 1lphaeus2 sons and %imon &eter. "ut the reason why ( asked you to come up here is as follows. ( want to tell you, %yntyche, that ( have decided for you to stay for some time in My Mother2s house. %he already knows. John of 7ndor and Mar)iam will be staying with you. %tay there willingly, perfecting yourself more and more in 5isdom. ( want you to take great care of poor John. ( am not saying this to My Mother because %he does not need any advice. 0ou can understand John and sympathise with him, and he can do you much good because he is an experienced master. ( will come later. 6h9 Juite soon9 1nd we will often meet. ( hope to find you wiser and wiser in the Truth. ( bless you particularly, 16,

%yntyche. This is My farewell from you, for this time. 0ou will find love and hatred in .a8areth as anywhere else. "ut in My house you will find peace. 1lways.+ .a8areth will ignore me and ( will ignore .a8areth. ( will live nourishing myself with the Truth and the world will be nothing to me, /ord.+ Aery well. 0ou may go, %yntyche. 1nd do not mention it to anybody, for the time being. Mother, 0ou know... ( trust these dearest pearls of Mine to 0ou. 5hile we are in peace, among ourselves, Mother, let 0our Jesus refresh Himself in 0our caresses...+ How much hatred, %on9+ How much love9+ How much bitterness, My dear Jesus9+ How much sweetness9+ How much incomprehension, My %on9+ How much comprehension, Mother9+ 6h9 My darling, My Dear %on9+ Mother9 Joy of 'od and Mine9 Mother9They kiss each other and remain together, on the stone bench against the low terrace wall* Jesus embracing His Mother, a loving protector, Mary reclining Her head on Her %on2s shoulder, Her hands in His* happy... The world is so distant... buried in the waves of love and faithfulness...


2!2. The Ser on and Miracles at 9o2rah.

2nd )ctober 1!45.

...1nd the world is so close with its waves of hatred, betrayal, sorrow, need, curiosity. 1nd the waves come, like those of the sea in a harbour, to die here, in the yard of the inn at "o8rah, which the respectful host, whose heart is better than his face makes one suppose, has cleaned of excrement and dirt. There is a large crowd of people, both local and strangers, but of the same region. 1nd there are people whose conversation gives me to understand that they come from very far, from the lake area or beyond the lake. ( catch the names of villages, and parts of sorrowful stories in the conversation of the people awaiting Jesus. 'adara, Hippo, 'erghesa, 'amala, 1phek, .ain, 7ndor, Je8reel, Magdala and <ora8im, are mentioned by many people together with the stories of the reasons why they have come from so far. + 5hen ( heard that He had come through Trans#Jordan, ( was discouraged. "ut some disciples came when ( was about to go back to Je8reel and they said to us, who were waiting at :apernaum* 3He is certainly beyond 'erasa by now. 5aste no time, go to "o8rah or 1rbela4 and ( came with these people...+ ( instead, saw some &harisees pass through 'adara. They were asking where was Jesus of .a8areth, 5hom they knew to be in the area. My wife is ill. ( )oined them. Then yesterday at 1rbela ( heard that He was coming to "o8rah first, so ( came here.+ ( have come from 'adara for this boy. He was gored by a furious cow. He has been left in that state...- and he 165

shows his son who is utterly shrivelled and unable to move his arms. + ( could not bring mine. ( come from Megiddo. 5hat do you think, 5ill He cure him from here also,- moans a woman whose face is red with weeping. + .o, the sick person must be present.+ .o, (t is enough to have faith.+ .o. Cnless He imposes His hands, one is not cured. His disciples also do that.+ 0ou have come a long way for nothing, woman.The woman begins to weep saying* + &oor me9 ( left him when he was almost dying, hoping... He will not cure him, and ( will not comfort him in his death...1nother woman consoles her* + Don2t believe that, woman. ( have come to thank Him because He worked a great miracle for me, without leaving the mountain on which He was speaking.+ 5hat was the matter with your son,+ (t was not my son. (t was my husband who had become mad...- and the two women continue speaking in low voices. + (t is true. 1lso a mother at 1rbela had her son redeemed without the Master seeing him- says a man from 1rbela and he goes on speaking to some people near him... + Make way, for pity2s sake9 Make way9- shout some bearers of a litter which is completely covered. 166

The crowds open out and the litter goes by with its sorrowful load, and stops at the end of the yard, almost behind a rick of straw. (s it a man or a woman lying on the litter, 5ho knows9 Two &harisees come in* they are vainglorious and well preserved and more proud than ever. They assault the poor host as if they were mad, shouting* + 0ou cursed liar9 5hy did you tell us that He was not here, 1re you His accomplice, How dare you despise us, the holy ones in (srael, to favour... 5hom, after all, How do you know who He is, 5hat is He to you,+ 5hat is He, 5hat you are not. "ut ( did not lie. He came a few hours after you had left. He did not hide Himself, neither do ( hide Him. "ut as ( am the boss here, ( tell you at once* 3'et out of my house94 0ou do not insult the .a8arene here. Do you understand, 1nd if you do not understand my words, ( can speak to you in a more factual way, you )ackals9The robust innkeeper seems so decided to come to blows that the two &harisees change tone and become like creeping pups menaced by lash. + "ut we are looking for Him to revere Him9 5hat are you thinking of, The thought that we might not see Him through your fault made us furious. 5e know 5ho He is. The holy and blessed Messiah, to 5hom we are not worthy to raise our eyes. 5e are dust, He is the glory of (srael. Take us to Him. 6ur souls are yearning to hear His words.The host imitates their voices and gestures in a wonderful way* + 6h9 6f course9 1nd how could ( ever suspect it was not so, since ( am so well aware of the fame of &harisees2 )ustice,9 6f course9 0ou have come to 167

worship Him9 0ou are yearning for that9 ( will go and tell Him9 ( am going... .o, by %atan9 0ou shall not follow me9 .either will you, or ( will strike you so much, you poisonous mummies, that ( will make one knock into the other. %tay here. 0ou stay here, where ( am putting you. 1nd you here. 1nd ( am sorry ( cannot knock you into the ground up to your necks and use you as pegs to tie the pigs to be slaughtered- and he passes from words to deeds by sei8ing the leaner &harisee by his armpits, lifting him up and dropping him so violently on the ground, that if it were not very hard the poor fellow would have sunk into it up to his ankles. "ut the ground is hard and the &harisee remains standing like a puppet, after being tossed about so much. Then the host gets hold of the other man, and although he is rather fat, the innkeeper raises and drops him with the same fury, and as the &harisee reacts wriggling, he knocks him down and makes him sit* a bundle of flesh and cloth... He then goes away uttering a nasty word which is lost among the moans of the two and the laughter of many more. He goes through a corridor into a small yard, he climbs a little staircase, reaches a porched gallery and enters a large room in which Jesus and His group are about to finish their meal with the merchant. + Two of the four &harisees have come. 0ou had better see what 0ou must do. $or the time being ( have seen to them. They wanted to come with me. "ut ( did not want them. They are now down in the yard with many sick people and many others.+ ( will come at once. Thank you, &hara, 0ou may go.They all get up. Jesus orders His disciples and the 16-

women to stay where they are, with the exception of His Mother, Mary :lopas, %usanna and %alome. "ut seeing the sad countenance of those who have been excluded, He says* + 'o up to the terrace. 0ou will hear Me )ust the same.He goes out with the apostles and the four women. He goes back the same way as the host came and enters the large yard. The crowds crane their necks to see, and those who are sly climb up on to straw stacks, on carts standing on one side, or on the edge of reservoirs... The two &harisees go and meet Him ceremoniously. Jesus greets them with His usual salutation as if they were His most faithful friends. "ut He does not stop to reply to their unctuous !uestions* + 1re you so few, 1nd without disciples, %o they have left 0ou,Jesus continuing to walk replies gravely* + .o one left Me. 0ou have come from 1rbela where you met those who precede Me, and in Judaea you met Judas of %imon, Thomas, .athanael and &hilip.The stout &harisee no longer dare follow Him and he stops all of a sudden blushing. The other, who is more barefaced, insists* + That is true. "ut as we knew that 0ou were with faithful disciples and with some women, we were surprised at seeing 0ou with so few people. 5e wanted to see 0our new con!uests and congratulate 0ouand he gives a false smile. + My new con!uests, There they are9- and Jesus makes a wide semicircular gesture, pointing at the crowds, which are mainly from the region beyond the Jordan, that is from this region where "o8rah is. 1nd without giving the &harisee time to retort, He begins to speak. 160

+ Those who previously did not in!uire about Me, have been looking for Me. 1nd those who previously did not look for Me have found Me. 1nd ( said* 3Here ( am4 to a nation which did not invoke My .ame. 'lory be to the /ord 5ho speaks the truth through the lips of the prophets9 /ooking at this crowd which has gathered round Me ( really re)oice in the /ord because ( see that the promises, which the 7ternal $ather made to Me when He sent Me to the world, have been fulfilled. Those promises which ( Myself, with the $ather and the &araclete, put in the thoughts, on the lips and in the hearts of the prophets, the promises of which ( was aware before becoming $lesh and which encouraged Me to be made flesh. 1nd they encourage Me. 0es, they encourage Me against hatred, malice, mistrust and falsehood. Those who previously did not in!uire about Me, have been looking for Me. 1nd those who did not look for Me, have found Me. How come, if ( was instead re)ected by those to whom ( had stretched out My hands saying* 3Here ( am4, 1nd yet they knew Me, whereas these people here did not know Me. %o, Here is the key to the mystery. (t is not a fault to ignore, but it is a fault to deny. 1nd too many of those who know Me and to whom ( stretched My hands, have denied Me as if ( were illegitimate or a thief, a corrupting demon, because their pride has extinguished their faith and they have gone astray along bad, twisted sinful ways, leaving the way which My voice points out to them. %in is in the heart, on the table, in the beds, in the hearts, in the minds of this people which re)ects Me and which, seeing its own filth reflected everywhere, sees it on Me also, and its bitterness piles it up more and more, and it says to Me* 3'o away, because 0ou are unclean.4 17/

%o what will He say, 5ho is coming with His robe dyed red, handsome in His garment, and is walking in the power of His strength, 5ill He accomplish already what (saiah says, and will He not be !uiet, but will He pour on their laps what they deserve, .o, He will not. $irst He has to tread the winepress alone, abandoned by everybody, to make the wine of =edemption. The wine that exhilarates the )ust and makes them blessed, the wine that exhilarates the guilty of the great sin, to crush their sacrilegious power into crumbs. 0es, My wine, which is maturing hour by hour in the sun of 7ternal /ove, will be the ruin and salvation of many, as it is stated in a prophecy not yet written, but deposited in the unsplit rock from which the Aine giving the 5ine of eternal /ife sprang up. Do you understand, .o, you doctors of (srael do not understand. "ut it does not matter whether you understand. The darkness of which (saiah speaks is descending upon you* 3They have eyes and do not see. They have ears and do not hear.4 0ou shield the /ight with your hatred, so that one can say that the /ight was repelled by darkness and the world refused to know it. "ut exult, you who were in the dark and believed in the /ight which was announced to you, and you desired it, sought it and found it. 7xult, o faithful people who have come to %alvation crossing mountains, valleys and lakes without considering the burden of the long )ourney. The same applies to the other spiritual )ourney which will take you, o people of "o8rah, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of 5isdom. 7xult, o people of Hauran9 7xult in the )oy of knowledge. Truly it refers also to you and to your neighbouring 171

peoples, when the &rophet sings that your camels and dromedaries will crowd the streets of .aphtali and Bebulun to worship the true 'od, and to be His servants in the holy mild law, which does not impose anything in order to give divine paternity and eternal happiness but compliance with the ten commandments of the /ord* to love the true 'od with one2s whole being, to love one2s neighbour as oneself, to keep the %abbath without desecrating it, to honour one2s parents, not to kill, not to steal, not to commit adultery, not to bear false witness, not to covet the wife or property of other people. 6h9 you are blessed. if coming from farther away you will go beyond those who belonged to the house of the /ord and went out of it, urged by the ten commandments of %atan* dislike of 'od, love of oneself, corruption of cult, harshness towards parents, murderous desire, attempt to steal other people2s holiness, fornication with %atan, false witness, envy of the nature and mission of the 5ord, and the horrible sin which ferments and matures in the depth of hearts, of too many hearts. 7xult, you who are thirsty9 7xult, you who are hungry9 7xult, you who are afflicted9 5ere you re)ected, 5ere you proscribed, 5ere you despised, 5ere you strangers, :ome9 7xult9 (t is no longer so. ( give you homes, wealth, paternity and fatherland. ( give you Heaven. $ollow Me, because ( am the %aviour9 $ollow Me, because ( am the =edeemer9 $ollow Me, because ( am the /ife9 $ollow Me, because ( am He to 5hom the $ather refuses no grace9 7xult in My love9 7xult9 1nd that you may realise that ( love you, you who have sought Me in your sorrows, you who have believed in Me even before knowing Me, that this may be a day of true exultation, ( pray thus* 3$ather, Holy $ather9 6n all the wounds, diseases, sores of bodies, 172

on the grief, tortures, remorse of hearts, on all the faithful who are springing up, on those who are vacillating, on those who are strengthening, let health, grace, peace descend9 &eace in My .ame9 'race in 0our .ame9 Health through 6ur reciprocal love9 "less them, o Most Holy $ather9 'ather and form one fold with these lost children of 0ours and Mine9 /et them be where ( will be, one with 0ou, Holy $ather, with 0ou, with Me and with the Most Divine %pirit.4Jesus, with His arms stretched out crosswise, His palms upwards towards the sky, His face raised, His voice blaring like a silver tuba, is overwhelming in His speech... He remains thus, silent, for some moments. Then His sapphire eyes stop looking at the sky to look at the large yard crowded with people who are sighing deeply moved or are !uivering with hope He )oins His hands moving them forward and with a smile which transfigures Him, He utters a final cry* + 7xult, you who believe and hope9 &eople of sufferers, rise and love the /ord your 'od9The healing of the diseased is simultaneous and general. Trilling voices and roaring shouts praise the %aviour. 1 woman s!uee8es through the crowd, from the far end of the yard, dragging the sheet that had covered her and collapses at the feet of the /ord. This time the terrified crowds utter a different shout* + Mary, the leprous wife of Joachim9- and they run in all directions. + "e not afraid9 %he is cured. :ontact with her can do you no harm- says Jesus reassuring them. 1nd He says to the prostrated female* + %tand up, woman. 0ou have been rewarded for your great hope and you are forgiven for neglecting prudence towards your brothers. 'o back 17,

home after the salutary ablutions.The woman, who is young and !uite beautiful, stands up weeping. Jesus shows her to the crowds who have come back and admire the miracle shouting out of astonishment. + Her husband, who adored her, had built a shelter for her at the end of his fields and went to its border every evening and gave her some food weeping...+ %he became infected through her pity, taking care of a beggar who did not say that he was a leper.+ "ut how did Mary, the good woman, come here,+ 6n that litter. How did we not notice Joachim2s two servants,+ They ran the risk of being stoned for that.+ Their mistress9 They love her, she is so kind that they love her more than themselves...Jesus makes a gesture and they all become silent* + 0ou can see that love and goodness bring miracles and )oy. %o, be good. 'o, woman. .o one will do you any harm. &eace be with you and with your household.The woman, followed by the servants who have burnt the litter in the middle of the yard, goes out and many people follow her. Jesus dismisses the crowd after listening to some people and He retires to the house followed by those who were with Him. + 5hat words, Master9+ How transfigured 0ou were9173

+ 5hat a voice9+ 1nd what miracles9+ Did you see the &harisees flee,+ They went away like two creeping li8ards immediately after the first words.+ The people of "o8rah and of all the villages here have a wonderful recollection of 0ou...+ Mother, what do 0ou say,+ ( bless 0ou, %on, on their behalf and Mine.+ 5ell, 0our blessing will follow Me until we meet again.+ 5hy do 0ou say that, /ord, 1re the women leaving us,+ 0es, %imon, Tomorrow at daybreak 1lexander is leaving for 1era. 5e will go with him as far as the road to 1rbela and we will then leave him. 1nd with regret, believe Me, 1lexander, because you have been a kind guide for the &ilgrim. ( will always remember you, 1lexander.The old man is moved. He is standing with his arms folded on his chest, in the deep eastern salutation, bending a little in front of Jesus. "ut when he hears His words, he says* + 1bove all, remember me when 0ou are in 0our <ingdom.+ Do you wish that, Misace,+ 0es, my /ord.+ ( also wish something of you.+ 5hich, /ord, (f ( can ( will give it to 0ou, even if it were the most precious thing ( possess.+ (t is the most precious. ( want your soul. :ome to Me. ( 175

told you, at the beginning of our )ourney, that ( hoped to give you a gift at the end of it. My gift is $aith. Do you believe in Me, Misace,+ ( do believe, /ord.+ Then sanctify your soul so that faith may not be for you not only an inert but also a harmful gift.+ My soul is old. "ut ( will endeavour to make it new. /ord, ( am an old sinner. 1bsolve me and bless me, because as from this moment ( am beginning a new life. ( will take 0our blessing with me as the best escort in my )ourney towards 0our <ingdom... %hall we ever meet again, /ord,+ .ot on this earth. "ut you will hear of Me and you will believe even more because ( will not leave you without evangeli8ation. 'oodbye, Misace. 5e shall not have much time tomorrow to say goodbye to each other. /et us do so now, before taking our food together for the last time.- He embraces and kisses him. The apostles and disciples also do so. The women greet him all together. "ut Misace kneels down almost in front of Mary saying* + May 0our light of a pure morning star shine in my mind until my death.+ Cntil /ife, 1lexander. /ove My %on and you will love Me, and ( will love you.%imon &eter asks* + "ut shall we be going from 1rbela to 1era, ( am afraid we may be caught in bad weather. There is so much fog... 5e have had it for three days at dawn and sunset...176

+ That is because we have been coming down here. Do you not think that we have come down a good deal, (t is so. Tomorrow you will be climbing towards the mountains of the Decapolis and there will be no more fog thereexplains Misace. + :ome down, 5hen, (t was a flat road...+ 0es, but in continuous descent. 6h9 so slowly that one does not notice it. "ut in many miles...+ How long shall we be staying at 1rbela,+ 0ou, James and Judas, not even one hour- replies Jesus resolutely. + James and Judas... (... not even one hour, 1nd where am ( going if ( am not staying with you all,+ 0ou are going away. 1s far as the land in the guardianship of :hu8a. 0ou will take My Mother and the women there, with the others. They will then proceed by themselves with Johanna2s servants and you will come back and )oin Me at 1era.+ 6h9 /ord9 0ou are angry with me and 0ou are punishing me... How much 0ou grieve me, /ord9+ %imon, he feels that he is punished who knows that he is guilty. "eing guilty must grieve you, not the punishment in itself. "ut ( do not think that it is a punishment to accompany My Mother and the women disciples on their way back home.+ "ut would it not be better if 0ou came with us, .ever mind 1era and these places and come with us.+ ( promised to go and ( will go.177

+ Then ( will come, too.+ 0ou will obey without complaining, as My brothers do.+ 1nd if 0ou meet some &harisees,+ 0ou are certainly not the most suitable to convert them. (t is )ust because ( will meet some that ( want you, James and Judas to go away with the women and with John of 7ndor and Mar)iam before 1rbela.+ 1h9... ( see9 1ll right.Jesus turns round to the women and blesses them one by one, giving each of them suitable advice. The Magdalene on bending to kiss the feet of her %aviour asks* + %hall ( see 0ou again before ( go back to "ethany,+ Most certainly, Mary. (n the month of 7thanim ( will be on the lake.-

2!8. Fare/ell to the 3o en 0isciples.

8rd )ctober 1!45.

The reverential respect of Misace is shown the following morning, when he makes the pilgrims go the first miles on the camels after ad)usting their loads, turning them into comfortable cradles for the inexperienced riders. 1nd it is !uite funny to see dark or fair#haired heads emerging from bundles and cases, with long hair reaching down to the men2s ears, or tresses showing 17-

through the women2s veils. 1s the camels are moving very fast, the wind now and again blows back the veils and the bright golden hair of Mary Magdalene or the milder fair hair of the "lessed Airgin shines in the sunshine, while the dark or brown#haired heads of Johanna, %yntyche, Martha, Marcella, %usanna and %arah show indigo or dark bron8e reflections, and the grey#haired heads of 7li8a, %alome and Mary :lopas seem to be sprayed with silver dust in the clear warm sun. The men are proceeding bravely on the new means of transport and Mar)iam is laughing happily. They realise that the merchant2s statement is true, when, turning round, they see "o8rah down in the valley, with its towers and high houses in the labyrinth of the narrow streets. /ow hills appear to the north#west. The road to 1era runs at their feet the caravan stops to let the pilgrims dismount and part. The camels kneel down with remarkable pitching which makes more than one woman scream. ( now see that wisely the women had been fastened to the saddles with belts. The women are somewhat stunned with so much rolling, but they are well rested. Misace dismounts as well he had taken Mar)iam up on his saddle, and while the cameleers resettle the loads in the usual way, he approaches Jesus to bid Him goodbye once again. + Thank you, Misace. 0ou have saved us a lot of fatigue and time.+ 0es. 5e have covered twenty miles in a short time. The camels have long legs, even if they do not amble smoothly. ( do hope that the women have not suffered too 170

much because of that.- 1ll the women reassure him that they are well rested and have not suffered. + 0ou are now six miles from 1rbela. May Heaven accompany you and make your )ourney smooth. 'oodbye, my /ord. 1llow me to kiss 0our holy feet. ( am happy to have met 0ou, /ord. =emember me.- Misace kisses Jesus2 feet, he mounts again and his cry makes the camels rise... 1nd the caravan leaves at a gallop on the flat road, in a cloud of dust. + 1 good man9 ( am all bruised, but in compensation, my feet have had a rest. "ut how much knocking9 1 north wind storm on the lake is nothing in comparison9 1re you laughing, "ut ( did not have the cushions the women had. /ong live my boat9 (t is still the cleanest and safest thing. 1nd now let us pick up our bags and move on.They compete with one another in loading themselves. The winners are those who will be staying with Jesus, that is, Matthew, the Bealot, James and John, 7rmasteus and Timoneus, who take everything to spare the three who will be going with the women, or rather the four, because there is also John of 7ndor, whose help must be very relative, owing to the poorly state he is in. They walk fast for a few miles. 5hen they reach the top of a low hill which acted as a screen to the west, a fertile plain appears, surrounded by a ring of hills, which are higher than the one they met previously, and in the middle of the plain there is a long isolated hill. There is a town in the plain* 1rbela. They descend and are soon in the plain. They proceed for a little while, then Jesus stops saying* + This is where we part. /et us take our food together and 1-/

then we shall part. This is the cross#road to 'adara. 0ou will take that road. (t is the shortest one and before evening you will be in the territory watched over by :hu8a.There is not much enthusiasm... "ut they obey. 5hile taking their food Mar)iam says* + 5ell, it is also the moment to give 0ou this pouch. The merchant gave it to me when ( was in the saddle with him. He said to me* 30ou will give it to Jesus before parting from Him and you will tell Him to love me as He loves you.4 Here it is. (t was heavy here, in my tunic. (t seems to be full of stones.+ /et us see9 Money is heavy9- They are all curious. Jesus undoes the thin twisted leather strips which fasten the pouch made with ga8elle leather, ( think, because it looks like chamois leather, and empties its contents on His lap. %ome coins roll out. "ut they are the least. Many small bags of very fine byssus roll out as well* little bundles tied with a thread. "eautiful hues shine through the very light linen tissue and the sun seems to light a tiny fire in each little bundle, as if they were embers under a thin veil of ash. + 5hat is it, Cndo them, Master.They are all bending over Jesus 5ho calmly unties the knot of a little bundle shining with golden reflections* topa8es of various si8es, still unrefined, sparkle freely in the sun. 1nother little bundle* rubies, drops of coagulated blood. 1nother one* a precious delightful display of green emerald chips. 1nother one* bits of sky in pure sapphires. 1nother one* languid amethysts. 1nother* violet indigo of 1-1

beryls. 1nother* wonderful black onyxes... 1nd so on for twelve little bundles. (n the last one, the heaviest, a golden sparkling of chrysolites, there is a small parchment* + $or 0our =ational >K? of true &ontiff and <ing-. Jesus2 lap is a little meadow strewn with bright stripped petals... The apostles plunge their hands into that light which has become many#coloured matter. They are bewildered... &eter whispers* + (f Judas of <erioth were here9...+ "e !uiet9 (t is better that he is not- says Thaddeus resolutely. Jesus asks for a piece of cloth to make one parcel only of the stones and He is pensive while the others continue commenting. The apostles say* + That man was rich indeed9- and &eter makes everybody laugh exclaiming* + 5e have been trotting on a throne of gems. ( did not think ( was sitting an such splendour. ( wish it had been softer9 5hat will 0ou do with it now,+ ( will sell it for the poor.- He looks up at the women smiling. + 1nd where will 0ou find a )eweller here, who can buy those things,+ 5here, Here. Johanna, Martha, Mary, will you buy My treasure,The three women, without even consulting with one another, say* + 0es- impulsively. "ut Martha adds* + 5e have little money here.1-2

+ 0ou will let Me have it at Magdala at the new moon.+ How much do 0ou want, /ord,+ $or Myself, nothing. $or My poor, very much.+ 'ive me it. 0ou will have very much- says the Magdalene, and she takes the purse and conceals it in her breast. Jesus keeps only the money. He stands up. He kisses His Mother, His aunt His cousins and then he kisses &eter, John of 7ndor and Mar)iam. He blesses the women and dismisses them. 1nd they go away, looking back now and again, until they disappear round a bend. Jesus goes with the rest towards 1rbela. (t is only a small group now, only eight people in all. They walk fast without speaking towards the town which is becoming closer and closer. ######## >K? The =ational was the precious pectoral of )udgement worn by the High &riest when he went into the presence of 0ahweh >%ee 7xodus LH, KM#NO?.

2!4. At Arbela.
4th )ctober 1!45.

The very first person they approach when in!uiring about &hilip of Jacob makes them realise how much work the young disciple has done. The person they asked is a 1-,

little old wrinkled woman, who is carrying with difficulty a )ug full of water. 'a8ing with her little deep#set eyes at the handsome face of John who asked her the !uestion, after greeting her + &eace be with you- so gently as to enrapture her, she says* + 1re you the Messiah,+ .o. "ut ( am His disciple. He is coming, He is over there.The old woman puts her )ug on the ground and hobbles in the direction pointed out to her and kneels down in front of Jesus. John, who has remained with %imon near the pitcher which has turned over spilling half of its contents, says to his companion smiling* + 5e had better pick up this )ug and )oin the old woman.- He does so while his companion adds* + 5e can use it to drink. 5e are all thirsty.5hen they reach the old woman ; who not knowing what to say exactly continues to repeat* + /ovely, holy %on of the most holy Mother- still on her knees and drinking in with her eyes the figure of Jesus, 5ho smiles at her repeating in His turn* + %tand up, mother- ; when they reach her, John says to her* + 5e have taken your )ug. "ut it turned over and there is little water left in it. (f you give it to us, we will drink this water and then we will fill the )ug for you.+ 0es, my sons, of course. 1nd ( am sorry that ( have but water for you. ( wish ( had milk in my breast as when ( fed my Judas, in order to give you the sweetest thing there is on the earth* the milk of a mother. ( would like to have wine, choice wine, to strengthen you. "ut Marianne of 7lisha is old and poor...1-3

+ 0our water is wine and milk to Me, mother, because it is given with love- replies Jesus and He is the first to drink out of the )ug handed to Him by John. Then the others drink. The old woman, who has at last stood up, looks at them as if she were looking at &aradise and when, after they have all drunk, she sees that they are about to throw away the water left in the )ug, to fill it at the fountain gurgling at the end of the street, she rushes forward, defending her )ug and saying* + .o, don2t. This water is more holy than lustral water, as He drank out of it. ( will keep it carefully so that ( may be cleansed with it when ( die.- 1nd she sei8es her )ug saying* + ( will take it home. ( have some more and ( will fill them. "ut come first, o Holy 6ne, that ( may show 0ou &hilip2s house- and she trots along swiftly, all bent, with a smile on her wrinkled face and her little eyes shining with )oy. %he trots along holding the hem of Jesus2 mantle in her hand, as if she were afraid He might run away from her, and she defends her )ug from the insistent apostles, who do not want her to carry that weight. %he trots along blissfully, looking at the street and the houses in 1rbela, the former deserted, the latter already closed as it is getting dark, and she looks like a con!uerer, happy in her victory. $inally, they pass from the side street into a more central one, where there are people hastening home ; and the people watch her spellbound, pointing at her and !uestioning her ; and, after waiting to have a circle of people around her, she shouts* + ( have here &hilip2s Messiah. =un and tell everybody and first of all Jacob2s household. %o that they may be ready to honour the %aint.- %he shouts at the top of her voice. %he can make 1-5

herself obeyed. (t is the moment of authority of a poor, lonely, unknown little old woman of the people. 1nd she sees the whole town deeply moved by her command. Jesus, so much taller than she is, smiles at her when she looks at Him now and again and He lays His hand on her venerable head, in a filial caress which overwhelms her with happiness. Jacob2s house is in a central street. (t is open and lit up and through the door one can see a long hall in which there are people holding lights, and they rush out )oyfully as soon as Jesus appears in the street* the young disciple &hilip, his father and mother, relatives, servants and friends. Jesus stops and replies gravely to Jacob2s deep bow, He then bends over &hilip2s mother who has knelt down to revere Him, and He makes her stand up blessing her and saying* + "e always happy because of your faith.- He then greets the disciple who has come with the other man who was with him, and whom Jesus greets as well. 6ld Marianne, however, does not leave the hem of the mantle or her place beside Jesus until they are about to enter the entrance hall. %he then whispers* + "less me that ( may be happy9 0ou will now stay here... ( am going to my poor house and... and this beautiful thing is all over9- How much regret there is in her ageing voice9 Jacob, to whom his wife has spoken in a low voice, says* + .o, Marianne of 7lisha. %tay in my house as if you were a disciple. %tay as long as the Master will be with us and be thus happy.+ May 'od bless you, man. 0ou know what charity is.1-6

+ Master... she brought 0ou to my house. 0ou have brought me grace and love. ( am only giving back, and in a poor way, what ( have received from 0ou and from her so abundantly. :ome in, and let my house welcome 0ou.The crowds outside in the street see them go in and shout* + 1nd what about us, 5e want to hear His word.Jesus turns round* + (t is night and you are tired. &repare your souls through a holy rest and tomorrow you will hear the Aoice of 'od. $or the time being, peace and blessings be with you.- 1nd the front door closes on the happiness of this house. James of Bebedee watches the /ord during the purification after the )ourney* + &erhaps it was better to speak at once and depart at dawn. There are some &harisees in town. &hilip told me. They will vex 0ou.+ Those who might have been vexed by them are far away. The trouble they may cause Me is of no importance. There is love that will cancel it...The following morning... Jesus goes out among the )oyful relatives of &hilip and the apostles. The old woman follows them. He meets the people of 1rbela who are patiently waiting for Him. He goes to the main s!uare where He begins to speak. + 5e read in the eighth chapter of the second book of 78ra, what ( will now repeat to you* 35hen the seventh month came...4 >Jesus says to me* 3Do not write anything else. ( will repeat the words of the book in full4?. ... 5hen does a people return to its country, 5hen it goes 1-7

back to the land of its ancestors. ( have come to take you back to the land of your $ather, to the <ingdom of the $ather. 1nd ( can do that because ( was sent for that. %o ( have come to take 0ou to the <ingdom of 'od and it is therefore fair to compare you to those who repatriated with Borobabel to Jerusalem, the city of the /ord, and it is fair to do with you what 78ra the scribe did with the people gathered once again within the sacred walls. "ecause it is incomparable foolishness to rebuild a town dedicating it to the /ord, without restoring souls, which are like as many little towns of 'od. How can these little spiritual towns, dilapidated by so many events, be restored, 5hich materials should be used to make them solid, beautiful, lasting, The materials are in the precepts of the /ord* the ten commandments, of which you are aware, because &hilip, a son of your town and My disciple, has reminded you of them. The two most holy of the holy precepts are* 3/ove 'od with your whole being. /ove your neighbour as yourself.4 They sum up the /aw. 1nd ( preach them because through them you are certain to con!uer the <ingdom of 'od. (n love you find the strength of persevering in holiness or becoming holy, the strength of forgiveness, the strength of heroism in virtue. 7verything can be found in love. $ear does not save* the fear of the )udgement of 'od, the fear of human sanctions, the fear of diseases. $ear is never constructive. (t shakes, shatters, throws into disorder, it crushes. $ear leads to despair, it leads only to crafty concealment of evil#doing, it makes one fear when fear is useless, because evil is already within us. 5ho thinks of behaving wisely, for the sake of his body, 1--

when one is healthy, .o one. "ut as soon as the first shiver of fever runs through our veins or a stain makes us think of unclean diseases, then fear becomes an added torture to the disease and it becomes a disintegrating strength in a body already broken down by illness. /ove instead is constructive. (t builds, solidifies, unites and preserves. /ove brings hope in 'od. /ove removes from evil#doing. /ove makes man deal wisely with his own person, which is not the centre of the universe, as egotists believe and make it, the false lovers of themselves, because they love one part only* the less noble one, to the detriment of the immortal and holy part but which it is our duty to preserve healthy, as long as 'od so wishes, in order to be useful to ourselves, to our relatives, to our town and to the whole country. Diseases inevitably come. (t is not true that every disease is the conse!uence of vice or punishment. There are holy diseases sent by the /ord to His )ust people, so that in the world, which considers itself the end and the means of pleasure, there may be holy people who are like war# hostages for the safety of others, and they pay personally expiating through their suffering, the portion of guilt which the world daily accumulates and which would end by crashing on Mankind, burying it under its malediction. Do you remember old Moses praying while Joshua was fighting in the name of the /ord, 0ou must consider that those who suffer holily, give the greatest battle to the fiercest warrior there is in the world, concealed under the appearances of men and peoples, to %atan, the Torturer, the 6rigin of all evils, and they fight on behalf of all men. "ut how much difference there is between such holy 1-0

diseases sent by 'od, and those caused by vice through a sinful love of senses9 The former are a proof of 'od2s merciful will the latter are a proof of diabolical corruption. (t is therefore necessary to love, in order to be holy, because love creates, preserves and sanctifies. /ike .ehemiah and 78ra, ( also, announcing this truth, say to you* 3This day is sacred to the /ord our 'od. Do not be mournful, do not weep.4 "ecause all mourning ends, when one lives the day of the /ord. The harshness of death comes to an end, because the loss of a son, of a husband, a father, mother or brother becomes a temporary and limited separation. Temporary because it ends with our death. /imited because it is confined to the body and sense. 6ur soul does not lose anything when a relative of ours dies. (ts freedom is limited in one party only, in us, as survivors with our souls still enclosed in the flesh, while the other party, the one who has passed to second life, en)oys the liberty and power to watch over us and obtain for us much more than when it loved us from the prison of its body. /ike .ehemiah and 78ra ( say to you* 3'o, eat the fat meat, drink the sweet wine and send a portion to the man who has none, for this day is sacred to the /ord, and therefore nobody must suffer during it. Do not be sad, because the )oy of the /ord 5ho is among you, is the stronghold of those who receive the grace of the Most High /ord within their walls and in their hearts.4 0ou can no longer erect Tabernacles. Their time is over. "ut erect spiritual ones in your hearts. :limb the mountain, that is, rise towards &erfection. 'ather branches of olive, myrtle, palm, oak, hyssop and of every beautiful tree. "ranches of the virtues of peace, purity, 10/

heroism, mortification, strength, hope, )ustice, of all virtues. 1dorn your souls celebrating the feast of the /ord. His Tabernacles are awaiting you. His. 1nd they are beautiful, holy, eternal, open to all those who live in the /ord. 1nd together with Me, decide today to do penance for the past and to begin a new life. Do not be afraid of the /ord. He calls you because He loves you. "e not afraid. 0ou are His children like everybody in (srael. 1lso for you He created the Cniverse and Heaven, He sent 1braham and Moses, He opened the sea, He created the guiding cloud, He descended from Heaven to give the /aw, and He opened the clouds that they might rain manna, and He made the rocks fruitful that they might give water. 1nd now for you also He is sending the living "read of Heaven to satisfy your hunger and the true Aine and the $ountain of eternal /ife to !uench your thirst. 1nd through My lips He says to you* 37nter and possess the /and over which ( have raised My hand to give it to you.4 My spiritual /and* the <ingdom of Heaven.The crowds exchange enthusiastic words... Then it is the turn of sick people. There are so many. Jesus has them lined up in two rows, and while this is being done, He asks &hilip of 1rbela* + 5hy did you not cure them,+ That they might have what ( had* to be cured by 0ou.Jesus passes blessing the sick people one by one and the usual prodigy is repeated* the blind see, the deaf hear, the dumb speak, cripples stand straight, fever and weakness cease. The healing is over. 1t the end, after the last sick person, there are the two &harisees who went to "o8rah together 101

with two more. + &eace to 0ou, Master. 1re 0ou not saying anything to us,+ ( spoke to everybody.+ "ut we do not need those words. 5e are the saints of (srael.+ To you, who are masters, ( say* comment upon the subse!uent chapter, the ninth of the second book of 78ra, remembering how many times so far 'od has had mercy on you, and repeat the end of the chapter, as if it were a prayer, beating your chests.+ Juite right, Master, !uite right. 1nd do 0our disciples do it,+ They do. (t is the first thing ( exact of them.+ 1ll of them, 1lso the murderers who are in 0our group,+ Does blood smell bad to you,+ (t is a voice crying to Heaven.+ Then do not imitate those who shed it.+ 5e are not assassins9Jesus ga8es at them piercing them with His eyes. They dare not add one word for some time. "ut they follow the group which goes back to the house of &hilip, who feels bound to invite them to enter and )oin in the ban!uet. + 5ith great pleasure9 5e will stay longer with the Master- they say bowing very low. "ut once in the house they behave like bloodhounds... They watch, they peek, they ask the servants astute 102

!uestions, and they approach even the old woman, who seems to be attracted by Jesus as iron is by a magnet. "ut she replies promptly* + 0esterday ( saw these only. 0ou must be dreaming. ( brought them here, and there was only one John* that fair#haired boy who is as good as an angel.They fulminate against the old woman and turn elsewhere. "ut a servant, without replying to them directly, bends over Jesus, 5ho is sitting speaking to the landlord, and asks Him* + 5here is John of 7ndor, This gentleman is looking for him.The &harisee casts a withering glance at the servant and stigmatises him as a + fool-. "ut Jesus is now aware of their intentions and it is necessary to remedy in the best possible manner. The &harisee says* + (t was to congratulate 0ou, Master, on this wonder of 0our doctrine and honour 0ou through the convert.+ John is far away for good and he will be farther and farther away.+ Has he relapsed into sin,+ .o. He is ascending towards Heaven. (mitate him, and you will find him in the next life.The four do not know what to say and they wisely change the sub)ect. The servants announce that the meal is ready and they all go into the dining#room.


2!5. $oin& to Aera.

"th )ctober 1!45.

1rbela also is now far away. (n the group there are also &hilip of 1rbela and the other disciple, whose name ( hear is Mark. The road is muddy because of the heavy rain. The sky is overcast. 1 little river, but !uite worthy of this name, crosses the road to 1era. %wollen with the rain which has stormed in this area it is certainly not sky#blue it is reddish yellow as if the water had been flowing through ferrous ground. + The weather is now bad. 0ou did the right thing in sending the women away. (t is no longer the season for them to be on the roads- states James sententiously. 1nd %imon the Bealot, who is always calm in his devotion to the Master, proclaims* + 7verything He does, the Master does well. He is not dull like us. He sees and arranges everything for the best, and more to our behalf than to His own.John, who is happy to be beside Him, looks up at Him with a smiling face and exclaims* + 0ou are the dearest and best Master the earth ever had, has or will have, besides being the most holy.+ Those &harisees... 5hat a disappointment9 1lso the bad weather has helped to convince them that John of 7ndor was not there. "ut why are they so hostile to him,- asks 7rmasteus, who is very fond of John of 7ndor. Jesus replies* + Their hatred is not against him or because of him. He is an implement which they 103

manoeuvre against Me.&hilip of 1rbela says* + 5ell the rain has more than convinced them that it was useless to wait for and suspect John of 7ndor. /ong live the rain9 (t served also to keep 0ou in my house for five days.+ ( wonder how worried those at 1era are9 (t is surprising that my brother has not come to meet us- says 1ndrew. + Meet us, He will be following us- remarks Matthew. + .o. He was taking the road along the lake. "ecause he was going from 'adara to the lake and by boat to "ethsaida to see his wife and tell her that the boy is at .a8areth and that he will be soon going back. $rom "ethsaida through Merom he will take the road to Damascus for a little while, and then the road to 1era. He is certainly at 1era.There is silence. Then John says smiling* + "ut that little old woman, /ord9+ ( thought that 0ou were going to grant her the )oy of dying on 0our chest, as 0ou did with %aul of <eriothremarks %imon Bealot. + ( have loved her even more. "ecause ( will wait to call her to Me, when the :hrist is about to open the gates of Heaven. The little mother will not have to wait long for Me. %he now lives with her remembrance, and with the assistance of your father, &hilip, her life will not be so sad. ( bless you and your relatives once again.John2s )oy is darkened by a cloud thicker than the ones in the sky. Jesus notices it and asks* + 1re you not glad that the old woman will soon be coming to &aradise,105

+ 0es... but ( am not as it means that 0ou will be going... 5hy die, /ord,+ Those who are born of woman, die.+ 5ill 0ou have her only,+ 6h9 no9 How )oyfully will those proceed, whom ( save as 'od, and whom ( loved as man...They cross two more little rivers, one close to the other. (t is beginning to rain on the flat region which stretches in front of the pilgrims after they have climbed the hills at the )unction with the road, which follows a valley and runs northwards. 1 mighty mountain chain appears to the north, or rather to the north#west, but more north than west, with many clouds piling on the mountain tops, forming almost unreal new tops on the real ones, covered with woods on the sides and with snow on the peaks. "ut the chain is very far away. + There is water down here, and snow up there. That is the chain of the Hermon. (t has covered its summit with a large white blanket. (f there is sunshine at 1era, you will see how beautiful it looks when the sun tinges the high peak with pink- says Timoneus, who is urged by the love for his fatherland to praise the beauty of the country. + "ut it is raining now. (s 1era still far,- asks Matthew. + 0es, very. 5e shall not be there until this evening.+ (n that case, may 'od save us from aches and painsconcludes Matthew, who is not very keen on walking in such weather. They are all wrapped up in their mantles, under which they hold their travelling sacks to protect them from 106

dampness, so that they may change their clothes on arrival, as the ones they are wearing are dripping wet and the bottom parts are heavy with mud. Jesus is ahead of them, engrossed in thought. The others are nibbling at their pieces of bread and John says )okingly* + There is no need to look for fountains to !uench our thirst. (t is enough to hold sore heads back and open our mouths and the angels will give us water.7rmasteus, who being young is like &hilip of 1rbela and John so lucky as to take everything humorously, says* + %imon of Jonah was complaining of the camels. "ut ( would rather be on one of those towers shaken by an earth!uake than in this mud. 5hat do you think,1nd John* + ( say that ( am comfortable everywhere, providing Jesus is there...The three young men go on talking incessantly. The four older ones !uicken their steps and reach Jesus. The remaining couple, that is, Timoneus and Mark follow the rest speaking... + Master, Judas of %imon will be at 1era...- says 1ndrew. + 6f course. 1nd Thomas, .athanael and &hilip will be with him.+ Master... ( will regret these peaceful days- says James with a sigh. + 0ou must not say that, James.+ ( know... "ut ( cannot help it...- and he draws another deep sigh. + There will be also %imon &eter with My brothers. Does that not make you happy,107

+ (t does, very much9 Master, why is Judas of %imon so different from us,+ 5hy do rain and sunshine, warm and cold, light and darkness alternate,+ "ecause it is not possible to have the same situation all the time. /ife would come to an end on the earth.+ Juite right, James.+ 0es, but that has got nothing to do with Judas.+ Tell Me. 5hy are all the stars not like the sun, that is, huge, warm, beautiful, mighty,+ "ecause... because the earth would go on fire with so much heat.+ 5hy are the trees not all like those walnut#trees, "y trees ( mean all vegetables.+ "ecause animals would not be able to eat of them.+ 5ell, why are they not all like grass,+ "ecause... we would have no wood to light fires, to build houses, to make tools, carts, boats, furniture.+ 5hy are the birds not all eagles, and the animals are not all elephants or camels,+ 5e would be in a mess if it were so9+ %o, do you think that such varieties are a good thing,+ Cndoubtedly.+ %o you think... 5hy, according to you, did 'od make them,10-

+ To give us all possible help.+ %o, for a good purpose. 1re you sure,+ 1s ( am sure that ( am now alive.+ 5ell, if you consider that it is right that there should be different kinds of animals, vegetables and stars, why do you expect all men to be alike, 7ach man has his mission and his temperament. Do you think that the infinite variety of species is a sign of the power or powerlessness of the :reator,+ 6f His power. 6ne species enhances another.+ Aery well. Judas also serves the same purpose, as you do with your companions, and your companions with you. 0ou have thirty#two teeth in your mouth and if you examine them carefully, you will see that one is !uite different from another. .ot only in their three basic groups, but each individually in its group. 1nd consider their task when you eat. 0ou will see that also those which seem of little use and to be doing little work, are instead the ones which fulfill the first task of breaking the bread and conveying it to others which crunch it and then pass it to others which turn it into soft pulp. (s it not so, 0ou think that Judas does nothing or does wrong. ( remind you that he evangeli8ed southern Judaea very well, and, as you said yourself, he is very tactful with &harisees.+ That is true.Matthew remarks* + He is also very clever in collecting money for the poor. He can ask for it better than ( can... &robably because money disgusts me now.100

%imon Bealot bends his head and he blushes so much that his face turns crimson. 1ndrew notices it and asks him* + 1re you not feeling well,+ .o... $atigue... ( don2t know.Jesus ga8es at him and he blushes more and more. "ut Jesus does not say anything. Timoneus comes forward running* + Master, over there you can see the village before 1era. 5e can stop there or get some donkeys.+ The rain is now ceasing. (t is better to go on.+ 1s 0ou wish, Master. "ut, if 0ou allow, ( will go ahead.+ 0ou may go.Timoneus runs away with Mark. 1nd Jesus remarks smiling* + He wants us to have a triumphal entrance.They are all together in a group once again. Jesus lets them get excited talking about the difference of regions and He then withdraws to the rear of the group taking the Bealot with Him. 1s soon as they are alone He asks* + 5hy did you blush, %imon,The apostle turns crimson again but does not reply. Jesus repeats His !uestion. %imon blushes more and more but remains silent. Jesus asks him once again. + My /ord, 0ou already know9 5hy do 0ou want me to tell 0ou,- shouts the Bealot sorrowfully, as if he were tortured. + 1re you certain,2//

+ He did not deny it. "ut he said* 3( do so because ( am provident. ( have common sense. The Master never thinks of the future.4 5hich we can say is true. "ut... it is always... it is always... Master, tell me the right word.+ (t is always a proof that Judas is only a 3man.4 He cannot elevate himself to be a spirit. "ut, you are all more or less alike. 0ou are afraid of silly things. 0ou worry about useless providence. 0ou cannot believe that &rovidence is powerful and always present. 5ell* let us keep that to ourselves. 1ll right,+ 0es, Master.There is silence. Then Jesus says* + 5e shall soon be going back to the lake... 1 little concentration after so much travelling will be lovely. 0ou and ( will be going to .a8areth for some time, towards the feast of the Dedication. 0ou are alone... The others will be with their families. 0ou will stay with Me.+ My /ord, Judas, Thomas and Matthew are also alone.+ Do not worry about that. 7veryone will celebrate the festivity in his own family. Matthew has a sister. 0ou are alone. Cnless you want to go to /a8arus...+ .o, /ord- exclaims %imon. + .o. ( love /a8arus. "ut to be with 0ou is to be in &aradise. Thank 0ou, /ord- and he kisses Jesus2 hand. They have )ust left the little village behind when, in another heavy shower Timoneus and Mark appear on the flooded road shouting* + %top9 %imon &eter is coming with some donkeys. ( met him on the way. He has been coming for three days to this place with the donkeys, always in the rain.2/1

They stop under a thicket of oak#trees which shelter them somewhat from the downpour. 1nd then &eter appears riding a donkey and leading a line of donkeys he looks like a friar under the blanket which covers his head and shoulders. + May 'od bless 0ou, Master9 ( said that He would be drenched like one who had fallen into the lake9 :ome on, !uick, all of you, mount the donkeys, because 1era has been on fire for three days, as the people have kept the fireplaces lit to dry 0ou9 Juick... /ook what a state He is in9 "ut you... could you not keep Him back, 1h9 if ( am not there9 "ut ( say* )ust look at that9 His hair is hanging as if he were drowned. 0ou must be fro8en. (n all this rain9 How thoughtless9 1nd what about you all, 0ou reckless ones9 1nd you first of all, my stupid brother, and all the rest of you. How pretty you all look9 0ou are like sacks soaked in a pond. :ome on, !uick. ( will never trust Him to you again. ( am almost dying with horror...+ 1nd with talking, %imon- says Jesus calmly while His donkey trots along beside &eter2s at the head of the caravan of donkeys. Jesus repeats* + 1nd with talking. 1nd with talking uselessly. 0ou have not told Me whether the others have arrived. 5hether the women left. 5hether your wife is well. 0ou have told Me nothing.+ ( will tell 0ou everything. "ut why did 0ou leave in all this rain,+ 1nd why did you come,+ "ecause ( was anxious to see 0ou, my Master.+ "ecause ( was anxious to )oin you, My %imon.2/2

+ 6h9 My dear Master9 How much ( love 0ou9 5ife, boy, house, They are nothing, nothing is beautiful without 0ou. Do 0ou believe that ( love 0ou so much,+ ( do. ( know who you are, %imon.+ 5ho,+ 1 big boy full of little faults, under which so many lovely !ualities are buried. "ut one is not buried. 1nd that is your honesty in everything. 5ell, who was there at 1era,+ 0our brothers Judas and James, Judas of <erioth with the others. Judas seems to have done a lot of good. 7verybody praises him...+ Did he ask you any !uestions,+ 6h9 %o many9 ( did not reply to any of them, ( said that ( did not know anything. (n fact, what do ( know, except that ( took the women as far as 'adara, 0ou know... ( did not tell him anything about John of 7ndor. He thinks that John is with 0ou. 0ou ought to tell the others.+ .o. /ike you, they do not know where John is. There is no point in saying anything else. "ut all these donkeys9... $or three days9... 5hat an expense9 1nd the poor,+ The poor... Judas has loads of money and he sees to them. The donkeys cost me nothing. The people of 1era would have given me a thousand for 0ou, without any charge. ( had to raise my voice against them to avoid coming here with an army of donkeys. Timoneus is right. 7verybody believes in 0ou here. They are better than we are...- and he sighs. + %imon, %imon9 (n Trans#Jordan they honoured us a 2/,

galley#slave, some heathen women, prostitutes, women gave you a lesson in perfection. =emember that, %imon of Jonah. 1lways.+ ( will try, /ord. Here are the first people from 1era. /ook how many9 There is the mother of Timoneus. There are 0our brothers among the crowds. There are the disciples whom 0ou sent ahead of those who came with Judas of <erioth. 1nd there is the richest man in 1era with his servants. He wanted 0ou to stay in his house. "ut Timoneus2 mother asserted her rights and 0ou will be staying with her. /ook, look9 They are irritated because the rain is putting out their torches. There are many sick people, 0ou know. They remained in town, near the gates, to see 0ou at once. 1 man who owns a timber store sheltered them under the sheds. The poor people have been there for three days, since we arrived and we were surprised that 0ou were not here.The shouts of the crowds prevent &eter from going on speaking, so he becomes !uiet riding beside Jesus like an e!uerry. The crowds, whom they have now reached, part and Jesus passes through them on his little donkey, blessing them unceasingly. They enter the town. + To the sick people at once- says Jesus, 5ho pays no attention to the protestations of those who would like to take Him into their houses to give Him food and warmth, lest He might suffer too much. + They suffer more than ( do- He replies. They turn right and there is the rustic enclosure of the timber store. The door is wide open and complaining lamentations can be heard through it* + Jesus, %on of David, have mercy on us92/3

(t is an imploring chorus as unchanging as a litany* voices of children, of women, of men, of old people. They are as sad as the bleating of suffering lambs, as melancholy as the voices of dying mothers, as de)ected as the voices of those who have but one hope left, as trembling as the voices of those who can but weep... Jesus enters the enclosure. He stands up as much as He can in the stirrups and with His right hand up He says with His powerful voice* + To all those who believe in Me, health and blessing.He sits in the saddle once again and is about to go back to the road, but the crowds press Him and the cured people throng round Him. 1nd in the light of the torches, which burn in the shelter of the sheds and illuminate the twilight, the crowds can be seen acclaiming the /ord in a fren8y of )oy. 1nd the /ord disappears in a flowery collection of cured children, whom mothers have put on His arms, on His lap and even on the neck of the little donkey, holding them so that they might not fall. Jesus2 arms are full of them, as if they were flowers, and He smiles happily, kissing them as He cannot bless them, since His arms are engaged in supporting them. The children are then taken away, and it is the turn of the old people who have also been cured and are now weeping out of )oy they kiss His mantle and are followed by the men and women... (t is dark when He can enter Timoneus2 house and rest near the fire wearing dry clothes.


2!". -es,s :reaches at Aera.

7th )ctober 1!45.

Jesus is speaking in the main s!uare at 1era* + ...1nd ( am not going to tell you, as ( did elsewhere, the first and essential things you must know and do to be saved. 0ou know them very well, through the work of Timoneus, a wise head of the synagogue of the old /aw, who is now most wise, because he renews it in the light of the new /aw. "ut ( want to warn you against a danger which you cannot see in your present state of mind. The danger of being diverted by pressure and insinuations aiming at detaching you from the faith you have now in Me. ( will leave Timoneus with you for some time. 1nd with other disciples he will explain to you the words of the "ook in the new light of my Truth which he has embraced. "ut before leaving you, and after scanning your hearts and seeing that they are willing, humble and sincere in their love, ( want to comment with you upon a point of the fourth book of <ings. 5hen He8ekiah, king of Judah, was attacked by %ennacherib, the three great men of the hostile king came to him to terrorise him, pointing out to him the alliances which had been broken off and the armies which were already surrounding him. 7liakim, %hebnah and Joah replied to the words of the powerful messengers saying* 3%peak to us in such a way that the people may not understand you4 so that the terrorised people might not ask for peace. "ut that was what the messengers of %ennacherib wanted, and at the top of their voices they said in perfect Hebrew* 3Do not let He8ekiah delude you... Do with us what is useful to you and surrender and 2/6

everyone of you will eat the fruit of his own vine and of his own fig#tree and drink the water of his own cistern until we come and deport you to a country like your own, a land of corn and good wine, a land abounding in bread and vineyards, a land of olive#trees, of oil and of honey, and you will live and will not die...4 1nd it is written* 3The people did not reply, because the king had ordered them not to reply.4 .ow, out of pity for your souls besieged by forces which are even fiercer than those of %ennacherib, who was able to harm bodies but could not damage souls, whereas war is declared to your souls by a hostile army led by the fiercest and most cruel despot there is in creation, ( prayed his messengers, who, in order to damage Me through you, endeavour to terrorise both Me and you threatening dreadful punishments, ( prayed saying* 3%peak to Me only. "ut leave in peace the souls which are now being born to the /ight. Aex Me, torture Me, accuse Me, kill Me, but do not rage against these children of the /ight. They are still weak. 6ne day they will be strong. "ut now they are weak. Do not be merciless towards them. Do not be merciless against the freedom of souls to choose their own way. Do not be pitiless towards the right of 'od of calling to Himself those who seek Him in their simple love.4 "ut can one who hates yield to the prayer of him whom one hates, :an one sei8ed by hatred know what love is, .o. %o with fiercer harshness and cruelty they will come and say to you* 3Do not let the :hrist delude you. :ome with us and you will have all good things.4 1nd they will say to you* 35oo betide you if you follow Him. 0ou will be persecuted.4 1nd they will urge you with insincere 2/7

kindness* 3%ave your souls. He is %atan.4 They will say so many things against Me, to persuade you to abandon the /ight. ( say to you* 3=eply to the tempters with your silence.4 5hen the %trength of the /ord descends into the hearts of those who believe in Jesus :hrist, the Messiah and %aviour, then you will be able to speak, because you will not speak, but the very %pirit of 'od will speak through your lips, and your souls will be firm in 'race, strong and invincible in $aith. "e persevering. That is all ( ask of you. =emember that 'od cannot agree to the witchcraft of His enemy. /et your sick people, those who have been comforted and whose souls have received peace, speak among you, only through their presence, of Him 5ho came among you to say to you* 3&ersevere in My love and in My doctrine and you will receive the <ingdom of Heaven.4 My works speak even more than My words, and although it is perfect blessedness to be able to believe without the need of any proof, ( let you see the wonders of 'od, so that you may be fortified in your faith. 5hen your intelligence is tempted by the enemies of the /ight, reply to them with the words of your souls* 3( believe because ( have seen 'od in His works.4 =eply to the enemies by means of an active silence. 1nd with those two replies, proceed towards the /ight. May peace be always with you.1nd He dismisses them and then leaves the s!uare. + 5hy did 0ou speak so little to them, /ord, Timoneus might be disappointed- says .athanael. + He will not, because he is )ust and he understands that to warn one of a danger is to love one with greater love. 2/-

That danger is really present.+ 1lways the &harisees, eh,- asks Matthew. + Those and others.+ 1re 0ou downhearted, /ord,- asks John worriedly. + .o. .ot more than usual...+ 1nd yet 0ou were happier during the past days...+ (t may be sadness due to the absence of the disciples. "ut why did 0ou send them away, Do 0ou perhaps wish to go on travelling,- asks the (scariot. + .o. This is the last place. 5e will go home from here. "ut it was not possible for the women to proceed in this weather. They have done a great deal. They must do no more.+ 1nd what about John,+ John is ill, and is in a hospitable house, as you were.Jesus then takes leave of Timoneus and other disciples who will be remaining in that area and to whom He has certainly given instructions for the future, because He does not give any further advice. They are at the door of Timoneus2 house, because Jesus wanted to bless the landlady once more. The crowds look at Him respectfully and follow Him when He sets out again towards the outskirts, the vegetable gardens and the open country. The more persevering people follow Him for a little while, in a group which becomes thinner and thinner, until only nine people are left, then five, three, finally one... 1nd the last one, too, turns round and goes back to 1era, while Jesus walks westwards, with 2/0

only the twelve apostles, because 7rmasteus remained with Timoneus. ############# Jesus says* + 1nd the )ourney, the second long apostolic )ourney is over. 5e now go back to the well#known countryside of 'alilee. &oor Mary, you are more exhausted than John of 7ndor. ( authorise you to omit the descriptions of the places. 5e have given so much to curious searchers. 1nd they will always be 3curious searchers.4 .othing else. That is enough now. 0our strength is diminishing. <eep it for the word. ( notice the uselessness of so much labour of yours, with the same spirit with which ( noticed the uselessness of so much of My toil. That is why ( say to you* 3%pare yourself for the word.4 0ou are the 3mouthpiece4. 6h9 6ne must really repeat for you the saying* 35e played the pipes for you and you would not sing, we sang dirges and you would not be mourners.4 0ou repeated My words only, and difficult doctors turned up their noses. 0ou added your descriptions to My words, and they find faults with them. 1nd they will find more to ob)ect. 1nd you are worn out. ( will tell you when you are to describe the )ourney. (, and no one else. ( have struck you for almost one year. "ut before the year is over, do you wish to rest once again on My Heart, :ome then, little martyr...-


2!7. The (ittle )rphans Mar% and Matthias.

1th )ctober 1!45.

( see the lake of Merom again, in a dull wet day... Mud and clouds. %ilence and fog. The hori8on disappears in the fog. The Hermon chains are buried under blankets of low clouds. "ut from the place where ( am ; a high tableland near the little lake, which is grey and yellowish because of the mud of a thousand swollen little streams and because of the .ovember overcast sky ; one has a good view of this little sheet of water fed by the High Jordan, which flows out of it to feed the larger lake of 'ennesaret. (t is getting dark and the evening is becoming more and more gloomy and wet while Jesus walks along the road which crosses the Jordan after lake Merom, and He then takes a lane towards a house... >Jesus says* + 0ou will put here the vision of the little orphans Matthias and Mary, which you saw on 1ugust LOth, KIGG.-? ###################
20th A,&,st 1!44.

1nother sweet vision of Jesus and two children. ( say so because ( see that Jesus, while passing along a path between fields which must have been sown recently, because the soil is still soft and dark as it looks )ust after being sown, stops to caress two children* a little boy not more than four years old and a little girl about eight or nine. They must be very poor children because they are wearing poor faded garments, which are also torn and 211

their faces are sad and thin. Jesus does not ask any !uestions. He only ga8es at them while He caresses them. He then hastens towards a house at the end of the path. (t is a country house, well built, with an outside staircase leading from the ground up to a terrace on which there is a vine pergola, now bare of grapes and leaves. 6nly an odd yellow leaf hangs swinging in the damp wind of a bad autumn day. %ome doves are cooing on the parapet of the house waiting for the rain which the overcast sky is promising. Jesus, followed by His apostles, pushes the little rustic gate of the low rubble wall surrounding the house, and enters the yard, which we would rather call a threshing# floor, where there is a well and a stone#oven in a corner. ( suppose that is what the little closet is, the walls of which are black with smoke, which is coming out even now and is blown towards the ground by the wind. Hearing the sound of footsteps a woman looks out of the closet and when she sees Jesus she greets Him )oyfully and runs to inform the people in the house. 1n elderly stout man comes to the door of the house and hastens towards Jesus. + (t is a great honour, Master, to see 0ou9- he exclaims greeting Him. Jesus greets him* + &eace be with you- and adds* + (t is getting dark and it is about to rain. ( beg you to give shelter and a piece of bread to Me and My disciples.+ :ome in, Master. My house is 0ours. The maid#servant is about to take the bread out of the oven. ( am happy to offer it to 0ou with the cheese of my sheep and the fruit of my fields. :ome in, because the wind is cold and 212

damp...- and he kindly holds the door open and bows when Jesus passes. "ut he suddenly changes tone addressing somebody he sees and he says wrathfully* + 1re you still here, 'o away. There is nothing for you. 'o away. Have you understood, There is no room here for vagabonds...- 1nd he mumbles* + ...and perhaps thieves like you.1 thin weeping voice replies* + Have mercy, sir. 1t least a piece of bread for my little brother. 5e are hungry...Jesus, 5ho had gone into the large kitchen, which is cosy because of the big fire which serves also as a light, comes to the threshold. His countenance has already changed. 5ith a severe and sad expression He asks, not the host, but in general, He seems to be asking the silent yard, the bare fig#tree, the dark well* + 5ho is it that is hungry,+ (, sir. ( and my brother. Just a piece of bread and we shall go away.Jesus is by now outside, where it is getting darker and darker because of the twilight and the impending rain. + :ome here- He says. + ( am afraid, sir9+ :ome, ( tell you. Do not be afraid of Me.The poor girl appears from behind the corner of the house. Her little brother is holding on to her shabby little tunic. They look timidly at Jesus and with fear in their eyes at the landlord, who casts a nasty look at them and says* + They are vagabonds, Master. 1nd thieves. 6nly a little while ago ( found her scraping near the oil#mill. %he certainly wanted to go and steal something. ( wonder where they come from. They do not belong to this area.21,

Jesus pays little or no attention to him. He ga8es at the little girl2s emaciated face and untidy plaits, two pigtails beside her ears, tied at the ends with strips of a rag. "ut Jesus2 countenance is not severe while He looks at the poor wretch. He is sad, but He smiles to encourage her. + (s it true that you wanted to steal, Tell Me the truth.+ .o, sir. ( asked for a little bread, because ( am hungry. They did not give me any. ( saw an oily crust over there, on the ground, near the oil#mill and ( went there to pick it up. ( am hungry, sir. ( was given only one piece of bread yesterday and ( kept it for Matthias... 5hy did they not put us into the grave with our mother,- The little girl weeps desolately and her little brother imitates her. + Do not weep.- Jesus comforts her caressing her and drawing her close to Himself. + Tell Me* where are you from,+ $rom the plain of 7sdraelon.+ 1nd have you come so far,+ 0es, sir.+ Has your mother been dead long, Have you no father,+ My father died killed by sunstroke at harvest time and my mother died last month... and the baby she was giving birth to died with her...- %he weeps more and more. + Have you no relative,+ 5e come from so far9 5e were not poor... Then my father had to work as a servant. "ut he is now dead and mother with him.213

+ 5ho was his master,+ (shmael, the &harisee.+ (shmael, the &harisee9 >it is not possible to describe how Jesus repeats that name?. Did you come away of your own will, or did he send you away,+ He sent me away, sir. He said* 3The street is the place for starving dogs.4+ 1nd you, Jacob, why did you not give some bread to these children, %ome bread, a little milk and a handful of hay on which they might rest their tired bodies,...+ "ut... Master... ( have )ust enough bread for myself... and there is only little milk in the house... They are like stray animals. (f you treat them kindly, they will not go away any more...+ 1nd you have no room and food for these two unhappy children, :an you truthfully say that, The rich crops, the plenty wine, the much oil and fruit which made your estate famous this year, why did they come to you, Do you remember, The previous year hail destroyed your crops and you were worried about your future life... ( came and ( asked for some bread. 0ou had heard Me speak one day and you remained faithful to Me... and in your affliction you opened your heart and your house to Me and you gave Me bread and shelter. 1nd what did ( say to you going out the following morning, 3Jacob, you have understood the Truth. "e always merciful and you will receive mercy. "ecause of the bread you gave the %on of man, these fields will give you rich crops and your olive#trees will be laden with olives like the grains of sand on the sea shore and the branches of your apple# 215

trees will bend towards the ground.4 0ou received all that and this year you are the richest man in the district. 1nd you refuse two children a piece of bread9...+ "ut 0ou were the =abbi...+ 1nd because ( was, ( could have turned stones into bread. They cannot. ( now say to you* you shall see a new miracle and you shall regret it very sorely... "ut beating your chest then say* 3( deserved it.4Jesus turns to the children* + Do not weep. 'o to that tree and pick the fruit.+ "ut it is bare, sir- ob)ects the little girl. + 'o.The girl goes and comes back with her dress lifted up and full of beautiful red apples. + 7at of them and come with Me- and to the apostles* + /et us go and take these two little ones to Johanna of :hu8a. %he remembers the benefits she received and out of love she is merciful to those who were merciful to her. /et us go.The dumbfounded and mortified man endeavours to be forgiven* + (t is night, Master. (t may rain while 0ou are on the way. :ome back into my house. There is the maid# servant going to take the bread out of the oven... ( will give 0ou some also for them.+ (t is not necessary. 0ou would give it for fear of the punishment ( promised you, not out of love.+ %o is this not the miracle,- >and he points at the apples picked on the bare tree and which the two starving 216

children are eating greedily?. + .o.- Jesus is most severe. + 6h9 /ord, have mercy on me9 ( understand. 0ou want to punish me in the crops9 Have mercy, /ord9+ .ot all those who call Me 3/ord4 will have Me, because love and respect are not testified by words, but by deeds. 0ou will receive the mercy which you had.+ ( love 0ou, my /ord.+ That is not true. He loves Me who loves his neighbour. That is what ( taught. 0ou love but yourself. 5hen you love Me as ( taught, the /ord will come back. ( am now going. My abode is to do good, to comfort the afflicted, to wipe the tears of orphans. 1s a mother hen stretches its wings over the helpless chicks, so ( spread My power over those who suffer and are tormented. :ome, children. 0ou will soon have a home and bread. 'oodbye, Jacob.1nd not satisfied with going away, he orders the apostles to take up the tired girl* 1ndrew takes her up in his arms and envelops her in his mantle, while Jesus takes the little boy and they thus proceed along the path which is now dark, with their pitiful loads which no longer weep. &eter says* + Master9 These children were very lucky that 0ou arrived. "ut for Jacob9... 5hat will 0ou do, Master,+ Justice. He will not starve, because his granaries are well stocked for a long time. "ut he will suffer shortage, because the seed he sows will yield no corn and his olive and apple#trees will be covered with leaves only. These innocent children have received bread and shelter from the $ather, not from Me. "ecause My $ather is the 217

$ather of orphans also. 1nd He gives nests and food to the birds of forests. These children and all poor wretches with them, the poor wretches who are His 3innocent and loving children4 can say that 'od put food in their little hands and leads them with fatherly love to a hospitable home.The vision ends thus and ( am left with a great peace. ############# Jesus says* + This is )ust for you, o soul which weeps looking at the crosses of the past and at the clouds of the future. The $ather will always have bread to put in your hand and a nest to shelter His weeping dove. The lesson that ( am the 3Just /ord4 applies to everybody. 1nd ( am not deceived or adulated by false homage. He who closes his heart to his brother, closes it to 'od and 'od to him. Men, it is the first commandment* /ove and love. He who does not love lies in professing to be a :hristian. (t is useless to fre!uent the %acraments and rites, it is useless to pray if one lacks charity. They become formulae and even sacrileges. How can you come to the eternal "read and satisfy your hunger with it, when you have denied a starving person a piece of bread, (s your bread more precious than Mine, (s it more holy, 6 hypocrites9 ( put no limit in giving Myself to your misery, and you, who are misery itself, have no pity on the miseries which, in the eyes of 'od, are not so hideous as yours. "ecause those are misfortunes, yours are sins. Too often you say to Me* 3/ord, /ord4, to have Me propitious to your interests. "ut you do not say so for your neighbour2s sake. 0ou do 21-

nothing for your neighbour in the name of the /ord. /ook* what have your false religion and true lack of charity given you, both with regard to your community and to its individuals, To be abandoned by 'od. 1nd the /ord will come back when you learn to love as ( taught.
"ut ( say to you, little flock of good people who suffer* 30ou are never orphans. 0ou are never waifs. There would have to be no 'od, before His children could lack &rovidence. %tretch out your hands* the $ather will give you everything, as a 2father2, that is, with love which does not humiliate. 5ipe your tears. ( will take you and lead you because ( have pity on your languor.4 Man is the best loved in creation. :an you doubt that the $ather may be more merciful to birds than to faithful men, since He is indulgent towards sinners and gives them time and the opportunity to come to Him, 6h9 if the world understood what 'od is9 'o in peace, Mary. 0ou are as dear to Me as the two little orphans you saw, and you are even dearer. 'o in peace. ( am with you.######################
21st A,&,st 1!44.

Mary says* + Mary, Mother is speaking. My Jesus has spoken of the infancy of the spirit, a necessary re!uisite to con!uer the <ingdom. 0esterday He showed you a page of His life as a Master. 0ou saw some children. %ome poor children. (s there nothing else to be said, 0es, there is, and ( am saying it to you, as ( want to make you dearer and dearer to Jesus. (t is a nuance in the picture which spoke to your 210

spirit, on behalf of the spirits of many people. "ut it is nuances that make a picture beautiful and reveal the skill of the painter and the erudition of the observer. ( want to point out the humility of My Jesus to you. That poor girl, in her ignorant simplicity, does not treat the hard#hearted sinner differently from My %on. %he is not aware of the =abbi or the Messiah. %he has never heard Him or seen Him, because she lived, almost like a little savage in the fields and in a house where the Master was despised, in fact the &harisee did despise My Jesus. Her father and mother, worn out by the hateful work which their cruel master exacted, had no time and possibility of raising their heads from the clods they broke up. 5hile they were mowing hay or cutting crops or picking fruit and grapes, or crushing olives at the mill, they may have heard people singing hosannas and may have raised their tired heads for a moment. "ut fear and fatigue lowered those heads at once under their yoke. 1nd they died thinking that the world was nothing but hatred and sorrow. 5hereas the world was love and wealth since the most holy feet of My Jesus trod upon it. The poor servants of a cruel master died without seeing even once the look and smile of My Jesus, without hearing His word, which gave comfort to souls, so that the poor felt as if they were rich, the hungry as if they were full, the sick as if they were healthy, the sorrowful as if they were comforted. Jesus does not say* 3( am the /ord and ( say to you* do that.4 He remains anonymous. 1nd the little girl, who was so ignorant that she did not understand even when 22/

she saw the miracle of the apple#tree bare of leaves, a branch of which became laden with apples to satisfy their hunger, continues to call Him* 3sir4, as she called (shmael, her master, and the cruel Jacob. %he feels attracted to the good /ord, because kindness always attracts. "ut nothing more. %he follows Him confidently. 1nd the poor girl lost in the world and in the ignorance encouraged by the world, by the 3great world of mighty pleasure#loving people4, who are keen in keeping inferiors in darkness in order to torture them more easily and exploit them more greedily, the poor girl loves Him at once instinctively. %he will learn later who was that 3sir4, who was as poor, as homeless and motherless as she was, who had no food, because He had left everything out of His love for men, also for her, a poor little frail girl and she will understand that the /ord had given her miraculous fruit, to remove from her lips and from her heart the bitterness of human wickedness, which makes poor people hate mighty ones, and He had done so by means of a fruit of the $ather, and not by means of a crust of bread, which was offered too late and in any case would have savoured of hardship and tears. Those apples really called to mind the apple of the 7arthly &aradise. They appeared on the branch for 'ood and for 7vil, they were the sign of redemption from all miseries, first of all from the ignorance of 'od, with regard to the two little orphans, and the sign of punishment for the man, who, although he already was aware of the 5ord, had behaved as if he were not. 1nd she will learn from the good woman who made her welcome in Jesus2 name, who was Jesus. He was her manifold %aviour* from starvation, from the inclemency of the weather, from the dangers of the world 221

and from original sin.

"ut Jesus always had for her the light of that day, and He always appeared to her in that light* the good /ord, as good as in fairy#tales, the /ord 5ho had caresses and gifts, the /ord 5ho had made her forget that she had no father, mother, home and clothes, because He had been as kind to her as a father, as sweet as a mother, He had given a home to their tired bodies and clothes to their naked limbs, with His own chest and mantle and with the assistance of other good people who were with Him. 1 kind fatherly light which did not fade in a stream of tears, not even when she learned that He had died tortured on a cross, not even when, a little faithful believer of the early :hurch, she saw how the face of her 3/ord4 had been disfigured by blows and thorns and she considered how He was now, in Heaven, at the right hand of the $ather. 1 light that smiled at her in her last hour on the earth, leading her fearlessly towards her %aviour. 1 light that smiled once again at her, in such an ineffably sweet manner, in the splendour of &aradise. Jesus looks also at you thus. 1lways think of Him as your remote namesake did and be happy to be loved by Him. "e as simple, humble, and faithful as the poor little Mary you have known. %ee how far she arrived, notwithstanding that she was a poor little ignorant girl of (srael* at the Heart of 'od. /ove revealed Himself to her as He did to you and she became learned in the true 5isdom. Have faith. "e at peace. There is no misery which My %on cannot turn into riches and there is no solitude which He cannot replenish as there is no fault which He cannot cancel. The past no longer exists, once love has cancelled

it. .ot even a dreadful past. 1re you going to be afraid when Disma, the robber, was not, /ove and be afraid of nothing.
Mother leaves you with Her blessing.-

2!1. Mar% and Matthias Are 5ntr,sted to -ohanna of Ch,2a.

11th )ctober 1!45.

The lake of Tiberias is a grey sheet of water. (t looks like tarnished mercury, so heavy it is in the dead calm which allows )ust the resemblance of tired waves, which are not successful in making foam, and stop and calm down after making a slight movement, mingling with the dull water under a dull sky. &eter and 1ndrew, James and John around their respective boats on the little beach of "ethsaida, are preparing to sail. There is a smell of grass and wet earth, and a light mist on the green stretch towards <ora8im. .ovember gloominess lies heavy on everything. Jesus comes out of &eter2s house, holding by the hands Matthias and Mary whom &orphirea has tidied up with motherly care replacing Mary2s little dress with one of Mar)iam2s. "ut Matthias is too small to have the same treatment and he is still shivering in his little faded cotton tunic, so much so that &orphirea, who is always so full of pity, goes back into the house and brings out a blanket in which she envelops the child as if it were a 22,

mantle. Jesus thanks her while she kneels down in taking leave and then withdraws after kissing the two orphans once more. + Just to have children she would have taken these two as well- remarks &eter, who has been watching the scene and who in turn bends to give the two children a piece of bread spread with honey, which he had aside under a seat of the boat. 1ndrew laughs at him and says* + 0ou wouldn2t, would you, 0ou even stole your wife2s honey, to make these two happy.+ %tole, (t2s my honey9+ 0es, but my sister#in#law is )ealous of it, because it is for Mar)iam. 1nd since you are aware of that, last night you stole into the kitchen, barefooted like a thief, and took enough of it to prepare that bread. ( saw you, brother, and ( laughed because you were looking about like a child who is afraid of his mother2s slaps.+ 0ou horrible spy- replies &eter, laughing and embracing his brother, who kisses him saying* + My dear big brother.Jesus watches them and smiles frankly standing between the two children who eat up their bread. The other eight apostles arrive from "ethsaida. &erhaps they were the guests of &hilip and "artholomew. + Juick9- shouts &eter and he embraces the two children together to take them to the boat without getting their bare feet wet. + 0ou are not afraid, are you,- he asks them while he paddles in the water with his short strong legs, bare to about a span above his knees. 223

+ .o, sir- says the girl, but she clings convulsively to &eter2s neck closing her eyes when he puts her into the boat, which sways under Jesus2 weight, 5ho also gets into it. The little boy, who is braver, or perhaps more astonished, does not say one word. Jesus sits down drawing the little ones to Himself, and covers them with His large mantle, which looks like a wing stretched out to protect two chicks. They are all on board, six men in each boat. &eter removes the landing board, he pushes the boat farther out and )umps into it, imitated by James in the other boat. &eter2s action has caused the boat to sway heavily and the girl moans* + Mummy9- hiding her face in Jesus2 lap and grasping His knees. "ut they are now moving smoothly, although it is laborious for &eter, 1ndrew and the servant who have to row with the help of &hilip who is the fourth oarsman. The sail hangs loose in the heavy damp calm and is of no use. They must row. + 5e are having a good row9- shouts &eter to those in the other boat, in which the (scariot is the fourth oarsman and &eter praises his perfect rowing. + :ome on, %imon9- replies James. + =ow with all your might or we shall beat you. Judas is as strong as a galley# slave. 5ell done, Judas9+ 0es. 5e will make you head of the crew- confirms &eter who is rowing as hard as two. 1nd he laughs saying* + "ut you will not succeed in beating %imon of Jonah2s record. 5hen ( was twenty years old ( was already first oarsman in competitions among villages- and he )oyfully gives the stroke to his crew* + Heave ho9... Heave ho9Their voices spread in the silence of the lake deserted in 225

the early morning. The children pluck up courage again. Their emaciated faces look up from under the mantle, one on each side of Jesus, 5ho embraces them, and they smile faintly. They take an interest in the work of the rowers and exchange comments. + ( seem to be going in a cart without wheels- says the boy. + .o. (n a cart on the clouds. /ook9 5e seem to be walking in the sky. /ook, we are climbing on a cloud9says Mary when she sees the prow of the boat plunge into a spot which mirrors a huge woolly cloud. 1nd she laughs faintly. "ut the sun dissipates the mist and although it is a wan autumn sun, the clouds become golden and the lake mirrors them shining. + 6h9 How beautiful9 5e are now going to a fire. How lovely9- exclaims the boy clapping his hands. "ut the little girl becomes silent and bursts into tears. They all ask her why she is weeping. %he explains sobbing* + Mother used to say a poem, a psalm, ( don2t know, to keep us !uiet, that we might be able to pray even with so much grief... and the poem mentioned a &aradise which will be like a lake of /ight, of a gentle fire where there will be nothing but 'od and )oy and where all those who are good will go... after the %aviour has come... This golden lake reminded me of it... My mummy9Matthias also is weeping and everyone pities them. "ut Jesus2 sweet voice rises above the murmur of the 226

various voices and the moans of the little orphans* + Do not weep. 0our mother brought you to Me, and she is here now with us, while ( am taking you to a mother who has no children. %he will be happy to have two good children in place of her own baby, who is now where your mummy is. "ecause she wept, too, you know, Her baby died as your mother did...+ 6h9 so we are now going to her and her baby will go to our mother9- says Mary. + That is right. 1nd you will all be happy.+ 5hat is this woman like, 5hat is she, 1 peasant, Has she a good master,- The little ones are anxious to know. + %he is not a peasant, but she has a garden full of roses and she is as good as an angel. %he has a good husband. He will love you as well.+ Do 0ou think so, Master,- asks Matthew who is somewhat incredulous. + ( am certain. 1nd you will be convinced. %ome time ago :hu8a wanted Mar)iam to make a knight of him.+ Most certainly not9- shouts &eter. + Mar)iam will be a knight of :hrist. That is all, %imon. "e !uiet.The lake turns grey again. The wind rises and ripples the lake. The sail is filled and the boat sails swiftly along vibrating. "ut the children are dreaming of their new mother and are not afraid. Magdala passes by with its white houses among the green vegetation. 1nd the countryside between Magdala 227

and Tiberias passes by. The first houses of Tiberias appear. + 5here, Master,+ To :hu8a2s little harbour.&eter veers and gives instructions to the servant. The sail drops when the boat goes near the little harbour, and then enters it, stopping near the little pier, followed by the other boat. They are one beside the other like two tired ducks. They all land and John runs ahead to inform the gardeners. The little ones press timorously against Jesus and Mary, pulling His tunic, asks with a big sigh* + "ut is she really good,John comes back* + Master, a servant is opening the gate. Johanna is already up.+ Aery well. 5ait here. ( will go ahead.1nd Jesus goes away alone. The others watch Him go commenting on His action more or less favourably. There is considerable doubt and criticism. "ut from the place where they are they can only see :hu8a hastening towards Jesus he bows almost to the ground at the gate and then enters the garden on Jesus2 left. Then nothing else can be seen. "ut ( can see. ( can see Jesus proceeding slowly beside :hu8a who shows how happy he is to have the Master as his guest* + My Johanna will be delighted. 1nd ( am, too. %he is feeling better and better. %he told me about the )ourney. 5hat a triumph, my /ord9+ Did you mind,22-

+ Johanna is happy. 1nd ( am happy to see her thus. ( might have lost her months ago, my /ord.+ 0es, you might have... 1nd ( gave her back to you. "e grateful to 'od for that.:hu8a looks at Him perplexedly... he then whispers* + 1 reproach, /ord,+ .o, an advice. "e good, :hu8a.+ Master, ( am Herod2s servant...+ ( know. "ut your soul is the servant of no one but 'od, if you wish so.+ That is true, /ord. ( will amend my way of living. %ometimes ( am sei8ed by the fear of public opinion...+ 5ould you have minded last year when you wanted to save Johanna,+ 6h9 .o. 1t the cost of losing all respect ( would have applied to anyone who could save her.+ Do likewise for your soul. (t is even more precious than Johanna. Here she is coming.They !uicken their steps towards Johanna who is running along the avenue to meet them. + My Master9 ( did not hope to see 0ou so soon. 5hich kindness of 0ours has brought 0ou to 0our disciple,+ 1 favour, Johanna.+ 1 favour, 5hich, Tell us and if we can, we will help 0ou- they both reply together. + 0esterday evening on a desert road ( found two poor 220

children, a little girl and a little boy... they were barefooted, ragged, starving, all alone... and ( saw them being driven away, as if they were wolves, by a hard# hearted man. They were dying of starvation... /ast year ( gave so much wealth to that man. 1nd he denied two orphans a piece of bread. "ecause they are orphans. 6rphans wandering on the roads of a cruel world. That man will receive his punishment. Do you want to receive My blessing, ( am stretching My hand out to you, a "eggar of love, for those orphans who have no home, no clothes, no food, no love. 5ill you help Me,+ "ut, Master, why ask, Tell me what 0ou want, how much 0ou want tell us everything9...- says :hu8a impulsively. Johanna does not speak, but with her hands pressed on her heart, tears on her long eyelashes, a smile of desire on her red lips, she waits and her silence is more elo!uent than words. Jesus looks at her and smiles* + ( would like those to have a mother, a father, a home and the mother2s name to be Johanna...He has no time to finish because Johanna2s cry is like that of one freed from prison, while she prostrates herself to kiss the feet of her /ord. + 1nd what do you say, :hu8a, 5ill you receive in My name My beloved ones, who are much dearer to My heart than )ewels,+ Master, where are they, Take me to them and upon my honour ( swear to 0ou that from the moment ( lay my hand on their innocent heads, ( will love them in 0our 2,/

name as if ( were their real father.+ :ome, then. ( knew that ( was not coming for nothing. :ome. They are coarse and frightened, but good. 0ou can trust Me because ( can read the hearts of men and the future. They will give peace and strength to your union, not so much now as in the future. 0ou will find yourselves again in their love. Their innocent embraces will be the best lime for your home of a married couple. 1nd Heaven will always be benign, and merciful towards you because of your charity. They are outside the gate. 5e came from "ethsaida...Johanna does not listen any more. %he runs away, sei8ed by a great desire to caress them. 1nd she does so, falling on her knees to clasp the two little orphans to her heart, kissing their emaciated cheeks, while they are ama8ed looking at the beautiful lady with garments adorned with )ewels. 1nd they look at :hu8a, who caresses them and takes Matthias in his arms. 1nd they look at the beautiful garden and at the servants who gather round them... 1nd they admire the house which opens its halls full of riches to Jesus and His apostles. 1nd they look at 7sther who covers them with kisses. The world of dreams is open to the little waifs... Jesus watches and smiles...


2!!. At +ain6 in the 4o,se of 0aniel Raised fro the 0ead.

12th )ctober 1!45.

(t is a feast day for the people of .ain. Jesus is their guest for the first time since the miracle of young Daniel, who was raised from the dead. Jesus is going through the town, blessing, preceded and followed by a large number of people. The people of .ain have been )oined by incomers from other villages, who have come from :apernaum, where they had gone looking for Jesus, and from where they were sent to :ana and then to .ain. ( am under the impression that now that Jesus has many disciples, He has set up a kind of information network, so that pilgrims looking for Him can find Him, although He moves around continuously, even for a few miles a day, as the season and the short days allow. 1nd among those who have come looking for Him, there are some &harisees and scribes, apparently respectful... Jesus is a guest in the house of the young man raised from the dead. The notables of the place have also gathered there. 1nd Daniel2s mother, when she sees the scribes and &harisees P seven of them, like the deadly sins P humbly invites them, apologising for not being able to offer them a worthier abode. + There is the Master, woman, and that attaches great importance even to a cave. "ut your house is much more than a cave and we enter it saying* 3&eace to you and to your house.4The woman in fact, although she is certainly not rich, has 2,2

done her utmost to honour Jesus. 1ll the wealthy families in .ain have certainly entered the lists, )oining their efforts to adorn the house and the table. 1nd the various women who have collaborated are casting glances, from all possible spots, at the group passing through the hall towards two rooms, facing each other, in which the landlady has laid the tables. &erhaps that is all they have asked for, as compensation for the loan of kitchenware, tablecloths and seats, and for their work in the kitchen* to see the Master close at hand and breathe the same air as He does. 1nd now they appear here and there, flushed, covered with flour or ashes, or with dripping hands, according to their tasks in the kitchen, they watch Him closely, they take their little share of divine sight, of divine voice, drinking in with their eyes and ears His kind blessing and figure and look delighted when they go back to the kitchen stove, cupboards and sink, more flushed than ever. The happiest is the one who offers with the landlady the basins for the ablutions to the guests of conse!uence. %he is a young dark#haired and dark#eyed girl, but her complexion is suffused with pink. 1nd she blushes even more when the landlady informs Jesus that she is the fiancEe of her son and that they will soon be getting married. + 5e waited for 0ou so that the whole house might be sanctified by 0ou. &lease bless her as well, that she may be a good wife in this house.Jesus looks at her, and as the little bride bows, He imposes His hands on her head saying* + May the virtues of %arah, =ebecca and =achel flourish again in you and may you give birth to true children of 'od, for His glory and the happiness of this house.2,,

Jesus and the notables have now completed the purification rite and they enter the dining#room, with the young landlord, while the apostles and less influential persons of .ain go into the opposite room. 1nd the ban!uet begins. $rom their conversation ( gather that before my vision began, Jesus had preached and cured in .ain. "ut the &harisees and scribes pay little attention to that they, instead, harass with !uestions the people of .ain for details of the disease of which Daniel died, of how many hours had elapsed between his death and resurrection, and they ask whether they had completed his embalming etc. etc. Jesus pays no attention to such investigations and converses with the revived man who is very well and is eating with a wonderful appetite. "ut a &harisee calls Jesus to ask Him whether He was aware of Daniel2s disease. + ( was coming from 7ndor by mere chance, as ( wanted to please Judas of <erioth as ( had pleased John of Bebedee. ( did not even know ( would be passing through .ain when ( set out on our &assover pilgrimage- replies Jesus. + 1h9 Had you not gone to 7ndor deliberately,- asks an ama8ed scribe. + .o. ( had not the least intention of going there, at that time.+ 5hy did 0ou go then,+ ( told you* because Judas of %imon wanted to go there.+ 1nd why that fancy,2,3

+ To see the cave of the sorceress.+ &erhaps 0ou had spoken about it...+ .ever9 There was no reason why ( should.+ ( mean... perhaps with that episode 0ou explained other witchcraft, to initiate 0our apostles in...+ (n what, To initiate anyone in holiness, there is no need of pilgrimages. 1 cell or a desert barren land, a mountain top or a solitary house serve the same purpose* providing there is austerity and holiness in the teacher, and the will to become holy in the disciple. That is what ( teach and nothing else.+ "ut the miracles which 0our apostles now work what are they if not wonders and...+ The will of 'od. That is all. 1nd the more holy they become, the more miracles they will work, through prayer, sacrifices and obedience to 'od. "y no other means.+ 1re 0ou sure of that,- asks a scribe holding his chin in his hand and looking Jesus up and down. His tone is rather ironical and pitiful. + ( gave them those weapons and that doctrine. (f among them, and they are many, there should be anyone who becomes corrupted through base practices, out of pride or for other reasons, he will not have received such advice from Me. ( can pray to see the culprit redeemed. ( can undertake hard penance in expiation, imploring 'od to help him particularly with the light of His wisdom so that he may see his error. ( can throw Myself at his feet to entreat him with all My love of "rother, Master and 2,5

$riend to abandon his sin. 1nd ( would not consider that a humiliation, because the price of a soul is such that it is worth suffering any humiliation to save that soul. "ut ( can do no more. 1nd if after all he perseveres in his fault, the eyes and heart of the betrayed and misunderstood Master and $riend will shed tears and blood.- How much kindness and sadness there is in Jesus2 voice and expression9 The scribes and &harisees look at one another. They exchange meaningful glances, but say no more on the sub)ect. They instead ask young Daniel !uestions. Does he remember what death is, 5hat did he feel when he came back to life, 1nd what did he see in the gap between death and life, + ( know that ( was suffering from a mortal disease and ( suffered agony. 6h9 what a dreadful thing9 Don2t make me remember it9... 1nd yet the day will come when ( will have to suffer it once again9 6h9 Master...- He looks at Him and is so terrified that he goes pale at the idea of having to die once again. Jesus kindly comforts him saying* + Death is in itself expiation. "y dying twice you will be completely cleansed of faults and you will re)oice at once in Heaven. /et this thought make you live a holy life, so that you may have only involuntary and venial faults."ut the &harisees return to the attack* + "ut what did you feel when you came back to life,+ .othing. ( was alive and healthy as if ( had awaked from a long sound sleep.2,6

+ "ut did you remember that you had died,+ ( remembered that ( was very ill, in agony, and that is all.+ 1nd what do you remember of the other world,+ .othing. There is nothing. 1 black hole, an empty space in my life... .othing.+ %o, according to you, there is no /imbo, no &urgatory, no Hell,+ 5ho says there isn2t, 6f course there are. "ut ( do not remember them.+ "ut are you sure that you were dead,The people of .ain lose their temper* + 5as he dead, 5hat more do you want, 5hen we put him into the coffin, he was about to smell. (n any case, with all those balms and bandages even a giant would die9+ "ut do you not remember that you were dead,+ ( have told that ( don2t- the young man is losing his patience and he adds* + "ut what are you getting at with all these !uestions, That the whole village was pretending that ( was dead, including my mother and my fiancEe, who was dying with grief in her bed, including myself, all bandaged up and embalmed, while it was not true, 5hat are you saying, That in .ain we were all children or idiots in a )esting mood, My mother2s hair turned white in a few hours. My fiancEe had to be treated because sorrow and )oy had almost driven her mad. 1nd you doubt it, 1nd why should we have done all that,+ 5hy, That2s true9 5hy should we have done it- exclaim 2,7

those of .ain. Jesus does not speak. He toys with the tablecloth as if He were absent. The &harisees do not know what to say... "ut Jesus begins to speak all of a sudden, when the conversation on the sub)ect seemed to have come to an end, and He says* + ( will tell you why. They >and He points at the &harisees and scribes? want to prove that your resurrection from the dead was a cleverly contrived game to increase My reputation with the crowds. (, the inventor, you the accomplices to deceive 'od and our neighbour. .o. ( leave fraud to worthless people. ( do not need witchcraft, or tricks or accomplices to be what ( am. 5hy do you want to deny 'od the power of giving a soul back to a body, (f He creates a soul and gives it when the body is being formed, will He not be able to give it back to the body, when the soul, being restored to the body through the prayer of His Messiah, is an incentive for many people to come to the Truth, :an you deny 'od the power of miracle, 5hy do you want to deny it,+ 1re 0ou 'od,+ ( am 5ho ( am. My miracles and My doctrine testify 5ho ( am.+ "ut why does he not remember while the spirits evoked can tell what the next world is,+ "ecause this soul speaks the truth, sanctified as it is by the penance of a first death, instead what is spoken by the lips of necromancers is not the truth.+ "ut %amuel...+ %amuel came by the order of 'od, not of the sorceress, to bring to the traitor of the /aw the verdict of the /ord, 2,-

5ho is not to be derided in His commandments.+ Then why do 0our disciples do it,- The arrogant voice of a &harisee, who stung to the !uick raises his voice, draws the attention of the apostles, who are in the opposite room, separated by a corridor a little more that a yard wide, but not isolated by doors or heavy curtains. 5hen they hear themselves being referred to, they stand up and come noiselessly into the corridor to listen. + (n what do they do it, %peak frankly, and if your accusation is true, ( will warn them not to do anything against the /aw.+ ( know in what they do it, and many others know as well. "ut since 0ou raise people from the dead and 0ou say that 0ou are more than a prophet, find out for 0ourself. 5e shall certainly not tell 0ou. (n any case, 0ou have eyes to see also many other things which 0our apostles have done, when they are not to be done, or they did not do, when they are to be done. 1nd 0ou do not mind.+ Tell Me some of them.+ 5hy do 0our disciples infringe the traditions of our ancestors, 5e saw them today. 1lso today9 .ot more than an hour ago9 They went into the dining#room to eat without purifying their hands beforehand9(f the &harisees had said* + and they slaughtered citi8ens beforehand- they would not have spoken in such a horrified manner. + 0ou have watched them, of course. There are so many things to be seen. 'ood and beautiful things which make us bless the /ord for creating or permitting such things 2,0

and for giving us our lives so that we may see them. 1nd yet you do not watch them. 1nd many others do as you do. "ut you waste your time and your peace running after things which are not good. 0ou look like )ackals, or better still, like hyenas running in the trail of a stench, neglecting the waves of perfumes brought by the wind from gardens full of aromatic herbs. Hyenas do not love lilies and roses, )asmines and camphor, cinnamon and cloves. They are unpleasant smells to them. "ut the stench of a decomposing corpse in the bottom of a ravine, or on a cart road, or buried under bramble where a murderer threw it, or washed ashore by stormy waves, swollen, violaceous, burst, horrible, oh9 that is a delightful smell for hyenas9 1nd as the evening wind condenses and carries all the smells which the sun has distilled from the things it has warmed, they sniff at it to smell that vague inviting scent, and once they discover it and find where it comes from, they run away, with their snouts in the air, showing their uncovered teeth in their !uivering )aws, like a hysterical laugh, to go where there is putrefaction. 1nd be it the corpse of a man or a !uadruped, or a snake killed by a peasant, or a beech#marten killed by a housewife, or be it a poor mouse, oh9 they relish it9 1nd they sink their fangs into the revolting stench, they feast and lick their lips... "ut it is a matter of no interest, if some men improve in holiness day by day9 "ut if one only does wrong, or more omit not a divine commandment, but a human practice P you may call it tradition, precept, as you wish, but it is always a human thing P then it is noticed. 1nd one runs after even a suspicion... to re)oice, if the suspicion is true. 0ou who have come here not out of love, or faith or 23/

honesty, but for a wicked purpose, tell Me* why do you infringe the commandment of 'od, for the sake of your tradition, 1re you going to tell Me that a tradition is more than a :ommandment, 1nd yet 'od said* 3Honour your father and your mother, anyone who curses father or mother must die49 0ou instead say* 31nyone who says to his father and mother* what you should have from me is corban >K? is no longer obliged to give it to his father and mother.4 %o with your tradition you have cancelled the commandment of 'od.

Hypocrites9 (saiah rightly said of you when he prophesied* 3This people honours Me only with lip#service while its heart is far from Me, therefore they honour Me in vain as they teach human doctrine and commandments.4 1nd while you neglect the precepts of 'od, you keep the traditions of men, the ablutions of amphorae and chalices, of dishes and hands and other such things. 5hile you )ustify the ingratitude and avarice of a son, by offering him the excuse of a sacrifice so that he may not give a piece of bread to those who gave birth to him and need his help and whom it is his duty to honour, because they are his parents, you are scandalised because one does not wash one2s hands. 0ou alter and infringe the word of 'od in order to obey words invented by you and imposed by you as precepts. 0ou therefore proclaim yourselves more )ust than 'od. 0ou arrogate to yourselves the rights of legislators, whereas 'od alone is the /egislator of His people. 0ou...- and He would continue, but the hostile group goes out, in the hail of accusations, bumping into the apostles and those who were in the house, guests or women helping the landlady,

and who had gathered in the corridor, attracted by Jesus2 thundering voice. Jesus, 5ho had stood up, sits down again, beckoning to all those present to enter where He is, and He says to them* + /isten to Me and understand the truth. There is nothing outside man which going into his mouth can make him unclean. (t is what comes out of the mouth that makes him unclean. /et those who have ears hear and use their reason to understand and their will to act. 1nd now let us go. &eople of .ain, persevere in good and may My peace be always with you.He stands up, He greets the landlord and landlady in particular and He sets out along the corridor. "ut He sees the friendly women, who are enraptured looking at Him and He goes towards them saying* + &eace to you as well. May Heaven reward you for assisting Me with such love that ( did not regret My Mother2s table. ( perceived your motherly love in every crumb of bread, in every sauce and bit of roast, in the sweet honey and in the cool scented wine. /ove Me always thus, 6 good women of .ain. "ut do not work so hard for Me the next time. 1 piece of bread and a handful of olives, dressed with your motherly smiles and your honest good looks, are !uite enough for Me. "e happy in your homes because the gratitude of the &ersecuted 6ne is upon you and He is leaving comforted by your love.The women, weeping in their happiness, are all on their knees, and in passing by He lightly touches their white or dark#haired heads, one by one, blessing them. He then goes out and sets out again... The early shades of evening hide the pallor of Jesus, 5ho 232

is embittered by too many things... ############### >K? :orban* offering to 'od, especially one made in fulfillment of a vow.

800. #n the Sheepfold at 5ndor.

18th )ctober 1!45.

Jesus goes back to 7ndor only. He stops at the first house of the village, which is a sheepfold rather than a house. "ut )ust because it is such, with low closed stables full of hay, it can shelter the thirteen pilgrims. The landlord, a coarse but good man, hastens to bring a lamp and a small pail of frothy milk, with some small loaves of very dark bread. He then withdraws blessed by Jesus 5ho remains with only the Twelve. Jesus offers and hands out the bread, and as they lack bowls or cups, each of them dips his bread into the little pail and drinks out of it, when thirsty. Jesus drinks only a little milk. He is grave and silent... %o much so, that after the meal, when they have satisfied their appetite, which is always very good, they at last become aware of His !uietness. 1ndrew is the first to ask* + 5hat is the matter with 0ou, Master, 0ou look sad or tired to me...+ ( do not deny that ( am.+ 5hy, "ecause of those &harisees, 0ou should be 23,

accustomed to them by now... ( have almost got accustomed myself9 1nd 0ou know how ( used to react to them earlier. They always sing the same song9... %nakes can but hiss, in fact, and none of them will ever be able to imitate the singing of a nightingale. 6ne ends up by not paying attention to them- says &eter, both earnestly and to cheer up Jesus. + 1nd that is how one loses one2s control and falls into their coils. ( ask you to never get accustomed to the voice of 7vil as if it were harmless.+ 6h9 5ell9 (f that is the only reason why 0ou are sad, 0ou are wrong. 0ou can see how the world loves 0ousays Matthew. + "ut is that the only reason why 0ou are so sad, Tell me, my good Master. 6r have they told 0ou lies, or made slanderous insinuations or insinuated suspicion, or ( do not know what, about us who love 0ou,- asks the (scariot solicitously and kindly, embracing with one arm Jesus, 5ho is sitting beside him on the hay. Jesus turns towards Judas. His eyes flash like phosphorus in the flickering light of the lamp laid on the ground in the middle of the circle of the apostles sitting on the hay. Jesus stares at Judas of <erioth and asks him* + 1nd do you know Me to be so silly as to accept as true anybody2s insinuations, to the point of being upset by them, (t is real facts, Judas of %imon, which upset Me- and His eyes do not stop for one moment piercing, like a probe, the brown eyes of Judas. + 5hich real facts are upsetting 0ou, then,- insists the (scariot in a tone of confidence. 233

+ The ones ( see in the depths of hearts and on dethroned foreheads.- Jesus lays stress upon the word. 7verybody becomes excited* + Dethroned, 5hy, 5hat do 0ou mean,+ 1 king is dethroned when he is unworthy of remaining on the throne, and the first thing they tear off him is the crown, which is on his forehead, the most noble part of man, the only animal with his forehead erect towards the sky, as he is animal with regard to matter, but supernatural as a being gifted with a soul. "ut it is not necessary to be king on an earthly throne to be dethroned... 7very man is king because of his soul, and his throne is in Heaven. "ut when a man prostitutes his soul and becomes a brute and demon, he then dethrones himself. The world is full of dethroned foreheads which are no longer erect towards Heaven, but are stooped towards the 1byss, weighed down by the word which %atan has carved on them. Do you want to know it, (t is the one ( read on foreheads. There is written* 3%old94 1nd that you may have no doubt as to who the buyer is, ( tell you that it is %atan, by himself or through his servants in the world.+ ( have understood9 Those &harisees, for instance, are the servants of a servant who is greater than they are and who is %atan2s servant- says &eter earnestly. Jesus does not reply. + "ut... Do 0ou know, Master, that those &harisees, after hearing 0our words, were scandalised when they went away, They said so, when they bumped into me while going out... 0ou were very resolute- remarks "artholomew. 235

1nd Jesus replies* + 1nd very truthful. (t is not My fault, but theirs, if certain things must be said. 1nd it was charitable of Me to say them. 1ny plant which was not planted by My Heavenly $ather is to be uprooted. 1nd the useless moorland of parasitic, suffocating thorny herbs, which destroy the seed of the holy Truth, was not planted by Him. (t is charitable to uproot traditions and precepts which suffocate the Decalogue, misinterpreting it, and making it inert and impossible to abide by. (t is charitable to do so for the sake of honest souls. 1s far as those insolent obstinate persons are concerned, who are deaf to every advice and action of /ove, leave them alone and let them be followed by those whose souls and inclinations are like theirs. They are blind men leading blind men. (f one blind man leads another, both can but fall into a pit. /et them feed on their own uncleanness, which they call 3cleanliness.4 (t cannot contaminate them any further, because it lies on the matrix from which it originates.+ 5hat 0ou are saying now is connected with what 0ou said in Daniel2s house, is it not, That it is not what goes into the mouth of man that makes him unclean, but what comes out of it- asks %imon the Bealot gravely. + 0es- replies Jesus briefly. 1fter a moment2s silence, as Jesus2 gravity free8es even the most exuberant characters, &eter asks* + Master, (, and ( am not the only one, have not understood the parable very well. &lease explain it to us. How is it that what goes in does not make unclean, and what comes out does, (f ( take a clean amphora and ( pour dirty water into it, ( will dirty it. %o what goes into the amphora makes it unclean. "ut if from an amphora full of clean 236

water ( pour some of it on to the ground, ( will not make the amphora unclean, because clean water comes out of it. %o,1nd Jesus says* + 5e are not amphorae, %imon. 5e are not amphorae, My friends. 1nd not everything is clean in man9 Do even you not understand, :onsider the case with which the &harisees charged you. They stated that you were unclean because you were taking food to your mouths with dusty, sweaty hands, that is, with unclean hands. "ut where did that food go, $rom your mouths into your stomachs, from your stomachs into your intestines and from your intestines into the sewer. :an it thus make your whole body unclean, and what is contained in your body, if it only goes through the passage destined to fulfill the task of nourishing the flesh, and the flesh only, and then ending in a sewer, as it is right it should, That is not what makes man unclean. 5hat makes man unclean is what is entirely and exclusively his own, procreated and brought forth by his ego. That is, what he has in his heart, and from his heart rises to his lips and to his head, corrupting his thoughts and words and making him wholly unclean. $rom the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, blasphemy. $rom the heart come avarice, lust, pride, envy, wrath, immoderate desires and sinful idleness. $rom the heart come incentives to all actions. 1nd if the heart is wicked, they will be as wicked as the heart. 1ll actions* from idolatry to insincere grumbling... 1ll these wicked things, which from inside come outside, make man unclean, not eating without washing one2s hands. The science of 'od is not a base thing, mud upon which any foot can tread. (t is something sublime, which lives among stars, from which 237

it descends with rays of light to perfect the )ust. Do not, at least you, tear it from Heaven to disgrace it in mud... 'o and rest now. ( am going out to pray.-

801. Fro

5ndor to Ma&dala.

14th )ctober 1!45.

=ain, rain, rain... The apostles who are not very happy to walk in the rain, suggest to Jesus that it might be better to take shelter at .a8areth, which is not far... and &eter says* + 1nd then ( could leave with the boy...Jesus2 + no- is so resolute that no one dare insist. Jesus is walking ahead of them, all alone... The others are following Him, in two sullen groups. "ut &eter cannot resist any longer and he approaches Jesus. + Master, can ( stay with 0ou,- he asks in a rather mortified tone. + 0ou are always dear to Me, %imon. :ome.&eter cheers up. He trots along beside Jesus, 5ho goes a long way with His strides, without any effort. 1fter a little while he says* + Master... it would have been lovely to have the boy for the feast...Jesus does not reply. + Master, why do 0ou not make me happy,+ %imon, you are running the risk of having the boy taken away from you.23-

+ .o9 /ord9 5hy,- &eter is frightened by the threat and looks desolate. + "ecause ( do not want you to be tied to anything. ( told you when ( gave you Mar)iam. 0ou, instead, are getting stranded in your affection.+ (t is not a sin to love. 1nd to love Mar)iam. 0ou love him, too...+ "ut My love does not prevent Me from devoting Myself entirely to My mission. Do you not remember My words on human affections and My advice, which was as clear as an order, concerning those who want to put their hands to the plough, 1re you getting tired, %imon of Jonah, of being My disciple heroically,&eter2s voice is broken by sobs when he replies* + .o, /ord. ( remember everything and ( am not tired. "ut ( am under the impression that it is the other way round... 0ou are tired of me, of poor %imon who left everything to follow 0ou...+ 0ou mean* who found everything in following Me.+ .o... 0es... Master... ( am a poor man...+ ( know. 1nd that is exactly why ( am working on you. To make of the poor man a man, a saint, My 1postle, My %tone. ( am hard to make you hard. ( do not want you to be as soft as this mud. ( want you to be a perfectly s!uared block* the foundation %tone. Do you not understand that that is love, Do you not remember the 5ise Man, He says that he who loves is severe. "ut understand Me9 1t least you9 :an you not see how ( am overwhelmed and desolate because of so much misunderstanding, because of too much feigning, of so 230

much indifference, and of even more disappointments,+ (s that... is that how 0ou feel, Master, 6h9 Divine Mercy9 1nd ( never realised it9 5hat a blockhead ( am9... "ut for how long,... "y whom, Tell me...+ (t is of no avail. 0ou would not be able to do anything. ( can do nothing Myself...+ :ould ( not do anything to relieve 0ou,+ ( told you* you should understand that My sternness is love and see love in every act of Mine concerning you.+ 0es, of course. ( will not speak any more. My dear Master9 ( will say no more. $orgive this blockhead. 'ive me a sign that 0ou really forgive me...+ 1 sign9 My 3yes4 should really be enough for you. "ut ( will give you it. /isten* ( cannot go to .a8areth because, besides Mar)iam, John of 7ndor and %yntyche are there. 1nd that is not to be known.+ .ot even to us, 5hy,... 1h9 Master,9 1re 0ou afraid of any of us,+ &rudence teaches that when something is to be kept secret, two people who are aware of it are too many. 7ven a careless word can be detrimental. 1nd men are not all and always thoughtful.+ =eally... ( am not thoughtful either. "ut when ( want, ( can be silent. 1nd ( will9 ( will indeed9 ( will no longer be %imon of Jonah, if ( do not hold my tongue. Thank 0ou, Master, for 0our esteem. (t is indeed a great sign of love... %o we are now going to Tarichea,+ 0es. Then we will go to Magdala by boat. ( must collect 25/

the gold of the )ewels...+ 0ou can now see that ( am able to hold my tongue9 ( never said anything to Judas, 0ou know,Jesus makes no comment on the interruption. He goes on* + 6nce ( have received the gold, ( will leave you all free until the day after the Dedication. (f ( should want any of you, ( will call you to .a8areth. The apostles from Judaea, with the exception of %imon Bealot, will take /a8arus2 sisters and their handmaids, and 7li8a of "eth8ur, to their house in "ethany. They will then go to their homes for the Dedication. (t will be !uite all right if they come back by the end of %hebat, when we shall start going round again. 0ou are the only one to know, is that right, %imon &eter,+ 0es, ( am the only one. "ut... 0ou will have to tell the others...+ ( will tell them at the right moment. 'o now to your companions and be sure of My love.&eter obeys and is happy and Jesus becomes absorbed in thought once again. ################ The waves are breaking against the little beach of Magdala, when the two boats land there in a late .ovember afternoon. They are not big waves, but they are annoying for those landing, as their clothes get wet. "ut the prospect of being sheltered at once in the house of Mary of Magdala makes them put up with the undesired bath without any grumbling. + &ut the boats away and then )oin us- says Jesus to the servants. 1nd He sets out at once along the shore because 251

they landed in a cove a little outside the town, where there are other boats of fishermen from Magdala. + Judas of %imon and Thomas, come here with Me- says Jesus calling them. They run up to Him. + ( have decided to entrust you with a confidential task, and a pleasant one at the same time. This is the task* you will take /a8arus2 sisters to "ethany. 1nd 7li8a will go with them. ( think highly enough of you to entrust the women disciples to you. 1nd you will take a letter of Mine to /a8arus. Then, when you have fulfilled your task, you will go home for the Dedication... Do not interrupt Me, Judas. 5e shall all celebrate the Dedication at home this year. (t is too rainy a winter to travel about. 0ou can see that also sick people are thinning out. %o we will take advantage of the situation and make our families happy. ( will wait for you at :apernaum by the end of %hebat.+ "ut are 0ou staying at :apernaum,- asks Thomas. + ( am not yet sure where ( will be staying. Here or there it is the same to Me, providing My Mother is with Me.+ ( would have preferred to celebrate the Dedication with 0ou- says the (scariot. + ( believe you. "ut if you love Me, please obey. 1ll the more because your obedience will give you the possibility of helping the disciples, who are once again spread out everywhere. 0ou must help Me with them. (n a family it is the elder sons who help the parents to bring up the younger ones. 0ou are the elder brothers of the disciples, and they the younger ones, and you ought to be happy that ( rely on you. (t proves that ( am satisfied with your recent work.252

Thomas simply says* + (t2s too kind of 0ou, Master. "ut, as far as ( am concerned, ( will endeavour to do even better, now. "ut ( am sorry to leave 0ou... "ut time flies... 1nd my old father will be happy to have me for the feast... and my sisters too... My twin sister above all9... %he must have had, or is about to have a baby... The first nephew... (f it is a boy, and is born when ( am there, what name shall ( give him,+ Joseph.+ 1nd if it is a girl,+ Mary. There are no sweeter names."ut Judas, proud of the appointment, is already strutting about and making plans... He has completely forgotten that he will be leaving Jesus and that shortly before, about the time of the Tabernacles, if ( remember rightly, he had protested, like an unbroken horse, against Jesus2 order to part from Him for a little while. He forgets also how at the time he suspected that it was Jesus2 desire to send him away. He has forgotten everything and he is happy to be considered one who may be entrusted with delicate tasks. He promises* + ( will bring 0ou much money for the poor- and he takes out his purse and says* + Here, take this. (t is all we have. ( have nothing else. 'ive me provisions for our )ourney from "ethany home.+ "ut we are not leaving this evening- ob)ects Thomas. + (t does not matter. .o money is re!uired in Mary2s house, so... ( am happy that ( do not have to handle any more... 5hen ( come back ( will bring 0our Mother some flower seeds. ( will get them from my mother. 1nd ( want to bring a present for Mar)iam...- He is elated. Jesus 25,

looks at him... They are now in the house of Mary of Magdala. They make themselves known and go in. The women run )oyfully to meet the Master, 5ho has come to take shelter in their home... 1nd after supper, when the tired apostles have withdrawn, Jesus, sitting in the centre of a hall, in the circle of the women disciples, informs them of His desire that they should leave as soon as possible. Cnlike the apostles, not one of them protests. They bow their heads in assent and then go out to pack their luggage. "ut Jesus calls back the Magdalene, who is already on the threshold. + 5ell, Mary, 5hy did you whisper to Me, when ( arrived* 3( must speak to 0ou privately4,+ Master, ( sold the precious stones. 1t Tiberias. Marcella sold them with the assistance of (saac. ( have the money in my room. ( did not want Judas to see...- and she blushes deeply. Jesus stares at her but does not say anything. The Magdalene goes out and comes back with a heavy purse which she hands to Jesus* + Here it is- she says. + They paid a very good price for them.+ Thank you, Mary.+ Thank 0ou, =abboni, for asking this favour of me. Have 0ou anything else to ask me,...+ .o, Mary. 1nd have you anything else to tell Me,+ .o, my /ord. "less me, Master.253

+ 0es, ( bless you... Mary... are you happy to go back to /a8arus, %upposing ( were no longer in &alestine, would you go back home willingly,+ 0es, my /ord. "ut...+ 'o on, Mary. Do not be afraid to tell me what you think.+ ( would have gone back more willingly, if %imon the Bealot had been in the place of Judas of <erioth, because he is a great friend of our family.+ ( need him for an important mission.+ 0our brothers, then or John, whose heart is as innocent as a dove. 1nyone of them, except him. My /ord, do not look at me so severely... 5ho has fed on lust, perceives it when it is near... ( am not afraid of it. ( can hold at bay someone who is much more than Judas. 1nd ( am terrified at not being forgiven, and it is my ego, and it is %atan who wanders round me, and it is the world... "ut if Mary of Theophilus is not afraid of anybody, Mary of Jesus is disgusted at the vice which had subdued her, and she... /ord... The man who craves for sensuality disgusts me...+ 0ou are not alone on the )ourney, Mary. 1nd ( am sure that while he is with you he will not come back... =emember that ( must send %yntyche and John to 1ntioch and who is not prudent must not know anything about it...+ That is true. %o ( will go... Master, when shall we meet again,+ ( do not know, Mary. &erhaps only at &assover. 'o in 255

peace, now. ( will bless you this evening and every evening, together with your sister and good /a8arus.Mary bends to kiss Jesus2 feet leaving Him alone in the silent room.

802. -es,s at +a2areth for the 0edication.

15th )ctober 1!45.

(t is a dark, cold, windy December evening. 1part from the leaves torn off the trees which still have a few, and which rustle blown by a whistling wind, there is no other noise in the streets of .a8areth, which is as dark as a dead city. .o light or noise filters through the bolted doors. (t is really a horrible evening. 1nd yet, the /amb of 'od is walking through the deserted streets of .a8areth, on His way home. 1 tall dark shadow in a dark tunic, He almost vanishes in the dark, starless night and His step is )ust a rustling noise when He treads on a heap of dry leaves, which the wind has laid on the ground, after whirling them around, and is ready to pick up again and blow elsewhere. He arrives near the house of Mary :lopas. He stands for a moment undecided as to whether He should enter the garden and knock at the kitchen door or proceed... He proceeds without stopping. He is now in the little street where is His house. 6ne can already see the tormented olive#trees swaying on the hillock against which the house is placed, dark shadows swaying against the black 256

sky. He !uickens His step and arrives at the door. He listens carefully. (t is so easy to hear what is happening in that little house9 (f one presses against the door post, there are only a few inches of wood between the outside listener and the speaker within... 1nd yet no voice is heard. + (t is late- He says with a sigh. + ( will wait until dawn before knocking."ut when He is about to go away, He hears the rhythmical noise of the loom. He smiles and says* + %he is up and %he is weaving. (t is certainly %he... That is Mother2s rhythm.- ( cannot see His face but ( am sure that He is smiling because ( can perceive a smile in His voice which was previously sad and now is cheerful. He knocks. The noise stops for a moment, then there is the sound of a chair being pushed back, and finally the silvery voice asks* + 5ho is it,+ (t is (, Mother9+ %on9- 1 loving cry of )oy, even if uttered in a low voice. The noise of the bolt being withdrawn is heard, and the door opens letting out a golden flash into the dark night. Mary falls into Jesus2 arms, on the door step, as if He could wait no longer to receive Her and %he to throw Herself onto His heart. + %on9 My %on9- <isses and the sweet words + Mother ; %on-... They go in and the door is closed silently. Mary explains in a low voice* + They are all sleeping. ( was awake... %ince Judas and James came back saying that 0ou were following them, ( have been staying up until late. 1re 0ou cold, Jesus, 6f course 0ou are, 0ou 257

are fro8en. :ome. ( kept the fire lit. ( will put a faggot on it and 0ou will warm 0ourself.- 1nd %he leads Him by the hand as if He were still the :hild Jesus... The flame shines brightly and crackles in the stirred hearth. Mary looks at Jesus 5ho holds His hands out to warm them. + How pale 0ou are9 0ou were not like that when we parted... 0ou are becoming thinner and paler, My :hild. 6nce 0our complexion was like milk and roses, but now 0ou look like old ivory. 5hat has happened to 0ou recently, %on, %till the &harisees,+ 0es... and other worries. "ut now ( am happy, here with 0ou, and ( will be all right at once. This year we are celebrating the Dedication here, Mother9 ( will reach the perfect age here beside 0ou. 1re 0ou glad,+ 0es. "ut 0our perfect age, My darling, is still remote... 0ou are young, and with regard to Me, 0ou are always My little :hild. Here, the milk is warm. 5ill 0ou drink it here or in the other room,+ (n the other room, Mother. ( am warm now. ( will drink it while 0ou cover 0our loom.They go back into the little room and Jesus sits on the chest near the table and drinks His milk. Mary looks at Him and smiles. %he smiles even more when %he takes Jesus2 bag and puts it on a shelf. %he smiles so much that Jesus asks* + 5hat are 0ou thinking of,+ ( was thinking that 0ou have come )ust on the anniversary of our departure to "ethlehem... 1lso then there were bags and cases open or full of clothes and particularly of swaddling#clothes... for a /ittle 6ne, 5ho might be born, ( used to say to Joseph 5ho was to be 25-

born, ( said to Myself, in "ethlehem of Judah... ( had hidden them in the bottom, because Joseph was afraid of that... He did not yet know that the birth of the %on of 'od would not be sub)ect, both for Himself and for His Mother, to the common miseries of childbirth. He did not know... and he was afraid of being away from .a8areth with Me in that state. ( was sure that ( would be a Mother there... 0ou exulted too much in My womb for the )oy of 0our oncoming "irthday, and of the "irthday of =edemption, so ( could not be deceived. 1ngels whirled round the /ady 5ho carried 0ou, My 'od... (t was no longer the sublime 1rchangel, or My most sweet guardian 1ngel, as in the first months. .ow choirs of angels darted from the Heaven of My 'od to My little Heaven* My womb, where 0ou were... 1nd ( heard them sing and exchange brilliant words... words of anxiety to see 0ou, 'od (ncarnate... ( heard them when, driven by love, they fled from &aradise to come and worship 0ou, /ove of the $ather, concealed in My womb. 1nd ( endeavoured to learn their words... their songs... their ardour... "ut no human creature can repeat or have Heavenly things...Jesus listens to Her, He is sitting, %he is standing near the table, dreaming as much as He is blissful... with one hand resting on the dark wood and the other pressed against Her heart... 1nd Jesus lays His long darker hand on the little white, gentle, holy hand and presses it in His own... 1nd when %he becomes silent, almost regretting that %he had not been able to learn the words, songs and ardour of the angels, Jesus says* + 1ll the words of the angels, all their songs, all their ardour, could not have made Me happy on the earth, if ( had not had 0ours, Mother9 0ou said and gave Me what they could not give 250

Me. 0ou did not learn from them, but they learned from 0ou... :ome here, Mother, beside Me and tell Me more... .ot of the past... but of the present. 5hat were 0ou doing,+ ( was working...+ ( know. "ut at what, ( am certain that 0ou were overworking 0ourself for Me. /et Me see...- Mary becomes redder than the cloth on the loom as Jesus gets up to look at it. + &urple, 5ho gave it to 0ou,+ Judas of <erioth. ( think that he got the fishermen of %idon to give it to him. He wants Me to make a king2s robe for 0ou. 6f course, ( will make the robe for 0ou. "ut 0ou do not need purple to be a king.+ Judas is more stubborn than a mule- is the only comment on the purple gift... He then asks His Mother* + 1nd can 0ou make a full robe with what he gave 0ou,+ 6h9 no, %on9 (t can be used as a border of a tunic and mantle. "ut not more than that.+ Aery well. ( understand why 0ou are weaving it in low strips. 5ell... Mother* ( like the idea. <eep those strips aside for Me and one day ( will tell 0ou to use them for a beautiful tunic. "ut there is plenty time. Do not tire 0ourself.+ ( work when ( am at .a8areth...+ That is true... 1nd what have the others done during this time,+ They have improved their knowledge.+ That is* 0ou have improved their knowledge. 5hat do 26/

0ou think of them,+ 6h9 They are very good. (f ( except 0ou, ( never had more diligent and kind pupils. ( have also endeavoured to make John a little stronger. He is very ill. He will not live long...+ ( know. "ut it is a good thing for him. (n any case, he wishes that himself. He spontaneously understood the value of suffering and of death. 1nd what about %yntyche,+ (t is a pity to have to send her away. %he is worth one hundred disciples because of her holiness and her capacity for understanding the supernatural.+ ( realise that. "ut ( must do it.+ 5hat 0ou do, %on, is always well done.+ 1nd the boy,+ He is learning too. "ut he is very sad these days... He remembers the misfortune of a year ago... 6h9 there is not much mirth here9... John and %yntyche sigh thinking of their departure from here, the boy weeps thinking of his dead mother...+ 1nd what about 0ou,+ (... 0ou know, %on. There is no sunshine when 0ou are away. There would not be even if the world did love 0ou. "ut at least there would be a serene sky... (nstead...+ There is weeping. &oor Mother9... Have they asked 0ou !uestions about John and %yntyche,+ 1nd who would ask Me, Mary of 1lphaeus knows and is silent. 1lphaeus of %arah has already seen John and is 261

not curious. He calls him 3the disciple4.+ 1nd the others,+ 5ith the exception of Mary and 1lphaeus, no one comes to see Me. 6nly a woman occasionally for some work or advice. "ut the men of .a8areth no longer cross My threshold.+ .ot even Joseph and %imon,+ ... .o... %imon sends Me oil, flour, olives, firewood, eggs... as if he wanted to be forgiven for not understanding 0ou, and he wanted to speak through gifts. "ut he gives them to Mary, his mother, and he does not come here. (n any case, if anyone came, they would only see Me, because %yntyche and John withdraw if someone knocks...+ 1 very sad life.+ 0es. 1nd the boy suffers very much, so much so that Mary of 1lphaeus now takes him with her when she does My shopping. "ut now we shall no longer be sad, My Jesus, because 0ou are here9+ ( am here... .ow let us go to bed. "less Me, Mother, as 0ou used to do when ( was a little boy.+ "less Me, %on. ( am 0our disciple.- They kiss each other... They light another little lamp and go out to go and rest.


808. -es,s /ith -ohn of 5ndor and S%nt%che at +a2areth.

1"th )ctober 1!45.

+ Master9 Master9 Master9- The three shouts of John of 7ndor, who coming out of his little room to go to the fountain and wash himself, meets Jesus coming from it, awake Mar)iam, who runs out of Mary2s room wearing only a short sleeveless tunic, still barefooted, with eyes and mouth wide open to see and shout* + Jesus is here9and runs at full speed to climb up to Jesus2 arms. The shouts awaken also %yntyche who sleeps in Joseph2s old workshop, and who comes out after a few moments, already dressed but with her dark plaits only half done and hanging loose on her shoulders. Jesus, with the boy still in His arms, greets John and %yntyche and urges them to go back into the house because the north wind is very strong. 1nd He enters first, carrying the half naked Mar)iam, whose teeth are chattering notwithstanding his enthusiasm. He puts the boy near the fire, which is already lit, and where Mary is busy warming some milk and the boy2s clothes, so that he may not catch a cold. The other two do not speak, but they look like the personification of ecstatic )oy. Jesus, 5ho is sitting with the boy in His lap while the "lessed Airgin wraps him up !uickly in the warmed garments, looks up and smiling says to them* + ( did promise you that ( would come. 1nd %imon Bealot will be coming today or tomorrow, too. ( sent him on an errand. "ut he will soon be here and we will be together for many days.26,

Mar)iam is soon dressed and his little cheeks, which had turned pale with the cold, colour once again. Jesus puts him down and goes into the next room followed by everybody. Mary goes in last holding the boy by the hand. 1nd %he reproaches him kindly* + 5hat should ( do to you, now, 0ou disobeyed. ( said to you* 3%tay in bed until ( come back4, instead you came before...+ John2s shouts awoke me...- replies Mar)iam apologetically. + That is exactly when you should have obeyed. To stay in bed while one sleeps is no obedience and there is no merit in doing so. 0ou should have been able to do it when there was merit, because it exacted your will power. ( would have brought Jesus to you. 1nd you would have had Him all to yourself, without running the risk of catching a cold.+ ( did not know that it was so cold.+ "ut ( did. (t grieves Me to see you disobey.+ .o, Mother. (t grieves me more to see 0ou thus... (f it had not been for Jesus ( would not have got up even if 0ou had forgotten Me in bed without any food, my beautiful Mother9... 'ive me a kiss, Mummy. 0ou know that ( am a poor boy9...Mary takes him in Her arms and kisses him, stopping thus the tears running down his cheeks and making him smile once again with the promise* + ( will never, never, never again disobey 0ou9Jesus in the meantime is speaking to the two disciples. He in!uires about their progress in 5isdom, and as they state that everything becomes clear to them through 263

Mary2s words, He says* + ( know. The supernaturally bright 5isdom of 'od becomes clear light also for the most hard#hearted people, when spoken by Her. "ut you are not hard#hearted, and thus you fully benefit from Her teaching.+ 0ou are here now, %on. The teacher becomes a pupil once again.+ 6h9 no9 0ou will continue to be the teacher. ( will listen to 0ou as they do. ( am only 3the %on4 these next days. .othing else. 0ou will be the Mother and Teacher of :hristians. 0ou are so even now* ( am 0our $irst#"orn and first pupil, and they, and %imon when he comes, are the others... %ee, Mother, The world is here. The world of the future in the little pure (sraelite who will not even be aware of becoming the 3:hristian4 the world, the old world of (srael in the Bealot mankind in John, the 'entiles in %yntyche. 1nd they all come to 0ou, the Holy Mother 5ho gives the milk of 5isdom and /ife to the world and to centuries. How many mouths have desired to suckle at 0our breast9 1nd how many will do so in future9 &atriarchs and &rophets longed for 0ou, because the .ourishment of man was to come from 0our fertile womb. 1nd 3My followers4 will seek 0ou to be forgiven, taught, defended, loved, like as many Mar)iams. 1nd blessed are those who will do so9 "ecause it will not be possible to persevere in :hrist, unless grace is fortified by 0our help, Mother full of 'race.Mary looks like a rose in Her dark dress, as %he blushes so much at Her %on2s praise. 1 splendid rose in a very humble dress, of coarse dark brown wool... They knock and Mary of 1lphaeus, James and Judas 265

come in together, the latter laden with pitchers of water and faggots. Their )oy to meet again is reciprocal. 1nd it increases when they learn that the Bealot will be coming soon. That 1lphaeus2 sons are fond of him is obvious, even without the words spoken by Judas in reply to his mother2s remark commenting their )oy* + Mother, )ust in this house and one very sad evening for us, he showed us the love of a father and still has that love for us. 5e cannot forget it. He is for us 3the father4. 5e are for him 3his sons4. 5hich sons do not re)oice in seeing a good father,Mary of 1lphaeus is pensive and sighs... Then, being very practical even in her grief, she asks* + 1nd where will you let him sleep, 0ou have no room. %end him to my house.+ .o, Mary. He will live under My roof. "ut it is soon settled. %yntyche will sleep with My Mother, ( with Mar)iam, %imon in the workshop. .ay, we had better prepare at once. /et us go.1nd the men go out into the kitchen garden, while the two Maries go to do their work in the kitchen.

804. -es,s* (esson to Mar;ia .

17th )ctober 1!45.

Jesus goes out of the house, holding the boy by the hand. They do not go to the centre of .a8areth, on the contrary they leave the village going along the same road which Jesus took the first time He left His house for His public 266

life. 5hen they arrive at the first olive#groves, they leave the main road and follow little paths among trees, in search of the warm sun after the stormy days. Jesus urges Mar)iam to run and )ump, but the boy replies* + ( prefer to stay with 0ou. ( am big, now, and ( am a disciple.Jesus smiles at the... authoritative profession of age and dignity. (t is true that it is a little adult who is walking beside Him. .o one would say that he is more than ten years old. "ut no one can deny that he is a disciple, and least of all Jesus, 5ho )ust says* + "ut you will be bored being silent while ( pray. ( brought you here so that you may en)oy yourself.+ ( cannot en)oy myself these days... "ut it is a great relief to me to be beside 0ou... ( have longed for 0ou so much these days... because... because...- The boy tightens his trembling lips and speaks no more. Jesus lays a hand on his head saying* + He who believes in My word must not be as sad as those who do not believe. ( always speak the truth. 1lso when ( assure you that there is no separation between the souls of the )ust people who are in 1braham2s bosom and the souls of the )ust people on the earth. ( am =esurrection and /ife, Mar)iam. 1nd ( have brought the latter even before fulfilling My mission. 0ou have always told Me that your parents were longing for the coming of the Messiah and they asked 'od to live long enough to see Him. %o they believed in Me. They died in that faith. Therefore they have already been saved by it, and have risen again and are alive through it. "ecause My faith gives life by giving thirst for )ustice. :onsider how many times they must 267

have resisted temptations to be worthy of meeting the %aviour...+ "ut they died without seeing 0ou, /ord... 1nd they died in that manner... ( saw them, 0ou know, when they extracted all the dead people of village from the earth... My mother, my father... my little brothers... 5hat do ( care if they said to me to comfort me* 30our relatives are not like these. They did not suffer4, 6h9 They did not suffer9 %o, was it feathers and not rocks that fell on them, 1nd was it air and not earth and water which suffocated them, 1nd did they not suffer thinking of me, when they felt they were dying,...- The boy is shaken by grief. He gesticulates vivaciously standing in front of Jesus, and is almost aggressive... "ut Jesus understands his grief, and his need to express it and lets him talk. Jesus is not one of those who says* + "e !uiet. 0ou are scandalising me- to those who rave in their grief. The boy goes on* + 1nd after, 5hat happened after, 0ou know what happened9 (f 0ou had not come, ( would have become a beast or ( would have died in the wood like a snake. 1nd ( would not have gone to )oin my mother, father and brothers, because ( hated Doras and... and ( no longer loved 'od as ( did before, when there was my mother who loved me and made me love my neighbour. ( almost hated birds, as they filled their crops, had warm feathers and built their nests, whilst ( was hungry, my clothes were torn and ( was homeless... 1nd ( who love birds, would chase them away, as ( was sei8ed by wrath comparing myself with them, and then ( would weep realising that ( had been bad and had deserved Hell...26-

+ 1h9 %o you repented of being bad,+ 0es, my /ord. "ut how could ( be good, My old father was good. "ut he used to say* 3(t will soon be all over. ( am old... "ut ( was not old9 How many years would ( have had to wait before ( could work and eat like a man and not like a stray dog, ( would have become a thief, if 0ou had not come.+ 0ou would not, because your mother was praying for you. 0ou can see that ( came and took you. That is the proof that 'od loved you and that your mother was watching over you.The boy becomes silent and thoughtful. He seems to be seeking enlightenment from the ground upon which he is treading, walking beside Jesus on the short grass dried up by the north wind of the previous days. He looks up and asks* + "ut would it not have been a lovelier proof if He had not let my mother die,Jesus smiles at the human logic of his young mind. 1nd He kindly but earnestly explains* + .ow, Mar)iam. ( will make you understand the situation by means of a comparison. 0ou told Me that you like little birds, did you not, .ow listen. 5ere little birds created to fly or to be closed in cages,+ To fly.+ 'ood. 1nd what do the mothers of the little birds do to nourish them,+ They feed them.+ 0es. "ut with what,+ 5ith seeds, flies, grubs, or crumbs of bread, or bits of 260

fruit which they find flying about.+ Aery well. .ow listen. (f in springtime you should find a nest on the ground, with little ones in it and their mother on them, what would you do,+ ( would take it.+ 1ll of it, 1s it is, (ncluding the mother,+ 1ll of it. "ecause it is too unpleasant to be little ones without a mother.+ "ut in Deuteronomy it is written that one must take the little ones only, letting the mother free, as it is her mission to proliferate.+ "ut if she is a good mother, she will not go away. %he will fly to her little ones. That is what my mother would have done. %he would not have given me to 0ou either for good, because ( am still a boy. .either could she have come with me because my brothers were younger than ( am. %o she would not have let me go.+ Aery well. "ut listen* according to you, would you love that mother of the little birds and the little ones more if you kept the cage open so that she might come and go with suitable food, or if you kept her in prison as well,+ 7h9... ( would love her more by letting her come and go until the little ones have grown up... and my love would be complete if ( kept them and once they have grown up, ( let the mother free, because birds were created to fly... =eally... to be utterly good... once the little ones have grown up ( should let them free as well, and let them fly away... (t would be the best love ( could have for them... 1nd the most )ust... 6f course9 The most )ust because ( 27/

would do nothing but allow what 'od wanted for birds to be accomplished...+ Aery clever of you, Mar)iam9 0ou have spoken as a wise man. 0ou will be a great teacher of your /ord, and those who listen to you will believe you, because you will speak to them as a wise man9+ =eally, Jesus,- His little face, previously worried and sad, then absorbed in thought, reserved in the effort of )udging what was best, settles down and brightens for the )oy of the praise. + 0es, really. .ow look9 0ou have )udged thus, because you are a clever boy. .ow consider how 'od will )udge, since He is &erfection itself, with regard to souls and what is best for them. %ouls are like birds, enclosed in the cages of bodies. The earth is the place where they are brought with their cages. "ut they yearn for the freedom of Heaven for the %un which is 'od for .ourishment suitable to them, which is the contemplation of 'od. .o human love, not even the holy love of a mother for her children or of children for their mother, is so strong as to suffocate such yearning of souls to be re)oined to their 6rigin, which is 'od. /ikewise 'od, because of His perfect love for us, finds no reason so strong as to exceed His desire to be re)oined to the soul longing for Him. 5hat happens then, %ometimes He loves it so much that He says to it* 3:ome9 ( will free you.4 1nd He says so even if there are some children around a mother. He sees everything. He knows everything. 5hat He does, He does well. 5hen He frees a soul ; the limited intelligence of men may not think so, but it is true ; when He frees a soul, He always does it for a greater welfare of the soul itself and of its relatives. 1s ( have already told you, He 271

then adds to the ministry of the guardian angel the ministry of the soul which He has called to Himself, and which loves its relatives with a love free from human burdens, because it loves them in 'od. 5hen He frees a soul, He binds Himself to take its place in taking care of the survivors. Has He not done that with you, Has He not made you, little child of (srael, My disciple, My future priest,+ 0es, my /ord, He has.+ .ow consider this. 0our mother will be freed by Me and will not need your suffrages. "ut had she died after =edemption and were she in need of suffrages, you could pray for her as a priest. Just think* all you could have done was to spend some money to give an offering to a priest of the Temple so that he would make on her behalf a sacrifice of victims, such as lambs or doves or other fruits of the earth. That in case you had remained the little peasant Jabe8 near your mother. (nstead, you, Mar)iam, the priest of :hrist, could offer directly for her the true %acrifice of the perfect Aictim, in 5hose name all forgiveness is granted9+ 1nd will ( no longer be able to do it,+ .ot for your father, mother and little brothers. "ut you will be able to do it for friends and disciples. (s that not beautiful,+ 0es, /ord.+ 5ell, then, let us go back home and be cheerful once again.+ 0es... "ut ( did not let 0ou pray9... ( am sorry...272

+ "ut we did pray9 5e considered the truth, we contemplated 'od in His bounty... 1ll that is prayer. 1nd you did it as a true adult. :ome on, now. /et us sing a psalm of praise for the )oy which is within us.- 1nd He begins to sing* + 3My heart is stirred by a noble theme...4Mar)iam )oins his silvery voice to the bron8e and golden voice of Jesus.

805. Si on <ealot at +a2areth.

11th )ctober 1!45.

(t gets dark early in December, the lights are lit early and families gather in one room. That happens also in the little house in .a8areth, and while the two women work, one at the loom, the other doing needlework, Jesus and John of 7ndor, sitting near the table, are talking in low voices, and Mar)iam is about to finish polishing two chests laid on the floor. The boy is working vigorously when Jesus stands up and bending over the wood says* + That is enough now. (t is smooth enough and tomorrow we will be able to paint it. &ut everything away now, because we will be working again tomorrow.- 1nd while Mar)iam goes out with his polishing tools ; stiff spatulas on which rough fish skin is nailed to do the work of our sandpaper, and implements like knives, but certainly not steel, for the same purpose ; Jesus lifts with His strong arms one of the chests and takes it into the workshop, where they must have been working because there are sawdust and wood#shavings 27,

near one of the benches, which has been placed in the centre of the room for the occasion. Mar)iam has put his tools back in their rests and is now picking up the shavings to throw them on the fire, as he says, and would also like to sweep up the sawdust, but John of 7ndor prefers to do it himself. 7verything has been tidied up when Jesus comes back with the second chest, which He puts near the first one. The three of them are about to come out when they hear someone knock at the door and immediately afterwards the grave voice of the Bealot resounds in a deep salutation to Mary* + Hail, Mother of my %aviour, ( bless 0our kindness which allows me to live under 0our roof.+ %imon has arrived. 5e will now learn why he is late. /et us go...- says Jesus. 5hen they enter the little room where the apostle is with the women, %imon is taking a large bundle off his shoulders. + &eace to you, %imon...+ 6h9 "lessed Master9 ( am late, am ( not, "ut ( have done everything and well...They kiss one another. %imon then continues his story* + ( went to see the carpenter2s widow. 0our assistance arrived at the right moment. The old woman is very ill and expenses have thus gone up. The little carpenter does his best to make little items, and always remembers 0ou. They all bless 0ou. ( then went to see .ara, %amira and %irah. Their brother is more difficult than ever. "ut they are peaceful, holy as they are, and they eat their poor bread dressed with tears and forgiveness. They bless 273

0ou for the assistance sent to them. "ut they ask 0ou to pray that their harsh brother may turn. 6ld =achel also blesses 0ou for 0our alms. $inally ( went to Tiberias to shop. ( hope ( got the right things, The women can now look at them... "ut ( was held in Tiberias by some people who thought ( was 0our forerunner. They se!uestrated me for three days... 6h9 ( may say that it was a golden prison9 "ut it was still a prison... They wanted to know so many things... ( told them the truth explaining that 0ou had dismissed us all and that 0ou had retired for the worst period of winter... 5hen they were convinced that it was true, also because they went to %imon of Jonah and &hilip without finding 0ou and without learning anything else, they let me go. 7ven the excuse of the bad weather was of no use, as the weather was lovely. That is why ( am late.+ (t does not matter. 5e have plenty time to be together. ( thank you for everything... Mother, look at the contents of the parcel with %yntyche and let Me know whether 0ou think it is enough for what 0ou know...- and while the women are opening the parcel, Jesus sits down and talks to %imon. + 1nd what have 0ou done, Master,+ ( made two chests, to avoid being idle and because they will be useful. ( went for walks, ( en)oyed being at home...%imon stares at Him... "ut does not say anything. The exclamations of Mar)iam, who sees lengths of linen and woollen cloths, sandals, veils and belts come out of the parcel, make Jesus and His two companions turn round. 275

Mary says* + 7verything is all right. 5e will begin to sew at once and everything will soon be ready.The boy asks* + 1re 0ou getting married, Jesus,7verybody laughs and Jesus asks* + 5hat makes you think so,+ 1ll these things for a man and a woman and the two chests 0ou made. They are for 0our trousseau and for 0our bride2s. 5ill 0ou let me make her ac!uaintance,+ Do you really want to meet My bride,+ 6h9 0es9 %he must be beautiful and good9 5hat is her name9...+ (t is a secret for the time being. "ecause she has two names, like you, who were first Jabe8 and then Mar)iam.+ 1nd can ( not know them,+ .ot )ust now. 0ou will know them one day.+ 5ill 0ou invite me to the wedding,+ (t will not be a feast for children. ( will invite you to the wedding party. 0ou will be one of the guests and a witness. 1ll right,+ How long will it be, (n a month2s time,+ 6h9 much longer9+ (n that case why did 0ou work so hurriedly as to get blisters on 0our hands,+ ( got them because ( no longer work with My hands. %ee, My dear child, how painful idleness is, 1lways. 5hen one resumes working one suffers twice as much 276

because one becomes too delicate. .ow, if it hurts one2s hands so much, how much will it hurt one2s soul, %ee, This evening ( had to ask you to help Me, because My hands were so sore that ( could not hold the rasp, whereas only two years ago ( could work for fourteen hours without feeling any pain. The same happens to those whose fervour and will become loose. 6ne becomes flaccid and feeble and grows weary of everything very easily, as the poisons of spiritual diseases affect those who are weak. 6n the other hand, it is twice as difficult to do good actions, which previously, when one was always in practice, cost no effort. 6h9 (t never pays to be idle saying* 31fter this period of time ( will resume working with fresh energy49 6ne would never succeed, or would succeed with the greatest difficulty.+ "ut 0ou have never been idle9+ .o. ( have done other work. "ut you can see that the idleness of My hands has been detrimental to them..1nd Jesus shows His hands which are red and blistered. Mar)iam kisses them saying* + My mother used to do that to me when ( hurt myself, because love heals.+ 0es, love heals many things... 5ell... :ome, %imon. 0ou will sleep in the carpenter2s room. :ome and ( will show you where you can put your clothes and...- they go out and it all ends.


80". An 5venin& at 4o e in +a2areth.

1!th )ctober 1!45.

The loom is idle because Mary and %yntyche are busy sewing the cloth brought by the Bealot. The material has been cut into pieces which have been folded and laid in an orderly pile on the table, shade by shade, and now and again the women take one piece and baste it on the table, so that the men have been pushed back towards the corner of the idle loom they are close to the women but are not interested in their work. The apostles James and Judas of 1lphaeus are also there and are watching the busy women, without asking any !uestions, but not without curiosity, ( think. The cousins speak of their brothers, and particularly of %imon, who has come with them as far as Jesus2 door and then gone away + because his son is not well-, says James, to mitigate the sad news and excuse his brother. "ut Judas is more severe and says* + That is why he should have come. "ut he also seems to have become dull#witted. /ike all the .a8arenes, after all, if we except 1lphaeus and the two disciples, about whose present whereabouts ( wonder. (t is clear that nothing else is good in .a8areth, and what was good has all been spat out, as if it tasted unpleasant to our town...+ Do not say that- begs Jesus. + Do not poison your soul. (t is no fault of theirs...+ 5hose fault is it, then,+ 6f many things... Do not be in!uisitive. .ot everybody in .a8areth is hostile. :hildren...27-

+ "ecause they are children.+ 5omen...+ "ecause they are women. "ut neither children nor women will assert 0our <ingdom.+ 5hy not, Judas, 0ou are wrong. Today2s children will be tomorrow2s disciples and will propagate the <ingdom all over the world. 1nd women... 5hy can they not do it,+ 0ou certainly cannot make apostles of women. 1t most they may be women disciples, who will assist disciples, as 0ou said.+ 0ou will change your mind about many things in future, My dear brother. "ut ( will not even attempt to make you change it. ( would clash with a mentality which comes to you as the result of centuries of wrong conceptions and preconceptions concerning women. ( only ask you to observe and make a note of the differences which you see between disciples and women disciples and to watch how they respond to My teaching. 0ou will see, beginning with your mother, who we can say was the first disciple in order of time and of heroism, and still is, as she bravely makes headway against the whole town which sneers at her because she is faithful to Me, and she resists the voice of her own blood which spares her no reproach because she is faithful to Me, and you will see that women disciples are better than you disciples.+ ( admit that, it is true. "ut which women disciples are there in .a8areth, 1lphaeus2 daughters, the mothers of (shmael and 1ser and their sisters. 1nd that is all. Too few. ( would rather not come back to .a8areth not to see all that.270

+ &oor mother9 0ou would give her deep sorrow- says Mary intervening in the conversation. + That2s true- says James. + %he hopes so much to reconcile our brothers to Jesus and to us. ( don2t think that she wishes anything else. "ut we shall certainly not do it by staying away. %o far ( have listened to you by remaining alone. "ut as from tomorrow ( want to go out and approach people... "ecause if we are to evangeli8e even 'entiles, shall we not evangeli8e our own town, ( refuse to believe that it is so wicked and cannot be changed.Judas Thaddeus does not reply but he is obviously annoyed. %imon Bealot who has been silent all the time, intervenes* + ( do not wish to insinuate a suspicion. "ut let me ask you a !uestion to relieve your minds. My !uestion is* are you sure that in the stiffness of .a8areth no alien powers are involved, which have come from outside and which work satisfactorily here on a factor which, if men reasoned according to )ustice, should be the best guarantee that the Master is the Holy Man of 'od, The knowledge of the perfect life of Jesus, a citi8en of .a8areth, should make it very easy for the .a8arenes to accept Him as the promised Messiah. (, and with me many of my age here in .a8areth, have known, more than you have, several alleged Messiahs, at least by repute. 1nd ( can assure you that their private lives discredited the most stubborn assertion of their Messianism. =ome persecuted them fiercely as rebels. "ut apart from their political ideas, which =ome could not allow where she rules, those false Messiahs deserved being punished for many private reasons. 5e stirred 2-/

their blood and supported them because they helped to satisfy our spirit of rebellion against =ome. 5e countenanced them because, dull as we are, we thought ; until the Master did not clarify the truth, and unfortunately, even so, we still do not believe as we ought to, that is completely ; we thought that they were the promised 3king4. They lulled our de)ected souls with hopes of national independence and reconstruction of the kingdom of (srael. "ut, oh9 how miserable9 5hat a fleeting and corrupt kingdom it would have been,9 .o, in actual fact to call those false Messiahs kings of (srael and founders of the promised <ingdom, was to deeply humiliate the Messianic idea. (n the Master a holy life is )oined to profound doctrine. 1nd .a8areth is aware of that, as no other town is. .either do ( think of accusing .a8areth of misbelief in His supernatural birth, with which the .a8arenes are not ac!uainted. "ut His life9... .ow, so much hatred, so much impenetrable resistance, nay, so much increased resistance... could it not originate from hostile manoeuvres, 5e know Jesus2 enemies. 5e know what they are worth. Do you think that they have been inactive or absent only here, when they have preceded us, or marched side by side with us, or followed us everywhere to destroy the work of the :hrist, Do not accuse .a8areth of being the only culprit. "ut weep for it, for it has been misled by Jesus2 enemies.+ 5hat you have said, %imon, is very true. 5eep for it...says Jesus. 1nd He is very sad. John of 7ndor remarks* + 0ou are !uite right also in stating that a favourable factor changes into an unfavourable one, because the thoughts of man are seldom according to )ustice. The first obstacle here is the 2-1

humble birth, the humble childhood, the humble boyhood, the humble youth of our Jesus. Man forgets that real values are concealed under modest appearances whereas nonentities are disguised as great people in order to impose themselves on the crowds.+ (t may be... "ut nothing will change my opinion of my fellow citi8ens. 5hatever they have been told, they should have )udged the Master by His real deeds and not by the words of unknown people.There is a long silence, broken only by the noise of cloth being divided into strips by the "lessed Airgin to make borders. %yntyche has never spoken, but has been most attentive. Her attitude is always one of deep respect and reservedness, and it is not !uite so rigid only with Mary and the boy. "ut the boy has fallen asleep sitting on a little stool at %yntyche2s feet, with his head on his folded arm resting on her knees. %he does not move and waits for Mary to hand her the strips. + 5hat an innocent sleep... He is smiling- remarks Mary bending over the sleeping child. + ( wonder what he is dreaming- says %imon smiling. + He is a very intelligent boy. He learns !uickly and he wants lucid explanations. He asks very shrewd !uestions and wants clear answers on everything. ( admit that at times ( am embarrassed in giving him an answer. :ertain topics are above his age and sometimes they are above my capability to explain them- says John. + %ure9 /ike that day... Do you remember, John, 0ou had two vexing pupils that day9 1nd very ignorant- says %yntyche smiling !uietly and looking at the disciple with 2-2

deep eyes. John smiles too and says* + 0es. 1nd you had a very poor teacher, who had to call the true Teacher to help him... because in none of the books which he had read, had that silly teacher found the answer to give to a child. 5hich proves that ( am still an ignorant teacher.+ Human science is still ignorance, John. The teacher was not inade!uate, but what they had given him in order to be a teacher was not sufficient. &oor human science9 How mutilated it looks to me9 (t makes me think of a deity which was honoured in 'reece. 6nly pagan materialism could believe that the 'reeks would possess the goddess of Aictory forever, because she was wingless9 .ot only they stripped Aictory of her wings, but they deprived us of our freedom... (t would have been better if she had had her wings, in our belief. 5e could have believed that she was capable of flying and stealing celestial thunderbolts to strike our enemies. "ut in the state she was she gave us no hope, but only de)ection and sadness. ( could not look at her without suffering... 1nd she seemed to be suffering and looked humiliated by her mutilation. %he looked a symbol of sorrow, not of )oy... 1nd she was. 1nd man does to %cience what he did to Aictory. He cuts off its wings, which could achieve supernatural knowledge and thus give him the key to discover many secrets of knowledge and of creation. They believed and believe that they can keep it a prisoner by cutting off its wings... 1nd have thus made it dull and deficient... 5inged %cience would be 5isdom. 1s it is, it is only partial understanding.+ 1nd did My Mother reply to you that day,2-,

+ 0es, %he did, with perfect lucidity and chaste words, suitable to be heard by a boy and two adults of different sex, so that none of us had to blush.+ 5hat was it about,+ The original sin, Master. ( wrote 0our Mother2s explanation, so that ( would remember it- says %yntyche, and John of 7ndor also says* + %o did (. ( think it will be one of the points we will be asked to clarify, if we go among the 'entiles one day. "ut ( do not think ( will be going because...+ 5hy, John,+ "ecause ( will not live long.+ "ut would you go willingly,+ More than many people in (srael, because ( am not biased. 1nd also... 0es, also because ( have set a bad example among the 'entiles at :intium and in 1natolia. ( would have liked to do some good where ( did wrong. The good to be done* take 0our word there and make 0ou known... "ut it would have been too great an honour... ( do not deserve it.Jesus looks at him smiling but does not say anything in that connection. He asks* + 1nd have you no other !uestions to ask,+ ( have one. (t occurred to me the other evening when 0ou were talking to the boy about idleness. ( endeavoured to find an answer, but ( was not successful. ( intended to wait until the %abbath and ask 0ou, when our hands are not active and our souls, in 0our hands, are elevated to 'od- says %yntyche. 2-3

+ 0ou may ask Me now, while we are awaiting bedtime.+ This is it, Master. 0ou said that those who become slack in their spiritual work grow feeble and are predisposed to spiritual diseases. (s that right,+ 0es, woman.+ .ow that appears to me to be in contrast with what ( have heard from 0ou and from 0our Mother on original sin, its effects in us and the fact that we will be freed from it through 0ou. 0ou taught me that =edemption will cancel the original sin. ( do not think that ( am wrong if ( say that it will not be cancelled in everybody, but only in those who believe in 0ou.+ 5hich is true.+ %o ( will not take into account the others, but only one of those who have been saved. ( will consider him after the effects of =edemption. His soul is no longer stained with original sin. He is therefore once again in the possession of 'race as our $irst &arents were. Does that, then, not give his soul a strength unassailable by any weakness, 0ou will say* 3Man commits personal sins also.4 ( agree. "ut they will vanish as well through 0our =edemption. ( will not ask 0ou how. "ut ( suppose that 0ou will leave some means, some symbols... as evidence that 0our =edemption has actually taken place and ( do not know how it will happen, although what is referred to 0ou in the Holy "ook makes one shudder, and ( hope that it will be a symbolical suffering, confined to the morale, although moral grief is not a false impression and is perhaps more dreadful than physical pain. 0ou will leave some means, some symbols. 7very religion has them, and at times they are called mysteries... The baptism, at 2-5

present in force in (srael, is one, is it not,+ (t is. 1lso in My =eligion there will be signs of My =edemption to be applied to souls to purify, strengthen, enlighten, support, nourish and absolve them, but with a different name from the one mentioned by you.+ %o, (f they are absolved also of personal sins, they will always be in grace... %o how can they be weak and predisposed to spiritual diseases,+ ( will make a comparison for you. /et us take a new born baby, who is healthy and strong and was born of very healthy parents. He has no physical hereditary taint. His body is perfect both with regard to its skeleton and its organs and his blood is wholesome. He has therefore all the necessary re!uisites to grow strong and sound, also because his mother has plenty nourishing milk. "ut in the early days of his life he suffered from a very serious disease, of unknown origin. (t was a real deadly disease. He recovers with difficulty by the mercy of 'od, 5ho keeps him alive when life was on the point of departing from his little body. 5ell, do you think that later that boy will be as strong as if he never had had that disease, .o, he will suffer from an everlasting state of debility. 7ven if it is not evident, it will still be there and he will be predisposed to diseases with greater ease than if he had never been ill. %ome organ of his will not be as wholesome as previously. 1nd his blood will not be !uite so strong and pure as previously. 1nd thus he will catch illnesses more easily. 1nd such illnesses, every time he contracts them, will make him more exposed to be taken ill. The same applies in the spiritual field. The 6riginal sin will be cancelled in those who believe in Me. "ut their souls will still have an inclination to sin, which 2-6

they would not have had, had there been no 6riginal sin. (t is therefore necessary to continuously watch and take care of one2s soul, as a solicitous mother does with her little son, who has been left weak by an infantile disease. %o you must not be idle, but always active to grow stronger in virtue. (f one falls into sluggishness or tepidity, one will be more easily seduced by %atan. 1nd each grave sin, which is like a serious relapse, will always predispose one to diseases and spiritual death. "ut if 'race, restored by =edemption, is assisted by an active indefatigable will, it will remain. .ay, it will increase, because it will be associated with the virtue achieved by man. Holiness and 'race9 5hich safe wings to fly to 'od9 Have you understood,+ 0es, my /ord. 0ou, that is the Most Holy Trinity, give the basic Means to man. Man with his work and care must not destroy it. ( understand. 7very grave sin destroys 'race, that is, the health of the spirit. The signs which 0ou will leave us, will give health back, that is true. "ut an obstinate sinner, who does not struggle to avoid sin, will become weaker each time, even if he is forgiven each time. 6ne must therefore be vigilant in order not to perish. Thank 0ou, Master... Mar)iam is waking up. (t2s late...-. + 0es. /et us pray all together and then we will go to rest.Jesus stands up, imitated by everybody, also by the boy still half asleep. 1nd the + 6ur $ather- resounds loud and harmonious in the little room.


807. -es,s and the 3ife of 4is Co,sin Si on.

20th )ctober 1!45.

Jesus with %imon Bealot and Mar)iam goes through .a8areth towards the country stretching towards :ana. 1nd He crosses His sceptical hostile town, along the more central streets, and cuts diagonally across the market s!uare, crowded in the early morning. Many turn to look at Him very few citi8ens greet Him, women, particularly elderly ones, smile at Him, but with the exception of few children, no one comes to Him. &eople whisper after He has gone by. Jesus certainly sees everything, but pretends He does not. He speaks to %imon or to the boy, who is between them, and proceeds on His way. They are now at the last houses. 1 woman, about forty years old, is on the door step of one of them. %he seems to be waiting for someone. 5hen she sees Jesus, she makes the gesture of moving, then she stops and lowers her head blushing. + %he is a relative of Mine. %he is the wife of %imon of 1lphaeus- says Jesus to the apostle. The woman seems to be on tenterhooks, overwhelmed by clashing sentiments. %he changes colour, raises and lowers her head, and her face expresses a keen desire to speak, which is restrained by some reason. + &eace to you, %alome- greets Jesus when He arrives near her. The woman looks at Him as if she were surprised at the kindness in the voice of her =elative and she replies, blushing even more* + &eace to...- 1 lump in her throat 2--

prevents her from ending the sentence. %he hides her face in her folded arm and weeps desolately, leaning against the doorpost. + 5hy are you weeping thus, %alome, (s there anything ( can do to console you, :ome here, round the corner, and tell Me what the matter is...- and He takes her by the elbow and leads her into a little lane between her house and her neighbour2s kitchen garden. %imon stays at the entrance of the lane with Mar)iam who is utterly astonished. + 5hat is the matter, %alome, 0ou know that ( have always loved you. ( have always loved you all. 1nd ( still love you. 0ou must believe that and trust Me...%he stops weeping now and again, as if she wanted to listen to those words and understand their true meaning, then she resumes weeping more loudly, uttering disconnected words* + 0es, 0ou... 5e "ut not (... .ot even %imon... "ut he is more foolish than ( am ( said* 3:all Jesus4... "ut the whole village is against us... against 0ou me... and my boy...- 5hen she touches the tragical point, her weeping becomes tragical, too. %he writhes and moans striking her face as if she were mad with grief. Jesus grasps her hands saying* + Don2t do that. ( am here to comfort you. %peak, and ( will do everything...The woman looks at Him with eyes wide open with astonishment and grief. "ut hope gives her energy to speak and to speak in an orderly way* + 5ill 0ou have mercy on me, even if %imon is guilty, 5ill 0ou,... 6h9 Jesus... 0ou save everybody9 My boy9 1lphaeus, the last one, is ill... he is dying9... 0ou loved 1lphaeus. 0ou used 2-0

to carve toys in wood for him... 0ou lifted him up that he might pick the grapes and figs of 0our trees... and before 0ou left... to travel about, 0ou used to teach him so many good things... .ow 0ou would not be able... He is as good as dead... He will never eat grapes or figs again. He will never learn anything...- and she weeps her heart out. + %alome, be good. Tell Me, what is the matter with him,+ He is seriously ill with stomach trouble. He has been shouting, suffering terribly and delirious for days. .ow he does not speak any more. He is like one whose head has been struck. He moans but does not answer. He can hardly moan. He is deathly pale and his body is getting cold. $or days ( have begged %imon to come to 0ou. "ut... 6h9 ( have always loved him, but now ( hate him because he is a fool and for a foolish idea he is allowing my son to die. "ut, if he dies, ( will go away. ( will go back to my house. 5ith the other children. He is not capable of being a father at the right moment. 1nd ( am defending my children. ( will go away. 0es, ( will. &eople can say what they like. "ut ( am going away.+ Do not say that. 'ive up your idea of revenge.+ 6f )ustice. ( rebel against them all. %ee, ( had to wait for 0ou, because none of them would say to 0ou* 3:ome4. "ut ( do. 1nd ( had to do it as if it were something wrong. 1nd ( cannot say to 0ou* 3:ome in4, because Joseph2s relatives are in the house and...+ (t is not necessary. :an you promise Me that you will forgive %imon, That you will always be a good wife to him, (f you promise Me, ( will say to you* 3'o home, your son is cured and will smile at 0ou4 ; :an you believe that,20/

+ ( believe in 0ou. 1gainst the whole world, ( do believe in 0ou.+ 1nd can you forgive as you believe,+ ... "ut... will 0ou really cure him,+ .ot only ( will. "ut ( promise you that %imon will cease doubting about Me, and little 1lphaeus, your other children, you and your husband will all come back to My house. Mary speaks of you so often...+ 6h9 Mary9 Mary9 %he was there when 1lphaeus was born... 0es, Jesus. ( will forgive. ( will not say anything to him... .o. ( will say to him* 3This is how Jesus replies to your behaviour* giving your son back to you4. ( can say that9+ 0es, you can... 'o, %alome. 'o. 5eep no more. 'oodbye. &eace to you, good %alome. 'o now.- He takes her back to the door, He watches her go in, He smiles seeing that in her anxiety she runs along the vestibule without even closing the door, and He sets it a)ar, slowly, and closes it. He then turns to His two companions and says* + 1nd now let us go where we had to go...+ Do 0ou think that %imon will turn,- asks the Bealot. + He is not an infidel. He only allows stronger people to dominate him.+ 5ell, then9 %tronger than a miracle9+ 0ou can see that you have replied by yourself... ( am glad ( saved the child. ( saw him when he was only a few hours old, and he has always been very fond of Me...+ 1s ( am, 1nd will he become a disciple,- asks Mar)iam 201

keenly and he looks rather sceptical that anyone can love Jesus as he does. + 0ou love Me as a boy and as a disciple. 1lphaeus loved Me only as a boy. "ut later he will love Me also as a disciple. "ut for the time being he is only a little boy. He will soon be eight years old. 0ou will meet him.+ %o ( am the only boy and disciple,+ 0ou are, at present. 0ou are the head of the boy disciples. 5hen you are a man remember that you were as good a disciple as men, and so open your arms to all the children who will come to you seeking Me and will say* 3( want to be a disciple of :hrist.4 5ill you do that,+ ( will- Mar)iam promises gravely... They are now in the open sunny country and they move away from me in the bright sunshine...

801. Si on $oes 9ac7 to -es,s.

21st )ctober 1!45.

They are made welcome in a poor house where there is a little grandmother surrounded by a little group of children, from ten down to about two years old. The house is situated in the middle of fields, rather neglected, many of which are meadows with a few surviving fruit# trees. + &eace to you, Johanna. 1re things better today, Did they come and help you,202

+ 0es, Master and Jesus. 1nd they told me that they will come back to sow. (t will be late, but they tell me that it will grow.+ 6f course, it will. 5hat would be a miracle of the earth and of seed, will become a miracle of 'od. %o a perfect miracle. 0our fields will be the best in this area, and these little birds which are around you will have plenty corn for their mouths. Do not weep any more. .ext year the situation will improve very much. "ut ( will still help you. 6r better* a good lady whose name is the same as yours, and who is never sated with doing good, will help you. /ook* this is for you. (t will enable you to make both ends meet until harvest#time.The old woman takes the purse and Jesus2 hand at the same time and weeping kisses the latter. %he then asks* + Tell me who this good lady is, that ( may mention her name to the /ord.+ 1 disciple of Mine and a sister of yours. Her name is known to Me and to the $ather in Heaven.+ 6h9 (t2s 0ou9...+ ( am poor, Johanna. ( give what people give Me. 6f My own ( have but miracles. 1nd ( am sorry that ( did not hear of your misfortune before. ( came as soon as %usanna told Me. Too late now. "ut the work of 'od will shine brighter thus.+ /ate9 0es, it is late9 Death was so !uick in mowing here9 1nd it took the young ones. .ot me, now useless. .ot these* immature ones. "ut those fit to work. :ursed be the moon of 7lul, laden with evil influence9+ Do not curse the planet. (t has nothing to do with it... 20,

1re these little ones good, :ome here. %ee, 1lso this boy has no father or mother. 1nd he cannot even live with his grandfather. "ut 'od does not abandon him. 1nd will not abandon him as long as he is good. (s that right, Mar)iam,Mar)iam nods assent and speaks to the little ones who have gathered round him, they are younger than he is, but some of them are a good bit taller. He says* + 6h9 (t is true that 'od does not abandon one. ( can say so. My grandfather prayed for me. 1nd 0our father and mother certainly prayed for you in the next world. 1nd 'od heard those prayers, because He is Aery 'ood, and He always hears the prayers of )ust people, whether they are living or dead. 0our deceased parents and your dear granny here have certainly prayed for you. Do you love her,+ 0es, yes...- the peeping of the orphan swarm rises enthusiastically. Jesus becomes silent in order to listen to the conversation of His little disciple and the orphans. + That2s right. 5e must not make old people weep. (n actual fact we must not make anybody weep, because those who grieve their neighbour, grieve 'od. "ut old people9 The Master is kind to everybody. "ut He is more than kind and loving with old people and children. "ecause children are innocent and old people suffer. They have already wept so much9 5e must love them twice, three times, ten times, for those who no longer love them. Jesus always says that he who does not honour an old person is doubly#wicked, like he who ill#treats a child. "ecause old people and children cannot defend 203

themselves. %o be good to your old mother.+ %ometimes ( do not help her...- says one of the bigger ones. + 5hy, 1fter all you eat the bread which she procures for you with her work9 Does it not taste of tears when you upset her, 1nd you, woman, >the woman is ten years old at most and she is a very thin pale girl? do you help her,The little brothers reply all together* + 6h9 =achel is good9 %he stays up until late to spin the little wool we have and she became feverish working in the field to prepare it to be sown when our father was dying.+ 'od will reward you for that- says Mar)iam gravely. + He has already rewarded me by relieving my granny of her worry.Jesus intervenes* + Do you not want anything else,+ .o, /ord.+ "ut are you cured,+ .o, /ord. "ut it does not matter. 7ven if ( die now, my grandmother is assisted. &reviously ( was sorry to die because ( helped her.+ "ut death is dreadful, child...+ 1s 'od helps me in life, He will help me in death and ( will go to my mother... 6h9 don2t weep, grandmother9 ( love you, too, dear grandmother. ( will not say that again if it makes you weep. .ay, if you wish so, ( will ask the /ord to cure me... Don2t weep, my little mother...- and she embraces the desolate old woman. 205

+ :ure her, /ord. 0ou made my grandfather happy because of me. Make this old woman happy now.+ 'races are obtained through sacrifices. 5hat sacrifice will you make to obtain it,- asks Jesus seriously. Mar)iam thinks... He seeks the most painful thing to give up... and then he smiles* + ( will have no more honey for a whole month.+ That is not much9 The month of :hislev is already far gone...+ 5hen ( say a month ( mean the four phases of the moon. 1nd )ust think... during these days there is the $east of /ights and honey cakes...+ That is true. 5ell, =achel will recover, thanks to you. .ow let us go. 'oodbye, Johanna. ( will come back before ( go away. 'oodbye, =achel, goodbye, Toby. "e good. 'oodbye, you little ones. May My blessing rest upon you all, and My peace be with you.They go out followed by the blessing of the old woman and the children. Mar)iam, after being + apostle and victim- begins to )ump like a little kid and runs ahead. %imon remarks with a smile* + His first sermon and his first sacrifice. He is a promising boy, don2t 0ou think so, Master,+ 0es, ( do. "ut he has preached before. 1lso to Judas of %imon...+ ... and the /ord seems to make children speak to him... &robably to avoid revenge by him...+ .ot revenge... ( do not think he would go so far. "ut 206

strong reactions, yes... He who deserves being reproached, does not love the truth... "ut it must be spoken...- says Jesus with a sigh. %imon watches Him, then he asks* + Master, tell me the truth. 0ou have sent him away, and 0ou decided to send everybody home for the Dedication, to prevent Judas from being in 'alilee )ust now. ( will not ask 0ou and ( do not want 0ou to tell me why it is better that the man from <erioth should not be with us. ( only wish to know whether ( have guessed right. 5e all think so, 0ou know, 7ven Thomas. He said to me* 3( will go without reacting because ( realise that there is a serious reason behind it.4 1nd he added* 3The Master is right in doing what He does. There are too many .ahums, %adocs, Johanans and 7lea8ars among Judas2 friends...4 Thomas is not stupid9... 1nd he is not bad, although he is very much a man. He is very sincere in his love for 0ou...+ ( know. 1nd what you all suspected is true. 0ou will soon learn the reason...+ 5e are not asking 0ou to tell us.+ "ut ( will have to ask you to help Me and ( must tell you.Mar)iam runs back and says* + Master over there, at the )unction of the path with the main road, there is 0our cousin %imon he is all of a sweat like one who has been running. He asked me* 35here is Jesus,4 ( replied* 3He is here, behind me, with %imon Bealot.4 He said to me* 35ill He be passing here,4 36f course4 ( replied. 3He will pass here to go back home, unless He does what birds do* they fly from all directions to go back to their nests. Do you want Him,4 ( asked him. He remained uncertain. 1nd yet 207

( am sure that he wants 0ou.+ Master, he has already seen his wife... /et us do this. Mar)iam and ( will leave 0ou free. 5e will go round the back of .a8areth. (n any case... we are not in a hurry. 1nd 0ou will go along the main road.+ 0es, thank you, %imon. ( will see you later.They part and Jesus !uickens His step towards the main road. There is %imon, leaning against a trunk, panting and drying his perspiration. 1s soon as he sees Jesus, he raises his arms... he then drops them and lowers his head de)ectedly. 5hen Jesus arrives near him, He lays a hand on his shoulder asking* + 5hat do you want, %imon, To make Me happy with a word of love, which ( have been awaiting for many days,%imon lowers his head even more and is silent... + %peak, then. 1m ( perhaps a stranger to you, .o, you really are always My good brother %imon, and ( am your little Jesus, 5hom you used to carry in your arms, with some difficulty, but with so much love, when we came back to .a8areth.The man covers his face with both hands and falls on his knees* + 6h9 My Jesus9 ( am the guilty one, but ( have been punished enough...+ :ome on, stand up9 5e are relatives. 5hat is it that you want,+ My boy9 He is...- a lump in his throat prevents him from speaking. 20-

+ 0our boy, 5hat about him,+ He is dying. 1nd %alome2s love is dying with him... and ( am left with double remorse* ( am losing son and wife at the same time... /ast night ( thought that he was really dead and she looked like a hyena. %he shouted at me* 3Murderer of your son94 ( prayed that that might not happen, and ( swore to myself that ( would come to 0ou, if the boy recovered a little, also at the cost of being driven away ; as ( actually deserve ; to tell 0ou that 0ou are the only one who can avert my calamity. 1t dawn the boy recovered a little... ( ran from my house to 0ours, round the back of the town, to avoid any possible hindrance... ( knocked at the door. Mary opened and was ama8ed. %he could have ill#treated me. "ut she only said* 35hat is the matter with you, poor %imon,4 1nd %he caressed me as if ( were a child... 1nd that made me weep. 1nd my pride and hesitancy ceased thus. 5hat Judas told us cannot be true, ( mean Judas 0our apostle, not my brother. ( did not say that to Mary, but ( say it to myself, beating my chest, and casting contumelies on myself ever since. ( asked Her* 3(s Jesus in, (t2s for 1lphaeus. He is dying... Mary replied* 3=un9 He has gone towards :ana with the boy and an apostle. He is on the :ana road. "ut you must be !uick. He went out at dawn. He is about to come back. ( will pray that you may find Him.4 .ot one word of reproach, not even one, although ( deserve so many9+ .either will ( reproach you. "ut ( open My arms to you to...+ 1las9 To tell me that 1lphaeus is dead9...+ .o. To tell you that ( love you.200

+ :ome, then9 Juick9+ .o. (t is not necessary.+ 1re 0ou not coming, 1h9 1re 0ou not forgiving me, 6r is 1lphaeus dead, "ut even if he is, Jesus, since 0ou raise the dead, give me back my son9 6h9 'ood Jesus9... Holy Jesus9 5hom ( abandoned9... Jesus... Jesus...- The solitary road is filled with the tears of the man, who, kneeling down, fingers Jesus2 mantle convulsively, or kisses His feet, tortured by sorrow, remorse and paternal love... + Did you not go home before coming here,+ .o. ( ran here like a madman... 5hy, (s there more trouble, Has %alome already run away, Has she become mad, %he seemed mad last night...+ %alome has spoken to Me. %he wept, she believed. 'o home, %imon. 0our son is cured.+ 0ou9... 0ou9... 0ou have done that, for me who offended 0ou by believing that snake, 6h9 /ord9 ( do not deserve so much9 $orgive me9 Tell me what 0ou want me to do to make amends, to let 0ou know that ( love 0ou, to convince 0ou that ( suffered in being stand#offish, to tell 0ou that ( wanted to speak to 0ou, since 0ou have been here, even before 1lphaeus was so ill9... "ut... but...+ .ever mind. (t is all over. ( have forgotten about it. Do the same yourself. 1nd forget also the words of Judas of <erioth. He is a boy. 1ll ( want from you is this* that you will never repeat those words to My disciples, to My apostles, and least of all, to My Mother. That is all. .ow go home, %imon. 'o and be in peace... Do not delay in taking part in the )oy which has filled your house. 'o.,//

He kisses him and gently pushes him towards .a8areth. + 1re 0ou not coming with me,+ ( will wait for you with %alome and 1lphaeus in My house. 'o. 1nd remember that the present )oy comes to you, thanks to your wife, who believed the truth.+ Do 0ou mean that (...+ .o. ( mean that ( have understood that you have repented. 1nd you repented because of her cry accusing you... 'od really shouts through the mouths of good people, reproaching and advising9... 1nd ( saw the firm humble faith of %alome. 'o, ( tell you. Do not wait any longer to thank her.1nd Jesus almost pushes him roughly to persuade him to go. 1nd when %imon finally goes away, He blesses him... and then shakes His head in mute solilo!uy and tears slowly run down His pale cheeks... 6ne word only hints at the trend of His thought* + Judas9-... He sets out along the same road taken by the Bealot, behind the boundary of the village, towards His house.

80!. Si on :eter at +a2areth.

22nd )ctober 1!45.

(t is late in the morning when &eter, all alone and unexpected, arrives at the house in .a8areth. He is laden like a porter with baskets and little sacks. "ut he is so happy that he feels neither weight nor fatigue. ,/1

He smiles blissfully at Mary, 5ho goes to open the door, and he greets Her with )oy and veneration at the same time. He then asks* + 5here are the Master and Mar)iam,+ They are on the embankment, above the grotto, but towards 1lphaeus2 house. ( think that Mar)iam is picking olives and Jesus is certainly meditating. ( will call them.+ ( will see to that.+ /eave all your bundles first.+ .o. They are a surprise for the boy. ( like to see him open his eyes wide and rummage eagerly... (t makes him so happy, poor boy.He goes out into the kitchen garden, he goes under the embankment, he hides in the cavity of the grotto, and he then shouts, altering his voice a little* + &eace to 0ou, Master-, and then in his natural voice* + Mar)iam9...Mar)iam2s shrill voice, which filled the peaceful air with exclamations, becomes !uiet... There is a pause, then the almost girlish voice of the boy asks* + Master, but was that not my father calling me,Jesus was perhaps so engrossed in thought that He did not hear anything, and He openly admits it. &eter calls once again* + Mar)iam9- and he laughs his usual hearty laugh. + 6h9 it is him9 $ather9 $ather9 5here are you,- He leans out to look in the kitchen garden, but does not see anything... Jesus also comes forward and looks... He sees Mary 5ho is smiling on the doorstep and John and %yntyche who ,/2

are also smiling from the room at the end of the kitchen garden near the stone#oven. "ut Mar)iam comes to a decision* he )umps from the embankment, )ust near the grotto, and &eter is ready to catch him before he touches the ground. (t is touching to see how they greet each other. Jesus, Mary and the two disciples at the end of the kitchen garden watch them, smiling, and then they all gather round the little fond group. &eter frees himself, as best he can, from the grip of the boy to bow to Jesus and greet Him once again. Jesus embraces him with the boy, who is still clinging to the apostle and asks* + 1nd mother,"ut &eter replies to Jesus 5ho asks him* + 5hy did you come so soon,+ Did 0ou think ( could stay away so long without seeing 0ou, 1nd then... 7h9 then there is &orphirea who did not leave Me in peace* 3'o and see Mar)iam. Take him this. Take him that.4 %he seemed to think that Mar)iam was among highwaymen or in a desert. The other night she got up )ust to make honey cakes and as soon as they were baked, she sent me off...+ 1h9 honey cakes9...- shouts Mar)iam. Then he becomes silent. + 0es. They are in here with figs dried in the oven, olives and red apples. 1nd she baked an olive oil loaf for you. 1nd she sent you some cheese made with the milk of your sheep. 1nd there is also a water resistant tunic. 1nd then, and then... ( don2t know what else there is. 5hat, 1re you no longer in a hurry, 1re you weeping, 6h9 ,/,

5hy,+ "ecause ( would have preferred you to bring her here, instead of all these things... ( am very fond of her, you know,+ 6h9 Divine Mercy9 5ho would have thought that,9 (f she were here listening to you, she would melt like butter...+ Mar)iam is right. 0ou could have come with her. %he certainly wishes to see him after such a long time. 5e women are )ust like that with our children...- says Mary. + 5ell... "ut she will see him before long, won2t she, Master,+ 0es, after the Dedication, when we go away... .o... 5hen you come back, after the Dedication, you will come with her. %he will stay here with him for a few days, and then they will go back to "ethsaida together.+ 6h9 How lovely9 ( will be here with two mothers9- The boy is cheerful once again and happy. They all go into the house and &eter relieves himself of his bundles. + Here is some dried, pickled and fresh fish. (t will be useful to 0our Mother. 1nd here is some of that cream cheese, which 0ou like so much, Master. 1nd here are some eggs for John. ( hope they are not broken... .o. 'ood. 1nd some grapes. ( got them from %usanna at :ana, where ( slept. Then... 1h9 /ook at this Mar)iam9 /ook how clear it is. (t seems to be made with Mary2s hair-... 1nd he opens a )ar of treacly honey. + 5hy so much stuff, 0ou have gone to a lot of trouble, ,/3

%imon- says Mary looking at the bundles, parcels, vases and )ars on the table. + Trouble, .o. ( had a good haul and ( made a good profit. That, as far as the fish is concerned. 5ith regard to the rest* it is all home made. (t costs nothing but gives so much )oy to bring it. (n any case... 5e are now at the Dedication... That is the custom. (sn2t it, 1re you not tasting the honey,+ ( cannot- says Mar)iam seriously. + 5hy, 1re you not well,+ .o. "ut ( cannot take it.+ "ut why,The boy blushes but does not reply. He looks at Jesus and is silent. Jesus smiles and explains* + Mar)iam made a vow to obtain a grace. He cannot eat honey for four weeks.+ 1ll right. 0ou will eat it after... Take the )ar )ust the same... Just imagine9 ( didn2t think he was... so...+ %o generous, %imon. He who becomes accustomed to penance from his childhood, will find the path of virtue easy throughout life- says Jesus, while the boy goes away with the )ar in his hands. &eter watches him go and is ama8ed. He then asks* + (s the Bealot not in,+ He has gone to Mary of 1lphaeus. "ut he will soon be back. 0ou will be sleeping together tonight. :ome into the next room, %imon &eter.They go out while Mary and %yntyche tidy up the room ,/5

invaded by bundles. + Master... ( have come to see 0ou and the boy. That is true. "ut also because ( have been thinking a lot these days, particularly after the arrival of three poisonous hornets... whom ( told more lies than there are fish in the sea. They are now going to 'ethsemane as they think that John of 7ndor is there and then they will be going to /a8arus, hoping to find %yntyche and 0ou there. /et them walk9... "ut they will come back and... Master, they want to cause 0ou trouble because of those two wretched people...+ ( made all the necessary arrangements months ago. 5hen they come back looking for these two persecuted people, they will not find them anywhere in &alestine. %ee these chests, ( made them for John and %yntyche. Did you notice all those folded garments near the loom, They are for them. 1re you surprised,+ 0es, Master. 5here are 0ou sending them,+ To 1ntioch.&eter whistles meaningfully and then asks* + To whom, 1nd how will they go there,+ To a house belonging to /a8arus. The last one /a8arus has where his father governed in the name of =ome. 1nd they will go by sea...+ 1h9 ( see9 "ecause if John had to go there on foot...+ "y sea. ( am glad ( can speak to you about it. ( was going to send %imon to say to you* 3:ome4, to prepare everything. /isten. Two or three days after the $east of the Dedication we will leave from here few at a time, in ,/6

order not to attract anybody2s attention. The group will be formed by Me, you, your brother, James and John, My two cousins, John and %yntyche. 5e will go to &tolemais9 $rom there you will take them by boat to Tyre. There you will board a ship sailing to 1ntioch, as if you were proselytes going back home. 0ou will then come back and you will find Me at 1ch8ib. ( will be on the mountain top every day. (n any case the %pirit will guide you...+ 5hat, 1re 0ou not coming with us,+ ( would be noted too much. ( want to give peace to John2s soul.+ 1nd what will ( do since ( have never been away from here,+ 0ou are not a child... and soon you will have to go much farther than 1ntioch. ( trust you. 0ou can see that ( esteem you very much...+ 1nd what about &hilip and "artholomew,+ They will come and meet us at Jotopata and will evangeli8e while waiting for us. ( will write to them and you will take the letter.+ 1nd... those two over there, do they already know their destiny,+ .o. ( want them to celebrate the $east in peace...+ H2m. &oor people... $ancy that9 &eople are persecuted by criminals and...+ Do not foul your mouth, %imon.,/7

+ .o, Master... /isten... How will we carry these chests, 1nd John, He looks seriously ill to me.+ 5e will take a donkey.+ .o. 5e will take a cart.+ 1nd who will drive it,+ 7h9 (f Judas of %imon learned to row, %imon of Jonah will learn to drive a cart. (t should not be difficult to lead a donkey by the bridle. 5e will put the chests and those two in the cart... and we will go on foot. 0es, it is better to do that, believe me.+ 1nd who will give us the cart, =emember that ( do not want our departure to be noted.- &eter thinks... He makes up his mind* + Have 0ou any money,+ 0es. %till !uite a lot of the money we got for Misace2s )ewels.+ (n that case it is easy. 'ive me a sum. ( will get a donkey and cart from someone and... yes... we will make a present of the donkey to some poor wretch and the cart... we will see... ( am glad ( came. 1nd must ( really come back with my wife,+ 0es. (t is better.+ 'ood. "ut those two poor wretches9 ( am sorry that we shall no longer have John with us. True, we would not have had him for long... "ut, poor man9 He might have died here, like Jonah...+ They would not have allowed him. The world hates those who redeem themselves.+ He will feel humiliated...,/-

+ ( will find a reason to make him leave with ; a relieved mind.+ 5hich reason,+ The same as ( used to send away Judas of %imon* to work for Me.+ 1h9... The difference is that in John it will be holiness, whereas in Judas it is only pride.+ %imon, do not backbite.+ That is more difficult than to make a fish sing9 (t is the truth, Master, it is not backbiting... "ut ( think that %imon has come with 0our brothers. /et us go...+ /et us go. .ot a word to anybody.+ 1re 0ou telling me, ( cannot omit mentioning the truth when ( speak, but ( can be silent, if ( want. 1nd ( do want9 ( swore it to myself. (magine me going to 1ntioch9 To the ends of the earth9 6h9 ( wish ( were already back9 ( shall sleep no more until it is all over...They go out and ( see no more.

810. -es,s Spea7s abo,t the 4ol% 5cono % of =niversal (ove.

28rd )ctober 1!45.

( do not know whether it is the same day, but ( suppose it is, because &eter is sitting at the family table in ,/0

.a8areth. The meal is almost over and %yntyche gets up to put on the table some apples, nuts, grapes and almonds which end the supper, because it is evening and lamps have already been lit. They are talking about lamps when %yntyche brings the fruit. &eter says* + This year we will light an extra lamp, and then more and more, for you, son. "ecause we want to light it for you, even if you are here. (t is the first time we light one for a boy...- and %imon is moved when he ends* + (t would certainly be lovelier, if you were there...+ /ast year, %imon, it was ( who sighed for My %on far away, and with Me, Mary of 1lphaeus, %alome and also Mary of %imon in her house at <erioth, and Thomas2 mother...+ 6h9 Judas2 mother9 Her son will be with her this year... but ( do not think she will be happier... .ever mind... 5e were at /a8arus2. How many lights9... (t looked like a sky of gold and fire. /a8arus has his sister this year... "ut ( am sure of speaking the truth when ( say that they will be sighing because 0ou are not there. 1nd where will we be next year,+ ( will be very far away...- whispers John. &eter turns round to look at him, as he is sitting beside John, and he is on the point of asking something, but fortunately he controls himself, because of a meaningful look of Jesus. Mar)iam asks* + 5here will you be,+ "y the mercy of the /ord ( hope to be in 1braham2s bosom...,1/

+ 6h9 do you want to die, Do you not want to evangeli8e, 1re you not sorry to die before evangeli8ing,+ The word of the /ord is to be announced by holy lips. (t is a great favour if He allowed me to hear it and redeem myself through it. ( would have liked... "ut it is late...+ 1nd yet you will evangeli8e. 0ou have already done so. %o much so that you have attracted people2s attention. 0ou will therefore be called )ust the same an evangeli8ing disciple, even if you do not travel about preaching the 'ospel and in the next life you will receive the pri8e reserved for My evangeli8ers.+ 0our promise makes me desire death... 7very minute in life may conceal a snare, and weak as ( am, ( may not be able to overcome it. (f 'od receives me, being satisfied with what ( have done, is that not great bounty, which ( must bless,+ ( solemnly tell you that death will be supreme bounty for many, who will thus know to what extent man raves, from a place where peace will comfort them for such knowledge, and will change it into hosanna because it will be linked to the unutterable )oy of liberation from /imbo.+ 1nd where shall we be in future years, /ord,- asks %imon Bealot who has been listening diligently. + 5here it will please the 7ternal $ather. Do you want to engage the remote future, when we are not certain of the moment in which we live and whether we will be granted to end it, (n any case, whatever the place where the future Dedications will be celebrated, it will always be a holy one provided you are there to fulfill the will of 'od.,11

+ &rovided we are, 1nd what about 0ou,- asks &eter. + ( will always be where My beloved ones are.Mary has never spoken, but Her eyes have not ceased for one moment to scan the face of Her %on... %he is roused by Mar)iam2s remark who says* + Mother, why have 0ou not put the honey cakes on the table, Jesus likes them and they are good for John2s throat. 1nd my father likes them, too...+ 1nd you, too- concludes &eter. + 1s far as ( am concerned... they do not exist. ( promised...+ That is why ( did not put them on the table, My dear...says Mary caressing him, because Mar)iam is between Her and %yntyche, on one side of the table, while the four men are on the opposite side. + .o, no. 0ou can bring them. .ay* 0ou must bring them. 1nd ( will hand them out to everybody.%yntyche takes a lamp, goes out and comes back with the cakes. Mar)iam takes the tray and begins to hand them out. He gives Jesus the most beautiful one, golden and raised like one made by a master confectioner. The next one in perfection is for Mary. Then it is the turn of &eter, %imon and %yntyche. "ut in order to serve John, the boy gets up and goes beside the old sick teacher and says to him* + ( am giving you yours and mine, with a kiss, to thank you for what you teach me.- He then goes back to his place, lays the tray in the middle of the table resolutely and folds his arms. + 0ou make this delicious cake go the wrong way- says ,12

&eter, when he sees that Mar)iam does not take any. 1nd he adds* + 1t least a little bit. Here, take some of mine, so that you will not die to have some. 0ou are suffering too much... Jesus will let you have it.+ "ut if ( did not suffer, ( would have no merit, father. ( offered this sacrifice exactly because ( knew that it would make me suffer. 1fter all... ( have been so happy since ( made it, that ( seem to be full of honey. ( taste it in everything, and ( even seem to breathe it in the air...+ That2s because you are dying to have some...+ .o. (t2s because ( know that 'od says to me* 30ou are doing the right thing, My son.4+ The Master would have satisfied you, even without this sacrifice. He loves you so much9+ 0es. "ut it is not fair that ( should take advantage of it, )ust because He loves me. (n any case, He says that great is the reward in Heaven even for a cup of water offered in His name. ( think that if it is great for a cup of water given to other people in His name, it must be great also for a cake or a little honey which one gives up out of love for a brother. 1m ( wrong, Master,+ .o, you have spoken wisely. (n fact, ( could have granted you what you asked for in favour of little =achel, also without your sacrifice, because it was a good thing to do and My Heart desired it. "ut ( did it with greater )oy because ( was helped by you. The love for our brothers is not confined to human means and limits, but it rises to much higher levels. 5hen it is perfect, it really touches the throne of 'od and blends with His infinite :harity and "ounty. The communion of saints is )ust this ,1,

continuous activity, as 'od works continuously and in every way, to assist our brothers both in their material and spiritual needs, or in both, as it is in the case of Mar)iam, who relieves =achel of her illness, by obtaining her cure, and at the same time he relieves the de)ected spirit of old Johanna and kindles greater and greater trust in the /ord in all the hearts in the family. 7ven a spoonful of honey, offered as a sacrifice, can help to bring peace and hope to an afflicted soul as a cake or any other food given up out of love, may obtain some bread, offered miraculously, for some starving person, who is remote from us and will never be known to us and an angry word not uttered, out of spirit of sacrifice, although )ustified, may prevent a remote crime as to resist the desire to pick a fruit, out of love, may bring about a thought of resipiscence in a thief and thwart a theft. .othing is lost in the holy economy of universal love* neither the heroic sacrifice of a boy before a dish of honey cakes, nor the holocaust of a martyr. .ay, ( tell you that the holocaust of a martyr often originates from the heroic upbreeding imparted to him since his childhood for the love of 'od and his neighbour.+ %o it is really a good thing that ( should always make sacrifices. $or the time when we will be persecuted- says Mar)iam earnestly. + &ersecuted,- asks &eter. + 0es. Don2t you remember that He said so, 30ou will be persecuted in My name.4 0ou told me, the first time you came all alone to "ethsaida, in summer, to evangeli8e.+ This boy remembers everything- comments &eter admiring him. ,13

The supper is over. Jesus stands up. He prays for everybody and blesses them. 1nd while the women go to tidy up the kitchen, Jesus and the men take seats in a corner of the room, where He begins to carve a piece of wood, which under the ama8ed eyes of Mar)iam, takes the shape of a little sheep.

811. -ohn of 5ndor 3ill 4ave to $o to Antioch. 5nd of the Second >ear.
24th )ctober 1!45.

(t is a wet winter morning. Jesus is already up and is busy in His workshop. He is making small items. "ut in a corner there is a new loom, not a very big one, but well# shaped and polished. Mary comes in with a cup of steaming hot milk. + Drink this, Jesus. 0ou have been up so long. 1nd it is damp and cold...+ 0es, but at least ( have been able to finish everything... The eight feast days had paralysed My work...- Jesus has sat down on the carpenter2s bench, a little sideways, and drinks the milk while Mary looks at the loom and rubs Her hand on it caressingly. + 1re 0ou blessing it, Mother,- asks Jesus smiling. + .o, ( am caressing it because 0ou made it. 0ou blessed it by making it. (t was a good idea to make it. (t will be very useful to %yntyche. %he is a very skillful weaver. (t ,15

will help her to approach women and girls. 5hat else have 0ou made, ( see thin shavings, of olive, ( think, near the lathe,+ ( have made useful things for John. %ee, 1 stylus case and a writing board. 1nd these desks in which he can keep his rolls. ( could not have made all these things if %imon of Jonah had not thought of getting a cart. "ut now we can load these as well... and also through these little things they will feel that ( love them...+ 0ou suffer in sending them away, do 0ou not,+ ( do... $or Myself and for them... ( have waited up to the present moment to tell them and it is strange that %imon has not yet arrived with &orphirea ( must tell them now... ( have had this pain in My heart all these days and even the light of the many lamps looked sad to Me... 1 suffering which ( must now communicate to others... 1h9 Mother, ( would have liked to have kept all to Myself+ My good %on9- Mary caresses His hand to comfort Him. There is silence... Then Jesus resumes speaking* + (s John up,+ 0es. ( heard him cough. He is perhaps in the kitchen taking his milk. &oor John9...- tears stream down Mary2s cheeks. Jesus stands up* + ( am going... ( must go and tell him. (t will be easier with %yntyche... "ut with him... Mother, go to Mar)iam, wake him up and pray while ( speak to that man... ( feel as if ( had to rummage in his bowels. ( may kill or paralyse his spiritual vitality... How painful, $ather9... ( am going...- and He is really depressed when He goes out. ,16

He walks the few steps which separate Him from John2s room, which is the same one where Jonah died, that is, Joseph2s room. He meets %yntyche, who is coming in with a faggot from the stone oven and who greets Him, completely unaware of the situation. 1lthough engrossed in thought He replies to the 'reek woman2s salutation and stops to look at a bed of lilies which are beginning to show a tiny tuft of leaves. "ut ( am not sure that He really sees them... He then makes up His mind. He turns round and knocks at John2s door, who opens and whose face brightens on seeing Jesus coming to him. + May ( come in for a moment,- asks Jesus. + 6h9 Master9 6f course9 ( was writing what 0ou said last night on prudence and obedience. ( think 0ou had better have a look at it, because ( do not think that ( remember everything on prudence.Jesus has entered the little room, which has already been tidied up and in which they have put a small table for the convenience of the old master. Jesus bends over the parchments and reads. + Aery well. 0ou have repeated it very well.+ Here, see. ( thought this sentence was not !uite correct. 0ou always say that it is not necessary to be solicitous about tomorrow and one2s body. .ow ( thought that it was wrong to say that prudence, also with regard to things concerning tomorrow, is a virtue. 1n error of mine, of course.+ .o. 0ou are not wrong. That is exactly what ( said. The exaggerated and fearful anxiety of a selfish person is different from the prudent care of a )ust person. (t is sinful to be avaricious for the future, which, perhaps, we ,17

shall never see. "ut it is not sinful to be thrifty to secure a piece of bread, also for one2s relatives, when there is a shortage. The selfish care of one2s body in sinful, when a person demands that all those around him should worry about him, and avoids all work or sacrifice lest his body should suffer, but it is not sinful to preserve it from wasteful diseases, the result of imprudent behaviour, which diseases are a burden for relatives and a loss of profitable work for ourselves. /ife is given by 'od. (t is a gift of His. :onse!uently we must make a holy use of it, without being imprudent or selfish. %ee, 1t times prudence suggests actions, which foolish people may consider cowardly or inconstant, whereas they are the result of holy prudence in the light of new events, which have occurred. $or instance* if ( sent you now right in the middle of people who might do you harm... for instance your wife2s relatives or the watchmen of the mines where you worked, would ( do a good or a bad thing,+ (... ( would not like pass )udgement on 0ou. "ut ( would say that it would be better to send me elsewhere, where there is no danger of my little virtue being put to too hard a test.+ There you are9 0ou would )udge wisely and prudently. That is why ( would never send you to "ithynia or Mysia, where you have already been. .either would ( send you to :intium, although you have a spiritual desire to go there. 0our spirit might be overwhelmed by much human harshness and might fall back. &rudence therefore teaches Me not to send you where you would be valueless, whereas ( could send you elsewhere with a good profit for Me, for the souls of your neighbours and your own. (s that not right,,1-

1s John is completely unaware of what his destiny has in store for him, he does not catch Jesus2 allusions to the possibility of a mission outside &alestine. Jesus scans his face and sees that he is calm, completely happy to listen to Him, and !uick in replying* + 6f course, Master, ( would be more useful elsewhere. 5hen some days ago ( said* 3( would like to go among the 'entiles to set a good example where ( set a bad one4, ( reproached myself saying* 31mong the 'entiles, yes, because you are not biased as the (sraelites. "ut not at :intium, nor on the desolate mountains, where ( lived as a convict and like a wolf in the lead mines and in the !uarries of precious marbles. .ot even for the sake of a perfect sacrifice could you go there. 0our heart would be upset by recollections of cruelty, and if they recognised you, even if they did not act cruelly against you, they would say* 2"e !uiet, murderer. 5e cannot listen to you2 so it would be !uite useless to go there.4 That is what ( said to myself. 1nd ( was right.+ 0ou can therefore see that you possess prudence. ( possess it, too. That is why ( took you away from the hard work of apostolate, as is practised by the others, and ( brought you here, to rest and be in peace.+ 6h9 yes9 How peaceful it is9 (f ( lived here for a hundred years, ( would still be the same. (t is a supernatural peace. 1nd if ( went away, ( would take it with me. ( will take it also to the next life... =ecollections may still stir my heart and offences may make me suffer, because ( am a man. "ut ( will never be able to hate again, because hatred has been sterilised here for good, as far as its most remote ramifications. 1nd ( no longer have an aversion to women, whom ( considered the filthiest and meanest ,10

animals on the earth. 0our Mother is out of !uestion. ( venerated Her from the first moment ( saw Her because ( felt that %he was different from all women. %he is the perfume of woman, but the perfume of holy woman. 5ho does not love the scent of the purest flowers, "ut also the other women, the good women disciples, loving and patient under their sorrowful burdens, like Mary :lopas and 7li8a generous like Mary of Magdala, so complete in her change of life kind and pure like Martha and Johanna dignified, intelligent, thoughtful and upright, like %yntyche, have reconciled me with women. %yntyche, ( admit it, is the one ( like best. 1ffinity of mind and of circumstances make her dear to me* she was a slave, ( a convict, and that allows me to be on familiar terms with her, which the difference with the others forbids. %he is peace and tran!uillity to me. ( could not tell 0ou exactly what she means to me and what ( consider her. 1s ( am old compared to her, ( see her as a daughter, the wise and studious daughter ( would have liked to have... "ut (, a sick man whom she cures with so much love, a sad and solitary man who has grieved for and regretted his mother throughout his life, and has sought a mother in every woman, without ever finding one, ( now see my dream becoming true in her and ( feel the dew of motherly love descend upon my tired head and upon my soul while ( am going towards my death... 0ou can see that, as ( perceive in %yntyche the soul of a daughter and of a mother, ( see in her the perfection of womanhood and for her sake ( forgive all the evil ( received from women. (f, what is an impossible case, that wretch of my wife, whom ( killed, should rise from the dead, ( feel that ( would forgive her because ( have now understood the soul of woman, prone to love, generous in giving herself... both ,2/

in good and in evil.+ ( am glad that you have found all that in %yntyche. %he will be a good companion to you for the rest of your days and you will do much good together. "ecause ( will associate you...Jesus scans John once again. "ut there is no sign of roused attention in the disciple, although he is not a superficial person. 5hich divine mercy conceals his sentence until the crucial moment, ( do not know. ( know that John smiles saying* + 5e shall endeavour to serve 0ou to the best of our ability.+ 0es. 1nd ( am sure that you will do so, without discussing the work or the place, which ( will allot to you, even if it should not be what you wish...John has a first inkling of what awaits him. His countenance and colour change. He becomes grave and pale and his only eye stares attentively and in!uisitively at the face of Jesus, 5ho continues* + Do you remember, John, when ( said to you, to dispel your doubts about 'od2s forgiveness* 3To let you understand Mercy ( will employ you in special merciful deeds and ( will apply to you the parables of mercy4,+ 0es. 1nd 0ou did. 0ou have convinced me and 0ou have granted me the possibility to do deeds of mercy, and ( would say, the most delicate ones, such as giving alms and teaching a boy, a &hilistine and a 'reek woman. That made it clear to me that 'od was aware of my true repentance, and thus He entrusted me with innocent souls or the souls of converts, that ( might perfect them.Jesus embraces John, and draws him close to His side, as ,21

He is wont to do with the other John, and turning pale because of the grief He has to cause, He says* + 1lso now 'od is going to entrust a delicate holy task to you. 1 task of predilection. 6nly you who are generous, unreserved and unbiased, wise, and above all, have offered yourself to all renunciations and penances to expiate the remaining purgation and debt you still had with 'od, only you can do it. 1nybody else would refuse, and !uite rightly, because he would be lacking the necessary re!uisites. .ot one of My apostles possesses what you have, to go and preach the ways of the /ord... $urther, your name is John. %o you will be a &recursor of My Doctrine... you will prepare the way for your Master... nay, you will act in place of your Master, 5ho cannot go so far... >John starts and endeavours to free himself from Jesus2 arm, in order to look at Him in the face, but he is not successful, because Jesus2 hold is kind but authoritative, while His lips give the final blow... ?... He cannot go so far... as far as %yria... as far as 1ntioch...+ /ord9- shouts John, freeing himself with violence from Jesus2 embrace. + /ord9 To 1ntioch, Tell me that ( have misunderstood 0ou9 Tell me, please9...- He is standing... His whole attitude is a supplication* his only eye, his face which has turned ashen#grey, his trembling lips, his outstretched shaking hands, his lowered head, which seems to be burdened by the news. "ut Jesus cannot say* + 0ou have misunderstood.- He opens His arms, standing up to receive the old teacher on His heart, and He opens His lips to confirm* + 0es, to 1ntioch. To a house of /a8arus2. 5ith %yntyche. 0ou shall leave tomorrow or the day after.John2s desolation is really heart#rending. He half#frees ,22

himself from the embrace, and face to face, with his thin cheeks wet with tears, he cries* + 1h9 0ou do not want me any longer99 (n what have ( offended 0ou, my /ord,- He gets free of Jesus2 grasp and throws himself on the table, in an outburst of heart#rending sobs interrupted by fits of coughing, insensible to Jesus2 caresses and he moans* + 0ou are driving me away, 0ou are re)ecting me, ( will never see 0ou again...Jesus is clearly grieved and He prays... He then goes out slowly and sees Mary with Mar)iam at the kitchen door. The boy is frightened by John2s weeping... 1 little farther away, there is %yntyche, who is also astonished. + Mother, come here a moment.Mary goes at once. %he is pale. They go in together. Mary bends over the weeping man as if he were a poor boy, saying* + 'ood, be good, poor son of Mine9 Do not weep like that9 0ou will hurt yourself.John raises his convulsed face and shouts* + He is sending me away9... ( will die all alone, far away... 6h9 He might have waited a few months and let me die here. 5hy this punishment, (n what have ( sinned, Have ( ever troubled 0ou, 5hy give me all this peace, and then... and then...- He collapses once again on the table, weeping louder, panting... Jesus lays a hand on his lean trembling shoulders, saying* + 1nd can you possibly believe that if ( could have, ( would not have kept you here, 6h9 John9 There are dreadful necessities on the way of the /ord9 1nd ( am the first to suffer thereby, as ( have to bear My sorrow and the sorrow of the whole world. /ook at Me, John. %ee whether My face is the face of one who hates you, and is ,2,

tired of you... :ome here, in My arms, and feel how My heart is throbbing with grief. Cnderstand Me, John, do not misunderstand Me. This is the last expiation 'od imposes on you, to open the gates of Heaven to you. /isten...- and He lifts him up and holds him in His arms. + /isten... Mother, go out for a moment... /isten now, that we are alone. 0ou know who ( am. Do you firmly believe that ( am the =edeemer,+ 6f course ( do. That is why ( wanted to stay with 0ou, for good, until death...+ Death... My death will be a dreadful one9...+ Mine, ( mean. My death...+ 0ours will be placid, comforted by My presence, which will instill the certainty of 'od2s love into you, and consoled by the love of %yntyche, as well as by the )oy of having prepared the triumph of the 'ospel in 1ntioch. "ut Mine9 0ou would see My body reduced to a mass of flesh covered with wounds, covered with spittle, outraged, abandoned to an enraged crowd, put to death hanging from a cross like a criminal... :ould you bear all that,John, who at each detail of how Jesus will be dealt with during His &assion has groaned* + .o, no9-, shouts a sharp + no- and adds* + ( would begin to hate mankind again... "ut ( will be dead, because 0ou are young and...+ 1nd ( will see but one more Dedication.John looks at Him, struck with terror... + ( told you secretly to let you know that that is one of the reasons why ( am sending you away. "ut you will not be ,23

the only one. ( will send away, beforehand, all those whom ( do not want to be upset more than their strength can possibly stand. 1nd do you think that is lack of love,...+ .o, my martyr 'od... "ut ( have to leave 0ou... and ( will die far away from 0ou.+ (n the name of the Truth which ( am, ( promise you that ( will be bent over the pillow of your agony.+ How can that be, if ( am so far away and 0ou say that 0ou cannot come so far, 0ou say that to make my departure less sad...+ Johanna of :hu8a, dying at the foot of /ebanon, saw Me although ( was far away and she did not yet know Me and from where ( was ( brought her back to the poor life of this world. "elieve Me, on the day of My death she will regret having survived9... "ut for you, the )oy of My heart during this second year of My teaching, ( will do more. ( will come to take you to peace, and ( will entrust to you the mission to say to those who are waiting* 3The hour of the /ord has come. 1s springtime is coming to the earth, so the springtime of &aradise is rising for us.4 "ut that will not be the only time ( will come... ( will come... you will perceive Me... always... ( can and ( will do it. 0ou will have the Master within you, as you do not have Me even now. "ecause /ove can be communicated to its beloved ones, and so sensitively as to touch not only their spirits, but also their senses. 1re you more tran!uil now, John,+ 0es, my /ord. "ut how sorrowful9+ However, you are not rebelling...+ =ebel, .ever9 ( would lose 0ou completely. ( say 3my4 ,25

6ur $ather* Thy will be done.+ ( knew that you would understand Me...- He kisses John2s cheeks, still wet with continuous although calmer tears. + 5ill 0ou let me say goodbye to the boy,... That is another grief... ( was fond of him...- he weeps bitterly again... + 0es. ( will call him at once... 1nd ( will call %yntyche also. %he will suffer, too. 0ou must help her, you, a man...+ 0es, my /ord.Jesus goes out while John weeps and kisses and caresses the walls and furnishings of the little hospitable room. Mary and Mar)iam come in together. + 6h9 Mother9 Did 0ou hear, Did 0ou know,+ ( knew. 1nd ( was sorry... "ut ( also parted with Jesus... 1nd ( am His Mother...+ That is true9... Mar)iam, come here. Do you know that ( am going away and we shall not see each other again,...He wants to be brave. "ut he takes the boy in his arms, he sits on the edge of the bed and weeps on the dark# haired head of Mar)iam, who imitates him at once. Jesus enters with %yntyche, who asks* + 5hy so much weeping, John,+ He is sending us away, do you not know, Have you not been told yet, He is sending us to 1ntioch9+ 5ell, Did He not say that where there are two people ,26

assembled in His name, He will be among them, :ome on, John9 %o far, perhaps, you have chosen your lot yourself, and thus the imposition of another will, even if a loving one, frightens you. (... ( am accustomed to accepting the fate imposed on me by other people. 1nd what a destiny9... %o ( now willingly submit to this new fate. 5hy not, ( did not rebel against despotic slavery, except when it wanted to rule over my soul. 1nd should ( now rebel against this sweet slavery of love, which does not in)ure but elevates our souls and bestows on us the honour of being His servants, 1re you afraid of tomorrow because you are not well, ( will work for you. 1re you afraid of being left alone, "ut ( will never leave you. "e sure of that. ( have no other aim in life but to love 'od and my neighbour. 1nd you are the neighbour whom 'od entrusts to me. :onsider, therefore, whether you are dear to me9+ 0ou need not work to live, because you will be in /a8arus4 house. "ut ( advise you to make use of teaching as a means of approaching people. 0ou, John, as a teacher, and you, %yntyche, with needlework. (t will be useful to your apostolate and will give an aim to your daily life.+ (t will be done, /ord- replies %yntyche resolutely. John is still holding the boy in his arms and is weeping !uietly. Mar)iam is caressing him... + 5ill you remember me,+ ( will, John, always, and ( will pray for you... .ay... 5ait a moment...- He runs out. %yntyche asks* + How shall we go to 1ntioch,,27

+ "y sea. 1re you afraid,+ .o, /ord. (n any case, 0ou are sending us, and that will protect us.+ 0ou will go with the two %imons, My brothers, Bebedee2s sons, 1ndrew and Matthew. $rom here to &tolemais you will go by cart, in which we shall put the chests and a loom which ( made for you, %yntyche, with some articles which will be useful to John...+ ( imagined something when ( saw the chests and the garments. 1nd ( prepared my soul for the separation. (t was too beautiful to live here9...- a stifled sob breaks %yntyche2s voice. "ut she collects herself to support John2s courage. %he asks in a firm voice* + 5hen are we leaving,+ 1s soon as the apostles come, tomorrow probably.+ 5ell, if 0ou do not mind, ( will go and pack the garments in the chests... 'ive me your rolls, John.- ( think that %yntyche is anxious to be alone so that she may weep... John replies* + Take them... but give me that roll tied with a blue ribbon.Mar)iam comes in with his )ar of honey. + Here, John, take it. 0ou will eat it in my place...+ .o, my child9 5hy,+ "ecause Jesus has said that a spoonful of honey offered as a sacrifice can give peace and hope to an afflicted soul. 0ou are afflicted... ( am giving you all the honey that you may be completely comforted.,2-

+ "ut it is too big a sacrifice for you, boy.+ 6h9 no9 (n Jesus2 prayer we say* 3/ead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.4 This )ar was a temptation to me... and might have been an evil because it might have made me infringe my vow. .ow ( will not see it any more... and it is easier... and ( am sure that 'od will help you, because of this new sacrifice. "ut do not weep any more. 1nd you, too, %yntyche...(n fact the 'reek woman is now weeping, noiselessly, while taking John2s rolls. 1nd Mar)iam caresses them in turn, with a keen desire to weep himself. %yntyche goes out laden with rolls and Mary follows her with the )ar of honey. John is left with Jesus, 5ho is sat beside him, and with the boy in his arms. He is calm, but depressed. + &ut your last writing in the roll- suggests Jesus. + ( think that you want to give it to Mar)iam...+ 0es... ( have a copy for myself... Here, boy. These are the words of the Master. The words He spoke when you were not here and others as well... ( wanted to continue copying them for you, because you have a whole life in front of you... and goodness knows how much you will evangeli8e... "ut ( cannot do it any more... .ow it is ( who will be left without His words...- 1nd he begins to weep bitterly once again. Mar)iam is kind and virile in his new gesture. He throws his arms round John2s neck and says* + ( will write them for you now and ( will send them to you... (s that right, Master, (t can be done, can it not,+ 6f course it can. 1nd it will be great charity to do so.,20

+ ( will do it. 1nd when ( am not there, %imon Bealot will do it. He loves me and he loves you and he will do it out of charity. %o do not weep any more. 1nd ( will come to see you... 0ou will certainly not go very far...+ 6h9 how far9 Hundreds of miles... 1nd ( will die soon.The boy is disappointed and down#hearted. "ut he collects himself with the beautiful serenity of a child who thinks everything is easy. + (f you can go there, so ( can come with my father. 1nd... we will write to each other. 5hen one reads the holy scriptures, it is like being with 'od, isn2t it, %o when we read a letter, it is like being with the person we love and who wrote it. :ome on, let us go into the next room, come with me...+ 0es, let us go, John. My brothers will soon be here with the Bealot. ( sent for them.+ Do they know,+ .ot yet. ( am waiting to tell them until they are all here...+ 1ll right, my /ord. /et us go...The old man who leaves Joseph2s room is really bent with age. 1nd he seems to be saying goodbye to every stem, to every trunk, to the fountain and the grotto, while going towards the workshop where Mary and %yntyche are silently laying things and garments in the chests... 1nd %imon, Judas and James find them thus... silent and sad. They watch them... but ask no !uestions and ( wonder whether they realise the truth. ############# Jesus says* ,,/

+ To give the readers a clear indication, ( had indicated the place of John2s prison expiation, with the name now in use. %omeone is ob)ecting to this. %o ( will now clarify the matter* "ithynia and Mysia, for those who want the ancient names. "ut this is the 'ospel for simple people and little ones, not for doctors, to the ma)ority of whom it is unacceptable and useless. 1nd simple people2 and the little ones understand 31natolia4 better than 3"ithynia or Mysia4. (s that not right, little John, who are weeping over John of 7ndor2s grief, "ut there are so many Johns of 7ndor in the world9 They are the forlorn brothers for whom ( made you suffer last year. =est now, little John, as you will never be sent far away from the Master, nay you will be closer and closer to Him. 1nd the second year of preaching and public life ends thus* the year of Mercy... 1nd ( can but repeat the lamentation dictated at the closing of the first year. "ut it does not implicate My mouthpiece, who continues her work struggling against all kinds of obstacles. (t is not really the 3great4 people but the 3little4 ones who proceed along the paths of heroism, levelling them through their sacrifices, also for those who are weighed down by too many things. The 3little4 ones, that is those who are simple, meek, pure in their hearts and intellects* 3little children4. 1nd ( say to you, o little children, and to you, =omualdo, and to you, Mary, and to all those who are like you* 3:ome to Me to hear again and always the 5ord 5ho speaks to you because He loves you and He speaks to you to bless you. My peace be with you.4-


812. The 9e&innin& of the Third >ear at +a2areth6 /hile preparin& for 0epart,re.
2!th )ctober 1!45.

John, James, Matthew and 1ndrew have already arrived in .a8areth and while waiting for &eter, they are walking round the kitchen garden, playing with Mar)iam or talking among themselves. ( do not see anybody else, as if Jesus were not in the house and Mary were busy. 1s there is smoke coming from the stone#oven chimney, ( would say that %he is in there baking bread. The four apostles are glad to be in the Master2s house and they show their )oy. Mar)iam says to them three times* + Do not laugh like that9-. His third warning draws the attention of Matthew, who asks* + 5hy, boy, 1re we not right in being happy here, 0ou have en)oyed this place, eh, 5e are en)oying it now- and fillips him fondly on the cheek. Mar)iam looks at him very seriously, but he does not reply. Jesus comes in with His cousins Judas and James, who greet their companions with much affection* they have been separated from them for many days. Mary of 1lphaeus, flushed and covered with flour, looks out from the stone#oven and smiles at her big boys. The last to arrive is the Bealot, who says* + ( have done everything, Master. %imon will be here shortly.+ 5hich %imon, My brother or %imon of Jonah,+ 0our brother, James. He is coming with the whole family to greet you.(n fact a few minutes later, knocking at the door and ,,2

noisy chattering announce the arrival of the family of %imon of 1lphaeus, who is the first to enter holding by the hand a little boy about eight years old behind him there is %alome, surrounded by her group of children. Mary of 1lphaeus runs out of the stone#oven and kisses her grandchildren and is very happy to see them there. + %o, are 0ou leaving again,- asks %imon while his children make friends with Mar)iam who, ( think, is familiar only with 1lphaeus, the boy who has been cured. + 0es. (t is time.+ 0ou will still have wet weather.+ (t does not matter. %pringtime is approaching day by day.+ 1re 0ou going to :apernaum,+ ( will certainly go there as well. "ut not at once. ( am now going round 'alilee and beyond it.+ ( will come to see 0ou when ( hear that 0ou are in :apernaum. 1nd ( will bring 0our Mother and mine to 0ou.+ ( will be grateful to you. $or the time being, do not neglect Her. %he will be all alone. "ring your children here. They will not become corrupted here, you may be sure of that...%imon blushes at Jesus2 allusion to his past thoughts and because of an expressive look cast at him by his wife, who seems to be saying* + Do you hear that, (t serves you right.- "ut %imon changes the sub)ect saying* + 5here is 0our Mother,,,,

+ %he is baking bread. %he will soon be here...%imon2s children, however, wait no longer and they go to the stone#oven following their grandmother. 1nd a little girl, not much taller than 1lphaeus, the boy who had been cured, comes out almost immediately saying* + Mary is weeping. 5hy, 7h9 Jesus, 5hy is 0our Mother weeping,+ (s %he weeping, 6h9 dear9 /et me go to Her- says %alome solicitously. 1nd Jesus explains* + %he is weeping because ( am going away... "ut you will come and keep Her company, will you not, %he will teach you how to embroider and you will make Her happy. 5ill you promise Me,+ ( will come, too, now that my father lets me come- says 1lphaeus eating a hot bun which has )ust been given to him. "ut although the bun is so hot that he can hardly hold it with his fingers, ( think it is ice#cold compared to the heat suffered by %imon of 1lphaeus, who blushes with shame at the words of his little boy. 1lthough it is a rather cold winter morning, with a northern bree8e blowing away the clouds in the sky and making one2s skin tingle, %imon is sweating profusely, as if it were summer time... "ut Jesus pretends not to notice it and the apostles pretend they are interested in what %imon2s children are saying, and so the incident is over, and %imon can collect himself and ask Jesus why all the apostles are not there. + %imon of Jonah is about to arrive. The others will )oin Me at the right moment. (t has all been settled.,,3

+ 1ll of them,+ 0es.+ 1lso Judas of <erioth,+ 0es...+ Jesus, come with me for a moment- begs His cousin %imon. 1nd once they have moved away, towards the end of the kitchen garden, %imon asks* + "ut do 0ou really know who is Judas of %imon,+ He is an (sraelite. .othing more, nothing less.+ 6h9 0ou are not going to tell me...- he is on the point of getting excited and raising his voice. "ut Jesus calms him, interrupting him and laying a hand on his shoulder, saying* + He is what prevailing ideas and those who approach him, have made him. "ecause, for instance, if he had found an upright soul and an intelligent mind in everybody here >and He lays stress on the words? he would not have been anxious to sin. "ut he did not find them. 6n the contrary, he found an entirely human element to which he adapted most comfortably his very human ego, which dreams and works for Me and sees in Me the king of (srael, in the human meaning of the word, as you dream and would like to see Me, and for 5hom you would feel inclined to work, and your brother Joseph with you, as well as /evi, the head of the synagogue in .a8areth, and Mattathias and %imon and Matthias and "en)amin, and Jacob and, with the exception of three or four people, everybody in .a8areth. 1nd not only in .a8areth... He has difficulty in perfecting himself, because you all contribute to his perversion. He is the weakest of My apostles. "ut for the time being, he ,,5

is but a weak apostle. His impulses are good, his intentions are honest and he loves Me. He loves Me in a devious way, but it is still love. 0ou do not help him to separate these good !ualities from the bad ones that form his ego, on the contrary you aggravate them by adding to them your own incredulity and human limitations... "ut let us go home. The others have gone there ahead of us...%imon follows Him and looks a little humiliated. They are almost on the threshold when he holds back Jesus and says* + "rother, are 0ou angry with me,+ .o, ( am not. "ut ( am endeavouring to perfect you as ( do with all the other disciples. Did you not say that you want to be one,+ 0es, Jesus. "ut in the past 0ou did not speak thus, not even when 0ou were reproaching... 0ou were kinder...+ 1nd of what avail was it, ( was kinder once. ( have been so for two years... 7verybody here has become loose resting on My patience and kindness or has sharpened teeth and nails... 0ou have all taken advantage of My love, to harm Me. (s it not so,...+ 0es, it is. (t is true. %o, will 0ou no longer be good,+ ( will be )ust. 1nd even so, ( shall be such as you do not deserve, you people of (srael, who will not acknowledge Me as the promised Messiah.They go into the little room that is so crowded with people, that the apostles had to move into the kitchen and into Joseph2s workshop, with the exception of 1lphaeus2 two sons, who have remained with their mother and sister#in#law. The latter are )oined by Mary, 5ho comes in holding little 1lphaeus by the hand. Mary2s ,,6

face shows clear signs of weeping. 5hile %he is about to reply to %imon, who assures Her that he will come to see Her every day, a cart is proceeding along the little street with such a clanging of harness bells that it draws the attention of 1lphaeus2 children and the door is opened at the same time as they hear knocking outside. %imon &eter2s merry face appears* he is still sitting on the cart, knocking at the door with the handle of the whip... "eside him, shy but smiling, there is &orphirea, sitting on cases and boxes, as on a throne. Mar)iam runs out and climbs on the cart to greet his adoptive mother. The others also come out, including Jesus. + Master, here ( am. ( brought my wife, on this cart, as she is not fit for long walks. Mary, may the /ord be with 0ou. 1nd with you, Mary of 1lphaeus.- He looks at everybody while getting off the vehicle and helps his wife to get off, and greets them all together. They would like to help him unload the cart. "ut he ob)ects resolutely. + /ater, later- he says, and without ceremony, he goes to the large door of Joseph2s workshop and opens it wide, endeavouring to take the cart in, as it is. "ut it cannot go in, of course. However the manoeuvre helps to distract the attention of the guests and make them understand that they are not wanted... 1nd in fact %imon of 1lphaeus takes leave with all his family... 3 + 6h9 now that we are, by ourselves, let us attend to our business...- says %imon of Jonah, driving back the donkey, which is making a dreadful noise, covered as it is with harness#bells, so much so that James of Bebedee ,,7

cannot help laughing and asks* + 5here did you find it, harnessed like that,"ut &eter is busy taking the cases from the cart and handing them to John and 1ndrew, who expect to feel them heavy and are surprised because they are light, and they say so... + =un into the kitchen garden and do not behave like frightened sparrows- orders &eter, getting off the cart with a little case that is really heavy, and is placed in a corner in the little room. + 1nd now the donkey and the cart. The donkey and the cart, 0es... That is the problem9... 1nd yet we must put everything inside...+ Through the kitchen garden, %imon- says Mary in a low voice. + There is an opening in the fence, at the end. 0ou cannot see it, because it is covered by branches... "ut it is there. $ollow the path along the house, between the house and our neighbour2s kitchen garden, and ( will come and show you where the passage is... 5ho is coming to remove the bramble covering it,+ ( am... ( am...- They all run to the end of the kitchen garden while &eter goes away with his noisy e!uipage and Mary of 1lphaeus closes the door... 5ith a sickle they clear the rustic railing and open a passage through which the donkey and cart come in. + 6h9 5ell9 1nd now let us take all this away. They have deafened me9- and &eter hastens to cut the strings which fasten the bells to the harness. + 5hy did you leave them on, then,- asks 1ndrew. ,,-

+ %o that everyone in .a8areth could hear me arrive. 1nd it was a success... ( am now taking them off, so that no one in .a8areth may hear us depart. 1nd that is why ( loaded the cart with empty cases... 5e will leave with full ones and no one, should anybody see us, will be surprised seeing a woman sitting beside me on the cases. 6ur friend, the one who is far away from us )ust now, boasts that he has a good practical sense. "ut ( have it, too, when ( want...+ 7xcuse me, brother. 5hy is all this necessary,- asks 1ndrew who has watered the donkey and taken it to the rustic wood#store near the stone#oven. + 5hy, Don2t you know,... Master, do they not know yet,+ .o, %imon. ( was waiting for you. :ome into the workshop, all of you. The women are all right where they are. 0ou did the right thing in doing what you did, %imon of Jonah.They go into the workshop, while &orphirea with the boy and the two Maries remain in the house. + ( wanted you here, because you must help Me to send John and %yntyche away, very far away. ( decided so at the $east of the Tabernacles. 0ou have clearly seen that it was not possible to keep them with us, neither can we keep them here, without risking their peace. 1s usual, /a8arus of "ethany is helping Me in this plan. They have already been informed. %imon &eter was told a few days ago. 0ou are being informed now. 5e are leaving .a8areth tonight, even if it should rain or be windy instead of moonlight of the first !uarter. 5e should have already left. "ut ( suppose that %imon of Jonah must have had difficulties in finding transport...,,0

+ ( did, indeed9 ( was almost giving up hope. "ut at long last ( got it from a slimy 'reek in Tiberias... 1nd it will be useful...+ 0es, it will be very useful, particularly for John of 7ndor.+ 5here is he, ( have not seen him- asks &eter. + (n his room with %yntyche.+ 1nd... how did he take it,- asks &eter again. + Aery sorrowfully. 1lso the woman...+ 1nd 0ou as well, Master. 0our forehead is furrowed with a wrinkle, which was not there before, and 0our eyes are sad and severe- remarks John. + (t is true. ( am deeply grieved... "ut let us speak of what we have to do. /isten to Me carefully, because we shall have to part. 5e will leave this evening, half way through the first watch. 5e shall leave like people who run away... because they are guilty. "ut we are not going away to do anything wrong, neither are we escaping because we have done it. 5e are going away to prevent other people from harming those who would not be strong enough to bear it. %o we are leaving... 5e will go via %ephoris... 5e will stop in a house half#way and then leave at dawn. (t is a house with many porches for animals. There are shepherds there who are friends of (saac. ( know them. They will give Me hospitality without asking any !uestions. Then we must reach Jiphthahel by evening and rest there. Do you think the donkey will be able to do it,+ :ertainly That crafty 'reek made me pay for it, but he ,3/

gave me a good strong animal.+ Aery good. The following morning we will go to &tolemais, and we will part there. Cnder the guidance of &eter, who is your head, and whom you must obey unconditionally, you will go to Tyre by sea. 0ou will find a ship there sailing to 1ntioch. 0ou will go on board and give this letter to the owner of the ship. The letter is from /a8arus of Theophilus. 0ou will be believed to be his servants, sent to his land at 1ntioch, or rather to his garden at 1ntigonea. 1nd you are to be such for everybody. "e careful, serious, wise and !uiet. 5hen you arrive at 1ntioch, go at once to &hilip, /a8arus2 steward, and give him this letter...+ Master, he knows me- says the Bealot. + Aery well.+ "ut how can he believe that ( am a servant,+ (n the case of &hilip it is not necessary. He knows that he has to receive and give hospitality to two friends of /a8arus2 and help them in every way. That is written in the letter. 0ou have taken them there. .othing else. He calls you* 3his dear friends from &alestine4. 1nd that is what you are, united by faith and by the action that you are accomplishing. 0ou will rest there until the ship sails again for Tyre after the unloading and loading operations are completed. $rom Tyre you will come by boat to &tolemais and )oin Me at 1ch8ib...+ 5hy do 0ou not come with us, /ord,- asks John with a sigh. + "ecause ( am staying to pray for you, and particularly for those two poor people. ( am staying to pray. 1nd My ,31

third year of public life begins. (t begins with a very sad departure like the first and second ones. (t begins with a great prayer and penance, as the first one did... "ecause this year has the sorrowful hardships of the first year, and even more. ( was then preparing to convert the world. ( am now preparing for a wider and more powerful action. "ut listen to Me carefully and bear in mind that if in the first year ( was the Man#Master, the 5ise Man 5ho invites to 5isdom with perfect humanity and intellectual perfection, and in the second ( was the %aviour and $riend, the Merciful Master 5ho passes by receiving, forgiving, pitying, bearing, in the third year ( will be the =edeemer 'od and <ing, the Just Man. Do not, therefore, be surprised if you see new aspects of Me, and if in the /amb you see flashes of %trength. 5hat has (srael replied to My invitation of love, to My opening My arms saying* 3:ome* ( love and forgive4, (t replied with its ever growing deliberate dullness and hardheartedness, with falsehood and deceit. /et it be so. ( called every class of (srael, bowing My head to the dust. They spat on Holiness that humbled itself. ( invited them to become holy. They replied by becoming demons. ( did My duty in everything. They called My duty 3sin4. ( was silent. They called My silence a proof of guilt. ( spoke. They called My word blasphemy. 7nough of that, now9 They gave Me no peace. They granted Me no )oy. 1nd My )oy consisted in bringing up in the life of the spirit the new#born to 'race. They lie in wait for them, and ( have to tear them from My chest, causing them and Myself the grief of parents and children torn from one another, in order to save them from evil#minded (srael. They, the mighty ones in (srael, who call themselves 3sanctifiers4 and boast of being so, prevent Me, would like to prevent ,32

Me from saving souls and from taking delight in those ( have saved. ( have now had for many months /evi, a publican, as a friend and at My service, and the world can see whether Matthew is scandal or emulation. "ut the charge stands. 1nd it will stand for Mary of /a8arus and for all the others ( will save. That is enough9 ( will go My way, which is more and more difficult and wet with tears... ( am going... .ot one of My tears will fall in vain. They cry to My $ather... 1nd later... a much more powerful humour will cry. ( am going... /et those who love Me follow Me and be virile, because the severe hour is coming. ( 5ill not stop. .othing will stop Me. .either will they stop... "ut woe betide them9 5oe to them9 5oe to those for whom /ove becomes Justice9... The sign of the new time will be of severe Justice for all those who are obstinate in their sin against the words of the /ord and the action of the 5ord of the /ord9...Jesus seems a punishing archangel. His eyes are so bright that ( would say that they are like flames against the smoky wall... 7ven His voice seems to be bright, as it has shrill tones of bron8e and silver struck violently. The eight apostles have turned pale and have almost become smaller for fear. Jesus looks at them... full of pity and love. He says* + ( am not referring to you, My friends. These threats are not for you. 0ou are My apostles and ( chose you.- His voice has become kind and deep. He concludes* + /et us go into the house. /et us make the two persecuted disciples feel that we love them more than ourselves, and ( would remind you that they believe they are leaving to prepare My way in 1ntioch. :ome...-


818. 0epart,re fro

80th )ctober 1!45.


(t is evening. 1nother farewell evening for the little house in .a8areth and its inhabitants. 1nother supper during which grief makes people silent and unwilling to eat. Jesus, John, %yntyche, &eter, John, %imon and Matthew are sitting at the table. (t was not possible for the others to sit there. The table in .a8areth is so small9 (t was made )ust for a small family of honest people, who at most can invite to sit at it a pilgrim or an afflicted person to give them refreshment of love rather than of food9 Mar)iam might have been able to sit at it tonight, as he is a very thin boy and takes up little room... "ut Mar)iam is very serious and silent and is eating in a corner, sitting on a little stool at the feet of &orphirea, whom Mary has sat on the seat of Her loom and who, meek and reserved as she is, is eating the food which they have given her, looking with eyes full of pity at the two about to depart, who endeavour to swallow their food with lowered heads to conceal their faces reddened by weeping. The others, that is, the two sons of 1lphaeus, 1ndrew and James of Bebedee have settled in the kitchen, near a kind of kneading trough. "ut they can be seen through the open door. The "lessed Airgin and Mary of 1lphaeus come and go serving this one and that one, with motherly care although they are worried and sad. 1nd if the "lessed Airgin caresses with Her smile, so sad this evening, those whom %he approaches, Mary of 1lphaeus, less reserved ,33

and more informal, adds actions and words to her smiles, and more than once she encourages with a caress or a kiss, according to whoever benefits by it, this one or that one to take the food most suitable to their needs and in consideration of the imminent )ourney. ( think that out of loving pity for John, who is exhausted and has become even thinner during the days of expectation, she would give herself as food to him, so anxious she is to convince him he should eat this or that dish, the flavour and beneficial properties of which she praises. "ut notwithstanding her... enticement, the food remains almost intact on John2s plate and Mary of 1lphaeus is distressed like a mother who sees her unweaned babe refuse her breast. + "ut you cannot leave like that, son9- she exclaims. 1nd in her motherly love she does not consider that John is about her own age and that the name + son- is not appropriate. "ut she sees in him only a suffering human being and thus does not find any other name to comfort him... + (t will do you no good to travel on an empty stomach, on that shaking cart, in the cold dampness of the night. 1nd then9 'oodness knows what you will eat during the dreadful long )ourney9... 7ternal mercy9 1t sea for so many miles9 ( would be frightened to death. 1nd along &hoenician coasts and later9... even worse9 1nd the owner of the ship will certainly be a &hilistine, or a &hoenician or from some other hellish country... and will have no mercy on you... %o, while you are still close to a mother who loves you, eat9... a little bit of this ex!uisite fish. Just to please %imon of Jonah who prepared it at "ethsaida with so much love and taught me how to cook it for you and Jesus, so that it may nourish you. 0ou definitely do not want it,... 5ell... 6h9 0ou will eat ,35

this9-... and she runs into the kitchen and comes back with a tureen full of a steaming pudding. ( do not know what it is... (t is certainly a kind of flour or corn mashed with milk* + /ook, ( made this because ( remembered that one day you spoke of it as a sweet remembrance of your childhood... (t is good and will do you good. :ome on, )ust a little.John lets her put some spoonfuls of the soft meal in his plate and tries to swallow it, but tears stream down his face adding their salt to the food, while he lowers his head even more towards his plate. 1ll the others do ample )ustice to the dish, which is perhaps ex!uisite. Their faces have brightened up in seeing it and Mar)iam has stood up... but then he felt that he had to ask the "lessed Airgin* + May ( eat some, (t wants five days to the end of my vow...+ 0es, son. 0ou may have some- says Mary caressing him. "ut the boy is still uncertain and Mary, to appease the scruple of the little disciple, asks Her %on* + Jesus, Mar)iam wants to know whether he can eat the pudding of barley meal... because of the honey which makes it a sweet dish, 0ou know...+ 6f course you can, Mar)iam. ( dispense you this evening from your sacrifice, providing John eats his honey pudding as well. %ee how keen the boy is to have it, Help him, so that he may have some- and Jesus, 5ho is near John, takes his hand and holds it while John obediently strives to finish his helping. Mary of 1lphaeus is now happier. 1nd she makes a fresh assault with a lovely dish of steaming pears, baked in the ,36

oven. %he comes back in from the kitchen garden with her tray and says* + (t2s raining. (t has )ust begun. 5hat a nuisance9+ .o9 6n the contrary9 There will be no one in the streets. (t is always sad to say goodbye when one leaves... (t is better to go away sailing before the wind, without running into sandbanks or rocks which make one stop or slow down. 1nd curious people are )ust like sandbanks and rocks...- says &eter who sees sails and sailing in every action. + Thank you, Mary. "ut ( do not want anything else- says John in an attempt to refuse fruit. + 1h9 .ot these9 Mary cooked them. 1re you going#to despise the food that %he prepared, /ook how well %he prepared them9 5ith spices in the little cavity... dressed with butter... They are food fit for a king. 1 )ulep. %he got brown Herself standing near the fire to gla8e them like that. 1nd they are good for your throat and your cough... They warm and cure you. Mary, tell him how they helped my 1lphaeus when he was ill. "ut he wanted 0ou to cook them. 6f course9 0our hands are holy and bestow health9... The food that 0ou prepare is blessed indeed9... My 1lphaeus was calmer after eating 0our pears... he breathed more freely... My poor husband9...- and Mary takes advantage of her recollection to be able to weep at last and to go out to weep. &erhaps ( am evil#minded, but ( do not think that Mary would have shed a tear for her + poor 1lphaeus- that evening, had she not felt pity for the two who were about to leave... Mary of 1lphaeus was so deeply grieved for John and %yntyche and so distressed at the departure of Jesus, James and Judas, that she burst into tears in order not to suffocate. ,37

Mary now replaces her and lays a hand on the shoulder of %yntyche, who is sitting opposite Jesus, between %imon and Matthew. + :ome on. 7at up. 1re you going to leave and let Me worry also because you have gone away on almost empty stomachs,+ ( have eaten, Mother- says %yntyche looking up and showing her tired face marked by several days2 weeping. %he then lowers her head towards her shoulder, on which Mary2s hand is resting, and rubs her cheek on the little hand to be caressed. 5ith Her other hand Mary caresses her hair and draws towards Herself the head of %yntyche, whose face now rests on Her breast. + 7at, John. (t will really do you good. 0ou must not get cold. %imon of Jonah, you will see that every evening he has some hot milk with honey, or at least some hot water and honey. =emember that.+ ( will see to that, as well, Mother. 0ou may rest assured- says %yntyche. + ( am sure in fact. "ut you will do that when you are settled in 1ntioch. %imon of Jonah will see to it, for the time being. 1nd remember, %imon, to give him much olive oil. That is why ( gave you the little oil )ar. 5atch that it does not get broken. 1nd if you see that he has difficulty in breathing, do as ( told you, using the other little vase of balm. Take enough of it to rub his chest, shoulders and kidneys. 5arm it first so that you can touch it without burning yourself, then rub it on and cover him immediately with the woollen bands ( gave you. ( prepared the balm for that special purpose. 1nd you, %yntyche, remember its composition, so that you can make more. 0ou will always be able to find lilies, ,3-

camphor, dittany, resin and cloves with laurel, artemisia and the rest. ( hear that /a8arus has gardens of essence plants at 1ntigonea.+ 1nd they are wonderful- says the Bealot who has seen them. 1nd he adds* + ( do not want to advise anything. "ut ( say that that place should be more healthy for John, both for his spirit and his body, than 1ntioch. (t is sheltered from winds, light air comes from thickets of resin plants on the slopes of a little hill, which protects from sea winds but allows benign sea salts to spread there, it is serene and !uiet and yet cheerful because of the large variety of flowers and birds that live there in peace... 0ou will see yourselves what suits you best. %yntyche is so sensible9 (t is better to rely upon women in certain matters. (s it not,+ (n fact ( entrust My John )ust to %yntyche2s good sense and kind heart- says Jesus. + 1nd so do (- says John of 7ndor. + (... (... ( have no more vigour... and... ( will never be of any use...+ Do not say that, John9 5hen autumn strips trees of their leaves, it does not mean that they are already inert. 6n the contrary they work with concealed energy to prepare the triumph of the next fructification. (t is the same with you. 0ou have been stripped by the cold wind of your pain. "ut in actual fact in the depths of your soul you are already working for new ministries. 0our very grief will be a spur to be active. ( am sure of that. 1nd then you, always you, will be the one to help me, a poor woman, who has still so much to learn to become something of Jesus.+ 6h9 5hat do you expect me to be,9 There is nothing ( ,30

can do... ( am a done man9+ .o. (t is not right to say that9 6nly a dying man can say* 3( am a finished man.4 .obody else. Do you think that you have nothing else to do, 0ou still have to do what you told me one day* to complete the sacrifice. How can you, but by suffering, (t is silly, John, to !uote wise authors to you, a school master, but ( would remind you of 'orgias of /eontina >or /eontine?. He taught that one does not expiate, in this life or in the next one, but through sorrow and suffering. 1nd ( would remind you also of our great %ocrates* 3To disobey who is above us, be it god or a man, is evil and shameful.4 .ow, if it was right to do so for an un)ust )udgement, passed by un)ust men, what will it be if done by order of the most holy Man and of our 'od, 6bedience is a great thing, simply because it is obedience. %o, most great is the obedience to a holy order, which ( consider, and you must consider with me, a great mercy. 0ou always say that your life is approaching its end and that you do not yet feel that you have cancelled your debt with Justice. %o why do you not consider this deep grief as a means of cancelling your debt, and do so in the short time you still have, 1 great grief to achieve a great peace9 "elieve me, it is worth suffering it. The only important thing in life is to have con!uered Airtue when we arrive at the hour of our death.+ 0ou encourage me, %yntyche... &lease always do so.+ ( will. ( promise you here. "ut comply with me, as a man and as a :hristian.The meal is over. Mary collects the pears which have been left and puts them in a vase, which %he hands to ,5/

1ndrew, who goes out and comes back in saying* + (t is raining harder and harder. ( would say that it is better...+ 0es. (t is always an agony to wait. ( am going at once to prepare the donkey. 1nd you can come as well, with the chests and everything else. 0ou, too, &orphirea. Juick9 0ou are so patient that even the donkey is subdued and allows you to dress it >he says exactly that? without reacting. 1fterwards 1ndrew will do it, as he is like you. Juick, all of you9- 1nd &eter pushes everybody, with the exception of Mary, Jesus, John of 7ndor and %yntyche, out of the room and the kitchen. + Master9 6h9 Master, help me9 The hour has come... and ( feel that my heart is breaking9 (t has really come9 6h9 why, good Jesus, did 0ou not let me die here, after ( had received the dreadful news of my sentence and ( had striven to accept it,9- 1nd John collapses on Jesus2 chest, weeping distressingly. Mary and %yntyche endeavour to calm him, and Mary, although always so reserved, detaches him from Jesus, embracing and calling him* + My dear son, My darling son-... %yntyche in the meantime kneels at Jesus2 feet saying* + "less me, consecrate me, that ( may be fortified. /ord, %aviour and <ing, (, here, in the presence of 0our Mother, swear and profess that ( will follow 0our doctrine and serve 0ou until ( breathe my last. ( swear and profess that ( will devote myself to 0our doctrine and its followers for 0our sake, my Master and %aviour. ( swear and profess that there will be no other purpose in my life and that everything that is world and flesh is definitely dead, as far as ( am concerned, whilst, with the ,51

help of 'od and of the prayers of 0our Mother, ( hope to defeat the Demon so that he may not lead me into error and ( may not be condemned at the hour of 0our Judgement. ( swear and profess that allurements and threats will not bend me and ( will remember everything, unless 'od allows otherwise. "ut ( hope in Him and ( believe in His bounty, whereby ( am sure that He will not leave me at the mercy of obscure powers, stronger than my own. :onsecrate 0our servant, o /ord, that she may be protected from the snares of every enemy.Jesus lays His hands on her head, as also priests do, and prays over her. Mary leads John beside %yntyche and makes him kneel saying* + "less this one, too, %on, that he may serve 0ou with holiness and peace.1nd Jesus repeats the gesture on the lowered head of poor John. He then lifts him and makes %yntyche stand up, and putting their hands in the hands of Mary He says* + 1nd let Her be the last one to caress you here- and He goes out !uickly, ( do not know where. + Mother, goodbye9 ( will never forget these days- moans John. + .either will ( forget you, dear son.+ (, too, Mother... 'oodbye. /et me kiss 0ou once more... 6h9 after so many years ( had satisfied my desire for maternal kisses9... "ut no longer now...- %yntyche weeps in the arms of Mary 5ho kisses her. John sobs unreservedly. Mary embraces him also, %he now has both of them in Her arms, the true Mother of :hristians, and with Her most pure lips %he touches ,52

John2s wrinkled face lightly* a chaste, but so loving kiss. 1nd with Her kiss there are tears of the "lessed Airgin on the emaciated cheek... &eter comes in* + (t2s ready. :ome on...- and he cannot say anything else because he is deeply moved. Mar)iam, who follows his father like a shadow, clings on to %yntyche2s neck and kisses her, he then embraces John and kisses him repeatedly... "ut he is weeping as well. They go out. Mary is holding %yntyche by the hand, and John has taken Mar)iam2s. + 6ur mantles...- says %yntyche and she makes the gesture of going back to the house. + They are here. Juick, take them...- &eter feigns coarseness as he does not want to show that he is moved, but with the back of his hand he wipes off his tears standing behind the two who are enveloping themselves in their mantles. 6ver there, beyond the hedge, the little swinging lamp of the cart gives a yellowish light in the dark air... The rain rustles among the olive leaves and resounds in the fountain full of water... 1 dove, awakened by the light of the lamps, which the apostles are shielding under their mantles, holding them low to illuminate the paths full of puddles, is cooing lamentingly... Jesus is already near the cart over which a blanket has been spread to act as a roof. + :ome on, !uick, it2s raining hard9- urges &eter. 1nd while James of Bebedee replaces &orphirea at the bridle, &eter, without ceremony, lifts %yntyche off the ground ,5,

and puts her on the cart, and with greater speed he grasps John of 7ndor and throws him on. He gets on himself and gives the poor donkey such a strong blow with the whip, that it bounces forward almost running over James. 1nd &eter insists until they are on the main road, a good distance from houses... 1 last farewell cry reaches the persons who are leaving and who weep unreservedly... &eter stops the donkey outside .a8areth, waiting for Jesus and the others, who soon )oin him walking fast in the increasing rain. They take a road among the vegetable gardens, to go again to the north of the town, without crossing it. "ut .a8areth is dark and asleep in the ice#cold rain of a winter night... and ( think that the noise of the donkey2s hooves, hardly audible on the wet beaten ground, cannot be heard even by those who are awake... The group proceeds in dead silence. 6nly the sobs of the two can be heard, mingled with the sound of rain on olive leaves.

814. To/ards -iphthahel.

81st )ctober 1!45.

(t must have rained all night. "ut at dawn a dry wind has blown the clouds southwards, beyond the hills of .a8areth. Thus a timid winter sun dares to peep out and light with its beam a diamond on every olive leaf. "ut ,53

they are gala dresses which the olive#trees soon lose, because the wind shakes them off the leaves, which seem to be weeping diamond chips, which get lost among the dewy grass or on the muddy road. &eter is preparing the cart and donkey with the help of James and 1ndrew. The others have not appeared as yet. "ut they soon come out, one after the other, from a kitchen, probably, because they say to the three who are outside* + 0ou can go now and have something to eat.1nd they go and come out shortly afterwards with Jesus. + ( have put the cover on again because of the windexplains &eter. + (f 0ou really want to go to Jiphthahel, we shall have it in our faces... and it will be biting. ( do not understand why we do not take the direct road to %icaminon and then the one along the coast... (t is longer but not so hard. Did 0ou hear what the shepherd said, the man ( encouraged to speak, He said* 3Jotopata in the winter months is isolated. There is only one road to go there, but it is not possible to go there with lambs... 0ou cannot carry anything on your shoulders because there are passes where you proceed more with your hands than with your feet, and lambs cannot swim. There are two rivers, which are often in flood, and the very road is a torrent that flows on a rocky bed. ( go there after the Tabernacles and in full spring, and ( do good business, because they buy supplies for months.4 That is what he said... 1nd we... with this thing... >and he kicks the wheel of the cart?... and with this donkey... bah9...+ The direct road from %ephoris to %icaminon is better. "ut it is very busy. =emember that we must not leave traces of John...,55

+ The Master is right. 1nd we may find (saac with some disciples... 1t %icaminon in any case9...- says the Bealot. + /et us go then...+ ( am going to call those two...- says 1ndrew. 1nd while he does so, Jesus takes leave of an old woman and a boy who are coming out of a sheepfold with buckets of milk. 1lso some bearded shepherds arrive and Jesus thanks them for the hospitality given to Him during the rainy night. John and %yntyche are already in the cart, which sets out along the road, driven by &eter. Jesus with the Bealot and Matthew at His sides, and followed by 1ndrew, James, John and the two sons of 1lphaeus, !uickens His step to reach it. The wind bites their faces and swells their mantles. The cover stretched over the arches of the cart snaps like a sail notwithstanding the rain of the night has made it heavy* + .ever mind, it will soon dry9- moans &eter looking at it. + &roviding the lungs of that poor man do not dry up9... 5ait, %imon of Jonah... This is what you do.- 1nd he stops the donkey, takes his mantle off, gets on the cart and envelops John carefully in it. + 5hy, ( already have one...+ "ecause pulling the donkey ( am already as warm as ( would be in a bread oven. 1nd ( am used to being naked on the boat, particularly when there is a storm. The cold spurs me and ( am !uicker. :ome on, make sure you are well covered. Mary made so many recommendations to me in .a8areth, that if you were taken ill, ( would not be able to face Her any longer...,56

He gets off the cart, takes the bridle again and spurs the donkey. "ut he soon has to call his brother and also James to help the donkey get out of a muddy spot in which a wheel had sunk. 1nd they proceed, pushing the cart in turns to help the donkey that digs its strong feet in the mire and draws the cart. The poor animal is panting and puffing with fatigue and greediness because &eter entices it to move on by offering it bits of bread and cores of apples, which, however, he lets it have only when they stop for a moment. + 0ou are cheating, %imon of Jonah- says Matthew )okingly after watching &eter2s manoeuvring. + .o. ( am getting it to do its duty, and ( am doing it kindly. (f ( did not do that, ( would have to use the whip. 1nd ( do not like that. ( do not strike my boat when she is wayward, although she is of wood. 5hy should ( flog the donkey, which is flesh, This is my boat now... it is in water... it is indeed9 %o ( am dealing with it as ( deal with my boat. ( am not Doras, you know, ( wanted to name it Doras, before ( bought it. Then ( heard its name, and ( liked it. %o ( did not change it...+ 5hat is its name,- they ask curiously. + 'uess9- and &eter laughs through his beard. The strangest names are mentioned including those of the fiercest &harisees and %adducees etc. etc. "ut &eter always shakes his head. They give it up. + 1ntonius is its name9 (sn2t it a beautiful name, That cursed =oman9 6bviously also the 'reek who sold me the donkey must have had a grudge against 1ntonius9They all laugh while John of 7ndor explains* + He is ,57

probably one from whom money was extorted after :aesar2s death. (s he old,+ He is about seventy... and must have done all kinds of )obs... He now owns a hotel at Tiberias...They are at the cross#roads of %ephoris with the .a8areth#&tolemais, .a8areth#%icaminon, .a8areth# Jotopata roads >( would point out that they pronounce J as a very soft '?. 6n the consular milestone there are the three indications of &tolemais, %icaminon, Jotopata. + 1re we going to %ephoris, Master,+ (t is !uite useless. /et us go to Jiphthahel, without stopping. 5e shall eat something while walking. 5e must be there before evening.They proceed and cross two little torrents in flood, and begin to climb the slopes of a range of hills lying south# northwards with a large steep mass to the north stretching eastwards. + Jiphthahel is over there- says Jesus. + ( cannot see anything- remarks &eter. + (t is to the north. The coast is very steep in our direction, as well as to the east and the west.+ %o we must go right round all that mountain,+ .o. There is a road at the foot of the highest mountain, in the valley. (t is a short cut, but the road is very steep.+ Have 0ou been there,+ .o. "ut ( know.The road is steep indeed9 %o much so, that when they ,5-

arrive there, they are frightened. .ight seems to fall all at once, so dark it is at the bottom of the valley, which is so horrifying and precipitous that it reminds me of Dantes!ue Malebolge it is a road cut in the rock, so steep that it almost ascends in steps, a narrow wild road, enclosed between a furious torrent and an even more rugged mountain side that becomes steeper as one proceeds northwards. (f the light increases little by little as one ascends higher, fatigue also increases, and in fact they unload the cart of personal baggage and %yntyche also gets off to make the cart as light as possible. John of 7ndor, who after his few words has not opened his mouth but to cough, would like to get off as well. "ut they do not let him and he remains where he is, while all the others push or pull cart and donkey sweating at each gradient of the road. "ut no one complains. 6n the contrary they all pretend to be satisfied with the exercise in order not to embarrass the two disciples for whom they do it and who have more than once expressed their regret for so much work. The road turns at a right angle, then there is another corner, a shorter one, which ends in a town perched on such a steep slope that, as John of Bebedee says, it seems on the point of sliding down to the valley with all its houses. + (t is, instead, very solid. 1ll one with the rock.+ /ike =amoth then...- says#%yntyche who remembers the place. + 7ven more. The rock here is part of the houses, not )ust their foundation. (t reminds one more of 'amala. Do you remember it,,50

+ 0es, and we remember those pigs as well...- says 1ndrew. + (t was from there that we departed to go to Tarichea, the Tabor and 7ndor...- says %imon Bealot. + (t is my fate to let you have painful recollections and hard work...- says John of 7ndor with a sigh. + .ever9 0ou have given us faithful friendship and nothing else, my friend- says Judas of 1lphaeus impulsively. 1nd everybody )oins him to confirm his statement. + 1nd yet... ( have not been loved... .o one tells me... "ut ( can meditate and put together various facts, as in a picture. This departure was not foreseen and it was not a spontaneous decision...+ 5hy do you say that, John,- asks Jesus kindly, although He is afflicted. + "ecause it is true. ( was not wanted. ( was chosen to go far away, no one else, not even the great disciples.+ 1nd what about %yntyche, then,- asks James of 1lphaeus, grieved at the lucidity of thought of the man of 7ndor. + %yntyche is coming so as not to send me away alone... to conceal the truth pitifully...+ .o, John9...+ 0es, Master. %ee, ( could also tell 0ou the name of my torturer. Do 0ou know where ( can read it, Just by looking at these good eight ones ( read it9 6nly by considering the absence of the others ( can read it9 The ,6/

one through whom ( was found by 0ou is also the one who would like me to be found by "eel8ebub. 1nd he drove me to this hour, and he drove 0ou to it, Master, because 0ou suffer as much as ( do, perhaps more, and he drove me to this hour to make me fall back into despair and hatred. "ecause he is bad, cruel, envious. 1nd much more. Judas of <erioth is the dark soul amongst 0our servants, who are all as clear as light...+ Do not say that, John. He is not the only one missing. They were all away for the Dedication, with the exception of the Bealot, who has no family. 6ne cannot come from <erioth in this season in a few stages. (t is about two hundred miles2 walk. 1nd it was fair that he should go and see his mother, like Thomas. ( spared also .athanael, because he is old, and &hilip, to give him as a companion to .athanael...+ 0es. Three more are absent... "ut, o good Jesus9 0ou know men2s hearts, because 0ou are the Holy 6ne. "ut 0ou are not the only one to know them9 1lso the wicked know the wicked, because they know one another. ( was wicked, and ( saw myself again, with my worst instincts, in Judas. "ut ( forgive him. $or one reason only ( forgive him for sending me to die so far away* because it was )ust through him that ( came to 0ou. 1nd may 'od forgive him for the rest... for all the rest.Jesus does not deny... He is silent. The apostles look at one another while pushing the cart on the slippery road. (t is almost night when they reach the town, where unknown amongst unknown people, they put up at a hotel situated on the southern end of the town. (t is on the brink of a gorge, which makes one giddy looking down ,61

it, as it so steep and deep. 1t the bottom* a noise and nothing else in the shadow of peace already in the valley, where a torrent roars.

815. -es,s* Fare/ell to the T/o 0isciples.

1st +ove ber 1!45.

(t is along the same road, which in any case is the only one in this village that looks like an eagle2s nest on a solitary mountain top, that they set out again the following day, tormented by cold wet weather hindering their march. John of 7ndor also is compelled to get off the cart, because a downhill road is more dangerous than an uphill one, and if the donkey by itself would be in no danger, the weight of the cart, thrust forward by the slope, makes the situation very awkward for the poor animal. The apostles also are in trouble today, as they perspire not pushing but holding back the vehicle, which might crash down causing a disaster or, at least, the loss of the load. The road is dreadful for about one third of its total length, the last stretch towards the valley. (t then forks, and the branch running westwards becomes more comfortable and level. They stop to rest wiping their perspiration and &eter rewards the donkey, which is shaking its ears trembling and panting, obviously engrossed in deep meditation on the painful situation of donkeys and the whims of men who choose certain roads. 1pparently %imon of Jonah ascribes to such ,62

considerations the thoughtful expression of the animal and to raise its spirits he hangs from its neck a bag of small beans, and while the donkey crushes the hard food with greedy relish, the men also eat bread and cheese and drink milk of which their little flasks are full. The meal is over. "ut &eter wants to water + his 1ntonius that deserves more honour than :aesar- he says, and taking a bucket from the cart he fetches some water from a torrent flowing towards the sea. + 5e can go now... 1nd we would like to trot the donkey because ( think that the country is flat beyond that hill... "ut we cannot. However, we shall proceed fast. :ome on, John, and you, woman. 'et on and let us go.+ ( am getting on as well, %imon, and ( will drive. 0ou will all follow us...- says Jesus as soon as the two are in the cart. + 5hy, 1re 0ou not well, 0ou look so pale9...+ .o, %imon. ( want to speak to them alone...- and He points at the two, who have also turned pale, as they realise that the moment of farewell has come. + 1h9 1ll right. 'et on and we will follow 0ou.Jesus sits on the plank used as a seat by the driver and says* + :ome here beside Me, John. 1nd you, %yntyche, come near Me...John sits on the /ord2s left and %yntyche at His feet, almost on the edge of the cart, with her back to the road, and her face raised towards Jesus. (n her present position, sitting on her heels, relaxed as if she were burdened by a weight exhausting her, her hands ,6,

abandoned on her lap and clasped to hold them still, as they were trembling, with her tired face and most beautiful dark violet eyes dimmed by the many tears shed, in the shade of her veil and mantle lowered over her forehead, she seems a desolate &ieta. .ot to mention John9... ( think that if his scaffold were at the bottom of the road, he would not be so upset. The donkey is now ambling and is so obedient and sensible that Jesus is not compelled to keep a close watch on it. 1nd Jesus takes advantage of the situation to drop the reins and take John2s hand and lay the other one on %yntyche2s head. + My children, ( thank you for all the )oy you have given Me. This has been for Me a year strewn with flowers of )oy, because ( was able to take your souls and hold them in front of Me, to hide the ugly things of the world, to scent the air corrupted by the sins of the world, to instill kindness into Myself and confirm My hope that My mission is not useless. Mar)iam, you, My John, 7rmasteus, you, %yntyche, Mary of /a8arus, 1lexander Misace and others... The triumphal flowers of the %aviour, 5hom only people with upright hearts can perceive as such... 5hy are you shaking your head, John,+ "ecause 0ou are good and 0ou are putting me amongst people with right hearts. "ut my sin is always present to me...+ 0our sin is the fruit of the flesh stirred by two wicked people. 0our heart2s righteousness is the substratum of your honest ego, desirous of honest things, but unfortunate because they were taken away from you by ,63

death or by wickedness, but even so your ego was not less alive under the burden of so much grief. (t was sufficient for the voice of the %aviour to penetrate into the depth of your heart, where your ego was languishing, and you sprang to your feet, shaking every burden off you, to come to Me. (s it not so, %o you are righteous of heart. More, much more than others who do not have your sin, but have many worse ones, because they were premeditated and stubbornly preserved alive... May you, therefore, you the flowers of My triumph as %aviour, be blessed. (n this dull hostile world, which sates the %aviour with bitterness and disgust, you have represented love. Thank you9 (n the most grievous hours of this year ( bore you in mind to be comforted and supported. (n the more grievous ones, which ( am to suffer, ( will bear you even more in mind. Cntil My death. 1nd you will be with Me forever. ( promise you. ( entrust you with My dearest interests, that is, the preparation of My :hurch in 1sia Minor, where ( cannot go, because the place of My mission is here, in &alestine, and also because the backward mentality of the mighty ones in (srael would in)ure Me in every possible way, if ( went elsewhere. ( wish ( had more Johns and more %yntyches for other countries, so that My apostles would find the soil already ploughed to spread the seed in the hour to come9

"e kind and patient, and strong at the same time, in order to penetrate and tolerate. 0ou will come across dullness and mockery. Do not let that discourage you. %ay* 35e are eating the same bread and drinking the same chalice as our Jesus is.4 0ou are not worth more than your Master and you cannot expect to have a better

lot. This is the greatest fortune* to share the lot of the Master. ( give you one order only* do not be disheartened, do not endeavour to give yourselves an answer to why you have been sent away you are not being sent into exile, as John is inclined to think, nay you are being placed on the threshold of your $atherland before everybody else, because you are perfected servants, as no one else is. Heaven has come down upon you like a maternal veil and the <ing of Heaven is already welcoming you to His bosom, and will protect you under His bright wings of love, as the first#born of the numberless swarm of the servants of 'od, of the 5ord of 'od, 5ho in the name of the $ather and of the 7ternal %pirit blesses you now and forever.

1nd pray for Me, the %on of Man, 5ho is going towards all the tortures of the =edeemer. 6h9 My Humanity is about to be crushed by the most bitter experience9... &ray for Me. ( will need your prayers... They will be caresses... They will be professions of love... They will help Me, that ( may not go to the extent of saying* 3The whole of Mankind is made of demons4...
'oodbye, John9 <iss Me goodbye... Do not weep... ( would have kept you with Me, at the cost of tearing bits of flesh off My body, had ( not seen all the good that this separation will bring about both for you and for Me. 7ternal good... 'oodbye, %yntyche. 0es, you may kiss My hands, but bear in mind that, if the difference of sex prevents Me from kissing you as a sister, ( give My brotherly kiss to your soul... 1nd let your souls wait for Me. ( will come. ( will be close to your work and to your souls. ( certainly will, because if My love for man has closed My divine .ature in mortal flesh, it did not limit ,66

its freedom. 1nd as 'od ( am free to go to those who deserve to have 'od with them. 'oodbye, My children, The /ord is with you...1nd He tears Himself away from the convulsive grip of John, who had grasped His shoulders, and of %yntyche, who was clinging to His knees, and He )umps from the cart, waving goodbye to His apostles, running away along the road He came, as fast as a chased deer... The donkey has stopped, feeling that the reins, which were previously on Jesus2 knees, had dropped completely. The eight astonished apostles have a so stopped and are looking at the Master 5ho is moving farther and farther away. + He was weeping...- whispers John. + 1nd He was as pale as a dead body...- whispers James of 1lphaeus. + He has not even taken His sack... There it is on the cart...- remarks the other James. + 1nd what will He do now,- asks Matthew. Judas of 1lphaeus shouts at the top of his powerful voice* + Jesus9 Jesus9 Jesus9...-The echo of the hills replies far away* + Jesus9 Jesus9 Jesus9...- "ut the green trees at a bend of the road conceal the Master, 5ho does not even look back to see who is calling Him... + He has gone... 1ll we can do is to go as well...- says &eter desolately, getting on the cart and taking the reins to spur the donkey. 1nd the cart starts off and its s!ueaking is mingled with the rhythmical sound of the iron shoes of the donkey and the anguished weeping of the two disciples, who forlorn on the bottom of the cart are moaning* + 5e will never see Him again, never, never again...,67

81". -es,s* Sorro/6 :ra%er and :enance.

2nd +ove ber 1!45.

Jesus is once again at the foot of the massive height on which Jiphthahel is built. "ut He is not on the main road >let us call it so? or mule#track, along which the cart came. He is instead on a little footpath fit for ibexes, so steep it is, strewn with large stone splinters and deep crevices, and seems to be stuck on to the mountain side ( would say that it is engraved on the vertical face of the mountain, which looks as if it were scratched by a huge claw. 1t its edge there is a precipice, a sheer deep drop, at the bottom of which an angry torrent foams along. To slip there means to fall hopelessly, bouncing from one bush to another of bramble or other wild plants, which have grown between the crevices of the rocks, ( do not know how, as they have not come up vertically, as is normal with plants, but obli!uely and even hori8ontally, compelled by their ubication. To slip there means to be torn to pieces by the thorns of such plants, or to have one2s back broken by the impact on rigid tree trunks protruding over the abyss. To slip there means to be lacerated by the sharp#edged stones sticking out from the face of the precipice. To slip there means to drop bleeding and in pieces into the foamy water of the angry torrent and be drowned, and lie submerged on a bed of pointed rocks and be lashed by the impetuous water. 1nd yet Jesus is walking along that path, that scratch in the rock, which is even more dangerous because of the dampness ,6-

that rises steaming from the torrent, or drops from the overhanging surface and from the plants growing on that vertical face, which ( would say is lightly concave. He proceeds slowly, cautiously, watching each step on the sharp stones, some of which are wobbly, at times He is compelled to s!uee8e against the mountain side when the path narrows and to pass over some particularly dangerous spots, He has to get hold of branches hanging from the rocks. He goes round the western side thus and reaches the southern one, where the mountain, after a perpendicular drop from the summit, becomes more concave than elsewhere, allowing the path thus to widen a little, but reducing its height, so that Jesus now and again must lower His head to avoid knocking it against the rocks. &erhaps He intends to stop there, where the path ends abruptly, because of a landslide. "ut when He sees that under the cliff there is a cave, a fissure in the mountain rather than a cave, He lets Himself down among the fallen stones. He goes in. There is a cleft at first, then a large grotto inside, as if the mountain had been hollowed out a long time ago by man, for some unknown reason. 6ne can clearly see that the natural curves of the rock have been enlarged by man, who, on the side opposite the entrance, opened a narrow corridor, at the end of which there is a streak of light, and remote forests can be seen, which proves that the corridor cuts through the mountain spur from the southern side to the eastern one. Jesus slips into the narrow semidark tunnel and goes along it until He reaches its opening, which is above the road on which He came with the apostles and the cart to go up to Jiphthahel. The mountains surrounding the lake ,60

of 'alilee are in front of Him, beyond the valley, and to the north#east the great Hermon shines in its snowy mantle. =ough steps have been dug on the mountain side, which is not so steep here, neither upwards nor downwards and the steps lead to the mule#track, which is in the valley, and also to the mountain top where is Jiphthahel. Jesus is satisfied with His exploration. He goes back into the large cave and looks for a sheltered place where He heaps up dry leaves that the wind has blown inside. 1 very poor pallet, a thin layer of dry leaves laid between His body and the bare icy soil... He drops on it and remains inert, lying with His hands under His head, staring at the rocky vault, absorbed, ( would say bewildered, like one who bears a strain or is struck by sorrow greater than one2s strength. Then tears, without sobs, begin to drop slowly from His eyes and stream down both sides of His face, disappearing in His hair, near His ears, and ending among the dry leaves... He weeps thus, for a long time, without speaking or moving... He then sits up, and with His head between His raised knees, embraced by His clasped hands, He calls His far away Mother, with all His soul* + Mother9 Mother9 Mother of Mine9 My eternal sweetness9 6h9 Mother, ( wish 0ou were near Me9 5hy do ( not always have 0ou, the only comfort of 'od,6nly the hollow cave replies to His words and His sobs with the whisper of a faint echo, and it seems to be weeping and sobbing itself through its edges and rocks and the few and still small stalactites hanging in a corner, the one which is probably most exposed to the ,7/

internal activity of water. Jesus continues weeping, although more calmly, as if the simple invocation of His Mother consoled Him and His weeping slowly changes into a monologue. + They have gone... 5hy, 5hose fault is it, 5hy did ( have to grieve them thus, 1nd grieve Myself, since the world fills each day of Mine with affliction,... Judas9-... ( wonder where Jesus2 thought wanders when He lifts His head from His knees and looks in front of Himself with wide open eyes and the tense face of a person engrossed in the vision of future spiritual events or in deep meditation. He no longer weeps. "ut he is evidently suffering. He then seems to be replying to an invisible interlocutor. 1nd He stands up to do so. + ( am a man, $ather. ( am the Man. The virtue of friendship, which was wounded and torn from Me, is writhing and moaning sorrowfully... ( know that ( must suffer everything. ( know as 'od and as 'od ( want it for the good of the world. 1s man also ( know, because My divine spirit informs My humanity. 1nd also as man ( want it, for the good of the world. "ut how grievous it is, o $ather9 This hour is much more sorrowful than the one ( lived with 0our spirit and Mine in the desert... 1nd much stronger is the present temptation not to love and not to bear at My side the slimy tortuous being, whose name is Judas, the cause of the deep sorrow with which ( am sated and which tortures the souls to whom ( had given peace. $ather, ( perceive it. 0ou are becoming more and more severe as ( approach the end of My expiation on behalf of Mankind. 0our kindness is moving farther and farther away from Me, and 0our countenance appears more and more severe to My spirit, which is re)ected ,71

more and more into the depth, where Mankind, struck by 0our punishment, has been moaning for millennia. (t was pleasant to suffer, pleasant was the way at the beginning of My life, it was pleasant also when from the son of a carpenter ( became the Master of the world, tearing Myself away from a Mother to give 0ou, $ather, to man who had fallen. (t was still pleasant to Me, as compared with the present hour, to struggle with the 7nemy, in the Temptation in the desert. ( faced him with the boldness of a hero with intact strength... 6h9 $ather9... My strength is now encumbered by the indifference of too many people and the knowledge of too many things... ( knew that %atan would go, when the temptation was over, and he did go, and the angels came to comfort 0our %on for being a man, sub)ect to the temptation of the Demon. "ut the temptation will not cease now, after this hour, in which the $riend suffers because of the friends sent away, and because of the per)ured friend who in)ures Him both when he is near and far away. (t will not cease. 0our angels will not come to comfort Me in this hour and after it. "ut the world will come, with all its hatred, its mockery and incomprehension. 1nd the traitor who sold himself to %atan will come and he, the per)urer, will be more and more tortuous and slimy. $ather99...- (t is really a cry of anguish, of fear and of invocation and Jesus is agitated and reminds me of the hour at 'ethsemane. + $ather9 ( know. ( can see... 5hile ( suffer here and will suffer, and ( offer My suffering to 0ou for his conversion and for those who have been torn away from My arms and who are going towards their destiny with broken hearts, he is selling himself to become greater than ( am* the %on of Man9 ( am, am ( not, the %on of Man, 0es, but ( am not the only one. :hildren were born of mankind, of ,72

prolific 7ve, and if ( am 1bel, the (nnocent 6ne, :ain is not missing among the children of Mankind. 1nd if ( am the $irst#"orn, because ( am what the children of man should have been, without stain in 0our eyes, he, who was born in sin, is the first of what men have become after eating the poisoned fruit. 1nd now, not satisfied with having in himself the disgusting blasphemous incentives of falsehood, anti#charity, of thirst for blood, of greed for money, of pride and lust, he is raving to be the man who becomes a demon, whilst he is a man who could become an angel... 31nd /ucifer wanted to be like 'od and was therefore driven out of &aradise and changed into a demon and he dwelt in Hell.4 "ut $ather9 6h9 $ather9 ( love him... ( still love him. He is a man... He is one of those for whom ( left 0ou... %ave him, because of My humiliation... grant Me to redeem him, Most High /ord9 ( offer this penance more for him than for anybody else9 6h9 ( am aware of the incongruity of what ( am asking, because ( know everything9... "ut, $ather, do not consider Me 0our 5ord for a moment. /ook only at the Humanity of the Just 6ne... and let Me be for a moment only the 3Man4 in 0our grace, the Man who is not aware of the future, who can deceive himself... the Man who not being aware of ineluctable fate can pray with absolute hope, to wring a miracle out of 0ou. 1 miracle9 1 miracle of Jesus of .a8areth, for Jesus of Mary of .a8areth, 6ur eternal "eloved 6ne9 1 miracle that violates what has been set down and cancels it9 The salvation of Judas9 He has lived beside Me, he has drunk in My words, has shared food with Me, has slept on My chest... .o, do not let him be My satan9... ( am not asking 0ou not to be betrayed... That must happen, and will happen... so that all falsehood may be cancelled by My sorrow of being ,7,

betrayed, as all avarice may be expiated by My grief for being sold, as amends may be made for all blasphemy through My torment at being cursed, and faith may be given to those who are and will be without faith, through My torture at not being believed, and all the sins of flesh may be cleansed by My being scourged... "ut ( beg 0ou* not him, not Judas, My friend, My apostle9 ( would like no one to be a traitor... .o one... .ot even the remotest inhabitant of the hyperborean ice fields or of the torrid 8one... ( would like 0ou alone to be the %acrificer... as 0ou already have been in the past when 0ou set fire to the holocausts by means of 0our flames... "ut since ( am to die by the hand of man, and since the traitor friend will be a more brutal executioner than the real executioner, the putrid traitor who will have in himself the stench of %atan, and is already inhaling it to be like Me in power... that is what he thinks in his pride and lust... since ( am to die by the hand of man, $ather, do not let him whom ( called friend and ( loved as such, be My Traitor. (ncrease My torment, $ather, but give Me Judas2 soul... ( am putting this prayer on the altar of My victim &erson... 1ccept it, $ather9... Heaven is closed and silent9... (s this therefore the horror that ( shall have with Me until My Death, Heaven is silent and closed9... (s this therefore the silence and the prison in which ( shall breathe My last, Heaven is closed and silent9... (s this therefore the supreme torture of the Martyr,... $ather, may 0our will be done, not Mine... "ut because of My suffering, oh9 grant Me at least this* give peace and illusion to Judas2 other martyr, to John of 7ndor, $ather... He is really better than many. He has already gone a long way, such as few are or will be able to go. =edemption has already been completed for him. 'ive ,73

him, therefore, 0our total complete peace, so that ( may have him in My 'lory, when everything will be completed also for Me in 0our honour and obedience... $ather9...Jesus has slowly fallen on His knees and is now weeping with His face on the ground, and while He prays the light of the short winter day fades precociously in the dark cavern, and the roar of the torrent seems to grow louder as the shade in the valley becomes darker...

817. (eavin& :tole ais for T%re.

8rd +ove ber 1!45.

The town of &tolemais looks as if it is to remain overwhelmed by a low leaden sky, without a gleam of a8ure, without any change in its dullness. There is not a cloud, a cirrus, a nimbus sailing all alone in the closed vault of heaven. The firmament looks like a solid convex heavy lid on the point of crashing on a case. 1 huge lid of dirty, sooty, dull, oppressive tin. The white houses of the town seem to be made of chalk, of coarse rough chalk that looks desolate in this light... the green of evergreens seems dull and sad, the faces of people look wan or ghastly and the shades of their clothes colourless. The town is stifled with heavy sirocco. The sea matches the sky with similar deadly dullness. 1n infinite, still, lonely sea. (t is not even leaden, it would be wrong to describe it as such. (t is a limitless expanse, and ( would say rippleless, of an oily substance, as grey, ( suppose, as lakes of crude petroleum must be, or rather, ,75

if it were possible, lakes of silver mixed with soot and ashes, to make a pomade with a special brightness of !uart8iferous scales, which however is so deadly dull that it does not seem to shine. (ts gleaming is noticed only through the discomfort it causes to one2s eyes, da88led by such flickering of blackish mother#of#pearl, which tires them without delighting them. There is not a wave as far as the eyes can see. 6ne can see as far as the hori8on, where the dead sea touches the dead sky, without seeing a wave stir but one realises that the water is not solidified because there is an underwater gurgle, which is hardly perceptible on the surface through the dark glittering of the water. The sea is so still that at the shore the water is as motionless as the water in a vat, without the slightest indication of waves or surf. 1nd the sand bears clean marks of dampness at a metre or little more from the water, proving thus that for many hours there has been no movement of waves on the shore. There is dead calm. The few boats in the harbour do not stir. They are so still that they seem to be nailed on a solid substance, and the few strips of cloth stretched out on the high decks, ensigns or garments, whatever they may be, are hanging motionless. The apostles with the two bound for 1ntioch are coming from a lane in the working#class district near the harbour. ( do not know what has happened to the donkey and the cart. They are not there. &eter and 1ndrew are carrying one chest, James and John the other one, while Judas of 1lphaeus is carrying on his shoulder the dismantled loom and Matthew, James of 1lphaeus and %imon Bealot are laden with all the bags, including ,76

Jesus2. %yntyche is holding only a basket with foodstuffs. John of 7ndor is not carrying anything. They walk fast among the people coming back mostly from the market with their shopping, while seamen are hastening towards the port to load or unload ships or repair them, according to their re!uirements. %imon of Jonah is proceeding resolutely. He must be already aware of where to go, because he does not look around. He is flushed while holding the chest, on one side, by a loop of a rope which serves as a handle, and 1ndrew does likewise on the other side. 1nd one can see, both in them and in their companions, their efforts in carrying their weights, as the muscles of their calves and arms bulge, in fact, in order to move freely, they are wearing only short sleeveless undertunics and are thus like porters hurrying from warehouses to ships or vice versa, doing their work. They thus pass by completely unnoticed. &eter does not go to the large !uay, but along a s!ueaky footbridge he goes to the little one, a little arched pier forming another much narrower dock for fishing boats. He looks around and cries out. 1 man replies, standing up in a stout rather large boat. + Do you really want to go, Mind you, sails are of no use today. 0ou will have to row.+ (t will warm me up and give me an appetite.+ "ut are you really capable of sailing,+ Hey9 man9 ( could not say 3mummy4 yet, and my father had already put line and sail ropes in my hands. ( sharpened my milkteeth on them...,77

+ (t2s because... you know... this boat is all my wealth... you know,...+ 0ou already told me yesterday... Don2t you know any other song,+ ( know that if you go to the bottom, ( will be ruined and...+ ( will be ruined, because ( shall lose my life, not you9+ "ut this is all ( own, it2s my bread, my )oy and the )oy of my wife, it2s my little girl2s dowry, and...+ Cgh9 /isten, don2t get on my nerves, which are already sei8ed with a cramp... a cramp9 more dreadful than a swimmer2s. ( have given you so much that ( could say* 3( bought your boat4, ( did not haggle over the price re!uested by you, you sea#thief, ( proved to you that ( am more familiar with oars and sails than you are, and everything was settled. .ow, if the leek#salad you had last night and your mouth stinks like a bilge has given you nightmares and remorse, ( don2t care. The business was done in the presence of two witnesses, one was yours and the other one mine, and that2s all. 'et out of there, you shaggy crab, and let me get in.+ "ut (... at least some guarantee... (f you die, who will pay for my ship,+ 0our ship, 1re you calling this hollowed pumpkin a ship, 0ou miserable proud man9 "ut ( will reassure you, providing you make up your mind* ( will give you another hundred drachmas. 5ith this lot and what you wanted as rent you can buy three more of such moles... .o, )ust a moment. .o money. 0ou would be e!ually capable of saying that ( am mad and asking for more when ( come ,7-

back. "ecause ( will come back, you may rest assured. 7ven if ( have to come back to teach you a lesson by boxing your ears if you have given me a boat with a faulty keel. ( will pledge the donkey and cart to you... .o9 .ot even that9 ( will not trust you with my 1ntonius. 0ou might change trade and from a boatman become a carter, and slink off while ( am away. 1nd my 1ntonius is worth your boat ten times over. (t is better if ( give you some money. "ut mind you, it is a pledge, and you will give it back to me when ( come back. (s that clear, Hey, you of the boat9 5ho is from &tolemais,Three faces appear from a nearby boat* + 5e are.+ :ome here.+ .o, it2s not necessary. /et us settle the matter between ourselves- begs the boatman. &eter scans his face, ponders upon it, and when he sees that the other man leaves the boat and hastens to put on board the loom that Judas had left on the ground, he whispers* + ( see9-. He shouts to those in the other boat* + (t2s no longer necessary. %tay where you are- and taking some coins out of a small purse, he counts them and kisses them saying* + 'oodbye, my dear9- and he hands them to the boatman. + 5hy did you kiss them,- asks the ama8ed man. + Just a... rite. 'oodbye, you thief9 :ome on, all of you. 1nd you, man, at least hold the boat. 0ou will count them later and will find that they are right. ( do not want to be your companion in hell, you know, ( am not a thief. Heave ho9 Heave ho9- and he pulls the first chest on board. He then helps the others to stow theirs, as well as ,70

the bags and everything else, balancing the weight and arranging the various items so as to be free to manoeuvre. 1nd after the ob)ects he arranges the passengers. + 0ou can see that ( know how to do it, you blood#sucker9 /et go and go to your destiny.- 1nd with 1ndrew he presses an oar against the little pier to depart from it. 5hen the boat is in the flow of the current he hands the rudder over to Matthew saying* + 0ou used to come and catch us when we were out fishing, in order to fleece us properly and you can handle it fairly well- and he sits on the first bench at the prow, with his back to the bows, and 1ndrew sits beside him. James and John of Bebedee are sitting in front of them and are rowing with strong regular strokes. The boat is sailing fast and smoothly, although it has a heavy load, skimming the sides of large ships, from the boards of which words can be heard praising their perfect rowing. Then there is the open sea, beyond the break# waters... The whole of &tolemais appears before the eyes of the departing group, as the town is stretched along the beach with the port to the south. There is dead silence in the boat. 6nly the s!ueaking of the oars in the rowlocks can be heard. 1fter a long while, when &tolemais has already been left behind, &eter says* + However, if there had been a little wind... "ut nothing9 .ot a breath of it9...+ &roviding it does not rain9...- says James of Bebedee. + H2m9 (t looks very much like it...- There is silence for a long time while the men row hard. Then 1ndrew asks* + 5hy did you kiss the coins,,-/

+ "ecause those who part always greet one another. ( will never see them again. 1nd ( am sorry. ( would have preferred to give them to some poor wretch... .ever mind9 The boat is really a good one, it is strong and well built. (t is the best one in &tolemais. That is why ( gave in to the demands of the owner. 1lso to avoid many !uestions about our destination. That is why ( said to him* 3To make purchases at the white 'arden.4... 1h9 (t2s beginning to rain. :over yourselves up, you who are in a position to do so, and you, %yntyche, give John his egg. (t2s time... Much more so, because with a sea like this, nothing will upset his stomach... 1nd what will Jesus be doing, ( wonder what He is doing9 5ith no clothes, no money9 5here will He be now,+ He will certainly be praying for us- replies John of Bebedee. + Aery well. "ut where,....obody can say where. 1nd the boat proceeds heavily, laboriously, under a leaden sky, on the grey bitumenous sea, in a dri88ling rain as fine as fog and as boring as protracted tickling. The mountains, which after a flat area are now close to the sea, look livid in the foggy air. The sea nearby continues to irritate one2s eyes with its strange phosphorence, and farther away it fades into a ha8y veil. + 5e will stop at that village to rest and eat- says &eter who rows untiringly. The others agree. They reach the village. 1 little group of fishermen2s houses built on a mountain spur protruding towards the sea. ,-1

+ (t is not possible to land here. There is no bottom...grumbles &eter. + 5ell, we shall eat where we are.(n fact the oarsmen eat with appetite, whereas the two exiles take some food unwillingly. (t begins and stops raining alternately. The village is deserted as if there were no inhabitants in it. 1nd yet flights of doves from one house to another and clothes hanging out on roof#terraces prove that there are people in it. 1t last a half#naked man appears in the street and goes towards a little beached boat. + Hey, man9 1re you a fisherman,- shouts &eter holding his hands like a speaking#trumpet. + 0es.- His assent is heard feebly owing to the distance. + 5hat will the weather be like,+ /ong sea shortly. (f you are not from this place, ( tell you to round the cape at once. 6ver there it is not so rough, particularly if you keep close to the shore, which you can do, as the sea is deep. "ut go at once...+ 0es, ( will. &eace to you9+ &eace and good luck to you.+ /et2s go then- says &eter to his companions. + 1nd may 'od be with us.+ He certainly is. Jesus is certainly praying for us- replies 1ndrew resuming rowing. "ut the sea is, in fact, already long and the waves push and drag the poor boat alternately, while the rain becomes thicker... and a blustery wind )oins in to torture the poor people in the boat. %imon of Jonah gratifies it with all the most pictures!ue epithets, because it is a ,-2

wicked wind that cannot be used to sail and it pushes the boat towards the rocks of the cape, which is now close at hand. The boat proceeds with difficulty in the curve of the little gulf, which is as black as ink. They row with difficulty, flushing, sweating, clenching their teeth, without wasting the least particle of strength in words. The others, sitting opposite them ; ( can see their backs ; are silent in the boring rain* John and %yntyche in the centre, near the sail mast, 1lphaeus2 sons behind them, Matthew and %imon are last, struggling to hold the rudder straight against each breaker. (t is a difficult task to round the cape. "ut they succeed at last... 1nd the oarsmen, who must be exhausted, have a little rest. They consult whether they should take shelter in a little village beyond the cape. "ut the idea prevails that + the Master is to be obeyed even against common sense. 1nd He said that they must arrive at Tyre in one day-. %o they go on... The sea calms all of a sudden. They notice the phenomenon and James of 1lphaeus says* + The reward of obedience.+ 0es, %atan has gone because he did not succeed in making us disobey- confirms &eter. + "ut we shall arrive at Tyre at night. 5e have been greatly delayed...- says Matthew. + (t does not matter. 5e shall go to bed and we shall look for the ship tomorrow- replies %imon Bealot. + "ut shall we find it,+ Jesus said so. %o we shall find it- says Thaddeus confidently. ,-,

+ 5e can hoist the sail, brother- remarks 1ndrew. + The wind is favourable and we will move fast.The wind in fact fills the sail, although not very much, but enough to make rowing less necessary and the boat glides, as if it had been lightened, towards Tyre, the promontory of which, or rather, its isthmus, is white, to the north, in the last light of the day. 1nd night falls fast. 1nd it is strange, after so much dullness of sky, to see stars appear in an unforeseeable clear sky and the 'reat "ear shine brightly in its stars, while the sea is illuminated by placid moonlight, which is so white that it seems to be dawning after a painful day, without an intervening night... John of Bebedee looks at the sky and smiles and he suddenly begins to sing, pulling his oar with his song and modulating his words to the rhythm of rowing* + Hail, %tar of the Morning, Jasmine of the night, 'olden Moon of my Heaven, Holy Mother of Jesus. The sailor hopes in 0ou, 5ho suffers and dies dreams of 0ou, %hine, holy pious %tar, Cpon those who love 0ou, Mary9...He sings out happily in a tenor voice. + 5hat are you doing, 5e are talking of Jesus and you are singing of Mary,- asks his brother. + He is in Her and %he is in Him. "ut He is because %he was... /et me sing...- 1nd he starts singing with his whole heart, leading all the others... They thus reach Tyre where they land without any ,-3

difficulty in the little port, south of the isthmus, lit up by lamps hanging from many boats, with the help also of people present there. 5hile &eter and James remain in the boat to look after the chests, the others, with a man from another boat, go to a hotel to rest.

811. 0epart,re fro

4th +ove ber 1!45.

T%re on a Cretan Ship.

Tyre awakes among gusts of mistral. The sea is sparkling with bright white#blue little waves, under a blue sky and white cirri moving up there, as the foaming waves move down here. The sun is en)oying a clear day after so much dull bad weather. + ( see- says &eter, standing up in the boat where he slept. + (t2s time to go. 1nd 3it4 >and he points at the sea, which is rough even within the entrance of the port? sprayed us with lustral water... H2m9 /et us go and fulfill the second part of the sacrifice... Tell me, James... Don2t you think that we are taking two victims to be sacrificed, ( do.+ %o do (, %imon. 1nd... ( thank the Master for thinking highly of us. "ut... ( would have preferred not to see so much grief. 1nd ( would never have thought ( was to see all this...+ .either would (... "ut... 0ou know, ( say that the ,-5

Master would not have done this, if the %anhedrin had not poked their noses into the matter...+ He in fact said so... "ut who told the %anhedrin, That is what ( would like to know...+ 5ho, 7ternal 'od, make me be silent and do not let me think9 ( made this vow to get rid of the suspicion that tortures me. Help me, James, not to think. %peak of something else.+ 6f what, 6f the weather,+ 0es, it2s better.+ The trouble is that ( know nothing about the sea...+ ( think that we are going to be tossed...- says &eter looking at the sea. + .o9 6nly small waves. (t2s nothing. (t was worse yesterday. (t will be lovely to look at this moderate sea from the upper deck of the ship. John will like it... (t will make him sing. 5hich ship will it be,He stands up as well, looking at the ships on the other side, the high superstructures of which become visible particularly when their boat is raised by the up#and#down motion of the waves. They examine the various ships, guessing... The port is becoming alive with people. &eter asks a boatman, or the like, who is bustling on the dock* + :an you tell me whether in the port over there, there is the ship of... wait a moment till ( read his name... >and he takes out of his belt a tied parchment?, here it is* .icomedes &hiladelphius of &hilip, a :retan from &aleocaster...,-6

+ 6h9 The great navigator9 5ho does not know him, ( think that he is known not only from the &earl 'ulf to the pillars of Hercules, but also as far as the cold seas, where they say that night lasts for months9 0ou are a sailor, how come you do not know him,+ .o. ( don2t know him, but ( shall soon meet him, because ( am looking for him on behalf of our friend /a8arus of Theophilus, formerly governor in %yria.+ 1h9 5hen ( was a sailor ; ( am old now ; he was in 1ntioch... 5onderful times... 0our friend, 1nd you are looking for .icomedes, the :retan, 0ou need not worry, then. %ee that ship over there, the highest one, with flying colours, That2s his ship. He will sail before the sixth hour. He is not afraid of the sea9...+ (n fact there is no need to be afraid of it. (t2s not really rough.- "ut a high wave gives him the lie, drenching both of them from head to foot. + 0esterday it was too calm, today too rough. (t2s really mad. ( prefer the lake...- grumbles &eter drying his face. + ( advise you to go into the basin. 7verybody goes there.+ "ut we are leaving. 5e are going in the ship of... of... wait* .icomedes, and all the rest9- says &eter who cannot remember the strange names of the :retan. + 0ou are not going to load your boat also on the ship,+ 6f course not9+ 5ell, there is room in the basin for boats and men to look after them until you come back. 1 coin a day until you come back. ( suppose you are coming back...,-7

+ :ertainly. 5e are going and will come back after seeing the state of /a8arus2 garden, that2s all.+ 1h9 0ou are his stewards,+ 0es, and something more...+ 5ell. :ome with me. ( will show you the place. (t2s really made for those who leave their boats there, like you...+ 5ait... Here are the others. 5e will be with you in a moment.- 1nd &eter )umps on the !uay and runs to meet his companions who are approaching. + Did you sleep well, brother,- asks 1ndrew kindly. + /ike a baby in a cradle. 1nd ( was lulled to sleep with a lullaby...+ ( think that you had also a good wash- says Thaddeus smiling. + 0es9 The sea... is so kind that it washed my face to wake me up.+ (t looks very rough to me- remarks Matthew. + 6h9 "ut if you knew with whom we are going9 6ne who is known even to the fish of the ice#cold seas.+ Have you already seen him,+ .o, but ( was told by one who says that there is a place for boats, a depot... :ome, we will unload the chests and will go, because .icodemus, no, .icomedes, the :retan, will be sailing soon.+ (n the :yprus channel we shall be tossed about in good style- says John of 7ndor. ,--

+ %hall we,- asks Matthew anxiously. + 0es. "ut 'od will help us.They are near their boat once again. + Here we are, man. 5e are unloading this luggage and then we will go, since you are so kind.+ 5e help one another...- says the man from Tyre. + 6f course9 5e help one another, we ought to help one another. 5e ought to love one another, because that is the /aw of 'od...+ ( am told that a new &rophet has risen in (srael and that is what He preaches. (s it true,+ (s it true9 That and much more9 1nd the miracles that He works9 :ome on, 1ndrew, heave ho9 heave ho9 a little to your right. =ight, when the wave lifts the boat... There you are, it2s up9... ( was saying, man* and what miracles9 Dead people rise from death, sick people are cured, the blind see, thieves repent and even... %ee, (f He were here, He would say to the sea* 3"e still4 and the sea would calm down... :an you manage, John, 5ait, (2ll come and help you. Hold the boat still and close... Cp, up... a little more... %imon, take the handle... 5atch your hand, Judas9 Cp, up... Thank you, man... 5atch you don2t fall into the water, you sons of 1lphaeus... Cp... Here we are9 &raised be the /ord9 5e had less trouble in stowing them than in pulling them up... "ut my arms are sore after yesterday2s exercise... %o, ( was saying about the sea...+ "ut is it true,,-0

+ True, ( was there and saw it9+ 5ere you, 6h9... "ut where was it,+ 6n the lake of 'ennesaret. :ome in the boat, while going to the basin, ( will tell you...- and he goes away with the man and James, rowing in the canal towards the basin. + 1nd &eter says that he does not know how to do...remarks the Bealot. + (nstead he has a talent for telling things in a simple way and he is more efficient than anybody else.+ 5hat ( like so much in him is his honesty- says the man from 7ndor. + 1nd his perseverance- adds Matthew. + 1nd his humility. He does not pride himself on being our 3head49 He works more than anybody and worries more about us than about himself...- says James of 1lphaeus. + 1nd he is so virtuous in his feelings. 1 good brother. .othing more...- concludes %yntyche. + %o it is all settled* you will be considered as brother and sister,- the Bealot asks the two disciples after some time. + 0es, it is better so. 1nd it is not a lie, it is spiritual truth. He is my elder brother, of different marriage, but of the same father. The $ather is 'od, the different marriages* (srael and 'reece and John is older, as one can see, by age, and ; and one cannot see it but it is true ; by being a disciple before me. Here is %imon coming back...+ (t2s all done. /et2s go.,0/

Through the narrow isthmus they pass into the other port carrying the chests on their shoulders. The man from Tyre, familiar as he is with the place, takes them through the narrow passages between piles of bales of goods under very wide sheds, to the powerful ship of the :retan, who is preparing to depart. He shouts to those on board to lower the gangway that they had already lifted. + (t2s not possible. 5e have finished loading- shouts the head of the crew. + He has letters to hand to you- says the man pointing to %imon of Jonah. + /etters, $rom whom,+ $rom /a8arus of Theophilus, the former governor of 1ntioch.+ 1h9 ( will tell the boss.%imon says to the other %imon and to Matthew* + 0ou will speak now. ( am too coarse to speak to a man like him...+ .o. 0ou are the head and you will speak because you are doing very well. 5e will help you, eventually. "ut there will be no need.+ 5here is the man with the letters, /et him come upsays a man as swarthy as an 7gyptian* he is thin, handsome, agile, severe looking, about forty years old, or a little older, and looks down from the high ship2s side. 1nd he orders the gangway to be lowered. %imon of Jonah, who has put on his tunic and mantle while waiting for a reply, goes up with a dignified bearing. The Bealot and Matthew follow him. ,01

+ &eace to you, man- greets &eter gravely. + Hail. 5here is the letter,- asks the :retan. + Here it is.The :retan breaks the seal, unfolds the roll and reads. + The messengers of Theophilus2 family are welcome9 The :retans have not forgotten that he was good and kind. "ut be !uick. Have you much to load,+ 5hat you see on the !uay.+ 1nd how many are you...+ Ten.+ 'ood. 5e will find accommodation for the woman. 0ou will adapt yourselves as best you can. Juick. 5e must set sail before the wind becomes stronger and that will happen after the sixth hour.5ith rending whistling he orders the chests to be loaded and stowed. Then the apostles and the two disciples go on board. The gangway is lifted, the ship2s side is closed, the moorings are picked up, the sails are hoisted. 1nd the ship sets out rolling steeply while leaving the harbour. Then the sails stretch out creaking, as the wind fills them, and pitching heavily the ship puts out to sea sailing fast towards 1ntioch... .otwithstanding the very strong wind, John and %yntyche, one close to the other, holding on to a tackle, aft, are looking at the coast, the land of &alestine move away, and they weep...


81!. Stor

and Miracles on the Ship.

5th +ove ber 1!45.

The Mediterranean is an enraged expanse of green#blue water, with very high foam#crested billows clashing one against the other. There is no thick fog today. "ut the sea water, pulverised by the continuous pounding of breakers, is turned into a burning salty dust that penetrates even into people2s clothes, reddens eyes, irritates throats, and seems to spread like a veil of salt powder everywhere, both in the air, making it opa!ue as thin fog does, and on things that seem sprayed with bright flour* the minute salt crystals. That happens, however, where there is no pounding of billows, or where the waves do not wash the deck from one side to the other, crashing on to it, rushing over the ship2s side, then falling again into the sea, with the roar of a waterfall, through bilge drain holes in the opposite side. 1nd the ship rises and plunges into the water, a twig at the mercy of the ocean, a mere nothing compared to it, s!ueaking and moaning from the bilges to the tops of the masts... The sea is really the master and the ship its plaything... 5ith the exception of those manoeuvring the boat, no one is on the deck. There are no goods either, only the lifeboats. 1nd the crewmen, first of all the :retan .icomedes, half#naked, rolling like the ship, run here and there, refitting and securing, a difficult task because of the flooded slippery deck. The locked hatchways make it impossible to see what is happening below deck. "ut ( am sure that they cannot be very happy down there9... ,0,

( cannot make out where they are, because there is nothing but sea around and a remote coast, which appears to be a mountainous one, with real mountains, not hills. ( would say that they have been sailing for more than one day, because it is certainly morning, as the sun, which appears and disappears among thick clouds, is shining from the east. ( think that the ship is making little progress, notwithstanding that she is tossed about so much. 1nd the sea seems to become more and more precipitous. 5ith a frightening crash a part of a mast, the precise name of which ( do not know, breaks off, and in falling, dragged by an avalanche of water which collapses on the deck together with a real whirlwind, knocks down part of the ship2s side. Those below must feel that the ship is foundering... 1nd that is proved, after a moment, when a hatch is half# opened and &eter2s grey haired head )uts out. He looks around, sees, and closes the hatch )ust in time to prevent a torrent of water from falling through it. "ut later, in a moment of calm, he opens it again and )umps out. He clings to supports and watches all hell let loose and he whistles and mumbles commenting the situation. .icomedes sees him* + 1way9 'o away9- he shouts. + :lose that hatch. (f the ship becomes heavier, she will sink. 5e are lucky if ( do not have to throw the cargo overboard... .ever seen a storm like this9 (2m telling you, get away9 ( don2t want landlubbers in my way. This is no place for gardeners, and...- He cannot continue because another wave sweeps the deck drenching all those on it. + %ee,- he shouts to &eter who is dripping wet. ,03

+ ( see. "ut it doesn2t surprise me. ( am not capable only of looking after gardens. ( was born on water, of a lake, that2s true... "ut even a lake9... "efore being a gardener ( was a fisherman and ( know...&eter is very calm and he knows how to be with the rolling of the ship perfectly well with his sturdy legs wide apart. The :retan watches him while he moves to go near him. + 1re you not afraid,- he asks him. + ( wouldn2t dream of it9+ 1nd the others,+ Three are fishermen like me, that is, they were... The others, with the exception of the sick man, are strong.+ 1lso the woman,... 5atch9 /ook out9 Hold on91nother avalanche of water invades the deck. &eter waits until it is over and then says* + ( could have done with this coolness last summer... .ever mind9 0ou were asking what the woman is doing. %he is praying... and you had better do the same. "ut where are we now, exactly, (n the :yprus channel,+ ( wish we were9 ( would sail to the island and wait for the elements to calm. 5e are )ust off :olonia Julia, or "eritus, if you prefer so. .ow we will get the worst of it... Those are the /ebanon mountains.+ :ould you not go in there, where the village is,+ (t2s not a good port, reefs and rocks. (t2s not possible. 5atch9...1nother whirlwind and another piece of a mast falls ,05

striking a man, who is not washed overboard only because the wave carries him against an obstacle. + 'o below deck9 'o9 %ee,+ ( see, ( see... but that man,...+ (f he is not dead he2ll come round. ( cannot look after him... 0ou can see9...- (n fact the :retan has to have eyes in the back of his head for the sake of everybody2s life. + 'ive him to me. The woman will look after him...+ 1nything you want, but go away9...&eter creeps as far as the motionless man, gets hold of his foot and pulls him towards himself. He looks at him, whistles... He grumbles* + His head is split like a ripe pomegranate. The /ord should be here... 6h9 if He were9 /ord Jesus9 My Master, why have 0ou left us,- There is deep sorrow in his voice... He loads the dying man on his shoulder, being drenched himself with blood, and goes back to the hatch. The :retan shouts to him* + (t2s !uite useless. .othing doing. %ee9..."ut &eter, loaded as he is, makes a gesture as if to say* + 5e shall see- and he presses against a pole to resist a new wave. He then opens the hatch and shouts* + James, John, come here9- and with their help he lowers the wounded man, then descends himself securing the hatch. (n the smoky light of hanging lamps they see that &eter is bleeding* + 1re you wounded,- they ask him. + .o, not (. (t2s his blood... "ut... you may as well pray because... %yntyche, look here. 0ou told me once that you ,06

know how to cure wounded people. /ook at this head...%yntyche leaves John of 7ndor, whom she was supporting, as he is suffering a great deal, and goes to the table on which they have laid the poor man, and she looks... + 1 bad wound9 ( have seen the like twice, in two slaves, one was struck by his master, the other by a stone at :aprarola. ( would need water, a lot of water to clean it and stop the blood...+ (f you want )ust water9... There is even too much9 :ome, James, with the tub. 5e will handle it better in two.They go and come back dripping wet. 1nd %yntyche with wet cloths washes and applies compresses to the nape of his neck... "ut the wound is a nasty one. The bone is bare from the temple to the nape. 1nd yet the man opens his eyes vaguely and grumbles while gasping for breath. He is sei8ed by the instinctive fear of death. + 'ood9 "e good9 0ou will recover- says the 'reek woman comforting him with motherly love and she speaks to him in 'reek as 'reek is his language. The man, although stunned, is ama8ed and looks at her with a faint smile upon hearing his mother tongue and searches for %yntyche2s hand... man who becomes a child as soon as he suffers and looks for a woman who is always a mother in such cases. + ( am going to try with Mary2s ointment- says %yntyche when the wound bleeds less. + "ut that is for pains...- ob)ects Matthew, who has turned deadly pale, ( do not know whether because of the ,07

rough sea or at the sight of blood, or because of both. + 6h9 Mary prepared it, with Her own hands9 ( will use it praying... 5ill you pray, too. (t can do no harm. 6il is always a medicine...%he goes to &eter2s sack, takes a vase out of it, a bron8e vase ( would say, opens it, and takes a little ointment, which she warms on a lamp in the same lid of the vase. %he pours it on a folded piece of linen cloth and applies it to the wounded head. %he then bandages it tightly with linen strips. %he places a folded mantle under the head of the wounded man who seems to do8e off and she sits near him praying the others also pray. The storm is still raging on the deck and the ship is pitching awfully. 1fter some time a hatch is opened and a sailor rushes in. + 5hat2s the matter,- asks &eter. + 5e are in danger. ( have come to get incense and offerings for a sacrifice...+ $orget about such nonsense9+ "ut .icomedes wants to sacrifice to Aenus9 5e are in her sea...+ 5hich is as frantic as she is- grumbles &eter in a low voice. Then a little louder* + 0ou, come with me. /et2s go on deck. &erhaps there is work to be done... 1re you afraid to stay with the wounded man and those two,- The two are Matthew and John of 7ndor, who are worn out by seasickness. + .o. 0ou may go- replies %yntyche. ,0-

5hile getting on deck they run into the :retan who is endeavouring to light the incense and who attacks them furiously to send them below, shouting* + :an2t you see that without a miracle we shall be shipwrecked, (t2s the first time9 The first time since ( have been sailing9+ Just listen* he will now say that we have cast a spell9whispers Judas of 1lphaeus. (n fact the man shouts louder* + :ursed (sraelites, what have you got on you, 0ou dogs, you have cast a spell on me9 'o away, ( am now going to offer a sacrifice to new# born Aenus...+ .o, not at all. 5e will sacrifice...+ 'o away9 0ou are pagans, you are demons, you are...+ Do you hear that, ( swear to you that if you let us do what we want to do, you will see the miracle.+ .o. 'o away9- and he lights the incense and he throws into the sea, as best he can, some li!uids that he had previously offered and tasted, as well as some powders, which ( do not recognise. "ut the waves put the incense out and the sea, instead of calming, rages more and more, washing away all the paraphernalia of the rite and nearly sweeping away .icomedes as well... + 0our goddess is giving you a beautiful answer9 (t2s our turn now. 5e have 6ne as well, purer than that one made of foam, but then... %ing, John, as you did yesterday, and we will follow you, and let us see9+ 0es, let us see9 "ut if it comes to the worst, ( will throw you overboard as propitiatory victims.+ 1ll right. :ome on, John9,00

1nd John strikes up his song, followed by all the others, including &eter, who usually does not sing, as he is always out of tune. The :retan is watching them, with folded arms and a smile that is half angry and half ironical. 1fter the song, they pray with their arms stretched out. (t must be the + 6ur $ather- but it is in Hebrew and ( do not understand it. They then sing louder. They thus alternate songs with prayers without fear or interruptions, although they are struck by the waves. They do not even hold on to supports, and yet they are so self#confident as if they were one thing with the wood of the deck. 1nd the violence of the waves really begins to abate slowly. (t does not cease completely, as the wind does not drop entirely. "ut the storm is not as furious as previously, neither do the waves wash the deck. The face of the :retan is a poem of ama8ement... &eter casts sidelong glances at him and continues praying. John smiles and sings louder... The others follow him exceeding the roar of the waves more and more clearly as the sea calms down into a normal motion and the wind begins to blow favourably. + 5ell, 5hat do you think of it,...+ "ut what did you say, 5hat formula is it,+ That of the True 'od and of His holy Handmaid. 0ou may hoist your sails and sort things out, here... (s that not an island,+ 0es, it2s :yprus... 1nd the sea is even calmer in its channel... How strange9 "ut that star that you worship, who is it, Aenus, isn2t it,3//

+ 0ou should say* that you venerate. 5e worship 'od only. "ut %he has nothing to do with Aenus. %he is Mary. Mary of .a8areth, the Hebraic Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Messiah of (srael.+ 1nd that other thing, what was it, That wasn2t Hebrew...+ .o, it was our dialect, the dialect of our lake, of our fatherland. "ut we cannot tell you, a pagan. (t2s a speech addressed to Jehovah, and only believers can learn it. 'oodbye, .icomedes. 1nd don2t regret what has gone to the bottom. 1... spell less to cause you misfortune. 'oodbye, eh, 1re you dumbfounded,+ .o... "ut... 7xcuse me... ( insulted you9+ 6h9 (t does not Matter9 The effects of... Aenus2 cult... :ome on, boys, let2s go to the others...- and smiling happily &eter goes towards the hatchway. The :retan follows them* + /isten9 1nd what about the man, (s he dead,+ .ot at all9 5e may give him back to you safe and sound very shortly... Just another trick of our... spells...+ 6h9 &lease excuse me9 "ut tell me, where can one learn them in order to be helped, ( am prepared to pay for that...+ 'oodbye, .icomedes9 (t2s a long story... and it2s not allowed... %acred things are not to be given to heathens. 'oodbye9 $are you well, my friend91nd &eter, followed by all the others, goes below deck, smiling. 1lso the sea is now a pleasant sight, a fair mistral now favours navigation while the sun is setting 3/1

and a slice of the waxing moon looms in the east...

820. Arrival and (andin& at Sele,cia.

"th +ove ber 1!45.

The town of %eleucia appears in a beautiful sunset like a huge white mass on the edge of the blue water of the sea, which is placid and pleasantly bright, while the bree8e plays among the little waves under a cloudless sky that blends its cobalt blue with the purple of sunset. The ship is heading under sail towards the remote town and is so flooded by the splendour of the setting sun, that she seems abla8e with lights of )oy for the arrival now close at hand. 6n the deck, among sailors no longer busy or worried, there are passengers who see that their destination is approaching. The in)ured sailor is sitting beside John of 7ndor, who is much more emaciated than when he left. The man2s head is still dressed with a light bandage and he is as pale as ivory because of the blood he has lost. "ut he is smiling and he speaks to those who saved him and to his companions who, as they pass, congratulate him on his return to deck. The :retan also sees him and entrusting his post for a moment to the coxswain, he comes to greet his + very good Demetes-, who has come back on deck for the first time after being hurt. + 1nd thanks to all of you- he says to the apostles. + ( did not think he could survive, after being struck by the heavy beam and by the iron, which 3/2

made it even heavier. Demetes, these people have really brought you back to life, because you were as good as dead, and not once, but twice. The first time when you were lying like a bale of goods on the deck, and because of the blood you were losing and of the waves that would have washed you overboard, you would have died and gone down to the kingdom of .eptune among .ereids and Tritons. The second time because they cured you with their wonderful ointments. /et me see your wound.The man undoes the bandage and shows a smooth healed scar, like a red mark from his temple to his nape, )ust under his hair, which appears to be cut, probably by %yntyche, to keep it out of the wound. .icomedes touches the mark lightly* + 7ven the bone is healed9 Marine Aenus did love you9 1nd she wanted you only on the surface of the sea and on the shores of 'reece. May 7ros be gracious to you, now that we land, and assist you to forget your misfortune and the terror of Thanatos as you were already in his grip.&eter2s face displays his feeling on hearing so many mythological embellishments. /eaning against a mast, with his hands behind his back, he does not speak, but everything speaks in him fastening a biting epithet on heathen .icomedes and his heathenism, and expressing his disgust at the whole of 'entilism. The others are not less disgusted... Judas of 1lphaeus is frowning as he normally does when in a bad temper, his brother is moving around showing a great interest in the sea. James of Bebedee decides that the best thing to do is to leave them all and go below deck to get the bags and the loom, Matthew is toying with his belt and the Bealot imitates him, busying himself exceedingly with his 3/,

sandals, as if they were something new, and John of Bebedee is hypnotised contemplating the sea. The contempt and annoyance of the eight apostles is so obvious ; and the mutism of the two disciples sitting near the wounded man is )ust as clear ; that the :retan becomes aware of it and he apologises* + (t2s our religion, you know, 1s you believe in yours, we all believe in ours....o one replies and the :retan wisely decides to leave his gods in peace and descend from 6lympus on the earth, or rather on the sea, on his ship, inviting the apostles to go on to the prow to have a good view of the town that they are approaching. + There it is, see, Have you ever been here,+ ( was here, once, but ( came by land- says the Bealot gravely and dryly. + Aery well9 %o you know that %eleucia is the real port of 1ntioch. The sea#town is at the mouth of the river 6rontes, which is also gracefully suitable to receive boats that can go up the river as far as 1ntioch when the water is deep. The town you see, the larger one, is %eleucia. The other one, to the south, is not a town, but the ruins of a devastated place. They are deceiving, but it is a dead place. That chain is the &ierios, after which the town is called %eleucia &ieria. The mountain top farther inland, beyond the plain, is mount :asius, and it dominates like a giant the plain of 1ntioch. The other chain to the north is the 1manus. 6h9 0ou will see the work the =omans have done in %eleucia and in 1ntioch9 They could not have done anything greater. 1 port with three basins, which is one of the best, canals, )etties and breakwaters. 3/3

There is not so much in &alestine. "ut %yria is better than other provinces in the 7mpire...His words fall in deathlike silence. 7ven %yntyche, who being 'reek is less s!ueamish than the others, sets her lips, and her face becomes more than ever as sharp as a face sculptured on a medal or a bas#relief* the face of a goddess disdainful of earthly contacts. The :retan notices it and he apologises* + 5hat do you expect9 1fter all ( make my money from the =omans9...%yntyche2s reply is as sharp as a sabre#cut* + 1nd gold blunts the sword of national honour and freedom-, and she says so in such a way and in such pure /atin that the man is dumbfounded... Then he dares to ask* + "ut are you not 'reek,+ ( am 'reek. "ut you love the =omans. ( am speaking to you in the language of your masters, not in mine, which is the language of our martyred $atherland.The :retan is embarrassed while the apostles silently re)oice at the lesson given to the praiser of =ome. 1nd the :retan changes the sub)ect and asks by which means they will be going from %eleucia to 1ntioch. + 6n foot, man- replies &eter. + "ut it is evening. 1nd it will be night by the time you land...+ There will be a place where we can sleep.+ 6f course. "ut you can sleep here until tomorrow.Judas Thaddeus, who has seen that they have already prepared everything necessary for a sacrifice to the gods, to be offered likely at their arrival in the port, says* + (t is 3/5

not necessary. 5e thank you for your kindness, but we prefer to land. (s that right, %imon,+ 0es, it is. 5e also have our prayers to say, and it is... either you and your gods, or us and our 'od.+ Do as you like. ( would have liked to do a good turn to Theophilus2 son.+ 1nd we would have liked to do one to the %on of 'od, convincing you that there is only one 'od. "ut you are a rock that will not move. 1s you can see, we are on the same standing. "ut perhaps we shall meet again one day and you may not be so persistent...- says the Bealot gravely. .icomedes makes a gesture as if he wished to say* &erhaps. 1 gesture of ironic carelessness concerning the invitation to acknowledge the true 'od and forsake the false one. He then goes to the pilot2s place as the harbour is close at hand. + /et us go below and get the chests. /et us do it by ourselves. ( am dying to get away from this pagan stench- says &eter. 1nd they all go below with the exception of %yntyche and John. The two exiles are close to each other and are watching the breakwaters that are coming closer and closer. + %yntyche, another step towards the unknown, another tug from the happy past, another agony, %yntyche... ( cannot bear it any longer...%yntyche takes his hand. %he is very pale and sorrowful. "ut she is still the strong woman who knows how to encourage people. + 0es, John, another tug, another 3/6

agony. "ut do not say* another step towards the unknown... (t is not right. 5e know what our mission is here. Jesus told us. %o we are not going towards the unknown, on the contrary we blend more and more with what we know, with the 5ill of 'od. (t is not even right to say* 3another tug4. 5e are being united to His will. 1 tug separates. 5e are being united. %o we are not being pulled apart. 5e are only parting with the sensitive delights of our love for Him, our Master, reserving super# sensitive delights for ourselves, transferring love and duty to a supernatural level. 1re you convinced that it is so, 0ou are, 5ell, you must not even say* 3another agony4. 1gony presupposes impending death. "ut by reaching a spiritual level to make it our abode, our atmosphere and our food, we do not die, 3we live4. "ecause what is spiritual, is eternal. 5e therefore rise to a more lively life, an anticipation of the great /ife in Heaven. %o, cheer up9 $orget that you are the man#John, and remember that you are destined to Heaven. =eason, act, think and hope only as a citi8en of that immortal $atherland...The others come back with their loads, when the ship is entering the large port of %eleucia ma)estically. + 1nd now let us make off as !uickly as possible, to the first hotel we come across. There must be some in the neighbourhood, and tomorrow... by boat or by cart we will go to our destination.The ship docks by directions given by whistling and the gangway is lowered .icomedes approaches the departing passengers. + 'oodbye, man. 1nd thank you- says &eter on behalf of 3/7

everybody. + 'oodbye, (sraelites. 1nd ( thank you. (f you go along that street you will find lodgings at once. 'oodbye.The apostles come down on this side, and he goes in the opposite direction, and while &eter and the others, laden like porters, go to rest, the heathen begins his useless rite...

821. Fro
?+o date@.

Sele,cia to Antioch.

+ 0ou will certainly find a cart at the market. (f you want mine, ( will give it to you, in memory of Theophilus. (f ( am a happy man, ( owe it to him. He defended me because he was a )ust man. 1nd one cannot forget certain things- says the old hotel#keeper standing before the apostles in the early morning sunshine. + The trouble is that we would be keeping your cart for several days... 1nd in any case who would drive it, ( can manage with a donkey... "ut a horse...+ "ut it2s the same, man9 ( won2t give you a fiery colt, but a wise draught horse, as good as a lamb. 1nd you will go in a short time and without any difficulty. 0ou will be at 1ntioch by the ninth hour, also because the horse is familiar with the road and will go by itself. 0ou will give it back to me when you want, without any interest on my side, as ( am interested only in doing something pleasant to Theophilus2 son, and you can tell him that ( am always 3/-

indebted to him, that ( remember#him and ( am his servant.+ 5hat shall we do,- &eter asks his companions. + 5hatever you think is better. 0ou decide and we will obey.+ %hall we try with the horse, ( am thinking of John... and also to be !uick... ( feel as if ( am taking a man to the scaffold and ( am dying to see it all over...+ 0ou are right- they all say. + 5ell, ( will take it, man.+ 1nd ( am delighted to give it to you. ( am going to prepare the vehicle.The hotel#keeper goes away. &eter can now get the load off his chest* + ( have lost half of my lifetime in the past few days. How grievous9 ( wish ( had 7li)ah2s chariot, the mantle taken by 7lisha, anything that is !uick in doing things... 1nd above all, at the cost of suffering death myself, ( would have liked to give something that might comfort those poor wretches, making them forget... ( don2t know9... (n a few words, something that would not make them suffer so much... "ut if ( find out who is the main cause of all this grief, ( am no longer %imon of Jonah, if ( don2t wring his neck like a wet cloth. ( don2t mean... killing him. .o9 "ut (2ll s!uee8e him as h e s!uee8ed )oy and life out of those two poor people...+ 0ou are right. (t is very sorrowful. "ut Jesus says that we must forgive affronts...- says James of 1lphaeus. + Had they given offence to me, ( would forgive... 1nd ( could. ( am strong and sound, and if anybody offends me, 3/0

( have enough strength to react against grief. "ut poor John9 .o, ( cannot forget an affront to the man redeemed by the /ord, to a man who is dying broken#hearted...+ ( am thinking of the moment when we shall be saying goodbye to him...- says 1ndrew with a sigh. + %o do (. (t2s a fixed idea and it torments me more and more as that moment draws near...- whispers Matthew. + /et us do it as !uickly as possible, for goodness sakesays &eter. + .o, %imon. $orgive me, if ( point out to you that you are wrong in wanting that. 0our love for your neighbour is becoming devious and that must not happen to you, as you are always righteous- says the Bealot calmly laying a hand on &eter2s shoulder. + 5hy, %imon, 0ou are learned and kind. %how me where ( am wrong, and if ( see that ( am at fault, ( will say to you* 30ou are right.4+ 0our love is becoming unwholesome because it is changing into selfishness.+ How, ( am grieved over them, and ( am selfish,+ 0es, brother, because by excess of love ; every excess is disorder and thus leads to sin ; you are becoming cowardly. 0ou do not want to suffer seeing other people suffer. That is selfishness, my brother in the name of the /ord.+ That is true9 0ou are right9 1nd ( thank you for telling me. That is what should be done among good companions. 5ell. ( will no longer be in a hurry... "ut tell me the truth, is it not a pitiful situation,31/

+ (t is indeed...- they all say. + How shall we leave them,+ ( would say that we should leave them after &hilip has given them hospitality... we could remain for some time in 1ntioch, hiding ourselves, calling on &hilip to find out how they are ad)usting themselves...- suggests 1ndrew. + .o. %uch sudden parting would make them suffer too much- says James of 1lphaeus. + 5ell, let us take part of 1ndrew2s suggestion. 5e will remain in 1ntioch, but in &hilip2s house. 1nd for a few days we will go and visit them, but less and less fre!uently, until we stop going- says the other James. + 5e would renew their sorrow and disappoint them bitterly. .o. (t must not be done- says Thaddeus. + 5hat shall we do, %imon,+ 1h9 1s far as ( am concerned, ( would rather be in their position than have to say* 3( bid you goodbye4- says &eter who is downhearted. + ( suggest this. /et us go with them to &hilip2s house and remain there. Then we will all go to 1ntigonea. (t is a pleasant place... 1nd we will stay there. 5hen they have become acclimatised, we will withdraw, in a sorrowful but manly manner. That is what ( would say. Cnless %imon &eter has received different instructions from the Master- says %imon Bealot. + Me, .o. He said to me* 3Do everything well, with love, without being sluggish, but without rushing, in the way which you think is best.4 %o far ( think ( have done so. There is only one thing* ( said ( was a fisherman9... "ut if 311

( had not said that, he would not have allowed me on the deck.+ Don2t have silly scruples, %imon. They are snares of the demon to upset you- says Thaddeus comforting him. + 0es. Juite right9 ( think he is around us as never before, creating obstacles and endeavouring to frighten us to drive us to cowardly actions- says the apostle John, and he concludes in a low voice* + ( think he wanted to drive those two to despair by keeping them in &alestine... and now that they are avoiding his snares, he is avenging himself on us... ( feel that he is around me like a snake hiding in the grass... 1nd ( have felt him like that for months... "ut here is the hotel#keeper coming from one side and John with %yntyche from the other. ( will tell you the rest later, when we are alone, if it is of interest to you.(n fact a sturdy cart drawn by a strong horse is coming forward on one side of the yard, driven by the host, while the two disciples are coming towards them on the other side. + (s it time to go,- asks %yntyche. + 0es, it is. 1re you well covered, John. (s your pain improving,+ 0es. ( am enveloped in woollen garments and the ointment has helped me.+ 'et on, then, and we shall be with you in a moment.... 1nd when they have finished loading, and everyone is in the cart, they go out through the wide door, after being repeatedly assured by the host of the docility of the horse. 312

They cross a s!uare as pointed out to them and take a road near the walls until they go out through a gate and they then proceed along a deep canal first and later along the river. (t is a fine well kept road, running northeastwards, following the turns of the river. 6n the other side there are mountains, the slopes, creeks and gorges of which are very green, and in the most sunny spots one can see the swollen gems of many shrubs in the undergrowth thickets. + How many myrtles9- exclaims %yntyche. + 1nd laurels9- adds Matthew. + .ear 1ntioch there is a place sacred to 1pollo- says John of 7ndor. + &erhaps the winds have blown the seeds as far as here...+ &erhaps. "ut the whole area here is full of lovely plants- says the Bealot. + %ince you have been here, do you think that we shall pass near Daphne,+ 5e must. 0ou will see one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. 1part from the obscene cult, which has degenerated into dirty orgies, it is a valley of earthly paradise, and if $aith enters it, it will become a true paradise. 6h9 how much good you will be able to do here9 ( wish you hearts as fertile as the soil...- says the Bealot to arouse consoling thoughts in the two disciples. John lowers his head and %yntyche sighs. The horse trots with a rhythmical step and &eter does not speak, tense as he is in the strain of driving, although the horse proceeds safely without any need of guidance or spur. They travel thus !uite fast until they stop at a 31,

bridge to eat and let the horse rest. The midday sun is shining and all the beauty of a most beautiful country is visible. + "ut... ( prefer this to the sea...- says &eter looking around. + 5hat a storm9+ The /ord prayed for us. ( felt that He was near us when we were praying on the deck. 1s close as if He were among us...- says John smiling. + ( wonder where He is. ( have no peace thinking that He has no clothes... 1nd if He gets wet, 1nd what will He eat, He is !uite capable of fasting...+ 0ou may rest assured that He does so to help us- says James of 1lphaeus confidently. + 1nd for other reasons as well. 6ur brother has been very depressed for some time. ( think that He mortifies Himself continuously to defeat the world- says Thaddeus. + 0ou mean the demon who is in the world- says James of Bebedee. + (t2s the same thing.+ "ut He will not succeed. My heart is weighed down with fear...- says 1ndrew with a sigh. + 6h9 .ow that we are far away, things will improve9says John of 7ndor rather bitterly. + Don2t you believe that9 0ou and %yntyche were nothing compared to the 3great faults4 of the Messiah according to the mighty ones in (srael- says Thaddeus sharply. + 1re you sure, 6ver and above all my troubles, ( have also this aching pain in my heart* that ( have harmed 313

Jesus by coming to Him. (f ( were sure that it is not so, ( would not suffer so much- says John of 7ndor. + Do you think that ( am sincere, John,- asks Thaddeus. + 0es, ( do.+ Then, in the name of 'od and mine ( assure you that you have given Jesus but one sorrow* that of having to send you here on a mission. 0ou have nothing to do with all His past, present and future griefs.The first smile, after sad days of gloomy melancholy brightens the hollow cheeks of John of 7ndor, who says* + 5hat a relief you give me9 The day seems brighter to me, my disease less troublesome, and my heart is more comforted... Thank you, Judas of 1lphaeus, thank you9They get into the cart again and after crossing the bridge they go along the other bank of the river, following the road that goes straight to 1ntioch, through a very fertile area. + There you are9 Daphne is in that poetic valley with its temple and thickets. 1nd over there, in the plain, there is 1ntioch and its towers on the walls. 5e will enter the gate near the river. /a8arus2 house is not very far from the walls. His most beautiful houses have been sold. This one is left, once it was the place where Theophilus2 servants and clients stopped and rested and it has many stables and granaries. &hilip lives in it. 1 good old soul faithful to /a8arus. 0ou will be at home there. 1nd we will go to 1ntigonea where the house is in which 7ucheria lived with her children, who were very young then...+ This town is well fortified, isn2t it,- asks &eter, who is 315

now relaxing, as he has realised that his test as a charioteer has been successful. + 0es, very. 5alls of great height and width, over one hundred towers, which, as you can see, look like giants standing on the walls, with impassable moats at their feet. 1nd mount %ilpius has also lent its tops to assist the defence system, as a buttress in the weakest part of the walls... Here is the gate. (t is better if you stop and go in holding the horse by the bit. ( will guide you as ( know the way...They go through the gate watched by =omans. The apostle John says* + ( wonder whether the soldier of the $ish 'ate is here... Jesus would be happy to know...+ 5e will look for him. "ut go on now- orders &eter, who is obviously worried at the idea of going to an unknown house. John obeys without speaking he only looks carefully at every soldier he sees. 1fter a short distance, there is a strongly built but simple house, that is, a high wall with no windows. There is only a large door in the central part of the wall. + Here we are. %top- says the Bealot. + 6h9 %imon9 "e good9 5ill you speak now,9+ 0es, ( will, if it is going to make you happy- and the Bealot knocks at the heavy door. He makes himself known as a messenger from /a8arus. He goes in by himself. He comes out with an old dignified man, who bows profusely and orders a servant to open the gate and let the cart go in. 1nd he apologises for letting them all 316

go in there and not through the main door. The cart stops in a large yard with porches, well kept, with a huge plane#tree in each of the four corners and two in the centre sheltering a well and watering trough for horses. + Take care of the horse- the steward orders the servant. He then says to the guests* + &lease come with me and may the /ord be blessed for sending me His servants and the friends of my master. 0our servant is at your disposal, please give me your orders.&eter blushes because the steward2s words and bows are addressed mainly to him, and he does not know what to say... The Bealot comes to his rescue. + The disciples of the Messiah of (srael, of whom /a8arus of Theophilus speaks to you, and who from now on will live in your house to serve the /ord, need nothing but rest. 5ill you show them their rooms,+ 6h, There are rooms always ready for pilgrims, as in the days of my mistress. :ome...- 1nd followed by everybody he goes along a corridor into a little yard at the end of which is the real house. He opens the door, goes along a passage, then he turns to the right. There is a staircase. They go upstairs, where there is another corridor with rooms on both sides. + Here you are. 1nd may your stay be a pleasant one. ( am now going to order water and some linen. May 'od be with you- says the old man and he goes away. They open the windows of the rooms they choose. The walls and towers of 1ntioch are opposite the rooms on one side the peaceful yard adorned with creeping rose# 317

bushes, which are now bare because of the season, can be seen from the rooms on the other side of the corridor. 1nd at last, after so much travelling, a house, a room, a bed... 1 resting place for some, the final destination for others...

822. At Anti&onea.
7th +ove ber 1!45.

+ My son &tolmai has come to the market. He is going back to 1ntigonea today at the sixth hour. (t is a mild day. Do you still wish to go as you had planned,- asks old &hilip while serving hot milk to his guests. + 5e shall certainly go. 5hen did you say,+ 1t the sixth hour. 0ou can come back tomorrow, if you wish, or the evening before the %abbath, if you prefer so. 1ll the Hebrew servants and those who have embraced our faith come for the %abbath service.+ 5e will do that. 1nd that place may still be chosen as the residence for these two.+ ( will be pleased even if ( lose them. "ecause it is a wholesome place. 1nd you could do much good among the servants, some of whom are still the ones left by our master. %ome are there through the bounty of our blessed mistress who ransomed them from cruel masters. %o they are not all (sraelites. "ut by now they are not pagans either. ( am referring to the women. 1ll the men have 31-

been circumcised. Do not disdain them... "ut they are still very far from the )ustice of (srael. The saints of the Temple would be scandalised at them, as they are perfect...+ 6f course9 They would indeed9 5ell9 They will now be able to improve by breathing in wisdom and goodness from the messengers of the /ord... Have you heard how much you have to do,- concludes &eter, addressing the two. + 5e will do it. 5e will not disappoint the Masterpromises %yntyche. 1nd she goes out to prepare what is necessary to take. John of 7ndor asks &hilip* + Do you think that at 1ntigonea ( could do some good also to other people, as a teacher,+ Much good. 6ld &lautus died three months ago and the children of the 'entiles have no school now. 5ith regard to the Jews, there is no master for them because all our people keep away from that place, which is close to Daphne. (t would take one like... like Theophilus... 5ithout rigidity for... for...+ 0es, without &harisaism, you mean- concludes &eter promptly. + That2s it... yes... ( do not want to criticise... "ut ( think... (t2s of no use cursing... (t would be better if they helped... 1s our mistress used to do... she brought more people to the /aw with her smiles and in a better way than a rabbi.+ That is why the Master sent me here9 ( am the man with the right !ualifications... 6h9 ( will do His will. Till ( 310

breathe my last. ( now believe, ( firmly believe that my mission is nothing but a mission of predilection. ( am going to tell %yntyche. 0ou will see that we will stay there... ( am going to tell her- and he goes out, full of life as he had not been for a long time. + Most High /ord, ( thank 0ou and bless 0ou9 He will still suffer, but not so much as previously... 1h9 5hat a relief,- exclaims &eter. He then feels that it is his duty to give &hilip some kind of explanation, as best he can, of his )oy* + 0ou must realise that John was made the ob)ect of the attacks of the... 3rigid ones4 in (srael... 0ou call them 3rigid ones4...+ 1h9 ( see9 He was persecuted for political reasons like... like...- and he looks at the Bealot. + 0es, like me and more, and for other reasons as well. "ecause he provokes them not only because he is of a different caste, but also because he belongs to the Messiah. %o ; and let this be said once for all ; both he and %yntyche are entrusted to your loyalty... Do you understand,+ 0es, ( do. 1nd ( know how to behave.+ 5hat will you say they are,+ Two teachers recommended by /a8arus of Theophilus, he is a teacher for boys, and she for girls. ( see that she embroiders and has a loom... 1 considerable amount of needle work is done and sold in 1ntioch by foreigners. "ut it is rough and coarse stuff. 0esterday ( saw that she had a piece of work which reminded me of my good mistress... They will be in great demand...+ 6nce again may the /ord be praised- says &eter. 32/

+ 0es. That will soothe our grief in parting.+ 1re you going to leave already,+ 5e must. 5e have been delayed by the storm. 1t the beginning of %hebat we must be with the Master. He is already waiting for us, because we are late- explains Thaddeus. They part, each attending to his own business, that is, &hilip goes where a woman calls him, the apostles to a high ground, in the sunshine. + 5e could leave the day after the %abbath. 5hat do you say,- asks James of 1lphaeus. + 1s far as ( am concerned9... ( don2t mind9... 7very morning ( get up tormented by the idea that Jesus is alone, without clothes, without anyone looking after Him, and every night ( go to bed with the same fixed idea. "ut we shall decide today.+ Tell me. "ut was the Master aware of everything, ( have been wondering for days how He knew that we were going to meet the :retan, how he could foresee John2s and %yntyche2s work, how... That is... many things- says 1ndrew. + 1ctually ( think that the :retan stops at %eleucia on fixed dates. 1nd perhaps /a8arus told Jesus, and so He decided to leave without waiting until &assover...explains the Bealot. + (ndeed9 That2s right. 1nd how will John manage at &assover,- asks James of 1lphaeus. + /ike every other (sraelite...- says Matthew. + .o. That would mean falling into the wolf2s mouth9321

+ .ot at all9 5ho is going to find him out among so many people,+ The (scar... 6h9 5hat have ( said9 $orget about it. (t2s only a trick of my mind...- &eter is flushed and sad, because he has spoken. Judas of 1lphaeus lays a hand on his shoulder and smiling with his severe smile, he says* + .ever mind9 5e are all thinking of the same thing. "ut we won2t tell anybody. 1nd let us bless the 7ternal $ather for diverting John2s mind from this thought.They are all silent, engrossed in thought. "ut as they are true (sraelites, the thought of how the exiled disciple will be able to celebrate &assover in Jerusalem worries them... and they begin to speak about it again. + ( think that Jesus will see to it. &erhaps John already knows. 5e have only got to ask him- says Matthew. + .o, don2t. Don2t put desires and thorns where peace is )ust springing up- begs the apostle John. + 0es. (t is better to ask the Master Himself- confirms James of 1lphaeus. + 5hen shall we see Him, 5hat do you think,- asks 1ndrew. + 6h9 (f we leave the day after the %abbath, by the end of the moon we shall certainly be at &tolemais...- says James of Bebedee. + (f we find a ship...- remarks Judas Thaddeus. 1nd his brother adds* + 1nd if there is no storm.+ There are always ships leaving for &alestine. 1nd if we 322

pay, we will call at &tolemais, even if the ship is heading for Joppa. Have you any money left, %imon,- the Bealot asks &eter. + 0es, ( have, although that thief, the :retan, fleeced me in no uncertain manner, notwithstanding his protestations that he wanted to do a favour to /a8arus. "ut ( have to pay for the custody of the boat and the keeping of 1ntonius... ( do not want to touch the money given to me for John and %yntyche. (t is sacred. 1t the cost of starving, ( will leave it as it is.+ That is the right thing. That man is very ill. He thinks that he will be able to teach. ( think he will be ill all the time, and soon...- states the Bealot. + ( am of the same opinion. %yntyche will be busier preparing ointments than working- confirms James of Bebedee. + 5hat do you think of that ointment, 5hat a wonderful thing9 %yntyche told me that she wants to make it here and use it to become familiar with local families- says John. + 1 very good idea9 1 sick person who is cured always becomes a disciple and relatives follow suit- states Matthew. + 6h9 no9 :ertainly not- exclaims &eter. + 5hat, Do you mean that miracles do not attract people to the /ord,- 1ndrew asks him together with two or three companions. + 6h9 little babies9 6ne might say that you have )ust come down from Heaven9 "ut don2t you see what they do to 32,

Jesus, Did 7li of :apernaum turn, 6r Doras, 6r 6shea of <ora8im, 6r Melkia of "ethsaida, 1nd ; excuse me you from .a8areth ; the whole of .a8areth, after the five, six, ten miracles worked there, up to the last one for your nephew,- asks &eter. .obody replies, because it is the bitter truth. + 5e have not found the =oman soldier yet. Jesus had given to understand...- says John after a little while. + 5e will tell those who are staying. (t will be another opportunity for them- replies the Bealot. &hilip comes back* + My son is ready. He finished early. He is with his mother who is preparing gifts for her grandchildren.+ 0our daughter#in#law is good, isn2t she,+ %he is. %he consoled me for the loss of my Joseph. %he is like a daughter to me. %he was 7ucheria2s maid, and was brought up by her. :ome and have something to eat before leaving. The others are already taking something.-... ... 1nd they trot towards 1ntigonea, preceded by the cart of &tolmai, &hilip2s grandson... They soon reach the little town. %ituated as it is among fertile gardens, shielded from winds by chains of mountains around it, far enough not to oppress it, but sufficiently close to protect it and pour on to it the scents of their woods of resinous and essential plants, full of sunshine, it cheers up one2s sight and heart only by going through it. /a8arus2 gardens are in the southern part of the town and are preceded by an avenue, which is now bare, along 323

which are the houses of the gardeners. /ow but well kept houses, from the doors of which children and women appear watching curiously and greeting smiling. The different races can be told by the different faces. 1s soon as he enters the gate, where the estate begins, &tolmai cracks his whip in a special way when passing in front of each house it must be a signal. 1nd the inhabitants of each house, after hearing it, go into their houses and then come out, closing the doors and walking along the avenue, behind the two carts, as the horses are ambling and they stop at the centre of radial paths stretching in every direction like the spokes of a wheel, among numberless fields arranged as flower beds, some of which are bare, some full of evergreens, protected by laurels, acacias or similar trees and by other trees which oo8e odoriferous milklike )uices and resins through cuts in their trunks. There is in the air a mixed scent of balsamic, resinous, aromatic fragrances. There are beehives everywhere, as well as irrigation vats where show#white doves are drinking. 1nd in special areas white hens are scratching about on the bare ground, which has )ust been hoed, while some girls are watching over them. &tolmai cracks his whip repeatedly, until all the sub)ects of the little kingdom have gathered round the arrivals. He then begins his little speech* + /isten. &hilip, our head and the father of my father, has sent and recommends these holy people from (srael, who have come here by the will of our master, and may 'od be always with him and his family. 5e have been complaining because there was no rabbi here to speak to us. .ow the bounty of 'od and of our master, who although so far is so affectionate to us 325

; may 'od give him the welfare that he gives his servants ; have procured for us what our hearts desire so keenly. The Messiah promised to peoples has risen in (srael. They had told us at the $easts in the Temple and in the house of /a8arus. "ut now the time of grace has really come because the <ing of (srael has taken care of His lowest servants and has sent His ministers to bring us His words. These are His disciples and two of them will live with us, either here or in 1ntioch, teaching us the 5isdom of Heaven and the science that is necessary on the earth. John, a schoolmaster and a disciple of :hrist, will teach our children the former and the latter wisdom. %yntyche, a disciple and a teacher of needlework, will teach our girls the science of the love of 'od and the art of needlework. 5elcome them as a blessing from Heaven, and love them as /a8arus of Theophilus and 7ucheria loves them ; glory to their souls and peace ; and as the daughters of Theophilus love them* Martha and Mary, our beloved mistresses and disciples of Jesus of .a8areth, the =abbi of (srael, the promised <ing.The little group of men, wearing short tunics and holding garden tools in their earthy hands, and of women and children of every age, listen in utter astonishment, they then whisper and finally bow their heads very low. &tolmai begins to introduce them* + %imon of Jonah, the head of the messengers of the /ord %imon the :ananean, a friend of our master James and Judas, brothers of the /ord James and John, 1ndrew and Matthew- and then to the apostles and disciples* + 1nne, my wife, of the tribe of Judas, as my mother was, because we are pure (sraelites and we came here with 326

7ucheria of Judas. Joseph, the son consecrated to the /ord, and Theocheria, our firstborn, who is called after our )ust masters, a wise daughter who loves 'od as a true (sraelite. .icolaus and Dositeus. .icolaus is a .a8irite Dositeus, our third born, has been married for several years >he says that with a big sigh? to Hermione. :ome here, woman...1 very young swarthy woman comes forward holding an unweaned babe in her arms. + Here she is. %he is the daughter of a proselyte and a 'reek mother. My son saw her at 1lexandroscene in &hoenicia, when he was there on business... and wanted her... and /a8arus did not ob)ect, on the contrary he said to me* 3"etter so than debauched4. 1nd it is better. "ut ( wanted someone with Jewish blood...&oor Hermione has lowered her head as if she were accused. Dositeus trembles with anger and suffers. 1nne, his mother, looks at him with sorrowful eyes... 1lthough the youngest of all the apostles, John feels that it is necessary to raise the humiliated spirits and says* + (n the <ingdom of the /ord there are no longer 'reeks or (sraelites, =omans or &hoenicians, but only the children of 'od. 5hen you learn the 5ord of 'od from those who have come here, your heart will rise to a new light and this woman will no longer be 3the foreigner4, but the disciple of our /ord Jesus, like yourself and all the rest.Hermione raises her mortified head and smiles gratefully at John and the same expression of gratitude can be seen on the faces of Dositeus and 1nne. &tolmai replies gravely* + 'od grant it, because apart 327

from her origin, ( cannot blame my daughter#in#law for anything. The child in her arms is 1lphaeus, her last born, called after her father, a proselyte. The little girl with sky#blue eyes and ebony curls is Myrthica, who was called after Hermione2s mother, and this one, the first born, is /a8arus, as our master wanted, and the other one is Hermas.+ The fifth must be called &tolmai and the sixth 1nne, to tell the /ord and the world that your heart has opened to new understanding- says John again. &tolmai bows without speaking. He then resumes the introductions* + These are two brothers from (srael* Miriam and %ilvian, of the tribe of .aphtali. 1nd these are 7lbonides, a Danite, and %imeon, a Judaean. 1nd here are the proselytes, =omans or sons of =omans, whom 7ucheria2s charity redeemed from slavery and heathenism* /ucius, Marcellus, %olon the son of 7lateus.+ 1 'reek name- remarks %yntyche. + $rom. Thessalonica. The slave of a servant of =ome- ; and there is manifest contempt in saying 3servant of =ome4 ; + 7ucheria took him with his dying father, in troubled times, and if his father died a heathen, %olon is a proselyte... &riscilla, come forward with your children...1 tall thin woman with an a!uiline nose comes forward pushing a girl and a boy, with two lovely little girls hanging to her skirt. + This is %olon2s wife, a freedwoman of a =oman lady now dead, and this is Marius, :ornelia, and the twins Mary and Martilla. &riscilla is experienced in essences. 32-

1miclea, come with your children. %he is the daughter of proselytes. 1nd her boys :assius and Theodorus are also proselytes. Tecla, don2t hide yourself. %he is Marcellus2 wife. %he is grieved because she is sterile. %he is the daughter of proselytes, too. 1nd these are the farmers. /et us go to the gardens now. :ome.1nd he leads them through the vast estate followed by the gardeners who explain the various cultivations and work, while the girls go back to their hens, which have taken advantage of their absence to trespass on to other ground. &tolmai explains* + They are brought here to free the soil from grubs before sowing the yearly cultivations.John of 7ndor smiles at the cackling hens and says* + They look like those ( had once...- and he bends throwing bread crumbs taken from his sack, until he is surrounded by pullets and he laughs because a cheeky one snatches the bread from his fingers. + That2s not so bad9- exclaims &eter nudging Matthew and pointing to John who is playing with the chicken and to %yntyche who is speaking 'reek to %olon and Hermione. They then go back to the house of &tolmai, who explains* + This is the place. "ut if you want to teach, we can make room. 1re you staying here or...+ 0es, %yntyche9 Here9 (t2s lovelier9 1ntioch oppresses me with recollections...- John begs his companion in a low voice. + 6f course... 1s you wish. &roviding you are well. (t is all the same to me. ( no longer look back... 6nly forward... 320

:heer up, John9 5e shall be all right here. :hildren, flowers, doves, hens for us, poor human beings. 1nd for our souls... the )oy of serving the /ord. 5hat do you all say,- she asks addressing all the apostles. + 5e are of the same opinion as you, woman.+ 5ell, that is settled.+ Aery well. 5e will leave with relieved minds...+ 6h9 Don2t go away9 ( will not see you again9 5hy so early, 5hy,...- John relapses into a state of depression. + "ut we are not going away now9 5e are staying until you are...- &eter does not know what to say John will be, and to hide his tears he embraces weeping John endeavouring to console him thus...

828. Fare/ell to Antioch after :reachin&.

1th +ove ber 1!45.

K The apostles are once again in the house at 1ntioch with the two disciples and all the men from 1ntigonea, who are not wearing their clothes tucked up to work, but have on their long best garments. ( thus understand that it is the %abbath. &hilip begs the apostles to speak to everybody at least once before their departure, which is now imminent. + 6n what,3,/

+ 6n anything you like. 0ou have heard our conversation during the past days. 0ou may speak accordingly.The apostles look at one another. 5hose duty is it, &eter2s, of course. He is the head9 "ut &eter would rather not speak but surrender the honour to James of 1lphaeus or to John of Bebedee. 1nd only when he sees that they are inflexible, he makes up his mind to speak. L + Today in the synagogue we heard the explanation of chapter ML of (saiah. 1 learned comment according to the world, a defective one according to 5isdom. "ut the commentator is not to be blamed, because he gave what he could within the limits of his own wisdom* without the knowledge of the Messiah and of the new Time brought by Him. "ut let us not find fault with him, let us instead pray that he may achieve the knowledge of these two graces and accept them without difficulty. 0ou told me that at &assover you heard some people speak of the Master with faith, some with sneering words. 1nd that only because of the great faith that fills the hearts of the house of /a8arus, all their hearts, you were able to bear the unease that the innuendoes of other people caused to your hearts, particularly because these other people were rabbis of (srael. "ut to be learned does not mean to be holy or to possess the Truth. 1nd this is the Truth* Jesus of .a8areth is the promised Messiah, the %aviour of 5hom the &rophets speak, and the last of them went to rest in 1braham2s bosom only recently, after his glorious martyrdom, which he suffered for the sake of )ustice. John the "aptist said, and those who heard his words are here now* 3There is the /amb of 'od that takes away the sin of the world.4 His words were believed by the most humble of those present, because humility helps to reach 3,1

$aith, whereas it is difficult for proud people ; laden as they are with unnecessary things ; to reach the mountain top where chaste bright $aith dwells. Those humble people, both because they were such and because they believed, deserved to be the first in the army of the /ord Jesus. 0ou can thus see how necessary humility is in order to attain instant faith, and how faith is rewarded, particularly when one believes against adverse appearances. ( exhort and stimulate you to possess these two !ualities and you will then be in the army of the /ord and will con!uer the <ingdom of Heaven... (t is your turn, %imon Bealot. ( have spoken. &lease continue.N The Bealot, caught so suddenly and so clearly pointed out as the second speaker, can but move forward without delay or complaint. 1nd he says* + ( will continue the sermon of %imon &eter, the head of us all by the will of the /ord. 1nd ( will continue taking up the sub)ect of chapter ML of (saiah, as seen by one who knows the (ncarnate Truth, 5hose servant he is for good. (t says* 31wake, clothe yourself in strength, Bion, put on your richest clothes, city of the Holy 6ne.4 1nd that is how it should really be. "ecause when a promise is fulfilled, peace is made, punishment comes to an end, and the time of )oy comes hearts and towns should put on their best clothes and raise their mortified foreheads, realising that they are no longer hated, defeated, beaten, but are instead loved and freed. 5e are not here to institute proceedings against Jerusalem. :harity, the first of all virtues, forbids it. /et us not watch the hearts of other people, let us, instead, look at our own. /et us clothe our hearts in strength by means of that faith of which %imon has spoken and let us put on our richest 3,2

clothes because our age#old faith in the Messiah is now crowned by the real fact. The Holy Messiah, the 5ord of 'od is really among us. 1nd both souls and bodies have evidence of this* the former hear the words of 5isdom, which fortify them and infuse holiness and peace, the latter, thanks to the Holy 6ne, to 5hom everything is granted by the $ather, are released from the most dreadful diseases, even from death, so that the hills and valleys of (srael, our $atherland, may resound with hosannas to the %on of David and to the Most High 5ho has sent His 5ord, as He had promised the &atriarchs and &rophets. (, who am speaking to you, was a leper, destined to die, after years of unrelenting distress, in the brutal solitude familiar to lepers. 1 man said to me* 3'o to Him, to the =abbi of .a8areth, and you will be cured.4 ( had faith. ( went. ( was cured. (n my body. (n my heart. The former was freed from the disease that separates lepers from other men. The latter was freed from the hatred that separates from 'od. 1nd with a new spirit, from a troubled, sick exile ( became His servant, called to the happy mission of going among men, loving them in His .ame, teaching them the one and only necessary knowledge* that Jesus of .a8areth is the %aviour and that blessed are those who believe in Him. (t2s your turn to speak now, o James of 1lphaeus.G + ( am the brother of the .a8arene. My father and His were brothers, born of the same mother. 1nd yet ( cannot say that ( am His brother, but His servant. "ecause the paternity of Joseph, my father2s brother, was a spiritual paternity and ( solemnly tell you that the Most High, 5hom we worship, is the true $ather of our Master Jesus. 'od allowed the %econd &erson of 'od 6ne and Trine to become incarnate and to come upon the earth, 3,,

remaining however 'od and always united to the &ersons 5ho dwell in Heaven. "ecause 'od, 5ho is infinitely 1lmighty can do that. 1nd He does it out of /ove, which is His nature. Jesus of .a8areth is our brother, men, because he was born of a woman, and is like us in His humanity. He is our Master because He is the 5ise 6ne, He is the very 5ord of 'od and has come to speak to us to take us to 'od. 1nd He is our 'od, being 6ne with the $ather and the Holy %pirit, with 5hom He is always united in love, power and nature. May this Truth, which the Just 6ne, my relative, was granted to know through clear evidence, become also your possession. 1nd when the world will endeavour to tear you away from the :hrist, saying* 3He is )ust an ordinary man4, reply* 3.o. He is the %on of 'od, He is the %tar born of Jacob, He is the %ceptre that arises in (srael, He is the =uler.4 /et nothing deter you. That is $aith. (t2s your turn, 1ndrew.M + That is $aith. ( am a poor fisherman of the lake of 'alilee, and when fishing in the silent nights, in the light of the stars, ( had silent conversations with myself. ( used to say* 35hen will He come, 5ill ( be still alive, Many years are still missing, according to the prophecy.4 $or man, whose life is short, even a few do8en years are as long as centuries... ( used to ask myself* 3How will He come, 5here, $rom whom,4 1nd my dull human mind made me dream of royal splendour, of royal abodes, processions, clangour, power and unbearable ma)esty... 1nd ( would say* 35ho will be able to look at this great <ing,4 ( thought that He would be more terrifying, in His manifestation, than Jehovah Himself on Mount %inai. 1nd ( used to say* 3The Hebrews saw the mountain lighten, but they were not burned to ashes, because the 7ternal $ather was beyond the clouds. "ut here He will 3,3

look at us with mortal eyes and we shall die... ( was a disciple of the "aptist. 1nd when we were not fishing ( used to go to him with other companions. (t was a day of this month... The banks of the Jordan were crowded with people who shivered when hearing the words of the "aptist. ( had noticed a young handsome man come calmly towards us along a path. His garments were plain, His countenance kind. He seemed to be asking for love and to be giving love. His blue eyes rested for a moment on me, and ( felt something that ( have never felt again. ( felt as if my soul were being caressed, as if ( were being lightly touched by the wings of angels. $or a moment ( felt that ( was so far away from the earth, so different, that ( said* 3( shall die now9 This is 'od calling my soul.4 "ut ( did not die. ( was fascinated contemplating the young unknown man, whose blue eyes were now staring at the "aptist. 1nd the "aptist turned round, ran to Him and bowed. They spoke to each other. 1nd as John2s voice was as loud as thunder, their mysterious words reached me, who was listening, tense as ( was in the keen desire to know who the unknown young man was. My soul felt that He was different from everybody. They were saying* 3( should be baptised by 0ou... ... .ever mind )ust now. (t is necessary to fulfill all )ustice.4... John had already said* 3%omeone will come and ( am not fit to undo the straps of His sandals.4 He had already said* 3There is among you, in (srael, 6ne 5hom you do not know. His winnowing#fan is already in His hand and He will clear His threshing# floor and He will burn the chaff in a fire that will never go out.4 ( had in front of me a young man of the common people, whose countenance was mild and humble, and yet ( felt that He was the 6ne, 5hose sandal#straps not even the Holy 6ne in (srael, the last &rophet, the &recursor 3,5

was fit to undo. ( felt that He was the 6ne, 5hom we did not know. "ut ( was not afraid. 6n the contrary, when John, after the enrapturing thunder of 'od and after the unimaginable brightness of the /ight in the shape of a dove of peace, said* 3Here is the /amb of 'od4, ( cried* 3( believe94 with the voice of my soul, re)oicing because ( had foreseen the <ing Messiah in the young man who looked so mild and humble. "ecause of this faith ( am His servant. "e so yourselves, and you will have peace. Matthew, it is your turn now to relate the other glories of the /ord.Q + ( cannot use the same serene words of 1ndrew. He was a )ust man, ( was a sinner. Therefore my word has not the )oyful note of happiness, but it has the confident peace of a psalm. ( was a sinner. 1 great sinner. ( was living in utter error. ( had hardened in it and ( felt no discomfort. (f at times the &harisees or the head of the synagogue lashed me with their insults and reproaches, reminding me of 'od, the inexorable Judge, ( was terrified for a moment... then ( would relax thinking foolishly* 3(n any case ( am as good as damned. /et me have a good time, therefore, as long as ( can.4 1nd ( sank deeper and deeper into sin. Two years ago an Cnknown man, came to :apernaum in springtime. He was unknown also to me. He was in fact unknown to everybody, because He was at the beginning of His mission. 6nly a few men knew who He really was* those whom you see here, and few more. ( was greatly surprised at His demeanour, which was more chaste than a virgin2s. That was the first thing that ama8ed me. ( saw that He was austere and yet He was always willing to listen to the children who went to Him as bees fly to flowers. Their innocent games and ingenious words were 3,6

His only relaxation. Then His power ama8ed me. He worked miracles. ( said* 3He is an exorciser, a holy man.4 ( felt that ( was so disgraceful as compared to Him, that ( shunned Him. He was looking for me. 6r that was my impression. 7very time He passed near my bench He would look at me with His kind rather sad eyes. 1nd every time ( felt my torpid conscience start and it never fell back to the same level of stupor. 6ne day, as people exalted His words, ( felt like listening to Him. 1nd hiding behind the corner of a house ( heard Him speak to a little group of men. He spoke informally, on charity, which is like an indulgence with regard to our sins... 1s from that evening, (, the greedy hardhearted man, wanted my many sins to be forgiven by 'od. ( did things secretly... "ut He knew that it was (, because He knows everything. 6nce ( heard Him explain )ust chapter ML of (saiah* He said that the lewd and those whose hearts are not circumcised will not enter His <ingdom, the heavenly Jerusalem, and He promised that that :elestial :ity, the beauty of which He described so convincingly that ( felt nostalgia for it, would belong to those who went to Him. 1nd then... 6h9 6n that day His look was not a sad one, but a commanding one. He broke my heart, He stripped my soul, He cauterised this poor soul of mine, He took it in His hands and tortured it with His exacting love... and ( had a new soul. =epentance and desire led me towards Him. He did not wait for me to say* 3Have mercy, my /ord94 He said to me* 3$ollow Me94 The Mild 6ne had defeated %atan in the sinner2s heart. May this tell you, if anyone among you is worried because of his sins, that He is the good %aviour and that you must not shun Him, on the contrary, the more one is a sinner, the more one must go to Him with humility and repentance, in order to be 3,7

forgiven. James of Bebedee, will you speak now,R + ( do not really know what to say. 0ou have spoken and said what ( would have said. "ecause that is the truth and it cannot be changed. ( was with 1ndrew at the Jordan as well, but ( only noticed Him when He was pointed out by the "aptist. "ut ( believed at once, and when He left, after His bright manifestation, ( was like one who after being on a sunny mountain top, is imprisoned in a dark )ail. ( was longing to find the %un again. The world was dark, after the /ight of 'od had appeared to me, and then had disappeared. ( was alone among men. ( had satisfied my appetite, but ( was hungry. 5hile sleeping ( was awake with my better part, and money, business, affections, everything had been left far behind my great desire for Him and nothing allured me. /ike a child who has lost his mother ( moaned* 3:ome back, /amb of the /ord9 Most High /ord, as 0ou sent =aphael to guide Tobias, send 0our angel to lead me to the way of the /ord, that ( may find Him... 94 1nd yet, when He appeared on the path coming from the desert, after we had been waiting for Him in vain for weeks, and we had been looking for Him anxiously, which vain efforts made us feel more sorely the loss of our John who had been arrested for the first time, ( did not recognise Him at once. 1nd now, my brothers in the /ord, ( want to teach you another way to go to Him and recognise Him. %imon of Jonah said that faith and humility are re!uired to know Him. %imon Bealot has confirmed the absolute necessity of $aith to acknowledge in Jesus of .a8areth what He is in Heaven and on the earth, according to what has been said. 1nd %imon Bealot needed a truly great faith, also on behalf of his incurable body. That is why 3,-

%imon Bealot says that $aith and Hope are the means to attain the %on of 'od. James, the brother of the /ord, has mentioned the power of %trength to keep what has been found. The %trength that prevents the snares of the world and of %atan from undermining our $aith. 1ndrew has shown the necessity of )oining a holy thirst for Justice to $aith, endeavouring to know and maintain the Truth, whatever be the holy mouth announcing it, not out of human pride to be learned, but out of desire to know 'od. The man who improves his mind in the Truth will find 'od. Matthew, once a sinner, has pointed out to you another way to attain 'od* to divest oneself of sensuality out of spirit of imitation, ( would say by reflection of 'od, 5ho is infinite &urity. The first thing that impressed him, a sinner, was the 3chaste demeanour4 of the Cnknown man who had come to :apernaum, and as if it had the power to revive his dead continence, he refrains first of all from sensual carnality, clearing the way for the coming of 'od and for the resurrection of the other dead virtues. $rom continence he passes on to mercy, from mercy to contrition, he then surpasses himself and arrives at union with 'od. 3$ollow Me.4 3( am coming.4 "ut his soul had already said* 3( am coming4, and the %aviour had already said* 3$ollow Me4, when for the first time the Airtue of the Master had drawn the attention of the sinner. (mitate him. "ecause the experience of other people, even if painful, is a guide to avoid evil and find good for those who are of good will. 1s far as ( am concerned, ( say that the more man strives to live for the spirit, the more fit he is to recognise the /ord, and an angelic life favours that in the highest degree. 6f us disciples of John, he who recognised him, after His absence, was the virgin soul. "etter than 1ndrew, he 3,0

recognised Him, notwithstanding penance had altered the visage of the /amb of 'od. %o ( say* 3"e chaste to be able to recognise Him.4 Judas, will you speak now,H + 0es, be chaste to be able to recognise Him. "ut be chaste also to be able to keep Him within you with His 5isdom and His /ove, with His whole %elf. (t is still (saiah who in chapter ML says* 3Touch nothing unclean... purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the /ord.4 =eally, every soul that becomes His disciple is like a vase full of the /ord, and the body containing the soul is like one who carries the sacred vase to the /ord. 'od cannot be where there is impurity. Matthew told you how the /ord explained that nothing unclean or separated from 'od will be in the celestial Jerusalem. 0es. "ut it is necessary not to be unclean or separated from 'od, to be able to enter it. 5retched are those people who wait until the last hour to repent. They will not always have time to do so. /ikewise those who now slander Him will have no time to make amends at the moment of His triumph, and therefore will not en)oy its fruit. Those who in the holy humble <ing hope to see an earthly monarch, and even more those who are afraid to see in Him an earthly monarch, will not be prepared for that hour deceived and disappointed in their thoughts, which are not the thoughts of 'od, but poor human thoughts, they will sin even more. The humiliation of being the Man is upon Him. 5e must remember that. (saiah says that all our sins mortify the Divine &erson under common appearance. 5hen ( consider that the 5ord of 'od has around Himself, like a filthy crust, all the misery of mankind since it began to exist, ( think with deep compassion and understanding of the suffering that His faultless soul must endure. The horror of a healthy man 33/

who was covered with the rags and filth of a leper. He is really pierced by our sins, and covered with sores by man2s lust. His soul, living among us, must shudder with horror at such contact, as a body trembles with a high temperature. 1nd yet He does not speak. He does not open His mouth to say* 30ou horrify Me.4 "ut He opens it only to say* 3:ome to Me, that ( may take away your sins.4 He is the %aviour. (n His infinite bounty He veiled His unbearable beauty. (f He had appeared in all His beauty, as He is in Heaven, He would have reduced us to ashes, as 1ndrew said. "ut His beauty has become engaging, like a mild /amb, in order to approach us and save us. His oppression, His condemnation will last until, consumed by the effort of being the perfect Man among imperfect men, He is raised above the multitude of those He has redeemed, in the triumph of His holy regality. 'od 5ho submits to death, to take us to /ife9 May these thoughts make you love Him above all things. He is the Holy 6ne. ( can say so, as ( was brought up with Him, together with James. 1nd ( say and will say so, ready to give my life to confirm this profession, so that men may believe in Him and have eternal /ife. John of Bebedee, it is your turn to speak.I + How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger9 6f the Messenger of peace, 5ho announces happiness and preaches salvation, 5ho says to Bion* 30our 'od is <ing94 1nd those feet have been walking untiringly for two years across the mountains in (srael, gathering the sheep of the herd of 'od, consoling, curing, forgiving, giving peace. His peace. ( am really surprised at seeing that the hills and rivers of our $atherland do not exult and re)oice at the caress of His feet. "ut what ama8es me most is to see that the hearts of men do not 331

exult or re)oice saying* 3&raised be the /ord9 The 7xpected 6ne has come9 "lessed be He 5ho comes in the name of the /ord94 He 5ho bestows graces and blessings, peace and health, and calls us to His <ingdom opening the way for us, above all He, 5ho pours forth love with every action of His, with every word, glance, breath... 5hat is therefore this world as to be blind to the /ight that is living among us, 5hich slabs, thicker than the stone closing the entrance of a sepulchre, has it placed on the sight of its soul not to see this /ight, 5hat mountain of sins has it on itself to be so oppressed, separated, blinded, deafened, chained, paraly8ed as to stand inert before the %aviour, 5hat is the %aviour, He is /ight blended with /ove. The mouths of my brothers have praised the /ord, they have recalled His works, and have pointed out the virtues to be put into practice in order to reach His way. ( say to you* love. There is no other virtue that is greater or more like His .ature. (f you love, you will practise every virtue without difficulty, beginning from chastity. (t will be no burden to you to be chaste, because by loving Jesus you will love no one immoderately. 0ou will be humble, because with the eyes of lovers you will see infinite perfections in Him, and thus you will not pride yourselves on your scanty ones. 1nd you will believe. 5ho does not believe in him whom one loves, 0ou will be contrite with sorrow that saves, because your sorrow will be honest, that is, you will be sorry for the pain you have caused Him, not for the pain deserved by you. 1nd you will be strong. 6h9 yes2. 5hen one is united to Jesus, one is strong9 %trong against everything. 0ou will be full of hope, because you will not doubt the Heart that loves you with His whole %elf. 1nd you will be wise. 0ou will be everything. /ove Him 5ho 332

announces true happiness, 5ho preaches salvation, 5ho goes across mountains and valleys tirelessly, gathering the herd, on 5hose way there is &eace, as there is peace in His <ingdom, which is not of this world, but it is true as 'od is true. $lee from any direction that is not His. 'et rid of every fog. 'o to the /ight. Do not be like the world which does not want to see the /ight, which does not want to know it. "ut go to our $ather, 5ho is the $ather of lights, 5ho is infinite /ight, go to Him through His %on, 5ho is the /ight of the world, to en)oy 'od in the embrace of the &araclete, 5ho is the brightness of the /ights in one only beatitude of love that concentrates the Three into. 6ne. (nfinite ocean of /ove, without storms, without darkness, do receive us9 1ll of us9 "oth those who are innocent and those who have repented. 1ll of us9 (n 0our &eace, forever9 1ll of us9 7verybody on the earth, that we may love 0ou, 'od, and our neighbour, as 0ou want. 7verybody, in Heaven, that we may still and always love but 0ou and the celestial inhabitants, that we may love also our brothers militant on the earth in expectation of peace, and like angels of love, we may defend them and support them in their struggles and temptations, so that they may be with 0ou in 0our &eace, for the eternal glory of our /ord Jesus the %aviour, the /over of man, until the limitless limit of sublime annihilation.1s usual, John soaring in his flights of love, draws with him souls where there is refined love and mystic silence. KO 6nly after some time the listeners begin to speak. 1nd &hilip is the first, addressing &eter* + (s John, the teacher, not speaking,+ He will always be speaking to you. /eave him now in 33,

his peace and let us be alone with him for a little while. %aba, do what ( told you, and you as well, o good "erenice...They all go out and only the eight apostles and two disciples are left in the large room. There is grave silence. They all look rather pale, the apostles because they know what is about to happen, and the two disciples because they foresee it. &eter opens his mouth to speak, but finds only these words* + /et us pray-, and he intones the + 6ur $ather-. Then, and he is really so pale that he will probably not look like this when he dies, he says, going between the two and laying his hands on their shoulders* + 5e have now to part, my children. 5hat shall ( say to the /ord on your behalf, He will certainly be anxious to hear about your spiritual state.%yntyche falls on her knees covering her face with her hands and John imitates her. &eter has them at his feet and he instinctively caresses them biting his lips not to yield to emotion. John looks up, his face is heart#rending, and says* + 0ou will tell the Master that we are doing His 5ill...- 1nd %yntyche* + 1nd ask Him to help us to fulfill it until the end...- Tears prevent longer sentences. + 1ll right. /et us kiss one another goodbye. This hour was to come...- also &eter stops speaking, choked by a lump in his throat. + "less us first- begs %yntyche. + .o. .ot (. "etter one of Jesus2 brothers...+ .o. 0ou are the head. 5e shall bless with our kisses. 333

"less us all, both us who are leaving, and them, who are staying- says Thaddeus, and he is the first to kneel down. 1nd &eter, poor &eter, who is flushed both because of the effort to steady his voice, and by the excitement of stretching out his hands to bless the little group prostrated at his feet, repeats the Mosaic blessing, in a voice made harsher by weeping, almost the voice of an old man... He then bends forward, kisses the forehead of the woman, as if she were his sister, lifts up and embraces John, kissing his cheek... and runs bravely out of the room, while the others imitate his gesture with the two who are staying... The cart is ready outside. 6nly &hilip and "erenice are present, and the servant who is holding the horse. &eter is already in the ...+ 0ou will tell the Master not to worry about those He recommended- says &hilip to &eter. + Tell Mary that ( feel the peace of 7ucheria since she has become a disciple- says "erenice to the Bealot in a low voice. + Tell the Master, Mary, everybody, that we love them, and that... 'oodbye9 'oodbye9 6h9 5e will never see them again9 'oodbye, brothers9 'oodbye...The two disciples run out into the street... "ut the cart which left at a trot, has already gone round the corner... Disappeared... + %yntyche9+ John9+ 5e are alone9335

+ 'od is with us9... :ome, poor John. The sun is setting, it will do you no good to stay here...+ The sun has set forever, as far as ( am concerned... 6nly in Heaven it will rise again.- 1nd they go back to the room where they were before with the others. They lean on a table, weeping without restraint... ################ KK Jesus says* + 1nd the torture brought about by a man, wanted only by a wicked man, was accomplished, stopping as a river stops in a lake after completing its course. ( wish to point out to you how also Judas of 1lphaeus, although more nourished with wisdom than the others, explains the passage of (saiah, dealing with My sufferings as =edeemer, in a human way. 1nd everybody in (srael did the same, as they refused to accept the prophetic reality and they contemplated the prophecies on My sorrows as allegories and symbols. The grave error whereby in the hour of =edemption only very few people were able to still see the Messiah in the :onvict. $aith is not only a wreath of flowers. (t contains also thorns. 1nd he is holy who believes both in the hours of glory and in those of tragedy, and loves 'od whether He covers him with flowers or lays him on thorns.-


824. Ret,rn of the 5i&ht Apostles and Arrival at Ach2ib.

10th +ove ber 1!45.

Jesus, 5ho is so pale, thin and sad that ( would say that He must be suffering, is on the highest point of a little mountain, where there is also a village. "ut Jesus is not in the village, which although on the mountain top, stretches down the south#east slope. Jesus instead is on a little spur, on the highest point, facing northwest actually more west than north. 1s Jesus is looking in various directions, He can see an undulating chain of mountains the extreme north#west and southwest ends of which )ut out into the sea, to the south#west with Mount :armel, which fades away in the clear day, to the northwest with a sharp cape, similar to the ram of a ship, very much like our 1puanian Mountains particularly in respect of white rocky veins shining in the sunshine. Torrents and streams, all very full of water at this time of the year, descend from this undulated chain of mountains and across the plain along the coast they flow into the sea. The river <ishon, the most significant of all of them, flows into the sea near the wide bay of %icaminon, after forming a sheet of water at the confluence with another little stream near its mouth. The water of the streams glitter like topa8es or sapphires in the midday sunshine of a clear day, while the sea looks like a huge sapphire veined with light strings of pearls. %pringtime in the south is already beginning to appear through the new leaves bursting from the open buds, tender shiny leaves, so fresh that ( would call them virginal, unaware of dust, of storms, of bites of insects 337

and of the contact of men. 1nd the branches of almond# trees are already tufts of white pinkish foam, so soft and ethereal that they seem to be on the point of flying away from their native branches to sail like little clouds in the serene air. 1lso the fields in the plain, which is fertile although not large, delimited by the north#west and south#west capes, are verdant with corn, which makes them a pleasant sight, whereas shortly before they were bare. Jesus is looking. Three roads can be seen from where He stands. 6ne comes from the village and ends where He is* a narrow road suitable only for pedestrians and two other roadways, which descend from the village forking in opposite directions, towards north#west and south#west. How sickly Jesus looks9 There are more traces of penance on His face now than when He fasted in the desert. He had then grown pale, but He was still young and vigorous. He is now worn out by complex suffering that crushes both physical and moral strength. His eyes are sad, sweetly and severely sad at the same time. His thin cheeks enhance even more the spirituality of His profile, of His high forehead, long straight nose, and lips absolutely devoid of sensuality. 1n angelical face excluding all materiality. His beard is longer than usual, and has grown on His cheeks becoming mixed with His long hair, which hangs down over His ears, so that of His face one can only see His forehead, eyes, nose and His thin cheek#bones as pale as ivory without the least hint of colour. His hair is ruffled and dull and as a souvenir of the cave in which He has been, there are little parts of dry leaves and twigs entangled in it. His creased dusty tunic and mantle also bear witness to the wild &lace in 33-

which they were worn without ever being changed. Jesus is looking around... The midday sunshine is warming Him and He seems to en)oy it because He avoids the shade of some oaktrees to stand in the sunshine, but although the sun is bright and clear it does not enliven His dusty hair or His tired eyes neither does it tinge His emaciated face. (t is not the sun that restores or brightens Him up, but it is the sight of His dear apostles who are coming up gesticulating and looking towards the village from the north#west road, the less steep one. His metamorphosis then takes place. His eyes brighten up and His face seems to become less emaciated because of a rosy nuance that spreads over His cheeks and above all because His smile lights it up. He stretches out His arms, which were folded, and exclaims* + My dear ones9-. He says so raising His face, casting His eyes round, as if He wanted to communicate His )oy to stalks and plants, to the clear sky, to the air, which already smells of springtime. He gathers His mantles round His body so that it may not get caught in the bushes and He runs down along a short cut to meet the apostles who are coming up, but have not yet seen Him. 5hen He is within hearing range He calls them, to stop them going towards the village. They hear the distant call, but perhaps from the spot where they are they cannot see Jesus, 5hose dark mantle blends with the darkness of the wood that covers the slope. They look around gesticulating... Jesus calls them again... 1t last a clearing in the wood shows Him to them, in the sunshine, with His arms stretched out, as if He already wanted to embrace them. Then a loud cry re# echoes along the coast* + The Master9- and they start 330

running up the crags, leaving the road, scratching themselves, stumbling, panting, without feeling the weight of their sacks or the difficulty in climbing... urged as they are by )oy of seeing Him again. The younger and more agile ones are naturally the first to reach Him, that is, 1lphaeus2 sons, as they proceed with the steady steps of people who live among hills, and John and 1ndrew, who run as fast as fawns, laughing happily. 1nd they fall at His feet lovingly and reverently, beaming with happiness... Then James of Bebedee arrives and next the ones who are less experienced in races and mountains, Matthew and the Bealot who arrive almost together, and last... &eter. "ut he elbows his way through the group in no uncertain manner to reach the Master, 5hose legs have been embraced by the first arrivals, who are still kissing His mantle or His hands. He grasps John and 1ndrew who are clinging to Jesus2 garments like oysters to a rock, and panting because of the exertion, he pushes them aside so that he can fall at Jesus2 feet saying* + 6h9 My Master9 ( am now back to life, at last9 ( could not bear it any longer. ( have grown old and thin as if ( had been seriously ill. /ook whether it is true, Master...- and he raises his head to be looked at by Jesus. "ut in doing so he sees the change in Jesus and he stands up shouting* + Master9, "ut what have 0ou done, How foolish we are9 Just look9 :an2t you see anything, Jesus has been ill9... Master of mine, what happened to you, Tell 0our %imon9+ .othing, My friend.+ .othing, 5ith that face, Then someone has hurt 0ou,+ .o, %imon.35/

+ (t2s not possible. 0ou have either been ill or persecuted9 ( have eyes to see9...+ %o have (. 1nd ( see that in fact you have grown old and thin. %o, why are you so,- the /ord asks, smiling at &eter who is scanning Him as if he wanted to find out the truth from Jesus2 hair, skin, beard... + "ut ( have suffered9 1nd ( do not deny it. Do 0ou think it was pleasant to see so much grief,+ 0ou have said it9 ( suffered also for the same reason...+ Just for that, Jesus,- asks Judas of 1lphaeus with so much pity and love. + 0es, because of that grief, My brother. "ecause of the grief caused by the necessity to send away...+ 1nd by the grief of being compelled by...+ &lease9... "e silent9 %ilence on My in)ury is dearer to Me than any word uttered to console Me, saying* 3( know why 0ou have suffered.4 (n any case, you may all know, that ( suffered for many reasons, not )ust for that one. 1nd had Judas not interrupted Me, ( would have told you.- Jesus is austere in saying so. They are all subdued. "ut &eter is the first to collect himself and he asks* + "ut where have 0ou been, Master, 1nd what have 0ou done,+ ( was in a grotto... praying... meditating... fortifying My spirit, obtaining strength for you in your mission, and for John and %yntyche in their suffering.+ "ut where, 5ithout clothes, without money9 How did 0ou manage,- %imon is excited. 351

+ (n a grotto ( did not need anything.+ "ut what about food, fire, a bed, everything... ( mean9 ( was hoping that 0ou would be a guest, like a lost pilgrim, at Jiphthahel, or elsewhere in a house, ( mean. 1nd that gave me some peace. "ut... eh,9 Tell Him whether ( was tormented by the thought that He was without clothes, without food, without the possibility of getting any, and above all, without the will of getting it. 1h9 Jesus9 0ou should not have done that9 1nd 0ou will never do it again9 ( will not leave 0ou for one hour. ( will sew my tunic to 0ours, so that ( can follow 0ou like a shadow, whether 0ou like it or not. ( will part from 0ou only if ( die.+ 6r if ( die.+ 6h9 not 0ou. 0ou must not die before me. Don2t say that. Do 0ou really want to break my heart,+ .o. 6n the contrary ( want to re)oice with you and with everybody in this lovely hour that brings My dearest friends back to Me. %ee9 ( am already feeling better because your sincere love nourishes, warms and consoles Me in everything- and He caresses them one by one, while their faces shine with happy smiles, their eyes sparkle with )oy and their lips tremble with emotion at those words, and they ask* + =eally, /ord,-, + (s that so, Master,-, + 1re we so dear to 0ou,+ 0es. %o dear. Have you any food with you,+ 0es. ( was sure that 0ou would be exhausted and ( got some on the way. ( have bread and roast meat, milk, cheese and apples and a flask of generous wine and some eggs for 0ou. &roviding they are not broken...352

+ 5ell, let us sit down here, in this lovely sunshine, and eat. 5hile eating you can tell Me...They sit in the sun on a terrace and &eter opens his sack and examines his treasure* + 7verything is all right- he exclaims. + 1lso the honey from 1ntigonea. 5ell9 Didn2t ( tell you9 6n our way back, if they had put us in a barrel and had got a madman to roll it, or if they had put us in a boat without oars, even if the boat leaked, and there was a storm, we would have come back safe and sound... "ut going there... The more ( think of it the more convinced ( am that the demon was interfering with us. To prevent us from going with those two poor wretches...+ 6f course9 6n our way back there was no purpose...confirms the Bealot. + Master, did 0ou do penance for us,- asks John, who is so intent in contemplating Jesus that he forgets to eat. + 0es, John. My thought followed you. ( perceived your dangers and your affliction. ( helped you as ( could...+ 6h9 ( felt it9 ( even told you. Do you remember,+ 0es. (t is true- they all confirm. + 5ell, you are now giving back to Me what ( gave you.+ Did 0ou fast, /ord,- asks 1ndrew. + 6f course He did9 7ven if He wanted to eat, as He was without money, in a cave, how could you expect Him to get food,- replies &eter. + 1ll for our sake9 How sorry ( am9- says James of 1lphaeus. + 6h9 no9 Do not worry9 ( did not do it for you only, but for 35,

the whole world as well. 1s ( did when ( began My mission, so ( did now. Then, at the end, ( was assisted by angels. ( am assisted by you now. 1nd believe Me, it is a double )oy to Me. "ecause the ministry of charity is unbreakable by angels. "ut it is not so easily found among men. 0ou are practising it. 1nd from men, for My sake, you have become angels having chosen to be holy at all costs. 0ou therefore make Me happy, both as 'od and as Man#'od. "ecause you give Me what comes from 'od* :harity, and you give Me what pertains to the =edeemer* your elevation to &erfection. That is what comes from you and it is more nourishing than any food. 1lso then, in the desert, ( was nourished with love after fasting. 1nd it restored Me. 1nd what happened then, is happening now9 5e have all suffered. "oth you and (. "ut not in vain. ( think, ( know that it has helped you more than a full year of teaching. %orrow, meditation on the harm man can do to his neighbour, the piety, faith, hope, charity you had to practise, all by yourselves, have matured you like children who become men...+ 6h9 yes9 ( have grown old, ( have indeed. ( will never again be the same %imon of Jonah as ( was when ( left. ( have understood how sorrowful, how toilsome is our mission, notwithstanding all its beauty...- says &eter with a sigh. + 5ell, we are all together now. Tell Me...+ %peak, %imon. 0ou can speak better than ( can- says &eter to the Bealot. + .o. 1s a good leader you must speak on behalf of everybody- replies the other. 1nd &eter begins, stating as a preliminary introduction* + "ut help me.- He recounts everything in good order until 353

the departure from 1ntioch. He then begins to speak of their return*+ 5e were all grieved, as 0ou can readily understand. ( will never forget the last words of those two...- 5ith the back of his hand &eter wipes two big tears streaming down his cheeks... + They sounded like the last cry of someone drowning... /isten... you had better go on... ( cannot...- and he gets up and goes away to control his emotion. %imon Bealot resumes* + .one of us spoke for a long while... 5e could not... 5e had a lump in our throats, which were aching... 1nd we did not want to weep... because if one of us had begun, it would have been the end... ( had taken the reins, because %imon of Jonah, to conceal his sorrowful state, had gone to the end of the cart pretending to search for something in the sacks. 5e stopped at a little village half way between 1ntioch and %eleucia. 1lthough moonlight became brighter and brighter as night became darker, we stopped there, because we were not familiar with the roads. 1nd we do8ed there, lying on our belongings. .one of us would eat... because we could not. 5e were thinking of those two... 1t daybreak we crossed the bridge and before the third hour we were at %eleucia. 5e took the horse and cart back to the hotel#keeper and since he was such a kind man, we asked his advice with regard to the ship. He said* 3( will come to the port with you. ( know people and they know me.4 1nd that is what he did. He found three boats leaving for ports in this area. "ut on one there were some... !ueer fellows, with whom we did not want to be. 6ur man told us, as he had heard of them from the owner of the boat. The second one was from 1shkelon and they refused to call at Tyre, unless we paid a sum of money that we could not afford. The third one 355

was a really miserable little boat, with a load of timber. 1 poor boat, with few hands and ( think with a great deal of misery. That is why they agreed to call at Tyre, although they were heading for :aesarea, providing we paid for one day2s meals and wages for the whole crew. (t suited us. 1ctually both Matthew and ( were somewhat worried. There are storms at this time of the year... and 0ou know what happened on our way there. "ut %imon &eter said* 3.othing will happen.4 %o we went on board. The boat sailed so smoothly and fast that angels seemed to be acting as sails. 5e reached Tyre in only half of the time which had taken us to get there and when we arrived the owner of the boat was so kind that he agreed to tow our boat until we were near &tolemais. &eter, 1ndrew and John had gone into it to handle it... "ut it was very easy... .othing like our outward voyage. 1t &tolemais we parted. 1nd we were so pleased that before getting into our boat where all our things were, we gave him more money than we had agreed upon. 5e stopped one day at &tolemais, and then we came here... "ut we will never forget what we suffered. %imon of Jonah is right.+ 1nd are we not right also in saying that the demon interfered with us only on our outward voyage,- some of the apostles ask. + 0ou are right. .ow listen. 0our mission is over. 5e shall now go towards Jiphthahel, waiting for &hilip and .athanael. 1nd we must do that at once. Then the others will come... (n the meantime we shall evangeli8e here, at the borders of &hoenicia and in &hoenicia itself. "ut what has recently happened is to be buried in your hearts forever. 0ou shall not reply to anybody en!uiring about it.356

+ .ot even to &hilip and .athanael, They know that we came with 0ou...+ ( will speak to them. ( have suffered very much, My dear friends, as you have seen yourselves. 5ith My suffering ( paid for John2s and %yntyche2s peace. Do not let My suffering be useless. Do not overburden My shoulders with another weight. ( have already so many9... 1nd their weight becomes heavier day by day, hour by hour... Tell .athanael that ( have suffered very much. Tell &hilip, and tell them to be good. Tell the other two. (f you tell them that you have understood that ( have suffered, and that ( confirmed it, you are telling them the truth. .othing else is needed.Jesus is speaking wearily... The eight look at Him sorrowfully, and &eter dares to caress His head, standing behind His back. Jesus raises His head and looks at His honest &eter with a sad loving smile. + 6h9 ( cannot bear to see 0ou like that9 (t seems... ( feel that the )oy of our reunion is over and that only its holiness is left9 5ell... /et us go to 1ch8ib. 0ou will change 0our clothes, shave 0our cheeks and tidy 0our hair. 0ou cannot stay like that9 ( cannot bear to see 0ou like that... 0ou look like one... who has escaped from cruel hands, like one who has been beaten, or is exhausted... 0ou look like 1bel of "ethlehem in 'alilee, freed from his enemies...+ 0es, &eter. "ut it is the heart of your Master that has been ill#treated... and it will never recover again... 6n the contrary it will be hurt more and more. /et us go...John sighs*+ ( am sorry... ( would have liked to inform Thomas, who is so fond of 0our Mother, of the miracle of 357

the song and of the ointment...+ 0ou will tell him one day... .ot now. 6ne day you will tell everything. 0ou will then be allowed to speak. ( Myself will say to you* 3'o and tell everything you know.4 (n the meantime see the truth in the miracle. That is* the power of $aith. John and %yntyche calmed the sea and cured the man not by means of words or of the ointment. "ut through the faith with which they mentioned the .ame of Mary and made use of Her ointment. 1nd also because your faith was there as well, and your charity. :harity towards the in)ured man. :harity towards the :retan. 0ou saved the life of the former and tried to give faith to the latter. "ut if it is easy to cure bodies, it is very difficult to cure souls... There is no disease more difficult to wipe out, than a spiritual one...- and Jesus gives a deep sigh. They are within sight of 1ch8ib. &eter goes ahead with Matthew looking for lodgings. The others follow gathered round Jesus. The sun sets fast, while they enter the village...

825. At Ach2ib /ith SiA Apostles.

11th +ove ber 1!45.

+ /ord, during the night ( have been thinking... 5hy do 0ou want to come so far, and then come back to the &hoenician border, /et me go with one of my companions. ( will sell 1ntonius... ( regret having to do it... but we do not need it any more and it would attract 35-

people2s notice. 1nd ( will go and meet &hilip and "artholomew. They can only come along that road and ( shall certainly meet them. 1nd 0ou may rest assured that ( will not speak. ( do not wish to grieve 0ou... 0ou can rest here with the others and it will save us all going all the way to Jiphthahel... and we will save time- says &eter while coming out of the house where they slept. 1nd they look less haggard, as they are wearing clean clothes and their beards and hair have been dressed by skillful hands. + (t is a good idea. ( will not stop you. 0ou may go with whichever companion you wish.+ 5ith %imon, then. "less us, o /ord.Jesus embraces them saying* + 5ith a kiss. 'o.They watch them descend !uickly towards the plain. + How good %imon of Jonah is9 During the past days ( have appreciated him as ( had never done before- says Judas Thaddeus. + %o did (- says Matthew. + He is never selfish, proud or exacting9+ He has never taken advantage of the fact that he was our head. 6n the contrary, he seemed to be the last one, still maintaining his position- adds James of 1lphaeus. + 5e are not surprised. 5e have known him for years. He is hot tempered but very kind#hearted. 1nd so honest9says James of Bebedee. + My brother is good, even if he is coarse. "ut since he has been with Jesus, he has become twice as good. My nature is entirely different and sometimes it made him 350

angry, because he knew that ( was suffering because of my character. He got angry because he was fond of me. 5hen one understands him, one gets along with him very well- says 1ndrew. + During the past days we have always understood one another and we have always been of one mind- states John. + That2s true9 ( noticed that myself. During the whole month, also in moments of excitement, we have never been at variance among ourselves... 5hereas sometimes... ( don2t know why...- monologises James of Bebedee. + 5hy, "ut it is easily understood9 "ecause we are righteous in our intentions. 5e are not perfect but we are righteous. 5e therefore accept the good which one proposes and we re)ect the evil which is pointed out to us as such, whereas previously we had not realised that by ourselves. 5hy, (t is easily said9 "ecause the eight of us are of the same mind* to do things in such a way as to please Jesus. That2s all9- exclaims Thaddeus. + ( do not think that the others are of a different mindsays 1ndrew in a conciliatory tone. + .o. .either &hilip nor "artholomew, although the latter is rather elderly and very much an (sraelite... .either is Thomas, although he is inclined to be much more human than spiritual. ( would do them wrong, should ( accuse them of... Jesus, 0ou are right. $orgive me. "ut if 0ou knew what it means to me to see 0ou suffer9 1nd because of him9 ( am 0our disciple, like all the rest. "ut over and above ( am 0our brother and friend and ( have 1lphaeus2 fiery blood in my veins. 36/

Jesus, don2t look at me so severely or so sadly. 0ou are the /amb and (... the lion. 1nd believe me, ( find it hard to refrain from tearing with a blow of my paw the network of slander that is enveloping 0ou and from knocking down the shelter in which the true enemy is hiding. ( would like to see the real side of his spiritual face, which ( call... and perhaps it is calumny and if ( could identify him without the least fear of error, ( would mark him in such a way that for the rest of his life he would not dream of hurting 0ou- says Thaddeus passionately, although Jesus had cast a glance at him to stop him, when he began to speak. James of Bebedee replies to him* + 0ou would have to mark half of the people in (srael9... "ut Jesus will proceed )ust the same. During the past days you have seen whether anything can stop Jesus. 5hat shall we do now, Master, Have 0ou spoken here,+ .o. ( have not been on these slopes one day yet. ( slept in the wood.+ 5hy did they not want 0ou,+ Their hearts re)ected the &ilgrim... ( was penniless...+ They are hard#hearted then9 5hat were they afraid of,+ That ( might be a highwayman... "ut it does not matter. The $ather 5ho is in Heaven made Me meet with a goat, which was either lost or had run away. :ome, ( will show her to you. %he lives in the thicket with her kid. "ut she did not run away when she saw Me arrive. 6n the contrary, she let Me milk her... into My mouth, as if ( were her little one, too. 1nd ( slept near her, with the little kid almost on My heart. 'od is good to His 5ord9361

They go towards the place where they met yesterday, a thorny thicket. (n the middle there is an age#old oak tree, surviving ( know not how, split as it is, as if the ground had opened breaking apart its robust trunk, all covered with green ivy and bramble bare of leaves at present. The goat is gra8ing nearby with her little kid and seeing so many men she levels her horns ready to defend herself. "ut she soon recognises Jesus and calms down. They throw some bread crusts to her and withdraw. + ( slept over there- explains Jesus. + 1nd ( would have stayed here, if you had not come. ( was hungry. The purpose in fasting was over... 1nd it was not necessary to insist on other things that can no longer be changed...Jesus is sad once again... The six cast sidelong glances at one another, but do not say anything. + 1nd now, 5here are we going,+ 5e shall stay here today. Tomorrow we will go down and preach on the road to &tolemais and then we will go towards the &hoenician border and come back here before the %abbath.1nd they slowly return to the village.

82". 5van&eli2in& at the 9order of :hoenicia.

?+o date@.

The road coming from &hoenicia towards &tolemais is a beautiful road which cuts straight across the plain between the sea and the mountains. "ecause it is well 362

kept, it is very busy. There are various )unctions with secondary roads running from inland towns to towns on the coast, and at the numerous crossroads there is generally a house, a well and a rudimentary forge for !uadrupeds that may need shoes. Jesus, with the six apostles left with Him, covers a good stretch of the road, about two kilometres, seeing the same things all the time. He stops at last near one of those houses with a well and a farriery, at a crossroad near a torrent crossed by a bridge, which although strongly built, is )ust wide enough to let one cart pass at a time and thus travellers are compelled to stop alternately, because the two opposite currents of traffic cannot pass at the same time. 1nd as far as ( can see, that gives the travellers of different races, &hoenicians and true (sraelites, the opportunity to )oin in one only intent* that of cursing =ome, although they hate one another... 1nd yet, without =ome, they would not have that bridge and when the torrent is in flood, ( do not know how they would be able to cross it. "ut such is life9 1n oppressor is always hated, even if he does useful things9 Jesus stops near the bridge, in the sunny corner where the house is on its side along the torrent there is an ill# smelling smithy shop, where they are forging shoes for a horse and two donkeys, which have lost theirs. The horse is harnessed to a =oman wagon in which some soldiers take delight in making faces at the cursing Jews. 1nd they throw a handful of horse manure on an old big#nosed man, the most rancorous of all of them, with a real viperous mouth, someone who ( think would willingly bite the =omans to poison them. 6ne can imagine what happens9 The old Jew runs away as if he had been 36,

infected with leprosy and other Jews )oin him. The &hoenicians shout ironically* + Do you like the new manna, 7at it, it will give you energy to shout against those who are too good to you, you hypocritical vipers9The soldiers laugh scornfully... Jesus is silent. The =oman wagon at last departs and they greet the farrier shouting* + Hail, Titus, may your stay be prosperous9- The man, who is vigorous, elderly, bull# necked, clean shaven with very dark eyes above a sturdy nose and under a wide protruding forehead, which is bald at the temples, while his hair is short and fri88ly, raises a heavy hammer waving them goodbye and then goes back to the anvil, on which a young man had laid a red#hot iron, while another boy sears the hoof of a little donkey preparing it to be shod. + 1lmost all the farriers along the roads are =omans. %oldiers who remained here when they finished their service. 1nd they earn a lot of money... .othing ever prevents them from curing animals... 1nd a donkey may lose a shoe before sunset on a %abbath, or at the time of the Dedication...- remarks Matthew. + The man who shod 1ntonius was married to a Jewesssays John. + 1nd foolish women are more numerous than wise onesstates James of Bebedee. + 1nd to whom do the children belong, To 'od or to paganism,- asks 1ndrew. + They generally belong to the stronger of the two- replies Matthew. + 1nd, unless the woman is an apostate herself, they are Hebrews, because men, at least these men, do 363

not interfere. They are not even very... fanatical about their 6lympus. ( think that now they believe in nothing but the necessity of money. They have all large families.+ "ut they are mean people. They have no faith, no fatherland... they are disliked by everybody...- says Thaddeus. + .o. 0ou are wrong. =ome does not despise them. 6n the contrary, =ome always helps them. They are more useful now than when they were armed. They penetrate into our country more by corruption of blood than by violence. (t is the first generation, eventually, that suffers. Then they spread and... the world forgets...- says Matthew who seems to be well informed. + 0es, it is the children that suffer. "ut also the Jewish women, married like that... $or themselves and for their children. ( feel sorry for them. .obody speaks to them of 'od any longer. "ut that will not happen in future. Then there will be no such separations of people and countries, because souls will be united in one $atherland only* Mine- says Jesus, 5ho has been silent so far. + "ut they will be dead by then9...- exclaims John. + .o. They will be gathered in My .ame. .o longer =omans or /ibyans, 'reeks or people from the "lack %ea area, (berians or 'auls, 7gyptians or Hebrews, but souls of :hrist. 1nd woe betide those who will distinguish souls, whom ( e!ually loved and for whom ( e!ually suffered, according to their nationalities. He who should do that would prove that he has not understood :harity, which is universal.The apostles understand the covert reproof and lower 365

their heads without speaking... The clangor of iron beaten on the anvil has ceased and the hammer blows on the last hoof of a donkey are deadening. 1nd Jesus takes advantage of the situation to speak loud so that the crowds may hear Him. He seems to be continuing His conversation with the apostles, in actual fact He is speaking to the passers#by and perhaps also to those in the houses, certainly to some women, as women2s voices calling one another can be heard in the mild air. + There is always a relationship among men, even if it does not appear to exist* that is, the origin from 6ne only :reator. (f later the children of the 6nly $ather have become separated, the tie of their origin has not changed, as the blood of a son who disowns his father2s house does not change. (n :ain2s veins there was 1dam2s blood also after the crime which compelled him to roam in the wide world. 1nd in the veins of the children born after 7ve2s grief, weeping over her murdered son, there was the same blood that boiled in the veins of far away :ain. The same, and for a purer reason, applies to the e!uality of the children of the :reator. 1re they lost, exiled, apostates, guilty, speaking languages different from ours, do they believe in faiths which we loathe, are they corrupted by marrying heathens, 0es, "ut their souls came from 6ne 'od, and they are always the same, even if they are torn, lost, exiled, corrupt... 7ven if they are the cause of grief to the 'od $ather, they are still souls created by Him. The good children of a very good $ather must have good feelings. 'ood towards the $ather, good towards brothers, whatever they may have become, because they are children of the same $ather. 'ood 366

towards the $ather by endeavouring to console Him for His grief, taking His children back to Him, as they are the cause of His grief, either because they are sinners or because they are apostates or pagans. 'ood towards them because they have souls created by the $ather, enclosed in guilty, sullied bodies and have become dull through wrong religions, but are always souls of 'od e!ual to our own. =emember, you people of (srael, that there is no one, not even the idolater most remote from 'od because of his idolatrous religion, not even the most pagan of pagans or the most atheistic man, who is completely devoid of some trace of his origin. =emember, you who have gone wrong, in getting detached from our )ust =eligion by descending to mixing sexes, which is condemned by our =eligion, that even if you think that everything that was (srael is now dead in you, suffocated by the love for a man of different faith and race, it is not dead. There is something still alive, and that is (srael. 1nd it is your duty to blow the dying fire, to foster the spark still existing by the will of 'od, so that it may overwhelm carnal love. That love ends with death, but your souls do not. =emember that. 1nd you, whoever you may be, who see, and at times are horrified at seeing the hybrid marriage of a daughter of (srael with a man of different race and faith, remember that it is your duty and obligation to assist the mislaid sister charitably, so that she may find her way back to the $ather. This is the new holy /aw, agreeable to the /ord* that the followers of the =edeemer may redeem whoever is to be redeemed, so that 'od may smile because of the souls that go back to the $ather2s House and the sacrifice of the =edeemer may not be made unfruitful and mean. 367

To leaven dough the housewife takes a little of the dough of the previous week. 6h9 only a tiny bit of the whole mass9 1nd she buries it in the dough, and protects it from harmful draughts in the favourable warmth of the house. Do likewise yourselves, you followers of 'ood, and you, too, who have gone away from the $ather and from His <ingdom. /et the former give a tiny part of their yeast to support and reinforce the latter, who will add it to the particle of )ustice still existing in them. 1nd both of you, protect the new yeast from the hostile draughts of 7vil in the warmth of :harity, according to what it is in you* your mistress, or a persistent, although now languishing survivor. %upport with the warmth of your homes, with the faith of the same religion what is fermenting in the heart of a mislaid co#religionist, so that she may feel that she is still loved, she is still a daughter of Bion and a sister of yours, and her good will may materialise and the <ingdom of Heaven may come to all souls.+ "ut who is He,- people ask, and they no longer seem in a hurry to cross the bridge although it is now clear, or to go on their way, if they have already crossed it. + 1 rabbi.+ 1 rabbi of (srael.+ Here, 1t the &hoenician borders, (t is the first time that that happens9+ 1nd yet it is so. 1ser told me that He is the Holy 6ne, as people call Him.+ &erhaps He is seeking refuge here because they persecute Him on the other side.+ They are reptiles indeed936-

+ (t is a good thing if He stays with us9 He will work miracles...(n the meantime Jesus has gone away along a path in the fields..

827. Arrival at AleAandroscene.

12th +ove ber 1!45.

They reach the road once again after a long tour through fields and after crossing the torrent by a little bridge of s!ueaky boards, fit only for people* a footbridge rather than anything more substantial. 1nd they continue walking along the plain, which becomes narrower and narrower as the hills come closer to the coast, so much so that after another torrent, with the usual essential =oman bridge, the road leaves the plain and becomes mountainous and forks at the bridge* one road, which is not so steep, runs northwards along a valley, the other one, which Jesus takes following the indication of the =oman mile stone* + 1lexandroscene ; A m.-, is a real flight of steps in the steep rocky mountain, the sharp ends of which drop into the Mediterranean, while the view of the sea becomes wider and wider as they climb. 6nly pedestrians and little donkeys can go along that road, or flight of steps, as it should be called. "ut probably because it is a good short cut, it is very busy and people curiously watch the unusual 'alilean group going along it. + That must be the cape of the storm- says Matthew 360

pointing to the promontory )utting out into the sea. + 0es, down there is the village of which the fisherman spoke to us- confirms James of Bebedee. + ( wonder who built this road,+ 5ho knows how long it has been here9 &hoenician work perhaps...+ $rom the top we shall see 1lexandroscene beyond which there is the 5hite :ape. 0ou will see a large expanse of sea, My dear John- says Jesus laying an arm on the shoulders of the apostle. + That will make me happy. "ut it will soon be dark. 5here are we stopping,+ 1t 1lexandroscene. %ee, The road is already going down. Down there the plain stretches as far as that town which you can see over there.+ (t is the town of the woman from 1ntigonea... How can we satisfy her re!uest,- asks 1ndrew. + 0ou know, Master, she said to us* 3'o to 1lexandroscene. My brothers have stores there and they are proselytes. Tell them about the Master. 5e are children of 'od, too... 3 and she wept because, as she is a daughter#in#law, she is rather frowned upon... so her brothers never go to see her and she never hears of them...- explains John. + 5e will look for her brothers. (f they welcome us as pilgrims, we shall be able to satisfy her...+ "ut how can we prove that we have seen her,+ %he works for /a8arus. 1nd we are /a8arus2 friends37/

says Jesus. + That is true. 0ou can speak...+ 0es. "ut !uicken your pace so that we may find the house. Do you know where it is,+ 0es, it is near the $ort. They deal very much with the =omans to whom they sell many goods.+ Aery well.They cover the beautiful level road !uickly, a real consular road, linked with roads coming from the mainland and it proceeds towards the mainland after the steep flight of steps across the rocky promontory near the coast. 1lexandroscene is more a military than a civil town. (t must be of strategic importance, but ( do not know why. 7nclosed between two promontories it looks like a sentry watching that part of the sea. .ow that it is possible to see both capes, many military towers are visible on them, forming a chain with those in the plain and in town, where the imposing $ort dominates near the sea#shore. They enter the town after crossing another little torrent near the gate and they proceed towards the severe mass of the $ort looking around in!uisitively and being watched curiously. There are numerous soldiers and they appear to be on good terms with the citi8ens, which makes the apostles mumble* + These &hoenicians have no sense of honour9They reach the stores of Hermione2s brothers, while the last customers are coming out laden with all kinds of goods, from pieces of cloth to kitchenware, to hay, corn, 371

oil, foodstuffs. The large entrance hall smells of leather, spices, hay, straw, raw wool and it leads into a yard as wide as a s!uare, with storehouses under the porches. 1 swarthy bearded man goes to meet them* + 5hat do you need, $oodstuffs,+ 0es... and lodgings, if you do not mind giving hospitality to pilgrims. 5e come from far and have never been here before. 5elcome us in the name of the /ord.The man looks carefully at Jesus 5ho has spoken on behalf of everybody. He scans His face, then says* + 1ctually we do not give lodgings. "ut ( like 0ou. 0ou are a 'alilean, are 0ou not, "etter 'alileans than Judaeans. Too much mould in the latter. They never forgive us for not having pure blood. (t would be much better if their souls were pure. :ome, come in here, ( will be back at once. ( am closing up, it is already dark.- (t is in fact twilight and it is even darker in the yard overlooked by the powerful $ort. They go into a room and, tired as they are, they sit down on seats scattered here and there... The man comes back with two more brothers, an older and a younger one, and shows them the guests, who stand up greeting, saying* + Here they are. 5hat do you think, They seem to be honest...+ 0es. 0ou have done the right thing- says the oldest brother to his younger one, and then addressing the guest, or rather, Jesus, 5ho clearly appears to be the head, he asks* + 5hat are your names,+ Jesus of .a8areth, James and Judas also of .a8areth, James and John of "ethsaida and 1ndrew as well, and 372

Matthew of :apernaum.+ How come you are here, &ersecuted,+ .o. 5e are evangeli8ing. 5e have been all over &alestine more than once, from 'alilee to Judaea, from one sea to the other. 1nd we have been beyond the Jordan, as far as Hauran. 5e have now come here to teach.+ 1 rabbi here, (t2s ama8ing, isn2t it, &hilip and 7lias,asks the oldest brother. + 0es, very. To which caste do you belong,+ To none. ( belong to 'od. The good people of the world believe in Me. ( am poor and ( love the poor, but ( do not despise rich people, whom ( teach to love, to be merciful and to be detached from riches, as ( teach the poor to love their poverty trusting in 'od 5ho does not let anybody perish. 1mong My rich friends and disciples there is /a8arus of "ethany...+ /a8arus, 1 sister of ours is married to one of his servants.+ ( know. That is also one of the reasons why ( came. To tell you that she sends you her regards and loves you.+ Have 0ou seen her,+ ( have not. "ut these who are with Me, were sent to 1ntigonea by /a8arus.+ 6h9 Tell us9 How is Hermione, (s she really happy,+ Her husband and mother#in#law are very fond of her. Her father#in#law respects her...- says Judas Thaddeus. 37,

+ "ut he does not forgive her her mother2s blood. %ay so.+ He is about to forgive her. He praised her very highly. 1nd she has four lovely kind children, who make her happy. 0ou are always in her heart and she asked us to bring you the Divine Master.+ "ut... what,... 1re 0ou the one who is said to be the Messiah,+ ( am.+ 0ou really are the... 5e were told in Jerusalem that 0ou are, that they call 0ou the 5ord of 'od, (s that true,+ 0es, it is.+ "ut are 0ou the 5ord for those over there, or for everybody,+ $or everybody. :an you believe that ( am the 5ord of 'od,+ (t costs nothing to believe, particularly when one hopes that what one believes in can remove what makes us suffer.+ That is true, 7lias. "ut do not say that. (t is an impure thought, much more impure than mixed blood. Do not re)oice at the hope that what makes you suffer as a man despised by other people may vanish, but re)oice at the hope of con!uering the <ingdom of Heaven.+ 0ou are right. ( am half a pagan, /ord...+ Do not lose heart. ( love you also and ( have come for you, too.373

+ They must be tired, 7lias. 0ou are keeping them here talking. /et us go and have supper and then we will take them to rest. There are no women here... .one of the women from (srael wanted us, whereas we wanted one of them... $orgive us, therefore if the house will seem cold and bare.+ 0our kind hearts will warm and adorn it for us.+ How long are 0ou staying,+ .ot more than one day. ( want to go towards Tyre and %idon and ( would like to be at 1ch8ib before the %abbath.,+ (t2s not possible, /ord. %idon is far away9+ ( would like to speak here tomorrow.+ 6ur house is like a port. 5ithout going out 0ou will have as many listeners as 0ou wish, all the more so as tomorrow is market day.+ /et us go, then, and may the /ord reward you for your charity.-

821. The 0a% after at AleAandroscene. :arable of the Bine%ard (abo,rers.

18th +ove ber 1!45.

6ne half of the yard of the three brothers is in the shade, the other is in bright sunshine. 1nd it is full of people coming and going, doing their shopping, while outside the 375

main door, in the little s!uare, people are bustling about the noisy market of 1lexandroscene, buying donkeys, sheep, lambs, poultry because it is obvious that people are not so fussy here and thus they take poultry to the market without any fear of contamination. "raying, bleating, cackling of hens and triumphant cock#a#doodle# doos of cockerels mingle with the voices of people in a merry chorus, the notes of which now and again become dramatically high because of some !uarrel. 1lso the yard of the brothers is very busy and people often wrangle over prices or because a customer has taken what somebody else intended to purchase. Then there is the !uerulous moaning of beggars in the s!uare, near the main door, wailing over their misfortunes in a singsong as sad as the lamentation of a dying man. =oman soldiers move imperiously about the s!uare and warehouses. ( suppose that they are on duty as ( see that they are armed and never alone among the &hoenicians who are all armed. Jesus also walks up and down the yard with the six apostles, waiting for the right moment to speak. He then goes out into the s!uare, and passing near the beggars He gives them alms. &eople pause for a moment to look at the 'alilean group and ask who the foreigners are. 1nd there are some who tell them, as they have already en!uired of the three brothers about their guests. 1 murmur follows Jesus2 steps as He walks about peacefully caressing the children He meets on His way. There is also someone who sneers and utters unpleasant epithets at the Hebrews, as well as people who honestly wish to hear this + &rophet-, this + =abbi-, this + Holy 376

Man-, this + Messiah- of (srael, as those are the names by which they refer to Him, according to their faith and their sense of righteousness. ( hear two mothers say* + "ut is it true,+ Daniel told me himself. 5hen in Jerusalem he spoke to people who had seen the miracles of the Holy Man.+ 0es, ( agree9 "ut is this the same man,+ 6h9 Daniel told me that it cannot be but Him, because of what He says.+ 5ell... what do you think, 5ill He grant me the grace, even if ( am only a proselyte,+ ( would say so... Try. &erhaps He will not come back here again. Try9 He will certainly not hurt you9+ ( am going- says the little woman leaving the vendor of kitchenware with whom she was haggling over some soup#plates. The man, who had heard the conversation of the two women, disappointed and irritated because a good deal had come to nothing, rails at the remaining woman* + :ursed proselyte. Jewish blood. :orrupted woman- etc. etc. ( hear two grave bearded men say* + ( would like to hear Him. They say that He is a great =abbi.+ 1 &rophet, you should say. 'reater than the "aptist. 7lias told me certain things9 5onderful things9 1nd he knows because his sister is married to a servant of a very wealthy man of (srael, and to get news of her he calls on his fellow#servants. That rich man is a great friend of the =abbi...377

1 third man, a &hoenician perhaps, who being close to the two has heard what they said, thrusts forth his thin satyric face between the two and says laughing scornfully* + /ovely holiness9 Dressed with wealth9 1s far as ( know a holy man should live in poverty9+ Hold your cursed tongue, Doro. 0ou, heathen, are not fit to )udge these things.+ 1h9 0ou are fit, particularly you, %amuel. 0ou had better pay me that debt of yours.+ Here, take it, and don2t come near me any more, you faun#faced vampire9-... ( hear an old half#blind man, led by a little girl, ask* + 5here is the Messiah,- and the girl says* + Make room for old Mark9 &lease tell old Mark where the Messiah is9The feeble trembling voice of the old man and the girl2s argentine and steady one spread in vain over the s!uare, until another man says* + Do you want to go to the =abbi, He has gone back towards Daniel2s house. There He is, standing over there, speaking to the beggars.( can hear two =oman soldiers say* + He must be the one whom those crooks of the Jews persecute9 6nly by looking at Him you an see that He is better than they are.+ That is why He annoys them.+ /et2s go and tell the ensign. That is the instruction.+ How silly, o :aius9 =ome bewares of lambs and puts up with, nay ( would say* caresses tigers-. + ( don2t think so, %cipio9 &ontius puts people to death !uite easily937-

+ 0es, but he does not close his house to the creeping hyenas who flatter him.+ &olitics, %cipio9 &olitics9+ :owardice, :aius, and stupidity. He should make friends with this Man. He would receive help to keep this 1siatic rabble obedient. &ontius serves =ome badly by neglecting this good man and flattering wicked people.+ Do not criticise our &roconsul. 5e are soldiers and our superior is as sacred as a god. 5e have sworn obedience to divine :aesar and the &roconsul is his representative.+ That is all right with regard to our duty towards our sacred and immortal fatherland. "ut not with regard to one2s personal )udgment.+ "ut obedience is based on )udgment. (f your )udgment is against an order and criticises it, you will not obey wholeheartedly. =ome relies on our blind obedience to defend its con!uests.+ 0ou speak like a tribune and you are !uite right. "ut ( would point out to you that if =ome is !ueen, we are not slaves. 5e are sub)ects. =ome has no slave citi8ens, and must not have any. (t is slavery to prevent citi8ens from speaking their minds. ( say that it is my opinion that &ontius is wrong in not taking care of this (sraelite, call Him Messiah, Holy, &rophet., =abbi, as you like. 1nd ( feel that ( can say so because my loyalty to =ome is in no way impaired. .either is my love. .ay, that is what ( would like, because ( feel that by teaching people to respect the laws and the :onsuls, He cooperates to the welfare of =ome.+ 0ou are a learned man, %cipio... 0ou will go a long way. 370

0ou are already well ahead9 ( am a poor soldier. "ut look over there. There is an assemblage of people round the Man. /et us go and tell our superiors...(n fact near the main door of the three brothers there is a group of people round Jesus, 5ho is well visible because of His height. Then all of a sudden a shout is heard and the people become excited. Many people rush from the market towards the group while others leave the group and run towards the s!uare and beyond it. Juestions... answers... + 5hat happened,+ 5hat is the matter,+ The Man from (srael has cured old Mark9+ The veil has vanished from his eyes.Jesus in the meantime has gone into the yard followed by a train of people. "ehind them all, moving with great difficulty there is one of the beggars, a cripple, who is dragging himself along more with his hands than with his feet. "ut if his legs are crippled and weak, so that without crutches he would not be able to move, his voice is !uite strong9 He sounds like a siren rending the sunny morning air* + Holy9 Holy9 Messiah9 =abbi9 Have mercy on me9- He is shouting at the top of his voice unrelentingly. Two or three people turn round* + %pare your breath9 Mark is a Jew, you are not.+ He grants graces to true (sraelites, not to the sons of a dog9+ My mother was Hebrew...3-/

+ 1nd 'od struck her because of her sin, giving her a monster like you. 1way, you son of a she#wolf9 'o back to your place, you filthy mud...The man leans against the wall, he is down#hearted and frightened by threatening fists... Jesus stops, turns round, looks at him. He orders* + Man, come here9- The man looks at Him, looks at those threatening him... and dare not come forward. Jesus s!uee8es through the little crowd and goes to him. He takes him by the hand, that is, He lays His hand on the man2s shoulder and says* + "e not afraid. :ome with Me- and looking at the merciless people He says severely* + 'od belongs to all men who seek Him and are merciful.They take a hint and are now the ones to be left at the rear of the crowd, or rather, they remain where they are. Jesus turns round again. He sees that they are embarrassed and on the point of going away, and He says to them* + .o, you may come forward as well. (t will do you good, too, it will straighten and fortify your souls as ( am going to straighten and fortify this man, because he has faith. Man, ( tell you, be cured of your infirmity.- 1nd He takes His hand off the shoulder of the cripple, after the latter has something like a shock. The man straightens himself up on his legs now steady, throws away his worn out crutches and shouts* + He has cured me9 &raised be the 'od of my mother9- and he kneels down to kiss the hem of Jesus2 mantle. The tumult of those who wish to see, or have seen and are making comments, rises to the highest pitch. (n the long entrance hall, leading from the s!uare to the yard, the 3-1

clamour resounds with the resonance of a well and is echoed by the walls of the $ort. The soldiers think that there is a brawl ; which is likely to be the case in places like this one with so many contrasting races and religions ; and a s!uad rushes to the spot they elbow their way violently through the crowd asking what is the matter. + 1 miracle, a miracle9 Jonah, the cripple, has been cured. There he is, over there, near the 'alilean.The soldiers look at one another. They do not speak until the whole crowd has passed by and more people have piled up behind it coming from the warehouses and the s!uare, where only the vendors are left they are fretting with indignation at the sudden distraction, which has caused the market to be a complete failure that day. Then, when they see one of the three brothers pass by, the ask him* + &hilip, do you know what the =abbi is going to do now,+ He will be speaking and teaching in my yard9- replies &hilip all over)oyed. The soldiers consult with one another* + %hall we stay, %hall we go away,+ The ensign told us to watch...+ 5hom, The Man, 1s far as He is concerned we may as well go and amuse ourselves dicing for an amphora of wine of :yprus- says %cipio, the soldier who had previously defended Jesus talking to his companion. + ( would say that He needs protection, not the rights of =ome9 %ee Him over there, 1mongst all our gods there is not one so mild and yet so manly looking. The mob here are unworthy of Him. 1nd the unworthy are always 3-2

wicked. /et us stay and protect Him. (f necessary we will defend Him and will dust these galley#slaves2 )acketssays another one half sarcastically and half admiringly. + 0ou are right, &udens. .ay, 1ctius, go and call &rocorus, the ensign who is always dreaming of plots against =ome... and of promotions for himself, as a reward for his keen watching over the health of divine :aesar and of goddess =ome, the mother and mistress of the world, so that he may convince himself that he will not gain any arm#band or crown here.1 young soldier runs away and comes back at once saying* + &rocorus is not coming. He is sending triarius 1!uila...+ Aery well9 "etter him than :ecilius Maximus himself. 1!uila has served in 1frica, in 'aul, and in the wild forests where Aarus and his legions were wiped out. He knows 'reeks and "ritons and he is clever at telling... 6h9 Hail9 Here is our glorious 1!uila9 :ome, teach us poor wretches how to )udge the value of men9+ /ong live 1!uila, the master of armies9- they all shout shaking the old soldier whose face, bare arms and calves are marked with scars. He smiles in a friendly manner and exclaims* + /ong live =ome, the mistress of the world9 .ot me, a poor soldier. 5hat is the matter,+ 5e are to watch that tall man, whose hair is as fair as very light copper.+ 'ood. "ut who is He,+ They say He is the Messiah. His name is Jesus and He 3-,

comes from .a8areth. 0ou know, He is the one about whom the order was issued...+ H2m9 May be... "ut ( think that we are chasing shadows.+ They say that He wants to proclaim Himself <ing and supplant =ome. The %anhedrin, %adducees, &harisees and Herodians have denounced Him to &ontius. 0ou know that the Jews have that fixed idea in their heads, and a king pops up now and again...+ ( know, ( know... "ut if they are worried about this one... (n any case let us listen to what He says. ( think that He is going to speak.+ ( heard from the centurion2s soldier that &ublius Juintillianus said to him that He is a divine philosopher... The imperial ladies are enthusiastic for Him....- says another young soldier. + ( am sure they are9 ( would be enthusiastic myself if ( were a woman and ( would like to have him in my bed...says another young soldier laughing wholeheartedly. + %hut up, you wanton fellow9 /ust is devouring you9remarks another one )okingly. + 1nd not you, $abius9 1nna, %yra, 1lba, Mary...+ "e !uiet, %abinus, He is speaking and ( want to listen to Him- orders the triarius. They all become silent. Jesus has got on a case placed against a wall. He can thus be seen by everybody. His kind greeting has spread through the air and is followed by the words* + :hildren of one only :reator, listen-, and in the heedful silence of the crowd, He continues. 3-3

+ The Time of 'race has come not only for (srael, but for everybody in the world. Men of (srael, who are here for various reasons, proselytes, &hoenicians, 'entiles, everybody, listen to the 5ord of 'od, understand Justice and become familiar with :harity. (f you have 5isdom, Justice and :harity, you have the means of attaining the <ingdom of 'od, which is not exclusive to the children of (srael, but belongs to all those who from now on will love the 6ne True 'od and will believe in the word of His 5ord. /isten. ( have come from very far, but not with the ambition of a usurper or with the violence of a con!ueror. ( have come to be only the %aviour of your souls. &roperty, wealth, offices, do not seduce Me. They mean nothing to Me and ( do not even look at them. 6r rather ( look at them to pity them, for ( feel sorry for them, because they are chains that hold your souls prisoners, preventing them from coming to the 6ne, 7ternal, Cniversal, Holy, "lessed /ord. ( look at them and ( approach them as if they were the greatest miseries. 1nd ( endeavour to rid them of their fascinating but cruel deceit that seduces the sons of man, so that they may use them with )ustice and holiness, not as cruel weapons that wound and kill men, and first of all the souls of those who do not make a holy use of them. "ut ( solemnly tell you that it is much easier for Me to cure a deformed body than a perverted soul it is easier for Me to give light back to blind eyes or health to a dying body, than light to souls and health to diseased spirits. 5hy, "ecause man has lost sight of the true purpose of his life and devotes himself to what is transient. Man does not know or does not remember, or although he 3-5

remembers, he does not want to obey the holy order of the /ord ; and ( say this also to the 'entiles who are listening to Me ; to do 'ood, which is 'ood in =ome as in 1thens, in 'aul as in 1frica, because the moral law exists under every sky, in every religion and in every righteous heart. 1nd religions, from that of 'od to that of individual morals, say that our better part survives and its destiny in the next life will be according to how it acted on the earth. The aim of man, therefore, is to achieve peace in the next life, not revelry, usury, arrogance, pleasure in this world for a short time, to be paid for with the most dreadful tortures forever and ever. 5ell, man does not know, or does not remember, or does not want to remember that truth. (f he does not know, he is less guilty. (f he does not remember, he is somewhat guilty, because the truth is to be kept alight, like a holy torch, in minds and hearts. "ut if man does not want to remember it, and when it, shines he closes his eyes not to see it, as he considers it as hateful as the voice of a pedantic rhetor, then his fault is grave, very grave indeed. 1nd yet 'od forgives it, if the soul disowns its wrong doing and proposes to pursue, for the rest of its life, man2s true purpose, which is the con!uest of eternal peace in the <ingdom of the true 'od. Have you so far followed an evil path, 1re you downhearted and are you thinking that it is late to follow the right way, 1re you desolate and are you saying* 3( knew nothing of all this9 1nd now ( am ignorant and ( do not know what to do4, .o. Do not think that it is the same as with material matters and that it takes a long time and much work to start all over again, but in a holy manner. The bounty of the 7ternal True /ord 'od is such that He will not make you walk 3-6

back all the way to put you at the )unction where, erring, you left the right path for the wrong one. His bounty is such, that from the moment you say* 3( want to belong to the Truth4, that is, to 'od, because 'od is Truth, 'od, through an entirely spiritual miracle, infuses 5isdom into you, whereby from being ignorant you become possessors of the supernatural %cience, like those who have possessed it for years. 5isdom means to want 'od, to love 'od, to cultivate one2s soul, to tend to the <ingdom of 'od, repudiating everything that is flesh ; world, %atan. 5isdom means obedience to the /aw of 'od, which is the law of :harity, 6bedience, :ontinence, Honesty. 5isdom means to love 'od with one2s whole being and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Those are the two essential elements to be wise in the 5isdom of 'od. 1nd our neighbours are not only those of our own blood, of our race and religion, but all men, whether rich or poor, wise or ignorant, Hebrews, proselytes, &hoenicians, 'reeks, =omans...Jesus is interrupted by a threatening howling of some excited people. Jesus looks at them and says* + 0es. That is love. ( am not a servile master. ( speak the truth because that is what ( must do to sow in you what is necessary to gain eternal /ife. 5hether you like it or not, ( must tell you, to do My duty as =edeemer. (t is for you to do your duty as souls needing =edemption. %o we must love our neighbour. 1ll our neighbours. 1nd love them with a holy love, not in a !uestionable communion of interests, whereby a =oman, &hoenician or proselyte are 3anathema4 or viceversa, as long as there is no sensuality or money involved, whereas if you are anxious to share sensuality or money with them, they are no longer 3-7

3anathema4...The crowd is once again in an uproar, while the =omans, from their place in the hall exclaim* + "y Jove9 He does speak well9Jesus waits for the noise to calm down, then He resumes* + 5e must love our neighbour as we would like to be loved ourselves. "ecause we do not like to be ill#treated, harassed, robbed, oppressed, calumniated, insulted. 7verybody has the same national or personal feelings. Do not let us do, therefore, the evil which we would not like done to us.

5isdom means obedience to the ten :ommandments of 'od*

3( am the /ord your 'od. 0ou shall have no gods except Me. 0ou shall have no idols and shall not worship them. 0ou shall not utter the .ame of 'od to misuse it. (t is the .ame of the /ord your 'od and 'od will punish those who use it without any reason, to curse it or to validate a sin. =emember to sanctify feast days. The %abbath is sacred to the /ord, 5ho rested on it after :reation and blessed it and sanctified it. Honour your father and your mother that you may live peacefully for a long time on the earth and eternally in Heaven. 0ou shall not kill. 0ou shall not commit adultery. 0ou shall not steal. 0ou shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. 0ou shall not covet your neighbour2s house you shall not covet his wife, his servant, man or woman, or his ox, or his donkey or anything that belongs to him.4 That is 5isdom. 5ho does that is wise and con!uers /ife and the <ingdom forever. %o, as from today, propose to live according to 5isdom, by preferring it to the poor 3--

things of the earth. 5hat are you saying, %peak up. 1re you saying that it is late, .o. /isten to a parable. 1 landowner went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard and he made an agreement with them for one denarius a day. He went out again at the third hour and thinking that the workers he had hired were too few and seeing other people idle in the s!uare waiting to be hired, he took them and said to them* 3'o to my vineyard and ( will give you what ( promised the others.4 1nd they went. He went out again at the sixth hour and at the ninth and seeing some more workers, he said to them* 35ill you work for me, ( give my workers one denarius a day.4 They agreed and went. $inally he went out about the eleventh hour and saw some more standing in the sunshine and he asked them* 35hy are you standing here idle, 1re you not ashamed of standing here all day without doing anything,4 3"ecause no one hired us for the day. 5e would have liked to work and earn our living. "ut no one asked us to go and work.4 35ell, ( am asking you to go to my vineyard. 'o and you will have the same pay as the others.4 He said so because he was a good landowner and felt sorry for the de)ection of his neighbour. (n the evening, when the work was finished, the man called his bailiff and said* 3:all the workers and pay them their wages, as agreed, beginning with the last arrivals, who are the most needy, as they have not had any food during the day, whereas the others have been fed once and some several times, and who out of gratitude to me, as ( felt sorry for them, have worked harder than all the others (, in fact, have been watching them. Then 3-0

dismiss them so that they may go and rest, as they deserve, and may en)oy with their families the fruit of their work.4 1nd the bailiff did as the landowner ordered, and gave each man one denarius. 5hen the last ones came, those who had worked from daybreak, they were surprised at receiving one denarius each and they complained to the bailiff who said to them* 3That is the order ( was given. 'o and complain to the landowner, not to me.4 1nd they went and said* 30ou have not been fair9 5e have worked for twelve hours, first in the dewy moisture, then in the heat of the sun and once again in the dampness of the evening, and you have given us the same wages you gave the la8y workers who worked for one hour only9... 5hy,4 1nd one of them in particular raised his voice saying that he had been betrayed and exploited undeservedly. 3My friend, in what have ( wronged you, 5hat did ( agree with you at daybreak, 6ne full day2s work and the wages of one denarius. Did ( not,4 30es, that is true. "ut you have given the same wages to those who have worked much less...4 3Did you agree to that pay because it seemed fair,4 30es. ( agreed because others pay less.4 35ere you ill#treated by me,4 3(n all conscience... no.4 3( granted you a long rest during the day and ( gave you some food, did ( not, 0ou had three meals. 1nd food and rest were not agreed upon. (s that right,4 30es. They were not agreed upon.4 30/

35hy did you accept them, then,4 35ell... 0ou said* 2( prefer to do so, so that you will not get tired going back home2. 1nd we could hardly believe that it was true... 0our food was good, and we saved, and... 3(t was a favour that ( was doing you gratuitously and that none of you could pretend. (s that right,4 3That is true.4 3%o ( did you a good turn. 5ell, why are you complaining, ( should complain of you, because, although you realised that you were dealing with a good master, you worked la8ily, whereas those who came after you and had one meal only, and the last arrivals who had none at all, set to work with a will and in a shorter time they did the same work that you did in twelve hours. ( would have betrayed you if ( had halved your wages to pay them. "ut that is not the case. %o take what is yours and go away. 1re you going to come to my house and impose me to do what suits you, ( do what ( like and what is fair. Don2t be malicious and don2t compel me to be unfair. $or ( am good.4 ( solemnly say to all of you who are listening to Me, that the $ather 'od makes the same agreement with all men and promises the same reward to everybody. Those who serve the /ord diligently will be treated by Him with )ustice, even if they do little work, being close to death. ( solemnly tell you that the first will not always be the first in the <ingdom of Heaven, where we shall see that the last are first and the first are last. 5e shall see there that men who do not come from (srael are holier than many men of (srael... ( have come to call everybody, in the name of 'od. "ut if many are called, few are chosen, 301

because few want 5isdom. He is not wise who lives according to the world and to flesh, but not according to 'od. He is neither wise for the earth nor for Heaven. "ecause on the earth he will make enemies, will receive punishment and will feel remorse. 1nd he will lose Heaven forever. ( repeat* be good to your neighbour, whoever he may be. "e obedient and leave to 'od the task of punishing those who are un)ust in giving orders. "e continent by resisting sensuality, be honest by resisting gold, be coherent by saying anathema to what deserves it, not when it suits you, considering yourselves free to get in touch later with what you previously cursed. Do not do to other people what you would not like done to yourselves, and then...+ 'o away, 0ou boring prophet9 0ou have spoiled our market9... 0ou have taken our customers away9...- shout the vendors, rushing into the yard... 1nd those who had shouted previously in the yard, at the beginning of Jesus2 sermon ; not only &hoenicians, but also Jews who are in this town for reasons unknown to me ; )oin the vendors insulting, threatening and above all driving away... They do not like Jesus because He does not advise evil things... He crosses His arms and looks. He is sad, but solemn. The people, divided into two parties, are !uarrelling, defending or offending the .a8arene. (nsults, praises, curses, blessings some shout* + The &harisees are right. 0ou have sold 0ourself to =ome. 0ou are the lover of prostitutes and publicans-. %ome contradict them* + "e !uiet, blasphemous tongues9 0ou have sold yourselves to =ome, you infernal &hoenicians9-, + 0ou are demons9-, + 302

May hell swallow you9-, + 'o away9-, + 'o away, you thieves and usurers who have come to this market9- and so on... The soldiers intervene saying* + =ather than an instigator, He is a victim9- 1nd with their spears they drive everybody out of the yard and close the door. 6nly the three proselyte brothers and the six disciples are left inside with Jesus. + 5hy on earth did you make Him speak,- the triarius asks the three brothers. + %o many people speak9- replies 7lias. + 6f course. "ut nothing happens, because they teach what people like. He does not. 1nd He is a bore...- The old soldier stares at Jesus 5ho has got down off the case and is standing, apparently thinking of something else. The crowds are still !uarrelling outside. (n fact more troops come from the barracks led by the centurion himself. They knock at the door and have it opened, while some remain outside to drive away both those who shout* + /ong live the <ing of (srael9- and those who curse Him. The centurion comes forward and he looks worried. His anger explodes against old 1!uila* + (s that how you protect =ome, "y letting people acclaim a foreign king in a sub)ect region,The old soldier salutes stiffly and replies* + He was teaching respect and obedience and was speaking of a kingdom not of this earth. That#is why they hate Him. "ecause He is good and respectful. There was no reason why ( should en)oin silence on a man who was not offending our law.The centurion calms down and mumbles* + %o it is 30,

another sedition of this foul mob... 5ell. Tell the man to go away at once. ( do not want trouble here. :arry out my instructions and escort Him out of town as soon as the road is clear. He may go wherever He likes. To hell, if He wants. 1s long as He gets out of my )urisdiction. Have you understood,+ 0es, we have, and we will act accordingly.The centurion turns round displaying his bright cuirass and causing his purple mantle to flutter, and he goes away without even looking at Jesus. The three brothers say to the Master* + 5e are sorry...+ (t is no fault of yours. 1nd be not afraid. .o harm will happen to you. ( tell you...The three change colour... &hilip says* + How are 0ou aware of our fear,Jesus smiles kindly, a smile which is like a ray of sunlight on His sad face* + ( know what is in hearts and what is in the future.The soldiers are waiting in the sunshine casting sidelong glances and making comments... + :an they possibly love us, when they hate even that man who does not oppress them,+ 1nd who works miracles, you should say...+ "y Hercules9 5ho was it that came to tell us that there was a suspect to be watched,+ (t was :aius9+ The 8ealous man9 (n the meantime we have missed our rations and ( foresee that ( am going to miss the kiss of a 303

girl9... 1h9+ 7picurean9 5here is the beautiful girl,+ ( am certainly not going to tell you, my friend9+ %he is behind the potter2s, at the $oundations. ( know. ( saw you there some nights ago...- says another one. The triarius goes towards Jesus and walks round Him, looking at Him all the time. He does not know what to say... Jesus smiles to encourage him. The man does not know what to do... "ut he goes closer. Jesus points to his scars* + 1ll wounds, are they, %o, you are a valiant and loyal soldier...The praise makes the old soldier blush. + 0ou have suffered very much for the sake of your $atherland and of your emperor... 5ould you not be prepared to suffer something for a greater $atherland* Heaven, $or an eternal 7mperor* 'od,The soldier shakes his head and says* + ( am a poor pagan. "ut ( may still arrive at the eleventh hour. "ut who will teach me, 0ou have seen9... They are expelling 0ou. 1nd that is a wound which is sore, not mine9... 1t least ( gave them back to my enemies. "ut what do 0ou give those who hurt 0ou,+ $orgiveness, soldier. $orgiveness and love.+ %o, ( am right. (t is foolish to suspect 0ou. 'oodbye, 'alilean.+ 'oodbye, =oman.Jesus is left alone until the three brothers and the 305

disciples come back with some food, which the brothers offer to the soldiers, and the apostles to Jesus. They eat without relish, in the sunshine, whilst the soldiers eat and drink merrily. Then a soldier goes out to have a look at the silent s!uare. + 5e can go- he shouts. + They have all gone away. The patrols only are there.Jesus stands up submissively, He blesses and comforts the three brothers, with whom He fixes an appointment for &assover at 'ethsemane, and He goes out, escorted by the soldiers, and followed by the mortified disciples. They proceed along the empty road until they reach the country. + Hail, 'alilean- says the triarius. + 'oodbye, 1!uila. &lease, do not ill#treat Daniel, 7lias and &hilip. ( only am the guilty one. Tell the centurion.+ ( will not tell him anything. He has already forgotten all about it and the three brothers supply us with many good things, particularly with the :yprus wine that the centurion loves more than his own life. 'o in peace. 'oodbye.They part. The soldiers go back to the gate, Jesus and His disciples set out eastwards towards the silent countryside.


82!. The Sons of Th,nder. $oin& to/ards Ach2ib /ith the Shepherd Annas.
14th +ove ber 1!45.

Jesus is walking across a very mountainous region. The mountains are not high, but the road runs up and down hills all the time and there are many torrents, which flow merrily in the cool fresh season, and are as clear as the sky and as fresh as the first leaves that are beginning to grow more and more copiously on the trees. "ut although the season is so beautiful and cheerful as to comfort one2s heart, Jesus2 humour does not appear to be much relieved and the apostles look even more worried than He is. They are walking very !uietly along the bottom of a valley. %hepherds and flocks are the only visible life. "ut Jesus does not even seem to see them. 1 down#hearted sigh of James of Bebedee and his sudden words, the obvious result of a concerned mind, draw Jesus2 attention... James says* + 1nd defeats9... and defeats9... 5e seem to be cursed...Jesus lays a hand on his shoulder* + Do you not know that that is the lot of the better ones,+ 7h9 ( know since ( have been with 0ou9 "ut now and again we would need something different, which we did get in the past, to cheer up hearts and faith...+ Do you doubt Me, James,- How much grief there is in Jesus2 trembling voice. + .o9...- His 3no4 is certainly not a very definite one. 307

+ "ut you do doubt. 5hat, then, Do you no longer love Me as you did before, The fact that you have seen Me expelled, derided, or only neglected near the &hoenician borders, has perhaps weakened your love, has it,- There is deep grief in Jesus2 trembling words, although there are no sobs or tears. His very soul is weeping. + .o, my /ord, not that9 6n the contrary, the more ( see 0ou misunderstood, re)ected, humiliated, afflicted, the more my love for 0ou increases. 1nd ( would willingly offer my life as a sacrifice, in order not to see 0ou thus, and to be able to change the hearts of men. 0ou must believe me. Do not crush my heart, which is already so depressed, by doubting that ( do not love 0ou. 6therwise... otherwise ( will go to extremes. ( will go back and ( will revenge myself upon those who grieve 0ou, to prove that ( love 0ou, to remove 0our doubt, and if they catch me and kill me, ( will not care in the least. ( will be satisfied with giving 0ou a proof of my love.+ 6h9 son of thunder9 5hence so much impetuosity, Do you want to be an exterminating thunderbolt,- Jesus smiles at the ardour and intentions of James. + 6h9 1t least ( see 0ou smile9 That is already one result of my intentions. 5hat do you say, John, %hall we carry out my intentions to relieve the Master, 5ho is depressed because of so many repulses,+ 6h9 yes. /et us go. 5e will go back and speak to them. 1nd if they still insult Him saying that He is king only by word, or is a laughing#stock king, a penniless or a mad king, we will give them a good thrashing until they realise that the king has an army of faithful men, who 30-

are not prepared to stand their mockery. Aiolence can be useful at times. /et2s go, brother9- John replies to him, and angry as he is, he seems to be another man, so different from the ever mild John. Jesus places Himself between the two, catches them by the arms to hold them back and says* + Just listen to them9 1nd what have ( been preaching for such a long time, 6h9 5hat a wonderful surprise9 1lso John, My dove, has become a hawk9 /ook how ugly, gloomy, perturbed he looks, disfigured by hatred. 6h9 shame9 1nd you are surprised because some &hoenicians remain indifferent, some Jews are resentful, some =omans expelled Me, while you are the first who have not understood anything after being with Me for two years, and you have become gall because of the hatred in your hearts, and you cast My doctrine of love and forgiveness out of your hearts and you re)ect it as if it were a foolish thing, and you welcome violence as a good ally9 6h9 Holy $ather9 This is a defeat indeed9 (nstead of being hawks sharpening their beaks and claws, would it not be better if you were angels praying the $ather to give relief to His %on, 5hen has a storm ever done any good with its thunderbolts and hailstones, 5ell, in memory of this sin of yours against :harity, in memory of the moment when ( saw the animal#man come to light on your faces instead of the man#angel whom ( always wish to see in you, ( will call you 3the sons of thunder4.Jesus is half serious while speaking to the two excited sons of Bebedee. "ut His reproach does not last long, because as soon as they repent He clasps them both to His heart, His face shining with love, saying* + .ever again ( want to see you like that. 1nd thank you for your 300

love. 1nd thank you for yours, My friends- He says addressing 1ndrew, Matthew and His two cousins. + :ome here, that ( may embrace you as well. Do you not know, that if ( had nothing else but the )oy of doing the will of My $ather and your love, ( would always be happy, even if the whole world smacked Me, ( am sad, not about Myself, or about My defeats, as you call them, but because ( feel sorry for the souls that re)ect /ife. 'ood, we are all happy now, are we not, you big babies, :ome on, then. 'o to those shepherds who are milking the sheep and ask them to give you some milk in the name of 'od. "e not afraid- He says seeing the desolate look of the apostles. + 6bey with faith. 0ou will get milk, not a thrashing, even if the man is a &hoenician.1nd the six go off while Jesus waits for them on the road. 1nd the sad Jesus, 5hom no one wants, prays in the meantime... The apostles come back with a little pail of milk, and they say* + The man asks 0ou to go over there, he wants to speak to 0ou, but he cannot leave his unreliable goats to young shepherds.Jesus says* + 5ell, let us go there and eat their bread.1nd they go to the edge of the ditch where the goats are chewing precariously. + Thank you for the milk you have given Me. 5hat do you want of Me,+ 0ou are the .a8arene, are 0ou not, The one who works miracles,+ ( am the one who preaches 7ternal %alvation. ( am the 5ay to go to the true 'od, the Truth that gives itself, the /ife that enlivens you. ( am not a wi8ard that works 5//

wonders. The miracles that ( work are a manifestation of My goodness and of your weakness that needs proofs in order to believe. "ut what do you want of Me,+ 5ell... 5ere 0ou at 1lexandroscene two days ago,+ 0es, ( was. 5hy,+ ( was there, too, with my kids, and when ( realised that there was going to be a !uarrel, ( went away, because they are in the habit of stirring up trouble to steal what is in the market. They are thieves, all of them* the &hoenicians... and the others. ( should not say so because ( am the son of a proselyte father and a %yrian mother and a proselyte myself. "ut it is the truth. 5ell. /et us go back to my story. ( took shelter in a stable with my kids, waiting for my son2s cart. 1nd in the evening, when ( was leaving the town, ( met a woman, who was weeping, with her little daughter in her arms. %he had walked eight miles to come to 0ou. "ecause she lives out in the country. ( asked her what was the matter, as she is a proselyte. %he had come to sell some goods and do some shopping. %he had heard of 0ou and hope had filled her heart. %he ran home to get the little girl. "ut one walks slowly with a load. 5hen she arrived at the warehouse of the brothers, 0ou were no longer there. The brothers said to her* 3They expelled Him. "ut last night He told us that He would go back via the steps of Tyre.4 1s ( am a father, too, ( said to her* 35ell, go there.4 "ut she replied to me* 3(f after what happened He goes back to 'alilee by a different road,4 ( said to her* 3.ow listen. (t is either that road or the one along the border. ( am pasturing my flock between =ohob and /esemdan, on the border road between here and .aphtali. (f ( see Him ( will tell Him, ( promise you on my honour.4 1nd ( have told 0ou.5/1

+ 1nd may 'od reward you. ( will go to the woman. ( must go back to 1ch8ib.+ 1re 0ou going to 1ch8ib, 5ell, we can go together, if 0ou do not scorn the company of a shepherd.+ ( scorn no one. 5hy are you going to 1ch8ib,+ "ecause my lambs are there. Cnless... ( have lost them all.+ 5hy,+ "ecause there is a disease... ( do not know whether it was witchcraft or something else. ( know that my lovely flock has been taken ill. That is why ( brought the goats here, as they are still healthy and ( keep them away from the sheep. Two of my sons will look after them here. They are now in town, shopping. "ut ( am going back there, to see them die, my beautiful woolly sheep...- The man sighs... He looks at Jesus and he apologises* + (t is foolish to speak to 0ou of these things, considering who 0ou are, and to distress 0ou, as 0ou must be already distressed by the way they treat 0ou. "ut our sheep are love and money to us, 0ou know,...+ ( understand. "ut they will recover. Did you get anyone, who is familiar with these things, to see them,+ 6h9 They have all said the same thing* 3<ill them and sell the skins. There is nothing else to be done4, and they have also threatened me if ( take them about... They are afraid of the disease... for their own sheep. %o ( have to keep them in and they die !uicker. They are bad, 0ou know, those of 1ch8ib-. Jesus says simply* + ( know.5/2

+ ( say that they have bewitched them...+ .o. Do not believe such nonsense... 5ill you be leaving at once when your sons arrive,+ 0es, ( will. They will be here any moment now. 1re these 0our disciples, 6nly these,+ .o. ( have more.+ 5hy do they not come here, 6nce, ( met a group of them near Merom. 1 shepherd was their head. %o they said. 1 tall strong man, 7lias was his name. (t was in 6ctober, ( think. 7ither before or after the Tabernacles. Has he left 0ou now,+ .one of My disciples have left Me.+ ( was told.+ 5hat,+ That 0ou... that the &harisees... (n short, that 0our disciples had left 0ou because they were afraid, and that 0ou were...+ 1 demon. 0ou may say it. ( know. Double merit for you, as you believe )ust the same.+ 1nd because of that merit, could 0ou not... but perhaps ( am asking for a sacrilege...+ Tell Me. (f it is wicked, ( will let you know.+ :ould 0ou not bless my flock, when passing by,- the man says very anxiously... + ( will bless your flock. This one...- and He raises His hand blessing the goats scattered around + ... and your flock of sheep. Do you believe that My blessing will save 5/,

them,+ 1s 0ou save men from diseases, so 0ou must be able to save animals. They say that 0ou are the %on of 'od. %heep were created by 'od. %o they belong to the $ather. (... did not know whether it was respectful to ask 0ou. "ut if it is possible, please do it, /ord, and ( will take large offerings to the Temple. .ay, ( will not9 ( will give them to 0ou for the poor. (t will be better.Jesus smiles and is silent. The shepherd2s sons arrive and shortly afterwards Jesus, the apostles and the old man set out, leaving the young men to look after the goats. They walk fast as they want to reach <edesh soon and then proceed at once towards the road that from the sea takes to the mainland. (t must be the road that forks at the foot of the promontory, the one they took going to 1lexandroscene. 1t least that is what ( understand from the conversation of the shepherd with the disciples. Jesus is ahead of them, all alone. + "ut shall we not have further trouble,- asks James of 1lphaeus. + <edesh is not in the )urisdiction of the centurion. (t is outside the &hoenician border. 1nd if one does not provoke them, centurions do not interfere with religion.+ (n any case we are not stopping...+ 5ill you be able to cover more than thirty miles in one day,- asks the shepherd. + 6h9 5e are perpetual untiring pilgrims9They walk on... They reach <edesh and pass by it without any trouble. They take the straight road. 1ch8ib is 5/3

indicated on the milestone. The shepherd points it out saying* + 5e shall be there tomorrow. 0ou will come with me tonight. ( know farmers in the valleys, but many of them are within the &hoenician borders... 5ell... we will cross the frontier. 1nd we will certainly not be found out... 6h9 Their vigilance9 They had better look out for robbers9...The sun sets and daylight is dimmed in the woody valleys. "ut the shepherd is familiar with the road and proceeds resolutely. They reach a little village, )ust a handful of houses. + (f they give us hospitality here, we shall be with (sraelites. 5e are at the border. (f they will not take us in, we will go to another village, a &hoenician one.+ ( am not biased, man.They knock at a door. + (s that you, 1nnas, 5ith friends, :ome in, and may 'od be with you- says an elderly woman. They go into a large kitchen, with a gaily bla8ing fireplace. The members of a large family of all ages are sitting round the table but they kindly make room for the new arrivals. + This is Jonah. This is his wife, his sons and grandchildren and daughters#in#law. 1 family of patriarchs faithful to the /ord- says 1nnas, the shepherd, to Jesus. He then addresses old Jonah* + 1nd this man who is with me is the =abbi of (srael, 5hom you wanted to meet.+ ( bless the /ord that ( can give you hospitality as ( have 5/5

room tonight. 1nd ( bless the =abbi 5ho has come to my house, and ( ask Him to bless us.1nnas explains that Jonah2s house is like an inn for pilgrims travelling from the sea to the mainland. They all sit down in the warm kitchen and the women serve the guests. There is so much respect that it is almost embarrassing. "ut Jesus overcomes the difficulty by gathering all the children around Him, when the meal is over, and taking an interest in them, and they soon fraternise. 1nd after the children, in the short time between supper and bedtime, also the men in the house become bold and they inform Jesus of what they have learned about the Messiah and ask Him !uestions. 1nd Jesus explains, confirms, rectifies in a kind peaceful conversation, until both guests and members of the household go to rest, after Jesus has blessed them all.

880. The Cananean Mother.

15th +ove ber 1!45.

+ (s the Master with you,- the old farmer Jonah asks Judas Thaddeus who is entering the kitchen, where the fire is already bla8ing to warm the milk and the room, which is rather chilly in the early hours of a beautiful end of January morning, ( think, or early $ebruary. + He must have gone out to pray. He often goes out at dawn, when He knows He can be alone. He will be here shortly. 5hy are you asking,5/6

+ ( have asked also the others, who have gone out looking for Him, because there is a woman in the next room, with my wife. %he comes from a village on the other side of the border, and ( don2t really know how she found out that the Master is here. "ut she knows and she wants to speak to Him.+ 1ll right. %he will speak to Him. &erhaps she is the woman He is expecting, with her little sick daughter. Her spirit must have brought her here.+ .o. %he is alone. There are no children with her. ( know her because our villages are close to each other... and the valley belongs to everybody. (n any case ( do not think that we should be rude to our neighbours, even if they are &hoenicians, if we wish to serve the /ord. ( may be wrong, but...+ 1lso the Master always says that we must be merciful to everybody.+ He is merciful, is He not,+ He is indeed.+ 1nnas told me that He was ill#treated even recently. 1lways ill#treated9... (n Judaea, in 'alilee, everywhere. 5hy is (srael so bad to its Messiah, ( am referring to the mighty ones in (srael. "ecause the people love Him.+ How are you aware of such things,+ 6h9 ( live here, far away. "ut ( am a faithful (sraelite. (t is sufficient to go to the Temple on holy days of obligation to learn all the good and all the evil9 "ut one hears more of evil things than of good ones because good is humble and does not praise itself. Those who receive it should 5/7

proclaim it. "ut only few people are grateful after receiving a grace. Man receives assistance and forgets it... 7vil instead blows its trumpets loud and has its words heard even by those who do not want to hear them. 0ou, His disciples, are you not aware of how much they run down and accuse the Messiah in the Temple9 (n their teaching the scribes speak of nothing else. ( think they must have made a collection of lessons on how to accuse the Master as well as a collection of facts that they exhibit as plausible charges against Him. 1nd one2s conscience must be righteous, firm and free to be able to resist and )udge wisely. (s He aware of such manoeuvres,+ He is aware of everything. 1nd we are more or less aware as well. "ut He does not worry. He continues His work and disciples and believers in Him are increasing day by day.+ 'od grant they may persevere until the end. "ut man changes his mind. 1nd weak... Here is the Master coming towards the house with three disciples.1nd the old man goes out, followed by Judas Thaddeus, to pay his respects to Jesus, whose appearance is imposing while He walks towards the house. + &eace be with you today and always, Jonah.+ 'lory and peace to 0ou, Master, forever.+ &eace to you, Judas. Have 1ndrew and John not come back yet,+ .o. ( did not hear them go out. ( did not hear anybody. ( was fast asleep.5/-

+ :ome in, Master. :ome in, everybody. The air is cool this morning. (t must have been very cold in the wood. There is warm milk for everybody over there.They are taking their milk and everybody, with the exception of Jesus, dips large slices of bread into it, when 1ndrew and John arrive with 1nnas, the shepherd. + 1h9 0ou are here9 5e had come back to tell the rest that we had not found 0ou...- exclaims 1ndrew. Jesus wishes peace to the three and adds* + Juick. Take your share and let us leave because ( want to be at least at the foot of the mountain of 1ch8ib before evening. The %abbath begins this evening.+ 5hat about my sheep,Jesus smiles and replies* + They will recover after ( bless them.+ "ut they are on the eastern side of the mountain9 0ou are going westwards to see that woman...+ /eave it to 'od, and He will see to everything.The meal is over and the apostles go upstairs to get their travelling bags and be ready to leave. + Master... that woman in the next room... are 0ou not listening to her,+ ( have no time, Jonah. ( have a long way to go and in any case ( have come for the sheep of (srael. 'oodbye, Jonah. May 'od reward you for your charity. ( bless you and all your relatives. /et us go..."ut the old man begins to shout at the top of his voice* + :hildren9 5omen9 The Master is going away9 :ome, 5/0

!uick91s a brood of chicks scattered in a stack#yard rush towards the broody#hen calling them, so women and men P some already busy, some still half asleep P rush from every side, together with half#naked children who are smiling although they have )ust woken up... They all gather round Jesus, 5ho is in the middle of the threshing#floor, and the mothers envelop their children in their wide skirts to protect them from the cool air, or they hold them in their arms until a maid#servant brings their clothes and puts them on them. 1lso a woman, who is not of the household, comes forth. 1 poor weeping shy womanD %he stoops and comes forward almost creeping and when she reaches the group where Jesus is, she begins to shout* + Have mercy on me, 6 /ord, %on of David9 My daughter is tormented very badly by a demon who makes her do shameful things. Have mercy on me because ( am suffering so much, as everybody sneers at me because of that, as if my child were guilty of what she does... Have mercy, 6 /ord, 0ou can do everything. =aise 0our voice and 0our hand and order the unclean spirit to go out of &alma. %he is my only daughter and ( am a widow... 6h9 don2t go away9 Mercy9...Jesus, in fact, after blessing each member of the household and reproaching the elder ones for telling people of His arrival there P and they )ustify themselves saying* + 5e have not said anything, believe us, /ord9- P goes away He is inexplicably hard towards the poor woman, who is dragging herself along on her knees with her arms stretched out in suppliant attitude, while she says panting* + ( saw 0ou yesterday while 0ou were 51/

crossing the torrent and ( heard them call 0ou* 3Master.4 ( followed 0ou, among the bushes, and ( heard what these people were saying. ( understood who 0ou are... 1nd ( came here this morning before daybreak and ( remained here, on the threshold, like a little dog, until %arah got up and made me go in. Have mercy, my /ord, on a mother and a little girl9"ut Jesus is walking fast and turns a deaf ear to her entreaties. The people of the household say to her* + =esign yourself9 He will not listen to you. He said so Himself* He has come for the children of (srael...%he is desperate but at the same time full of faith, and she stands up saying* + .o. ( will pray until He listens to me.- 1nd she follows the Master shouting her entreaties, which draw to the doors of the houses in the village all those who are already awake and who, like the people of Jonah2s household, begin to follow her to see what happens. (n the meantime the apostles, sei8ed with astonishment, look at one another and whisper* + 5hy is He doing that, He has never done it before9...1nd John says* + He cured also those two people at 1lexandroscene.+ "ut they were proselytes- replies Thaddeus. + 1nd what about the woman He is going to cure now,+ %he is a proselyte as well- says the shepherd 1nnas. + 6h9 but how many times has He cured 'entiles or heathens9 1nd what about the =oman girl,...- says 511

1ndrew desolately, as he cannot set his mind at rest seeing Jesus2 harsh behaviour towards the :ananean woman. + ( will tell you what it is- exclaims James of Bebedee. + The Master is angry. His patience has come to an end before so many attacks of human wickedness. :an2t you see how changed He is, He is !uite right9 $rom now on He will devote Himself only to those with whom He is familiar. 1nd He is doing the right thing9+ 'ood. "ut in the meantime this woman is following us howling and a train of people are coming behind her. 1lthough He does not want to be noticed, He has found the way to draw even the attention of trees...- grumbles Matthew. + /et us go and tell Him to send her away... /ook at the lovely procession there is behind us9 (f we arrive at the consular road like this, we will be in trouble9 1nd she will not leave us unless He drives her away...- says Thaddeus who is very annoyed. He even turns round and says to the woman in a commanding voice* + "e !uiet and go away9-. 1nd James of 1lphaeus is solid for his brother. "ut she is not impressed by threats or orders and continues to implore. + /et us go and tell the Master to send her away, since He does not want to hear her. This cannot go on9- says Matthew, while 1ndrew whispers* + &oor woman9-, and John repeats continuously* + ( do not understand... ( do not understand...- John is dumbfounded at Jesus2 behaviour. They !uicken their pace and reach the Master 5ho is 512

walking as fast as if He were chased. + Master, please dismiss that woman9 (t2s a scandal9 %he is shouting after us9 %he is pointing us out to everybody9 The road is getting more and more crowded with people... and many are following her. Tell her to go away.+ 0ou can tell her yourselves. ( have already replied to her.+ %he will not listen to us. &lease9 0ou must tell her. 1nd very severely.Jesus stops and turns round. The woman takes it as a sign of grace, she !uickens her step, she raises the already shrill tone of her voice while her face becomes pale with her increased hope. + "e !uiet, woman. 1nd go home. ( have already told you. ( have come for the sheep of (srael. To cure the ones that are ill and find the ones that are lost. 0ou are not from (srael."ut the woman is already at His feet and she kisses them, worshipping Him, holding His ankles tight, as if she were a ship#wrecked person who had found a rock of salvation, and she moans* + /ord, help me9 0ou can help me, /ord. 'ive the order to the demon, since 0ou are holy... /ord, 0ou are the master of everything, of graces and of the world. 7verything is sub)ect to 0ou, my /ord. ( know. ( believe it. Take therefore 0our power and use it for my daughter.+ (t is not right to take the bread of the children of the house and throw it to the dogs in the street.+ ( believe in 0ou. 1nd through my faith, from a dog of the street ( have become a dog of the house. ( told 0ou* ( 51,

came before daybreak to lie down on the threshold of the house in which 0ou were, and if 0ou had come out there, 0ou would have trampled on me. "ut 0ou went out from the other side and did not see me. 0ou did not see this poor distressed dog, starving for 0our grace, waiting to go in, creeping, where 0ou were, to kiss 0our feet, imploring 0ou not to drive it away...+ (t is not right to throw the bread of the children to dogsrepeats Jesus. + "ut dogs go into the room where the landlord is eating with his children, and they eat what falls from the table, or the remnants of food, which the family gives them, as they are of no further use. ( am not asking 0ou to treat me as a daughter and let me sit at 0our table. "ut give me at least the crumbs...Jesus smiles. 6h9 5hat a transfiguration that )oyful smile works on His face9... The people, the apostles, the woman look at Him with admiration... they realise that something is about to happen. 1nd Jesus says* + 6h9 woman9 'reat is your faith. 1nd you comfort My spirit by it. 'o, therefore, and it will be done to you as you wish. 1s from this moment, the demon has gone out of your daughter. 'o in peace. 1nd as from a stray dog you wanted to be a dog of the house, endeavour in the future to be a daughter sitting at the table of the $ather. 'oodbye.+ 6h9 /ord9 My /ord9... ( would like to run away and see my beloved &alma... 1nd ( would like to stay with 0ou, and follow 0ou9 "lessed9 Holy9513

+ 'o, woman. 'o in peace.1nd Jesus resumes His way while the :ananean woman, more agile than a young girl, runs away along the road she came, followed by the crowd anxious to see the miracle... + "ut, Master, why did 0ou make her implore 0ou so much, before listening to her,- asks James of Bebedee. + Through your fault and the fault of all of you. That is not a defeat, James. ( was not expelled, derided or cursed here... /et that be a relief to your disheartened spirits. ( have already had today My most delicious food. 1nd ( bless 'od for it. 1nd now let us go and see this other woman who believes and can wait with firm faith.+ 1nd what about my sheep, /ord, (n a short while ( should take a road, which is different from 0ours, to go to my gra8ing ground...Jesus smiles but does not reply. (t is beautiful to walk now that the sun warms the air and makes the new leaves of woods and the grass of meadows sparkle like emeralds, changing each flower# cup into a setting for the drops of dew shining on the many#coloured wild flowers. 1nd Jesus proceeds smiling. 1nd the apostles, immediately#relieved, follow Him smiling... They reach the road#)unction. The shepherd 1nnas, who looks mortified, says* + 1nd ( should leave 0ou here... 1re 0ou really not coming to cure my sheep, ( believe, too and ( am a proselyte... &romise, at least, that 0ou will come after the %abbath9515

+ 6h9 1nnas9 (s it possible that you have not yet understood that your sheep were cured when ( raised My hand near /esemdan, 0ou may go, too, to see the miracle and to bless the /ord.( think that /ot2s wife, when she was turned into a pillar of salt, was very much like the shepherd, who has remained as he was, a little bent forward, with his face looking up to see Jesus, with one arm half stretched out in mid#air... He looks like a statue. 1nd a label could be placed under it* 3The &etitioner.4 He then comes round and prostrates himself saying* + 0ou are blessed9 Holy9 'ood9... "ut ( promised 0ou a lot of money, and ( have only a few drachmae with me... :ome to see me after the %abbath...+ ( will come. .ot for the money, but to bless you once again for your simple faith. 'oodbye, 1nnas. &eace be with you.1nd they part... + 1nd that was not a defeat either, My friends9 .either have they derided, expelled or cursed Me here... :ome on, !uick9 There is a mother who has been waiting for us for days...1nd their march continues, with a short rest to eat some bread and cheese and drink at a spring... (t is midday when they see the road )unction appear. + That is where the steps of Tyre begin, over there- says Matthew. 1nd he cheers up considering that they have covered most of the road. /eaning on a =oman mile stone there is a woman. 1t her 516

feet, on a folding#seat there is a little girl, about seven or eight years old. The woman is looking in all directions. Towards the steps in the rock. Towards the &tolemais road. Towards the road on which Jesus is walking, and now and again she bends to caress her child, to protect her head from the sun with a piece of cloth, to cover her feet and hands with a shawl... + There is the woman9 ( wonder where she slept these past days,- asks 1ndrew. + &erhaps in that house near the cross#road. There are no other houses nearby- replies Matthew. + 6r out in the open- says James of 1lphaeus. + .o. .ot with the child, surely9- replies his brother. Jesus does not speak. "ut He smiles. 1ll in a row, with in the centre, three on each side, they take up all the road, at this time of the day, when travellers stop to eat, wherever they happen to be at midday. Jesus, tall, handsome, in the centre of the row, smiles and His face is so radiant that all the light of the sun seems to be concentrated on it while rays of light emanate from it. The woman looks up... They are now about fifty meters apart. Jesus stares at her, which perhaps draws her attention, diverted for a moment by the child2s weeping. %he looks at Him and in an involuntary gesture of anxiety, she presses her hands against her heart. Jesus smiles more broadly. 1nd His bright inexpressible smile must tell the woman a great deal, as she is no longer anxious, but smiling, as if she were already happy, she bends to pick up her child, and holding her in the folding#seat, with stretched out arms, as if she offered her 517

to 'od, she comes forwards, and when she arrives at Jesus2 feet, she kneels down, lifting as much as she can the child in the seat, who looks ecstatically at Jesus2 most handsome face. The woman does not say one word. 1nd what else could she say that is not already deeply expressed in her whole attitude,... 1nd Jesus says but one word, a little, but powerful gladdening word, like 'od2s + $iat- at the creation of the world* + 0es.- 1nd He lays his hand on the chest of the little girl. 1nd the child, with the cry of a woodlark freed from a cage, shouts* + Mummy9- and all of a sudden sits up and slides down on to her feet and embraces her mother, who, exhausted as she is, staggers and is on the point of falling back, in a swoon brought about by tiredness, by anxiety that is calming down, by )oy that overwhelms the strength of her heart, already weak by so much suffering. Jesus is ready to hold her. 1 much stronger support than the little girl2s, who overburdening her mother with her own weight, is certainly not the best means to support her mother on her knees. Jesus makes her sit down and instills strength into her... 1nd He looks at her while silent tears stream down the tired but happy face of the woman. Then words come to her lips* + Thank 0ou, my /ord9 Thanks and blessings9 My hope has been crowned... ( waited for 0ou so long... "ut ( am happy now...The woman, after she comes round, kneels down once again, worshipping, holding the little girl in front of her, while Jesus caresses the child. 1nd she explains* + 1 bone had been rotting in her back for two years, paralysing her 51-

and leading her slowly to death with great pain. 5e had her visited by doctors at 1ntioch, Tyre, %idon and even at :aesarea and &aneas, and we spent so much on doctors and medicines that we were compelled to sell the house we had in town and retire to the one in the country, dismissing the servants of the house and keeping only those who worked in the fields, selling the crops that we used to consume ourselves... "ut nothing helped her9 ( saw 0ou. ( was aware of what 0ou have done elsewhere. ( hoped to receive grace myself... 1nd ( did9 ( will now go back home, without any worries, and thoroughly happy... and ( will make my husband happy... (t was my James who set hope in my heart by telling me what 0our power works in 'alilee and Judaea. 6h9 Had we not been afraid of not finding 0ou, we would have come with the girl. "ut 0ou are always traveling around9...+ 1nd traveling ( came to you... "ut where did you stay these past days,+ (n that house... "ut at night only the child was in there. There is a good woman who looked after her for me. ( remained here all the time, because ( was afraid that 0ou might pass by at night.Jesus lays a hand on her head* + 0ou are a good mother. That is why 'od loves you. 0ou can see that He has helped you in every way.+ 6h9 0es9 ( could perceive it when ( was coming here. ( came to town hoping to see 0ou, so ( had little money with me and ( was alone. Then, following the advice of that man, ( came here. ( sent word home and ( came... and ( have never lacked anything* neither bread, nor shelter, nor courage.510

+ 5ith that weight on your arms all the time, :ould you not get a cart,..- asks James of 1lphaeus, who is moved to pity. + .o. %he would have suffered too much* it would have been enough to kill her. My Johanna came to 'race in the arms of her mother.Jesus caresses both of them on their heads* + 0ou may go now and be always faithful to the /ord. May the /ord and My peace be with you.Jesus resumes walking on the road to &tolemais. + 1nd that is not a defeat either, My friends. 1nd ( was not expelled, derided or cursed here either.$ollowing the straight road they soon reach the forge near the bridge. The =oman farrier is resting in the sunshine, sitting against the wall of his house. He recognises Jesus and greets Him. Jesus returns the greeting and says* + 5ill you allow Me to stop here and rest a little, while we eat some bread,+ 6f course, =abbi. My wife wanted to see 0ou... because ( told her what she had not heard of 0our speech the last time 0ou were here. 7sther is Hebrew. "ut since ( am a =oman, ( did not dare to tell 0ou. ( would have sent her after 0ou...+ :all her, then.- 1nd Jesus sits on the bench against the wall, while James of Bebedee hands out bread and cheese... 1 woman about forty years old comes out, she looks embarrassed and blushes. + &eace to you, 7sther. Have you been anxious to meet 52/

Me, 5hy,+ "ecause of what 0ou said... =abbis despise us, because we are married to =omans... "ut ( have children and ( have taken them all to the Temple and the boys have all been circumcised. ( told Titus beforehand, when he wanted to marry me... 1nd he is good... 1nd he leaves me completely free with the children. 7verything is Hebrew here, customs, rites9... "ut rabbis and heads of synagogues curse us. 0ou don2t... 0ou have compassionate words for us. 6h9 Do 0ou know what that means to us, (t is like being embraced by our fathers and mothers, who disowned us and cursed us and are severe with us... (t is like going back to the homes we left and not feeling like strangers in them... Titus is kind. 6n our holy days he closes the farriery, with a heavy loss of money, and takes me and the children to the Temple. "ecause he says that one cannot live without religion. He says that his religion is now his family and his work, as previously it was his duty as a soldier... "ut (... my /ord... ( wanted to speak to 0ou about one thing... 0ou said that the followers of the true 'od must take a little of their holy yeast and put it into the good flour to make it rise holily. ( have done that with my husband. ( have tried, during the twenty years we have been together, to work his soul, which is good, with the yeast of (srael. "ut he cannot make up his mind... and he is old... ( would like to have him with me in the next life... Cnited by faith as we are now by love... ( am not asking for riches, welfare, health. 5hat we have is sufficient, praised be the /ord for it9 "ut that is what ( would like... &ray for my husband9 That he may belong to the true 'od...+ He will. 0ou may be sure of that. 0ou are asking for 521

something holy and it will be granted to you. 0ou have understood the duty of a wife to 'od and to her husband. ( wish all wives did9 ( solemnly tell you that many of them should imitate you. :ontinue like that and you will have the )oy of having your Titus beside you, in prayer and in Heaven. .ow show Me your children.The woman calls her numerous issue* + Jacob, Judas, /evi, Mary, John, 1nne, 7li8a, Marcus.- %he then goes into the house and comes out again with one who can hardly walk and one of three months, at most* + 1nd this one is (saac and this little one is Judith- she says ending the introductions. + &lenty9- says James of Bebedee laughing. 1nd Judas exclaims* + %ix boys9 1nd everyone circumcised9 1nd with pure names9 Aery good9The woman is happy and she praises Jacob, Judas and /evi, who help their father + every day except on %abbaths, when Titus works by himself shoeing horses with shoes made previously- she says. 1nd she praises Mary and 1nne + who help their mother.- "ut she does not forget to praise also the four little ones + as they are good and not naughty. Titus helps me to bring them up, as he was a disciplined soldier- she says casting a loving glance at the man, who, leaning against the door post, with a hand resting on his side, has listened to everything his wife has said, with a hearty smile on his honest face, and who now becomes elated hearing his merits as a soldier being mentioned. + Aery well. The discipline of the army is not disliked by 'od, when soldiers do their duty humanely. The essential point is to be always morally honest, in every task, in 522

order to be always virtuous. 0our past discipline, which you now instill into your children, must prepare you to enter a higher service* the service of 'od. 5e must part now. ( will )ust manage to reach 1ch8ib before sunset. &eace to you, 7sther, and to your house. May you all belong to the /ord, before long.The mother and children kneel down while Jesus raises His hand blessing them. The man, as if he were once again a soldier of =ome in front of his emperor, stands stiffly at attention and salutes in =oman style. 1nd they go away... 1fter a few steps Jesus lays a hand on James2 shoulder* + 1nd once again, the fourth time today, ( would point out to you that that was not a defeat, and 5e were not expelled, derided, cursed... 5hat do you say about it now,+ That ( am a fool, my /ord- says James of Bebedee impulsively. + .o. 0ou, and all the others, are still and always too human and you have all the alternatives of those who are ruled more by their human nature than by their spirits. 5hen the spirit is sovereign, it is not affected by every breath of wind that cannot always be a scented bree8e... (t may suffer, but will not change. ( always pray that you may reach such sovereignty of spirit. "ut you must help Me with your efforts... 5ell9 5e have come to the end of our )ourney. During it ( have sown what is necessary to prepare the work for you, when you will be evangeli8ing. 5e can now begin our %abbath rest with the consciousness that we have done our duty. 1nd we shall wait for the others... Then we shall set out... again... always... until everything is accomplished...52,

881. 9artholo e/ 4as =nderstood and S,ffered.

17th +ove ber 1!45.

Jesus is with the six apostles in a room where there are some very poor beds, placed very close to one another. The free space is barely sufficient to let them go from one end of the room to the other. They eat their very plain food sitting on the beds, because there are no chairs or table in the room. 1t one point, John goes and sits on the window#sill, to be in the sunshine. That is why he is the first to see &eter, %imon, &hilip and "artholomew coming towards the house. He shouts to them and then runs out followed by all the rest. 6nly Jesus remains inside and He stands up and turns towards the door... The new arrivals come in. (t is easy to imagine the exuberance of &eter, as it is easy to imagine the deep respect of %imon Bealot. "ut the attitude of &hilip and particularly of "artholomew is a real surprise. ( would say that when they come in they look afraid and worried, and although Jesus opens His arms wide towards them, to exchange the kiss of peace, which He has already given &eter and %imon, they fall on their knees, and bend their foreheads to the floor, kissing Jesus2 feet, and they remain thus... and "artholomew2s stifled sighs indicate that he is weeping silently on Jesus2 feet. + 5hat is worrying you, "art, 1re you not coming to be embraced by your Master, 1nd you, &hilip, why are you so timid, (f ( did not know that you are two honest 523

people, in whose hearts no wickedness can dwell, ( should suspect that you are guilty. "ut it is not so. :ome, therefore9 ( have been waiting so long to receive your kisses and see the limpid look of your faithful eyes...+ %o have we... /ord...- says "artholomew raising his face on which tears shine. + 5e have desired nothing but 0ou, and we have been wondering how we might have displeased 0ou to deserve to be kept away from 0ou for such a long time. 1nd we thought that it was unfair... "ut now we know... 6h9 forgive us, /ord9 5e ask 0ou to forgive us. (, in particular, because &hilip was separated from 0ou because of me. 1nd ( have already asked him to forgive me. (... ( am the guilty one, (... the old (sraelite, who is so reluctant to change, and who has grieved 0ou...Jesus bends and forces him to stand up, as He forces &hilip and He embraces them together saying* + "ut of what are you accusing yourself, 0ou have done nothing wrong. .either has &hilip. 0ou are My dear apostles, and today ( am very happy to have you here with Me, re# united forever...+ .o... $or a long time we have been unaware of the reason why 0ou rightly distrusted us to the extent of excluding us from the apostolic family. "ut now we know... and we ask 0ou to forgive us, and ( in particular ask 0ou, Jesus, my Master...- 1nd "artholomew looks at Him full of anxiety, of love and compassion. 6ld as he is, he seems a father who looks at his afflicted son and scans his face thinned by grief, which he had not noticed, neither had he noticed how that face had thinned and aged... 1nd fresh tears stream down "artholomew2s cheeks. 1nd he exclaims* + "ut what have they done to 525

0ou, 5hat have they done to us, to make us all suffer like this, 1n evil spirit seems to have come among us to upset us, to make us sad, weak, listless, foolish... %o stupid that we did not understand that 0ou were suffering... 6n the contrary we increased 0our suffering through our meanness, dullness, respect for public opinion and our old humanity... 0es, the old man has always triumphed in us, and 0our perfect vitality has never been able to renew us. That is what disturbs me9 .otwithstanding all my love, ( have not been able to change, to understand 0ou and follow 0ou... ( have followed 0ou only with my body... "ut 0ou wanted us to follow 0ou with our souls... to understand 0our perfection... in order to be able to perpetuate 0ou... 6h9 My Master9 0ou will leave us one day, after so many struggles, snares, so much disgust and sorrow, and 0ou will be grieved seeing that we are still unprepared9...1nd "artholomew inclines his head on Jesus2 shoulder and weeps desolately, afflicted with the knowledge that he has been a dull disciple. + Do not lose heart, .athanael. 0ou see all that like an absurdity that surprises you. "ut your Jesus knew that you are men... and He does not expect more than you can give. 6h9 0ou will give Me everything. "ut now you must grow and be perfected... (t is slow work. "ut ( can wait. 1nd ( re)oice at your perfecting. "ecause it is a continuous improvement in My /ife. 1lso your tears, also the harmony among those who were with Me, also the kindness that follows the harshness typical of your nature, and comes about after selfishness and spiritual greed, even your present gravity, everything is a stage of your growing in Me. %o, do not worry. %et your mind at rest, for ( know. 7verything. 0our honesty, your good 526

faith, your generosity, your sincere love. %hould ( doubt My wise "art and &hilip, so sensible and loyal, ( would wrong My $ather, 5ho granted Me to have you among My dearest ones. .ow... /et us sit down here, and those who have already rested can look#after their tired hungry brothers giving them food and relief. (n the meantime tell your Master and brothers what they do not know.1nd He sits on His little bed with &hilip and .athanael beside Him, while &eter and %imon sit on the next bed, opposite Jesus, knees to knees. + 5ill you speak, &hilip, ( have already spoken. 1nd you have been more )ust than ( have, all this time...+ 6h9 "artholomew9 Just9 ( had only understood that if the Master had not taken us with Him, it was not because of inconstancy or animosity towards us... 1nd ( endeavoured to set your mind at peace... preventing you from thinking of things as later you would have repented of your thoughts and would have felt remorse. ( had one remorse only... for preventing you from disobeying the Master when you wanted to follow %imon of Jonah who was going to .a8areth to get Mar)iam... /ater... ( saw both your body and soul suffer so much, that ( said* 3(t would have been better if ( had let him go9 The Master would have forgiven his disobedience and "artholomew would not be poisoning his soul with such ideas4... "ut... see, (f you had gone, you would never have had the key to the mystery... and perhaps your suspicion of the Master2s inconstancy would never have been dispelled. (nstead...+ 0es. Thus... ( understood. Master, %imon of Jonah and %imon Bealot, whom ( harassed with !uestions to find out 527

many things and have confirmation of things ( already knew, said only this to me* 3The Master has suffered very much, so much that He has grown thin and old. 1nd the whole of (srael, and first of all we ourselves, are to be blamed for that. He loves and forgives us. "ut He does not want to speak of the past. %o we advise you not to ask !uestions and not to say anything... "ut ( want to say something. ( will not ask any !uestion. "ut ( must speak, so that 0ou may know. "ecause nothing of what is in the soul of 0our apostle is to be concealed from 0ou. 6ne day ; %imon and the others had already gone away a few days before ; Michael of :ana came to me. He is a distant relation, a good friend and an old schoolmate... ( am sure that he came in good faith. "ecause he is fond of me. "ut he who sent him is not in good faith. He wanted to know why ( had remained at home... while the others had left. 1nd he said to me* 3%o it is true, 0ou parted from them because, as a good (sraelite, you could not approve of certain things. 1nd the others, beginning with Jesus of .a8areth, let you go !uite willingly, because they know that you would not help them, not even as a silent accomplice. 0ou are doing the right thing9 ( see that you are still the man of good old days. ( thought you had become corrupt by denying (srael. 0ou are doing the right thing for your spirit, your own welfare and for your relatives. "ecause the %anhedrin will not forget what is happening, and those who are taking part in it will be persecuted.4 ( said to him* 35hat are you talking about, ( told you that ( was instructed to stay at home both because of the season and to send eventual pilgrims to .a8areth or inform them to wait for the Master at :apernaum by the end of %hebat, and you are talking about parting, complicity, persecutions, 5hat do you 52-

mean,... &hilip, that is what ( said, did ( not,&hilip nods assent. "artholomew resumes* + Michael then told me that it was a known fact that 0ou were rebelling against the advice and order of the members of the %anhedrin by keeping John of 7ndor and a 'reek woman with 0ou... My /ord, ( am grieving 0ou, am ( not, "ut ( must tell 0ou. ( ask 0ou* is it true that they were at .a8areth,+ 0es, it is.+ (s it true that they left with 0ou,+ 0es, it is.+ &hilip* Michael was right9 "ut how did he know,+ That2s no problem9 (t2s those snakes who stopped me and %imon, and goodness knows how many more. The usual vipers- says &eter impulsively. Jesus instead asks !uietly* + Did he not tell you anything else, "e sincere with your Master, to the very end.+ .othing else. He wanted to know from me... 1nd ( told Michael a lie. ( said* 3( will be staying at home until &assover.4 ( was afraid he might follow me, or... ( don2t know... ( was afraid ( might in)ure 0ou...Then ( underF stood why 0ou had left me... 0ou realised that ( was still too much an (sraelite...- "artholomew begins to weep again... + ... and 0ou had doubts about me...+ .o. 1bsolutely not. (t was not necessary for you to be with your companions at that particular moment, whereas you were necessary, and you can see that yourself, at "ethsaida. 7ach man has his mission every age has its work...520

+ .o. Don2t put me aside because of work, /ord. Don2t worry about that... 0ou are good. "ut ( want to be with 0ou. (t is a punishment to be away from 0ou... 1nd (, although silly and incapable... ( could have at least comforted 0ou, if ( could have done nothing else. ( have understood... 0ou sent these ones here away with those two. Don2t tell me. ( don2t want to know. "ut ( feel that it is so, and ( say so. 5ell, in that case, ( could and should have been with 0ou. "ut 0ou did not take me to punish me for being so reluctant to become 3new4. "ut ( swear it to 0ou, Master, what ( suffered has changed me and never again will 0ou see the old .athanael in me.+ %o you can see that our suffering has come to a )oyful end for everybody. 1nd now we shall slowly go to meet Thomas and Judas, without waiting for them to go to the appointed place. 1nd we shall set out again with them... There is so much to be done9... 5e will set off tomorrow. Juick.+ 1nd 0ou will be doing the right thing. "ecause the weather is changing in the north. 1 calamity for cultivations...- says &hilip. + 0es9 The recent hailstorms have destroyed strips of the country. 0ou should see them, /ord9 :ertain places seem to have been burned out by fire. 1nd the strange thing is that the disaster happened as ( said* in strips- says &eter. + 5hile you were away, we had many hailstorms. 6ne day, about the middle of Tebeth, it looked like a real scourge. ( am told that down in the plain they have to sow all over again. (t was warmer previously. "ut since then sunshine is a pleasure. 5e are going backwards... 5,/

5hat strange signs9 5hat will they be,- asks &hilip. + .othing but the effect of lunations. Do not worry about it. These things should not impress you. (n any case we are going towards the plain and it will be pleasant to travel. (t will be cold, but not very, and in return it will be dry weather. :ome with Me in the meantime. There is lovely sunshine on the terrace. 5e can rest up there, all together...-

882. )n the 3a% 9ac7 to $alilee.

11th +ove ber 1!45.

+ 1nd now that we have satisfied also the shepherd, what shall we do,- asks &eter, who is alone with Jesus, while the others are in a group a few metres behind them. + 5e are going to the road along the coast, towards %icaminon.+ 1re we,9 ( thought we were going to :apernaum...+ (t is not necessary, %imon of Jonah. .ot necessary. 0ou have had news of your wife and of the boy, and with regard to Judas... it will be easier to go and meet him.+ 7xactly, my /ord. (s he not coming by the inland road, along the river and the lake, (t is the shortest and the best sheltered one...+ "ut he is not coming that way. =emember that he has to watch over the disciples and they are mostly scattered on the western side in this season, which is also very cold 5,1

once again.+ 1ll right. (f 0ou say so... ( am satisfied with being with 0ou and seeing that 0ou are not so sad. 1nd... ( am in no hurry to meet Judas of %imon. ( wish we did not meet him9... 5e have been so well among ourselves9...+ %imon, %imon9 (s that your brotherly charity,+ /ord... it is my truth- says &eter frankly. 1nd he says so with such impetuosity and expression that Jesus finds it difficult not to laugh. "ut how can anyone reproach such a frank and loyal man severely, Jesus prefers to be silent, showing extreme interest in the slopes on their left, while the plain expands on their right. The other nine, in group, are following them talking, and John seems a good shepherd, as he is carrying a lamb on his shoulders, probably a present from 1nnas, the shepherd. 1fter a little while &eter asks once again* + 1re we not going to .a8areth,+ 5e shall certainly go. My Mother will be pleased to hear of the )ourney of John and %yntyche.+ 1nd to see 0ou9+ 1nd to see Me.+ 5ill they have left at least Her in peace,+ 5e shall find out.+ "ut why are they so ruthless, There are so many people like John even in Judaea, and yet... .ay, to spite =ome, they protect them and hide them...5,2

+ 0ou must convince yourself that they do it, not because of John, but because he is a witness for the prosecution against Me.+ "ut they will never find him now9 0ou organised everything very well... 0ou sent us all alone... by sea... in a little boat for several miles, and later, on the other side of the frontier, by ship... 6h9 all well organised9 ( really hope that they will be disappointed.+ They will be.+ ( am anxious to see Judas of <erioth, to practise a little astrology on him, like a sky swept by winds and full of signs, to see whether...+ .ow, that is enough9+ 0ou are right. (t2s a fixed idea ( have in here- and he strikes his forehead. Jesus, to divert his attention, calls all the others and points out to them the strange destruction worked by hail and cold that took place when people would presume that the risk was over for that year... %ome say one thing, some another, but they are inclined to consider it a divine punishment for insolent &alestine that will not accept the /ord. 1nd the more learned among them cite similar events, mentioned by ancient stories, while the younger and less educated ones listen with great astonishment and attention. Jesus shakes His head. + (t is the effect of the moon and of remote winds. ( have already told you. (n the hyperborean countries a phenomenon has taken place and whole regions are suffering from its conse!uences.5,,

+ "ut why, then, some fields are beautiful,+ Hail does that.+ "ut could it not be a punishment for the most wicked ones,+ (t could be. "ut it is not. (t would be dreadful if it were...+ 1lmost all our $atherland would become arid and desolate, would it not, /ord,- says 1ndrew. + "ut in the prophecies it is stated, through symbols, that evil will befall those who do not accept the Messiah. :an the &rophets possibly tell lies,+ .o, "artholomew. 1nd what was said, will happen. "ut the Most High is so infinitely good, that He wants much more than what is happening at present, to punish people. 0ou must be good, too, and not always wish punishment for those whose hearts and minds are hardened. 0ou must wish them conversion, not punishment. John, hand the lamb to one of your companions and come and look at the sea from the top of those dunes. ( am coming, too.(n fact they are on a road very close to the sea, and it is separated from it only by a large strip of undulating dunes, on which some thin palm#trees are swaying, or ruffled tamarisks, mastic trees and other sand plants grow. Jesus goes with John. "ut who leaves Him, .obody. 1nd soon they are all up there, in the pleasant beautiful sunshine, facing the clear charming sea... The town of &tolemais is very near with its white houses. 5,3

+ 1re we entering it,- asks Judas of 1lphaeus. + (t is not necessary. 5e will stop and eat at the first houses. ( want to be at %icaminon by evening. 5e may find (saac there.+ How much good he is doing, eh, Did 0ou hear 1bel, John and Joseph,+ 0es. "ut all the disciples are very active. ( bless My $ather, day and night, for that. 0ou all... My )oy, My peace, My security...- and He looks at them with so much love that tears come to the eyes of the ten apostles... 1nd with such loving look my vision ends.

888. Meetin& -,das #scariot and Tho as.

1!th +ove ber 1!45.

1lthough the sun is shining in the clear sky, it is bitter cold in the <ishon valley, swept by an icy wind blowing across the northern hills and destroying the tender plants, which shiver and crumple up, nipped as they are, destined to die with their new verdant foliage. + (s this cold going to last long,- asks Matthew enveloping himself in his heavy mantle, through which only a tiny part of his face can be seen, that is his nose and eyes. "artholomew replies in a voice stifled by his large mantle that covers his mouth* + &erhaps until the end of this lunation.5,5

+ (n that case, we are in for it9 "ut never mind9 $ortunately we shall be staying in hospitable houses in .a8areth... 1nd in the meantime it will be over.+ 0es, Matthew. 1s far as ( am concerned, it is already over, now that ( see that Jesus is not so depressed. Don2t you think that He is more cheerful,- asks 1ndrew. + He is. "ut (... well, it seems impossible to me that He got so run down )ust because of what we know. Has there really been nothing else, as far as you know,- asks &hilip. + .o. .othing. 6n the contrary ( can tell you that at the %yro#&hoenician border the believers there made Him very happy and He worked those miracles about which we told you- replies James of 1lphaeus assuring him. + He has been very much with %imon of Jonah these last days. 1nd %imon has changed a lot... 6f course, you have all changed. ( don2t know... 0ou seem to be... more austere, ( would say- says &hilip. + That is only your impression9... (n actual fact we are what we were. :ertainly, it was not pleasant to see the Master so depressed for so many reasons, and hear how fierce they are against Him... "ut we will defend Him. 6h9 They will not do Him any harm if we are with Him. /ast night, after ( heard what Hermas was saying, and he is serious and reliable, ( said to Him* 30ou must no longer remain alone. 0ou now have disciples who, as 0ou can see, are active and are doing well, and are continuously increasing. %o we will stay with 0ou. ( do not mean that 0ou will have to do everything. (t is time for 0ou to cheer up, my dear brother. 0ou will stay with us, among us, like Moses on the mountain, and we will fight for 0ou, and will be ready, if necessary, to defend 5,6

0ou also physically. 5hat happened to John the "aptist must not happen to 0ou.4 "ecause, after all, if the disciples of the "aptist had not been reduced to two or three faint#hearted ones, he would not have been caught. 1nd we are twelve and ( want to persuade some of the most faithful and vigorous disciples to )oin us or, at least, to be near us. $or instance, those who were with John at Machaerus. They are brave and faithful men* John, Matthias and also Joseph. Do you know that he is a promising young man,- says Thaddeus. + 0es. (saac is an angel, but his strength is entirely spiritual. Joseph is strong also physically. He is almost our age.+ 1nd he learns !uickly. Did you hear what Hermas said, 3(f he had studied he would be a rabbi besides being a )ust man.4 1nd Hermas knows what he is talking about.+ (, however... would keep close to us also %tephen and Hermas, and John, the priest. "ecause of their knowledge of the /aw and of the Temple. Do you know what their presence means for scribes and &harisees, 1 check, a restraint... 1nd for people in doubt it means* 31lso the best people in (srael are with the =abbi as His pupils and servants94- says James of 1lphaeus. + 0ou are right. /et us tell the Master. 0ou heard what He said yesterday* 30ou must obey, but it is also your duty to open your minds to Me and say what you think is right, so that you may learn how to instruct people in future. 1nd, if ( see that what you say is )ust, ( will accept your ideas4- says the Bealot. + &erhaps He does that to show that He loves us, seeing that we are all more or less convinced that we are the 5,7

cause of His suffering- remarks "artholomew. + 6r He is really tired of having to see to everything and of being the only one who takes decisions and responsibility. &erhaps He also realises that His perfect holiness is... ( would say almost an imperfection, considering what is in front of Him* the world that is not holy. 5e are not perfect saints. Just not as bad rascals as other people... and therefore more able to reply to those who are )ust like us- says %imon Bealot. + 1nd to know them, you should say9- adds Matthew. + 6h9 as far as that is concerned, ( am sure that He knows them, too. .ay, He knows them better than we do, because He can read the hearts of people. ( am as certain as ( am sure that ( am alive- says James of Bebedee. + 5ell, then, why at times does He behave as He does, exposing Himself to trouble and danger,- asks 1ndrew desolately. + 5ho knows, ( cannot tell you- says Thaddeus shrugging his shoulders. 1nd the others agree with him. John is silent. His brother teases him* + %ince you always know everything about Jesus ; at times you seem to be very close to each other ; has He ever told you why He behaves like that,+ 0es. ( asked Him also recently. He always replied* 3"ecause ( must. ( must act as if the whole world were of ignorant but good people. ( teach everybody the same doctrine and thus the children of Truth will be separated from those of $alsehood.4 He also said to me* 3%ee, John, This is like a first )udgement, not a universal or collective one, but a single )udgement. 1ccording to their action of 5,-

faith, charity and )ustice, lambs will be separated from kids. 1nd that will last also afterwards, when ( shall no longer be here, but there will be My :hurch, forever and ever, until the end of the world. The first )udgement of the mass of human people will take place in the world, where men act freely, in front of 'ood and 7vil, Truth and $alsehood. 1s the first )udgement took place in the 7arthly &aradise, in front of the tree of 'ood and 7vil, infringed by those who disobeyed 'od. Then at the death of each individual, the )udgement already written in the book of human actions by a faultless Mind will be ratified. The 'reat, the Terrible Judgement will be the last one, when the mass of men will be )udged again. $rom 1dam to the last man. They will be )udged for what they freely wanted for themselves on the earth. .ow, if ( should select by Myself those who deserve the 5ord of 'od, Miracle, /ove and those who do not ; and ( could do it by divine right and ability those who are excluded, even if they were demons, on the day of their individual )udgement, would shout loud* 20our 5ord is the culprit because He did not want to teach us2. "ut they will not be able to say that... or rather, they will say so, lying once more. 1nd they will therefore be )udged.4+ %o to refuse His doctrine is to be a reprobate,- asks Matthew. + ( don2t know about that, whether all those who do not believe will be reprobates. (f you remember, while speaking to %yntyche He gave us to understand that those who act honestly in life are not reprobates, even if they believe in other religions. "ut we can ask Him. (srael, which is aware of the Messiah and now believes in Him partly and badly, or re)ects Him, will certainly be 5,0

severely )udged.+ The Master speaks a lot to you, and you know many things which we don2t- remarks his brother James. + (t2s your fault and the fault of all of you. ( ask Him !uestions with simplicity. 1t times ( ask Him !uestions that must make His John appear a big fool to Him. "ut ( do not mind. 1ll ( want is to know what He thinks and keep it within me to make it mine. 0ou ought to do the same. "ut you are always afraid9 6f what, 6f being ignorant, 6f being superficial, 6f being blockheads, 0ou should be afraid only of not being yet prepared when He goes away. He always says so... and ( always repeat it to myself to be prepared for the separation... "ut ( feel that it will be very sorrowful...+ Don2t make me think of it9- exclaims 1ndrew. 1nd the others echo his words sighing. + "ut when will it happen, He always says* 3%oon4. "ut that could be within a month or within years. He is so young and time flies so fast... 5hat is the matter, brother, 0ou have turned very pale...- Thaddeus asks James. + .othing9 ( was thinking...- replies immediately James of 1lphaeus with his head lowered. 1nd Thaddeus bends to see his face... + 0ou have tears in your eyes9 5hat is the matter,...+ .ot more than you have... ( was thinking of when we will be alone.+ 6h9 5hat is the matter with %imon of Jonah who is running ahead shouting like a merganser on a stormy 53/

day,- asks James of Bebedee, pointing to &eter who has left Jesus alone and has run away shouting words that the wind prevents his companions from hearing. They !uicken their pace and see that &eter has taken a little path coming from %ephoris, which is now close at hand >so the apostles say, asking one another whether Jesus has ordered him to go to %ephoris by that short cut?. "ut, looking carefully they see that Thomas and Judas are the only two travellers coming from the town towards the main road. + /ook at that9 Here, Just here, 6h9 5hat are they doing here, (f they were to go anywhere, from .a8areth they were to go to :ana and then to Tiberias...- many remark. + &erhaps they were coming here looking for disciples. That was their mission- says wise Bealot, who feels suspicion being roused in the hearts of many like an awakened snake. + /et us !uicken our pace. Jesus is alone and He seems to be waiting for us...- advises Matthew. They go and reach Jesus at the same time as &eter, Judas and Thomas. Jesus is very pale, so much so that John asks Him* + 1re 0ou not feeling well,- Jesus smiles and makes a gesture of denial while He greets the two who have come back after such a long absence. He embraces Thomas first he is as prosperous and cheerful as usual, but he becomes serious when he sees the Master so changed and he politely asks* + Have 0ou been ill,+ .o, Tom. ( have not. 1nd have you always been well and happy,531

+ 0es, ( have, /ord. ( have always been well and always happy. ( missed 0ou, had 0ou been there my heart would have been utterly happy. My father and mother are grateful to 0ou for sending me home for a little while. My father was not very well, so ( worked for him. ( went to my twin sister2s and saw my little nephew and ( had him named as you suggested. Then Judas came and he made me go round like a little dove in love, up and down, wherever there were disciples. He had already gone round very much on his own. "ut he will tell 0ou now, as he worked for ten and deserves to be listened to by 0ou.Jesus lets him go and it is now Judas2 turn, who has been waiting patiently and now comes forward in a frank, easy, triumphant attitude. Jesus pierces him with His sapphire eyes. "ut He kisses him and is kissed by him, exactly as He did with Thomas. 1nd the words that follow are full of love* + 5as your mother happy to see you, Judas, (s the holy woman well,+ 0es, Master, and she blesses 0ou for sending her Judas to her. %he wanted to send 0ou some gifts. "ut how could ( bring them, since ( had to go here and there, across mountains and valleys. 0ou need not worry, Master. 1ll the groups of disciples whom ( visited are working in a holy manner. The news is spreading out more and more. ( wanted to make a personal check on the conse!uences with the most powerful scribes and &harisees. ( was ac!uainted with many and ( met more now, for 0our sake. ( approached %adducees and Herodians... 6h9 ( can assure 0ou that my dignity was utterly crushed9... "ut it was for 0our sake9 ( am prepared to do that and more. ( received disdainful answers and anathemas. "ut ( was also able to give rise to appreciative understanding in 532

people biased against 0ou. ( do not want to be praised by 0ou. (t is enough for me that ( did my duty and ( thank the 7ternal $ather for helping me all the time. (n some cases ( had to make use of miracles. 1nd ( was sorry, because they deserved thunderbolts, not blessings. "ut 0ou say that we must love and be patient... ( behaved thus to the honour and glory of 'od and for 0our )oy. ( hope that many obstacles have been removed for good, also because ( guaranteed upon my honour that those two, who cast such a gloomy shadow over us, are no longer with 0ou. /ater ( had a scruple about stating what ( did not know for certain. %o ( decided to check in order to do what might be necessary, as ( did not want them to find out that ( had lied, which would have made those to be converted suspect me forever. (magine9 ( approached also 1nnas and :aiaphas9... 6h9 They wanted to annihilate me with their reproaches... "ut ( was so humble and persuasive, that they ended up by saying to me* 35ell, if the situation is really like that... 5e were told it was different. The rectors of the %anhedrin, who were in a position to know about it, told us the opposite and...+ 0ou are not going to say that Joseph and .icodemus are liars- interrupts the Bealot, who has controlled himself so far, but can no longer do so, and is livid with his effort. + 5ho said so, 6n the contrary, Joseph saw me when ( was coming out of 1nnas2 house and he said to me* 35hy are you so upset,4 ( told him everything, and how, following his advice and .icodemus2, 0ou, Master, had sent away the galley#slave and the 'reek woman. "ecause 0ou have sent them away, have 0ou not,- says Judas staring at Jesus with his )et eyes, which shine to 53,

the point of being phosphorescent. He seems to be wishing to pierce Jesus with his eyes in order to read what He has done. Jesus, 5ho is still in front of him and very close, says calmly* + &lease go on, ( am very interested in what you are saying. (t is an accurate report and can be very useful.+ 1h9 so ( was saying that 1nnas and :aiaphas have changed their minds. That means a lot to us, does it not, 1nd then9... 6h9 ( will make you laugh now9 Do you know that ( was caught in the middle by rabbis who examined me, like a minor who becomes of age, 1nd what an examination9 5ell. ( convinced them and they let me go. Then ( became suspicious and ( was afraid ( had said something that was not true. %o ( decided to take Thomas and go once again where the disciples were, or where one could presume that John and the 'reek woman were sheltered. ( went to /a8arus, to Manaen, to :hu8a2s palace, to 7li8a in "eth8ur, to Johanna2s garden in "ether, to 'ethsemane, to %olomon2s little house beyond the Jordan, to the :lear 5ater, to .icodemus, to Joseph...+ "ut had you not seen him,+ 0es. 1nd he had assured me that he had not seen those two any more. "ut 0ou know... ( wanted to be sure... (n short* ( inspected every place where ( expected him to be... 1nd do not think that ( suffered not finding him. 0ou would do me wrong. 7very time ; and Thomas can confirm this ; every time ( came out of a place without finding him and without any trace of him, ( would say* 3&raised be the /ord94, and ( said* 36 7ternal $ather, 533

grant that ( may never find him94 ( did9 (t was the desire of my soul... 7sdraelon was the last place... 1h9 "y the way9 (shmael ben $abi, who is in his country house at Megiddo, wishes to have 0ou as his guest... "ut if ( were 0ou, ( would not go...+ 5hy not, ( will certainly go. ( am anxious to see him, too. .ay, we will go there at once. (nstead of going to %ephoris, we will go to 7sdraelon, then to Megiddo the day after tomorrow, which is the %abbath eve, and from there to (shmael2s house.+ .o, /ord9 5hy, Do 0ou think that he is fond of 0ou,+ "ut if you have approached him and changed him in My favour, why do you not want Me to go,+ ( did not approach him... He was in the fields and he recognised me. "ut ( ; is that true, Thomas, ; ( wanted to run away when ( saw him. "ut ( could not, because he called me by my name. ( can but advise 0ou to never go to any &harisee, or scribe or the like. (t will do 0ou no good. /et us be among ourselves, all alone, with the people, and nothing else. (ncluding /a8arus, .icodemus and Joseph... (t will be a sacrifice... "ut it is better to make it, to avoid )ealousies, hatred... and laying ourselves open to censure... 5hen at table 0ou speak... and they work underhand at 0our words. "ut let us go back to John... ( was now going to %icaminon, although (saac, whom ( met at the border of %amaria, swore to me that he had not seen him since 6ctober.+ 1nd (saac swore the truth. "ut what you are advising, concerning contacts with scribes and &harisees, clashes with what you said before. 0ou defended Me... That is what you did, is it not, 0ou said* 3( have demolished 535

many pre)udices against 0ou.4 0ou said so, did you not,+ 0es, Master, ( did.+ 5ell, then, why can ( not complete My defence Myself, %o we will go to (shmael. 1nd you will now go back and warn him. 1ndrew, %imon Bealot and "artholomew will come with you. 5e shall go to the peasants and rest with them. 1s far as %icaminon is concerned, we have )ust come from there. 1nd we were eleven. 5e confirm to you that John is not there. .either is he at :apernaum or "ethsaida, at Tiberias, Magdala, .a8areth, <ora8im, "ethlehem in 'alilee, and so forth for all the other places you perhaps wished to call at... to make sure that John is not among disciples or in friendly houses.Jesus speaks calmly, in a natural tone... 1nd yet there must be something in Him that upsets Judas, who changes colour for a moment. Jesus embraces him as if He wanted to kiss him... 1nd while His cheek is against Judas2, He whispers to him in a low voice* + 0ou wretch9 5hat have you done with your soul,+ Master... (...+ 'o away9 0ou stink of hell more than %atan himself9 "e !uiet9... 1nd repent, if you can.Judas... ( would have run away at full speed. .ot he. He impudently says in a loud voice* + Thank 0ou, Master. "ut ( beg 0ou, before ( go, may ( speak to 0ou privately for a moment,1ll the others move a good distance away. + 5hy, /ord, did 0ou say those words to me, 0ou grieved me...+ "ecause it is the truth. 5ho deals with %atan, smells 536

like %atan.+ 1h9 is it because of necromancy, 6h9 0ou frightened me9 That was a )oke9 .othing but the )oke of a curious child. 1nd it helped me to approach some %adducees and to lose all desire to meet them again. %o 0ou can see that 0ou can absolve me without any worry. They are things of no importance when one has 0our power. 0ou were right. :ome on, Master9 My fault is a very light one9... 'reat is 0our wisdom. "ut who told 0ou,Jesus looks at him severely but does not reply. + "ut have 0ou really seen the sin in my heart,- asks Judas somewhat frightened. + 1nd it disgusted Me. 'o away9 1nd say no more.- 1nd He turns His back to him and goes back to the disciples, whom He orders to change route, after saying goodbye to "artholomew, %imon and 1ndrew, who )oin Judas and go away !uickly, while those who have remained walk away slowly, unaware of the truth, which is known to Jesus only. They are so unaware that they praise Judas for his activity and sagacity. 1nd honest &eter sincerely accuses himself of his heart2s rash )udgement on his fellow# disciple... Jesus smiles... a mild, rather tired smile, as if He were abstracted and could )ust hear the chattering of His companions, who know of events only what their human nature allows them to know.


884. #sh ael 9en Fabi. The :arable of the 9anC,et.

11th Septe ber 1!44.

( see Jesus walk fast along a main road, which the cold wind of a winter morning sweeps and hardens. The fields on both sides of the road are covered with a thin green veil of corn, which has )ust began to grow and is a promise of future bread, although a promise that is even difficult to imagine. There are drills in the shade, which are still devoid of that blessed green down, and only those in the more sunny places have the light green veil that is so )oyous as it announces the oncoming springtime. $ruit# trees are still bare, none of the dark branches have yet put forth buds. 6nly olive#trees have their everlasting green#grey foliage, which is as sad in the 1ugust sunshine as it is in the first light of this winter morning. 1lso the thick leaves of cacti are green, a mellow green of freshly painted ceramic. 1s usual, Jesus is walking two or three steps ahead of His disciples. They are all enveloped in their woollen mantles. 1t a certain point Jesus stops and turning round He asks the disciples* + 1re you familiar with the road,+ This is the road, but we do not know where the house is, because it is farther inland... &erhaps it is over there, where those olive#trees are...+ .o. (t must be down there, at the bottom, where those big bare trees are...+ There should be a road for carts...(n short* they do not know anything precisely. There are 53-

no people to be seen on the road or in the fields. They proceed at random, looking for the road. They find a little house of poor people, with two or three little fields around it. 1 little girl is drawing water from a well. + &eace to you, little girl- says Jesus stopping at the hedge where there is a passage way. + &eace to 0ou. 5hat do 0ou want,+ %ome information. 5here is the house of (shmael, the &harisee,+ 0ou are on the wrong road, /ord. 0ou must go back to the crossroads and take the road that goes in the direction where the sun sets. "ut it is a long way, a very long one, because 0ou have to go back to the cross#roads and then walk a good distance. Have 0ou had anything to eat, (t is cold and one feels the cold more on an empty stomach. :ome in, if 0ou wish. 5e are poor. "ut 0ou are not rich either. 0ou can make the best of it. :ome.- 1nd in her shrill voice she shouts* + Mother91 woman about thirty#five forty years old comes to the door. Her face is honest but rather sad. %he is holding in her arms a half#naked child about three years old. + :ome in. The fire is lit. ( will give 0ou bread and milk.+ ( am not alone. ( have these friends with Me.+ /et them all come in and may the blessing of 'od come with the pilgrims to whom ( am giving hospitality.They enter a low dark kitchen that is made cheerful by a bla8ing fire. They sit here and there on rustic chests. 530

+ ( will have something ready in a moment... (t is still early... ( have not tidied anything up yet... 7xcuse me.+ 1re you alone,- (t is Jesus who asks. + ( am married and ( have seven children. The first two are still at the market in .ain. They have to go because their father is not well. (t2s a very sad situation... The girls help me. This is the last one. "ut ( have another one )ust a little older.The little one, who is now wearing his little tunic, runs barefooted towards Jesus and looks at Him in!uisitively. Jesus smiles at him. They have made friends. + 5ho are 0ou,- asks the boy confidently. + ( am Jesus.The woman turns round looking at Him attentively. %he stops between the fireplace and the table, with a loaf of bread in her hands. %he opens her mouth to speak, but does not say anything. The boy continues* + 5here are 0ou going,+ 1long the roads of the world.+ 5hat for,+ To bless good children and their homes where people are faithful to the /aw.The woman makes a gesture. Then she nods to Judas (scariot who is closest to her. He bends towards the woman who asks* + "ut who is your friend,1nd Judas replies conceitedly >one would think that the Messiah is what He is, thanks to Judas2 kindness?* + He is 55/

the =abbi of 'alilee* Jesus of .a8areth. Don2t you know, woman,+ This is a secluded road and ( have so many sorrows9... "ut... could ( speak to Him about them,+ 0ou can- replies Judas condescendingly. He seems an important person of the world granting an audience. Jesus is still speaking to the boy who asks Him whether He has any children. 5hile the girl seen at the well and another older one bring milk and bowls, the woman approaches Jesus. %he remains for a moment in suspense, then she stifles a cry* + Jesus* have mercy on my husband9Jesus stands up. He dominates her with His height, but looks at her so kindly that she plucks up courage again. + 5hat do you want Me to do,+ He is very ill. He is swollen like a wineskin and he cannot bend to work. He cannot rest because he chokes and tosses about... 1nd we still have little children...+ Do you want Me to cure him, "ut why do you want that of Me,+ "ecause 0ou are 0ou. ( did not know 0ou, but ( heard people speak of 0ou. My good luck has brought 0ou to my house after ( looked for 0ou three times at .ain and :ana. My husband was with me twice. He was looking for 0ou, although travelling by cart makes him suffer so much... 7ven now he has gone with his brother... 5e were told that the =abbi, after leaving Tiberias, was going towards :aesarea &hilippi. He has gone there waiting for 0ou...551

+ ( did not go to :aesarea. ( am going to see (shmael, the &harisee and then ( shall go towards the Jordan...+ 5hat, 0ou, a good man, are going to (shmael,+ 0es, ( am. 5hy,+ "ecause... because... /ord, ( know that 0ou say that we must not )udge, that we must forgive and love one another. ( have never seen 0ou before. "ut ( have tried to learn as much as ( could about 0ou, and ( have prayed the 7ternal $ather to grant me to hear 0ou at least once. ( do not want to do anything which may displease 0ou... "ut how can one not )udge (shmael and how can one love him, ( have nothing in common with him and therefore ( have nothing to forgive him. 5e )ust shake off the insolent words he says to us when he meets our poverty on his way, with the same patience with which we shake off the dust and mud when he splashes us passing by in his fast coaches. "ut it is too difficult to love him and not )udge him... He is so bad9+ (s he so bad, To whom,+ To everybody. He oppresses his servants, he lends on usury and exacts pitilessly. He loves but himself. He is the most cruel man in the countryside. He is not worth it, /ord.+ ( know. 0ou have spoken the truth.+ 1nd 0ou are going there,+ He invited Me.+ Do not trust him, /ord. He did not do it out of love. He is not capable of loving. 1nd 0ou... 0ou cannot love him.552

+ ( love also sinners, woman. ( came to save those who are lost...+ "ut 0ou will not save him. 6h9 $orgive me for )udging9 0ou know... 7verything 0ou do is good9 $orgive my silly tongue and do not punish me.+ ( will not punish you. "ut do not do it again. /ove also wicked people. .ot because of their wickedness, but because it is through love that mercy is granted to them, that they may convert. 0ou are good and willing to become even better. 0ou love the Truth and the Truth speaking to you says that He loves you because you are pitiful to guests and pilgrims according to the /aw and you have brought up your children accordingly. 'od will be your reward. ( must go to (shmael who invited Me to show Me to many of his friends who want to meet Me. ( cannot wait any longer for your husband, who, incidentally, is on his way back home. "ut tell him to be patient for another little while and to come immediately to (shmael2s house. 1nd ( ask you to come as well. ( will cure him.+ 6h9 /ord9...- the woman is on her knees at Jesus2 feet and looks at Him smiling and weeping. %he then says* + "ut this is the %abbath9...+ ( know. ( need it to be the %abbath to say something to (shmael concerning it. 7verything ( do, ( do for a definite unerring purpose. 0ou must all be aware of that, including you, My friends, who are afraid and would like Me to follow a behaviour according to human convenience to avoid eventual damage. 0ou are led by love. ( know. "ut you must love in a better way those whom you love. Do not postpone the interests of 'od to the interests of 55,

the person you love. 5oman, ( must go now, ( will wait for you. May peace last forever in this house in which 'od and His /aw are loved, marriage is respected, children are brought up holily, the neighbour is loved and the Truth sought. 'oodbye.Jesus lays His hand on the heads of the woman and of the two young girls, He then bends to kiss the little ones and goes out. 5inter sunshine now mitigates the very cold air. 1 boy about fifteen years old is waiting with a rustic ramshackle cart. + This is all ( have. "ut it will be !uicker and more comfortable for 0ou.+ .o, woman. <eep the horse fresh to come to (shmael2s house. Just show Me the shortest road.The boy walks at His side and through fields and meadows they go towards an undulating ground, beyond which there is a well cultivated dell a few acres wide, in the middle of which there is a beautiful large low house, surrounded by a well#kept garden. + That is the house, /ord- says the boy. + (f 0ou no longer need me, ( will go back home to help my mother.+ 'o and be always a good son. 'od is with you.... Jesus enters (shmael2s magnificent country house. Many servants rush to meet the 'uest, 5ho is certainly expected. %ome go and inform the landlord, who comes out to meet Jesus bowing deeply. + 0ou are welcome to my house, Master9553

+ &eace to you, (shmael "en $abi. 0ou wanted to see Me. Here ( am. 5hy did you want Me,+ To have the honour of having 0ou and to introduce 0ou to my friends. ( want them to be 0our friends as well. 1s ( want 0ou to be my friend.+ ( am the friend of everybody, (shmael.+ ( know. "ut, 0ou know9 (t is wise to have friends high up. 1nd ( and my friends are such. $orgive me for telling 0ou, but 0ou neglect too much those who can help 0ou...+ 1nd are you one of those, 5hy,+ ( am. 5hy, "ecause ( admire 0ou and ( want 0ou to be my friend.+ $riend9 "ut do you know, (shmael, the meaning ( attach to that word, $riend to many people means ac!uaintance, to some it means accomplice, to some servant. To Me it means* faithful to the 5ord of the $ather. 5ho is not such, cannot be My friend, neither can ( be his.+ ( want 0our friendship, Master, )ust because ( want to be faithful. Do 0ou not believe me, /ook* there is 7lea8ar coming. 1sk him how ( defended 0ou with the 7lders. Hallo, 7lea8ar. :ome here, the =abbi wants to ask you something.They exchange greetings with low bows and in!uisitive looks. + 5ill you repeat, 7lea8ar, what ( said for the Master the last time we met,+ 6h9 1 true praise9 1n impassioned speech9 (shmael 555

spoke so well of 0ou, Master, as of the greatest &rophet who ever came to the people of (srael, that ( have longed to hear 0ou ever since. ( remember that he said that no one had wiser words than 0ours, or greater charm, and that if 0ou can draw 0our sword as well as 0ou can speak, there will be no greater king than 0ou in (srael.+ My <ingdom9... That <ingdom, 7lea8ar, is not a human one.+ "ut the <ing of (srael9+ 6pen your minds to understand the meaning of the arcane words. The <ingdom of the <ing of kings will come. "ut not according to human standards. .ot with regard to what perishes but with regard to what is eternal. 0ou do not enter it along a flowery road of triumph or on a carpet made purple by enemy blood but climbing a steep path of sacrifices and a mild staircase of forgiveness and love. 6ur victories over ourselves will give us that <ingdom. 1nd 'od grant that most people in (srael may understand Me. "ut it will not be so. 0ou are thinking of what does not exist. 1 sceptre will be in My hand, and it will be put there by the people of (srael. 1 regal eternal sceptre. .o king will ever be able to remove My House. "ut many people in (srael will not be able to look at it without shuddering with horror, because it will have a dreadful name for them.+ Do 0ou think that we are not capable of following 0ou,+ (f you wanted, you could. "ut you do not want. 5hy do you not want, 0ou are elderly now. 0our age should make you understand and be )ust, also for your own sake. 0oung people... may make mistakes and then repent. "ut you9 Death is always close to elderly people. 7lea8ar, you 556

are less entangled in the theories of many people of your rank. 6pen your heart to the /ight...(shmael comes back with five more pompous &harisees* + :ome in- says the landlord. They leave the hall, which is well furnished with seats and carpets, and they enter a room into which amphorae are brought for ablutions. They then pass into the dining room, in which everything has been magnificently arranged. + Jesus beside me. "etween me and 7lea8ar- orders the landlord. 1nd Jesus, 5ho had remained at the end of the room, near the rather intimidated and neglected disciples, has to sit at the place of honour. The ban!uet begins with numerous dishes of roast meat and fish. 5ines and syrups, ( think, or at least water sweetened with honey, are served several times. 7verybody tries to make Jesus speak. 1 shaky old man asks in a decrepit clucking voice* + (s it true what people say, that 0ou are going to change the /aw,+ ( will not change one iota of the /aw. 6n the contrary >and Jesus emphasi8es His words? ( have come to complete it again, as it was given to Moses.+ Do 0ou mean that it was modified,+ .o, never. (t only had the same fate as all sublime things entrusted to man.+ 5hat do 0ou mean, 7xplain 0ourself.+ ( mean that man, through ancient pride or the ancient incentive of treble lust, wanted to touch up the 557

straightforward word and the result was something that oppresses faithful believers, whilst, with regard to those who touched it up, it is nothing but a pile of sentences... to be left to other people.+ "ut, Master9 6ur rabbis...+ That is an accusation9+ Don2t disappoint our desire to be of assistance to 0ou9...+ Hey9 They are !uite right in saying that 0ou are a rebel9+ %ilence9 Jesus is my guest. /et Him speak freely.+ 6ur rabbis began their work with the holy purpose of making the application of the /aw easier. 'od Himself began that school when He added detailed explanations to the words of the Ten :ommandments. %o that man could not find the excuse that he had not understood. The work therefore of those teachers who break into crumbs for the children of 'od the bread given by 'od for their souls, is holy work. "ut it is holy when it pursues a righteous aim. 5hich was not always the case. 1nd least of all it is nowadays. "ut why do you want Me to speak, when you take offence if ( enumerate the faults of the mighty ones,+ $aults9 Have we nothing but faults,+ ( wish you had nothing but merits9+ "ut we do not have them. That is what 0ou think and what 0our eyes say. Jesus, one does not make powerful friends by criticising them. 0ou will not reign. 0ou are not ac!uainted with that art.+ ( do not ask to reign according to your ideas, neither do ( beg for friendship. ( want love. Honest holy love. 1 love 55-

that extends from Me to those whom ( love and is displayed by making use of what ( preach to use* mercy.+ %ince ( heard 0ou, ( have not lent on usury any moresays one. + 1nd 'od will reward you for that.+ 'od is my witness that ( have not thrashed my servants any more, although they deserve to be lashed, after ( heard one of 0our parables- says another one. + 1nd what about me, ( left over ten bushels of barley in the fields for the poor9- states a third one. The &harisees praise themselves excellently. (shmael has not spoken. Jesus asks him* + 1nd what about you, (shmael,+ 6h9 (9 ( have always used mercy. ( have but to continue as ( behaved in the past.+ 'ood for you9 (f it is really so, you are really the man who feels no remorse.+ .o9 ( really do not.Jesus2 sapphire glance pierces him. 7lea8ar says touching His arm* + Master, listen to me. ( have a special case to submit to 0ou. ( recently bought a property of a poor wretch who ruined himself for a woman. He sold it to me, without telling me that there was an old servant, his nurse, in it. %he is now blind and feeble#minded. The vendor does not want her. (... would not like to have her either. "ut to throw her out... 5hat would 0ou do, Master,550

+ 5hat would you do if you were to advise somebody else,+ ( would say* 3<eep her. 1 piece of bread will not be your ruin.4+ 5hy would you say so,+ 5ell9... because ( think that is what ( would do and what ( would like to be done to me...+ 0ou are very close to Justice, 7lea8ar. Do as you would advise and the 'od of Jacob will always be with you.+ Thank 0ou, Master.The others are grumbling among themselves. + 5hat have you to grumble about,- asks Jesus. + (s what ( said not )ust, 1nd has 7lea8ar not spoken )ustly, (shmael, since you have always been merciful, defend your guests.+ Master, 0ou are right but... if one always did that9... 6ne would become the victim of other people.+ 5hereas, according to you, it is better if other people become our victims, is that right,+ ( don2t mean that. "ut there are cases...+ The /aw says that we must be merciful...+ 0es, to a poor brother, to a stranger, a pilgrim, a widow, to an orphan. "ut this old woman, who turned up in 7lea8ar2s property, is not his sister, a pilgrim, a stranger, an orphan or a widow. %he is nothing to him. %he is )ust an old piece of furniture, which does not belong to him, and was forgotten by her true master in the sold 56/

property. 7lea8ar, therefore, could throw her out without any scruple at all. He would not be responsible for the death of the old woman. Her true master would...+ ... and he cannot keep her any longer because he is poor himself and thus he is free from obligations as well. %o if the old woman dies of starvation, it is her own fault. (s it not so,+ (t is, Master. (t is the destiny of those who... are no longer of any use. %ick, old, unfit people are condemned to misery, to begging. 1nd death is the best thing for them... (t has always been like that since the beginning of the world, and it will ever be so...+ Jesus, have mercy on me9- 1 moaning voice is heard through the closed windows the room is in fact closed and the chandeliers are lit. &erhaps because it is cold. + 5ho is calling Me,+ 1 nuisance of a fellow. ( will have him driven away. 6r a beggar. ( will have a piece of bread given to him.+ Jesus, ( am ill. %ave me9+ 1s ( said, it is a pestering fellow. ( will punish the servant for letting him in.- 1nd (shmael stands up. "ut Jesus 5ho is at least twenty years younger than he is and head and shoulders over him, makes him sit down again, laying a hand on his shoulders and ordering* + %tay, (shmael. ( want to see the man who is looking for Me. /et him in.1 dark#haired man comes in. He must be about forty years old. "ut he is as swollen as a barrel and as yellow as a lemon, his half open lips are violaceous and he is 561

panting. The woman seen in the first part of the vision is with him. The man comes forward with difficulty because of his disease and because he is afraid. He in fact sees that he is being looked at with such evil eyes9 "ut Jesus has left His place and has gone towards the unhappy man taking him by the hand and leading him to the middle of the room, in the empty space of the 2C2 shaped table, right under the chandelier. + 5hat do you want from Me,+ Master... ( have sought 0ou so much, for such a long time... ( want nothing but health... for the sake of my children and of my wife... 0ou can do everything... %ee in what a state ( am...+ 1nd do you believe that ( can cure you,+ ( do believe it9... 7very step... every )erk is painful... and yet ( have travelled for miles and miles looking for 0ou... and ( followed 0ou also by cart, without ever reaching 0ou... 6f course ( believe9... ( am surprised that ( have not already been cured, since my hand has been in 0ours, because everything in 0ou is holy, o Holy Man of 'od.The poor man is puffing and blowing owing to the effort of speaking so much. His wife looks at him and at Jesus and weeps. Jesus looks at them and smiles. He then turns round and asks* + 0ou, old scribe >He addresses the trembling old man who was the first to speak? tell Me* is it lawful to cure on a %abbath,+ (t is not lawful to do any work on the %abbath.+ .ot even to save a man from despair, (t is not manual 562

work.+ The %abbath is sacred to the /ord.+ 5hich deed is more worthy of a sacred day than get a son of 'od to say to the $ather* 3( love and praise 0ou because 0ou have cured me4,9+ He must do so even when he is unhappy.+ Hananiah, do you know that your most beautiful wood is on fire this very moment and the whole slope of the Hermon is bright in the purple flames,The old man )umps as if he had been bitten by an asp* + Master, are 0ou telling the truth or are 0ou )oking,+ ( am speaking the truth. ( see and ( know.+ 6h9 &oor me9 My most beautiful wood. Thousands of shekels reduced to ashes9 Damn9 :ursed be the dogs that set it on fire9 May their bowels burn like my wood9- The little old man is in despair. + (t is only a wood, Hananiah, and you are complaining9 5hy do you not praise the /ord in your misfortune, This man is not losing )ust wood, which will grow again, but his own life and the bread for his children, and he should praise the /ord, while you do not. 5ell, scribe, am ( allowed to cure him on the %abbath,+ :ursed be 0ou, him and the %abbath9 ( have more important things to think of...- and pushing Jesus aside, 5ho had laid a hand on his arm, he rushes out furiously and he can be heard shouting in his clucking voice to have his cart. + 1nd now,- says Jesus looking around at the others. + 56,

.ow, will you tell Me, (s it lawful or not,.o reply. 7lea8ar lowers his head, after moving his lips, which he sets again, shocked by the cold atmosphere in the hall. + 5ell, ( will speak- asks Jesus. His countenance is imposing and His voice thundering as usual, when He is about to work a miracle. + ( will speak. 1nd ( say* man, let it be done to you according to your faith. 0ou are cured. &raise the 7ternal 'od. 'o in peace.The man remains dumbfounded. &erhaps he thought that he would become as thin as in the past all of a sudden. 1nd he does not think that he is cured. "ut ( wonder what he feels... He shouts with )oy and throws himself at Jesus2 feet and kisses them. + 'o. 0ou may go9 "e always good. 'oodbye91nd the man goes out followed by the woman, who turns round until the last moment to greet Jesus. + "ut, Master... (n my house... 6n the %abbath...+ 0ou do not approve, ( know. That is why ( came. 0ou are My friend, .o. 0ou are My enemy. 0ou are neither sincere with Me nor with 'od.+ 1re 0ou offending me now,+ .o. ( am speaking the truth. 0ou said that 7lea8ar is not obliged to keep that old woman because she does not belong to him. "ut you had two orphans who belonged to you. They were the children of two faithful servants of yours, who died working for you, the man with a sickle in his hand, the woman killed by too much work, because she had to serve you both for herself and for her husband, 563

as you exacted from her, in order to keep her. (n fact you said* 3( made the agreement for the work of two people and if you want to stay here, ( want your work and the work of your dead husband.4 1nd she gave you that and died with the child she had conceived. "ecause that woman was a mother. 1nd for her there was not even the compassion one feels for an animal about to give birth to its little one. 5here are those two children now,+ ( don2t know... They disappeared one day.+ Do not tell lies now. (t is enough to have been cruel. (t is not necessary to add falsehood to make your %abbaths hateful to 'od, even if they are free from servile work. 5here are those children,+ ( do not know. "elieve me.+ ( know. ( found them one cold, wet, dark .ovember evening. ( found them starving and shivering, near a house, like two little dogs looking for a mouthful of bread... :ursed and expelled by a man with the entrails of a dog, but who was worse than a dog, because a dog would have felt pity for those two little orphans. "ut you and that man did not feel any. Their parents were no longer of any use to you, is that right, They were dead. 1nd the dead can only weep, in their graves, hearing their unhappy children2s sobs, which other people neglect. "ut the dead, with their souls, take their tears and the tears of their orphans to 'od and say* 3/ord, take vengeance on our behalf because the world oppresses us when it can no longer exploit us.4 The two little ones were not yet able to serve you, is that right, &erhaps the girl might have been able to glean... 1nd you drove them away and denied them also the few things, which 565

belonged to their father and mother. They might have died of starvation and cold, like two dogs on a cart#road. They might have lived, becoming one a thief and the other a prostitute. "ecause starvation leads to sin. "ut what did it matter to you, 1 little while ago you were !uoting the /aw to support your theories. 5ell, does the /aw not say* 30ou must not be harsh with the widow, or with the orphans, if you are harsh with them and they cry out to Me, ( shall hear their cry and My anger will flare and ( shall kill you with the sword, your own wives will be widows, your own children orphans4, Does the /aw not state that, 5ell, then, why do you not keep it, 1nd you defend Me against other people, 5hy, then, do you not defend My doctrine in yourself, 0ou want to be My friend, 5hy, then, do you do the opposite of what ( say, 6ne of you is running at break#neck speed, tearing his hair, because of the ruin of his wood. 1nd he does not tear it because of the ruin of his heart9 1nd what are you waiting for to do so, 35hy do you, whom destiny has placed high up, always want to consider yourselves perfect, 1nd supposing you were perfect in something, why do you not endeavour to be so in everything, 5hy do you hate Me, because ( open your wounds, ( am the Doctor of your souls. :an a doctor cure a sore if he does not open it and clean it, Do you not know that many people, and that woman who has )ust gone out is one of them, deserve the first places in the ban!uet of 'od, although they apparently look miserable, 6utward appearance does not count it is the heart and the soul that matter. 'od sees you from the height of His throne. 1nd He )udges you. How many He sees who are better than you are9 %o listen. 1s a rule, always act as follows* 5hen you are invited to a wedding ban!uet, always 566

choose the last place. Double honour will come to you when the landlord says to you* 3:ome forward, my friend.4 Honour to your merit and your humility. 5hereas... (t will be a sad moment for a proud man to be shamed and hear the landlord say* 3'o down there to the end, because there is someone here more worthy than you are.4 1nd do the same in the secret ban!uet of your souls at the wedding with 'od. He who humbles himself will be exalted and he who exalts himself will be humbled. (shmael, do not hate Me for curing you. ( do not hate you. ( came to cure you. 0ou are more seriously ill than that man. 0ou invited Me to give prestige to yourself and satisfaction to your friends. 0ou often invite people, but you do it out of pride and for pleasure. Do not do that. Do not invite rich people, relatives and friends. 6pen your house and your heart to the poor, to beggars, cripples, to lame people, orphans and widows. (n return they will give you blessings. 1nd 'od will change them into graces. 1nd at the end... what a happy destiny for all the merciful who will be rewarded by 'od at the resurrection of the dead9 5oe to those who cherish only hopes of profit and later close their hearts to the brothers who can no longer serve them. 5oe to them9 ( will revenge the forlorn.+ Master... (... ( want to please 0ou. ( will take those children again.+ .o, you will not.+ 5hy,+ (shmael,9...(shmael lowers his head. He wants to appear humble. "ut he is a viper deprived of its poison and does not bite 567

because it knows it has none, but waits for the opportunity to bite... 7lea8ar endeavours to restore peace saying* + "lessed are those who feast with 'od, in their souls and in the eternal <ingdom. "ut, believe me, Master. 1t times it is life that hinders us. 6ffices... occupations...1t this point Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast and concludes* + 6ffices... occupations, you said. (t is true. That is why ( said to you, at the beginning of this ban!uet, that My <ingdom is con!uered through victories over ourselves, not by means of victories in the battle field. The places at the 'reat %upper are for the humble#hearted, who are great through their faithful love, which takes no account of sacrifices and overcomes all difficulties to come to Me. 7ven one hour is sufficient to change a heart. &roviding that heart wants to change. 1nd one word is sufficient. ( have told you many. 1nd ( am looking... 1 holy tree is springing up in a heart. (n the others, there are thorns for Me, and in the thorns there are asps and scorpions. (t does not matter. ( will proceed in My straight way. /et those who love Me follow Me. ( go round calling... /et righteous people come to Me. ( go round teaching... /et the seekers of )ustice approach the $ountain. 5ith regard to the others... the Holy $ather will )udge. (shmael, ( say goodbye to you. Do not hate Me. Meditate. 0ou will see that ( was severe out of love, not out of hatred. &eace to this house and to those who dwell in it, peace to everybody, if you deserve peace.-


885. -es,s at +a2areth /ith 4is Co,sins and /ith :eter and Tho as.
20th +ove ber 1!45.

+ 0ou will put here the vision that you saw on KKth %eptember KIGG.(shmael "en $abi. ##################### Jesus is once again with His disciples on the road that from the 7sdraelon plain takes one to .a8areth. They must have spent the night somewhere, because it is early morning. They walk for some time in silence. Jesus is ahead of them, alone, then He calls &eter and %imon and walks with them, finally they are all in a group until they reach a cross#roads where the .a8areth road )oins the road that leads to the north. Jesus beckons those who are speaking to be !uiet and says* + 5e shall now part. ( am going to .a8areth with My brothers, with &eter and Thomas. Cnder the guidance of %imon Bealot, along the Tabor and caravan road, you will go to Debaret, Tiberias, Magdala, :apernaum, and then towards Meron. 0ou will stop at Jacob2s to see whether he has been converted and you will take My blessing to Judas and 1nne. 0ou will stay in those houses where they offer you hospitality more insistently. 0ou will stay one night only in each place, because on the %abbath evening we will meet on the %aphet road. ( will spend the %abbath at <ora8im, in the house of the widow. :all on her and tell her. (n this way we will at last give peace to the soul of Judas, who will be convinced that John is not in any of those hospitable 560

places...+ Master9 "ut ( believe it9...+ "ut it is always better to make sure, so that you will not blush before :aiaphas and 1nnas, as ( do not blush before you or any other man when ( say that John is no longer with us. ( am taking Thomas to .a8areth, so that he may rest assured also with regard to that place, as he will be able to see with his own eyes...+ "ut, Master... (9 5hat do ( care, ( am only sorry that that man is no longer with us. He may have been what he was. "ut since we have known him, he has always been better than many famous &harisees. (t is enough for me to know that he did not deny 0ou and did not grieve 0ou and then... whether he is on the earth or in 1braham2s bosom, ( do not care. "elieve me. (f he were in my house... ( would not disdain him. ( hope that 0ou do not think that in the heart of 0our Thomas there is more than a natural curiosity, but no animosity, no spur of a more or less honest investigation, no inclination to voluntary or involuntary or authorised espionage, no desire to be harmful...+ 0ou are offending me9 0ou are insulting me9 0ou are lying9 0ou have seen that ( have always acted in a holy way during this time. %o why do you say that, 5hat can you say about me, %peak up9- Judas is furious and wild. + "e silent. Thomas will reply to Me. To Me only, as ( spoke to him. ( believe Thomas2 words. "ut that is what ( want, and that will be done, and none of you are entitled to reprove My conduct.+ ( am not reproaching 0ou... "ut his insinuation struck 57/

me and...+ 0ou are twelve. 5hy did it strike you only, when ( spoke to everybody,+ "ecause ( looked for John.Jesus says* + 1lso other companions of yours did so, and other disciples will do so, but none will feel offended by Thomas2 words. (t is not a sin to ask after a fellow disciple in an honest manner. 5ords like those )ust uttered do not hurt, when our hearts are full of love and honesty and nothing pricks them or makes them supersensible having already been bitten by remorse. 5hy do you want to remonstrate thus in the presence of your companions, Do you want to be suspected of sin, 5rath and pride are two bad companions, Judas. They drive one to fren8y, and a fren8ied person sees what does not exist, and says what should not be said... )ust as greed and lust drive people to guilty actions in order to be satisfied... 'et rid of such wicked servants... 1nd in the meantime you had better know that during the many days while you were away, there has always been very good harmony among us, as well as obedience and respect. 5e love one another, do you understand,... 'oodbye, My dear friends. 'o and love one another. (s that clear to you, /ove one another and bear with one another, speak little and act well. &eace be with you.He blesses them and while they go to the right, Jesus continues on His way with His cousins, &eter and Thomas. They proceed in dead silence. Then &eter explodes in a thundering solitary* + 5ho knows9- as a conse!uence of ( wonder what long meditation. The others look at him... 571

Jesus immediately wards off possible !uestions by saying* + 1re you two happy to come to .a8areth with Me,- and He lays His arms round the shoulders of &eter and Thomas. + :an 0ou doubt it,- says &eter in his exuberance. Thomas, more calmly, with his plump face shining with )oy, adds* + Do 0ou not know that to be near 0our Mother is such a )oy that ( cannot find words to explain it to 0ou, Mary is my love. ( am not a virgin, and ( was not against having a family and ( had already set my eyes on some girls, but ( was uncertain as to which ( should choose as my wife. "ut now9 .o... My love is Mary. The love exceeding sense. %ense dies only by thinking of Her9 The love that fills the soul with delight. ( compare all the good ( see in women, also in the dearest ones, such as my mother and my twin sister, to what ( see in 0our Mother, and ( say to myself* 31ll )ustice, grace and beauty is in Her. Her loving soul is a bed of heavenly flowers... Her appearance is a poem... 6h9 in (srael we dare not think of angels and with fearful reverence we look at the :herubim of the Holy of Holies9... How foolish of us9 1s we do not tremble ten times as much with venerable fear looking at Her9 "ecause ( am sure that in the eyes of 'od %he exceeds all angelical beauty...Jesus looks at His apostle who loves His Mother so much that he seems to become almost spiritualised, as his feelings for Mary change his good#natured countenance so deeply. + 5ell, we shall be with Her for a few hours. 5e shall stay until the day after tomorrow. Then we shall go to Tiberias to see the two children and to get a boat to :apernaum.572

+ 1nd what about "ethsaida,+ 5e will go there on our way back, %imon, to get Mar)iam for the &assover pilgrimage.-... ... (t is the evening of the same day, at .a8areth, in the peaceful little house, where &eter and Thomas are already sleeping. Mother and %on are conversing gently. + 7verything went well, Mother. 1nd they are now in peace. 0our prayers helped the pilgrims and are now soothing their grief, like dew on parched flowers.+ ( would like to soothe 0ours, %on9 How much 0ou must have suffered9 /ook. 0our temples and 0our cheeks have become hollow, and a wrinkle furrows 0our forehead like the cut of a sword. 5ho hurt 0ou like that, My darling,+ The grief of having to grieve, Mother.+ Just that, My Jesus, Did 0our disciples distress 0ou,+ .o, Mother. They have been as good as saints.+ Those who were with 0ou... "ut ( mean* everyone...+ 0ou see that ( brought Thomas here to reward him, and ( would have liked to bring also those who did not come here the last time. "ut ( had to send them elsewhere, ahead...+ 1nd Judas of <erioth,+ Judas is with them.Mary embraces Her %on, and reclines Her head on His shoulder, weeping. + 5hy are 0ou weeping, Mother,- asks Jesus caressing Her hair. 57,

Mary is silent and weeps. 6nly after a third !uestion, %he whispers* + "ecause ( am terrified... ( would like him to leave 0ou... (t is a sin, is it not, to wish that, "ut ( am so much afraid of him, for 0ou...+ Things would change only if he disappeared dying... "ut why should he die,+ ( am not so bad as to wish that... He has a mother as well9 1nd a soul... 1 soul, which may still be saved. "ut... oh9 %on9 5ould death perhaps not be a good thing for him,Jesus sighs and whispers* + Death would be a good thing for many people...- He then asks in a loud voice* + Have 0ou heard of old Johanna, 5hat about her fields,...+ ( went to see her with Mary of 1lphaeus and %alome of %imon after the hailstorms. "ut as her corn had been sown late, it had not yet come up and so it suffered no damage. Mary went back to see her three days ago. %he says the fields are like carpets. The nicest fields in the district. =achel is well and the old woman is happy. Mary of 1lphaeus also is happy now that %imon is all in 0our favour. 0ou will certainly see him tomorrow. He comes here every day. He had )ust gone away today when 0ou arrived. 0ou know, .o one noticed anything. They would have spoken if they had noticed that they were here. "ut if 0ou are not really tired, tell Me all about their )ourney...1nd Jesus tells His Mother everything, except His suffering in the cave at Jiphthahel.


88". The Crippled 3o an of Dora2i .

21st +ove ber 1!45.

Jesus is in the synagogue in <ora8im which is slowly becoming crowded with people. The elders of the town must have insisted that Jesus should speak there on this %abbath. ( gather that by their arguing and by Jesus2 replies. + 5e are not more arrogant than Judaeans or the people of the Decapolis- they say + and yet 0ou go there several times.+ ( do the same here. ( have taught you both with words and works, and with silence and action.+ "ut if we are duller than others, 0ou should insist all the more...+ 1ll right.+ 6f course it is all right9 5e allow 0ou to use our synagogue as a place where 0ou can teach, because we think that it is right to do so. 1ccept, therefore, our invitation and speak.Jesus opens His arms, beckoning the people present to be silent, and He begins His speech giving a slow emphatic recitation in the tone of a psalm* + 31raunah replied to David* 2/et the lord my king take and offer as he likes. Here are the oxen for the holocaust, the threshing#sled and the oxen2s yoke for the wood 1raunah, 6 king, gives all this to the king2. 1nd he added* 2May the /ord your 'od accept your offering2. "ut the king replied and said* 575

2(t shall not be done as you wish. .o. ( will pay you in money, as ( will not offer the /ord my 'od holocausts that cost me nothing.2 4Jesus lowers His eyes, because He was speaking with His face turned towards the ceiling, and He stares at the head of the synagogue and the four elders who were with Him and asks* + Have you understood the meaning,+ That is the second book of the <ings, when the holy king bought the threshing2 floor of 1raunah... "ut we do not understand why 0ou recited it. There is no pestilence here and no sacrifice to be offered. 0ou are not a king... 5e mean* not yet.+ ( solemnly tell you that your minds are slow in understanding symbols and your faith is uncertain. (f it were certain, you would see that ( am already <ing, as ( said, and if your understanding were !uick, you would realise that there is a plague here that is more serious than the one that worried David. 0ou are afflicted by the plague of unbelief, which causes you to perish.+ 5ell9 (f we are dull and incredulous, give us intelligence and faith and explain to us what 0ou meant.+ ( say* ( do not offer forced holocausts to 'od, those which are offered for mean interests. ( do not agree to speak, if that is granted only to Him 5ho has come to speak. (t is My right and ( assert it. 6ut in the sun or within closed walls, upon the mountains or down in valleys, on the seaside or sitting on the banks of the Jordan, everywhere it is My right and My duty to teach and to buy through My work the only holocausts that are pleasing to 'od* converted hearts made faithful by My 5ord. Here, you people of <ora8im, have granted the 576

5ord to speak, not out of respect and faith, but because there is in your hearts a voice that torments you like a woodworm gnawing at a piece of wood* 3This chilly punishment is due, to the harshness of our hearts.4 1nd you want to make amends, for your purses, not for your souls. 6h9 &agan obstinate <ora8im9 "ut not everyone in <ora8im is such, and ( will speak to those who are not such, by means of a parable. /isten. 1 silly rich man took a lump of material as fair as the finest honey to a craftsman and told him to make an ornate amphora with it. 3This material is not good to work at4 said the craftsman to the rich man. 3%ee, (t is soft and resilient. How can ( carve it and shape it,4 35hat, (t is not good, (t is a valuable resin and a friend of mine has a small amphora made with it and his wine ac!uires an ex!uisite taste in it. ( paid for it as dear as gold, to have a larger amphora and thus mortify my friend, who boasts of his. Make it at once. 6r ( will tell everyone that you are a poor craftsman.4 3"ut your friend2s amphora must be of clear alabaster.4 3.o. (t is made with this material.4 3(t is perhaps made of fine amber.4 3.o. (t is the same matter as this.4 3/et us suppose that it is made of this matter, but it must have been made solid and hard by age or by mixing it with other solidifying ingredients. 1sk him, then come and let me know how it was done.4 3.o. He sold me this himself and he assured me that it is 577

to be used as it is.4 3(n that case he cheated you to punish you for envying his beautiful amphora.4 35atch what you say9 Do the work or ( will take your shop from you to punish you, in any case everything you possess is not worth what ( paid for this wonderful resin.4 The desolate craftsman began to work. He kneaded... "ut the paste stuck to his hands. He tried to solidify part of it with mastic and powders... "ut the resin lost its golden transparency. He put it close to his blast#furnace hoping that the heat would harden (t, but clasping his brow he had to take it away, because it li!uefied. He had fro8en snow brought from Mount Hermon and he immersed the resin into it... (t hardened and was beautiful. "ut he could not mould it. 3( will carve it with a chisel4 he said. "ut at the first stroke with the chisel the resin broke into pieces. The desperate craftsman decided to make a last trial, although he was already convinced that it was impossible to work on the material. He gathered all the pieces together and li!uefied them in the heat of the furnace, he then fro8e them, but not too much, with snow and he tried to work with chisel and broad knife on the softish mass. (t molded9 "ut as soon as he removed chisel and broad knife it resumed its previous shape, )ust like dough rising in the kneading trough. The man gave up. 1nd to avoid being retaliated to and ruined by the rich man, during the night he loaded wife, children, furnishings and working tools on a cart and fled beyond the border, after leaving in the middle of his workshop, now completely empty, the fair mass of resin 57-

with a note on top of it with the words* 3(t cannot be worked.4 ( have been sent to shape hearts according to Truth and %alvation. ( have had in My hands hearts made of iron, lead, tin, alabaster, marble, silver, gold, )asper, gem. Hearts that were hard, wild, too tender, inconstant, hearts hardened by sorrows, precious hearts, hearts of all kinds. ( worked at every one of them. 1nd ( molded many according to the desire of Him 5ho sent Me. %ome hurt Me while ( was working at them, some preferred to break into pieces rather than be completed. "ut they will always have a recollection of Me, even if it may be a hateful one. (t is not possible to work on you. .othing is of any avail with you* warm love, patience in teaching you, severe reproaches, chisel work. 1s soon as ( move My hands away from you, you become again what you were. There is only one thing you should do to change* to abandon yourselves entirely to Me. "ut you do not do that. 1nd you never will do it. The desolate 5orkman leaves you to your destiny. "ut, as it is fair, He does not abandon everyone in the same way. (n His desolation He can still choose those who deserve His love and He comforts and blesses them. 5oman, come here9- He says pointing to a woman who is near a wall and is so bent that she looks like a !uestion mark. The people look where Jesus is pointing, but they cannot see the woman, neither can she see Jesus and His hand from her position. %everal people say to her* + 'o, Martha9 He is calling you.- 1nd the poor woman plods along with her walking stick, with her head )ust reaching to the top of it. 570

%he is now before Jesus, 5ho says to her* + ( will give you a souvenir of My passing here and a reward for your silent humble faith. "e cured of your infirmity- He shouts finally, laying His hands on her shoulders. 1nd the woman stands up at once, as straight as a palm# tree, and raising her arms she cries* + Hosanna9 He has cured me9 He has seen His faithful servant and has helped her. &raise be to the %avior and <ing of (srael9 Hosanna to the %on of David9The crowd sing their hosannas with the woman, who is now on her knees at Jesus2 feet, kissing the hem of His tunic, while He says to her* + 'o in peace and persevere in your $aith.The head of the synagogue, who obviously still resents the words spoken by Jesus before the parable, wants to repay reproaches with poison and shouts angrily, while the crowds open to let the cured woman pass* + There are six days to work, six days to ask and to give. %o come during those six days, both to ask and to give. :ome and be cured during those days, without infringing the %abbath, you sinners and misbelievers, corrupted and corrupters of the /aw9- and he tries to push everybody out of the synagogue, as if he were driving profanation out of the place of prayer. "ut Jesus, 5ho sees that he is being helped by the four elders seen previously and by others scattered amongst the crowd, who appear to be the most scandali8ed and... tormented by JesusS crime, with His arms folded on His chest, looks at him in an imposing severe attitude and shouts* + Hypocrites9 5hich of you on this day has not untied his ox or his donkey from the manger and taken it 5-/

out for watering, 1nd who has not taken a sheaf of grass to his sheep and milked their full udders, (f you have six days to do so, why have you done it also today, )ust for a little milk, or for fear that your ox or your donkey might die of thirst and you might lose it, 1nd should ( not have freed this woman from her chains after %atan had held her bound for eighteen years, only because this is the %abbath, 'o. ( was able to relieve her from a misfortune that she did not want. "ut ( will never be able to relieve you from yours, because you want them, 6 enemies of 5isdom and Truth9The good people, among the many malicious ones in <ora8im, approve and agree, while the others, livid with rage, run away, deserting the livid synagogue#leader. Jesus also leaves him and goes out of the synagogue, surrounded by good people who go with Him as far as the countryside* where He blesses them for the last time. He then takes the main road with His cousins, &eter and Thomas...

887. $oin& to/ards Saphet. The :arable of the $ood Far er.
22nd +ove ber 1!45.

The road to %aphet leaves the plain of <ora8im and climbs a remarkable mountain range thickly covered with trees. 1 stream flows down the mountains towards the lake of Tiberias. 5-1

The pilgrims are waiting at a bridge for those who were sent to Merom. 1nd they do not have to wait long. The others in fact walking fast arrive punctually at the rende8vous and meet the Master and their companions with great )oy and inform them of their )ourney, which was blessed also with some miracles, worked in turn by + all the apostles-. "ut Judas of <erioth rectifies* + 5ith the exception of me, as ( was not able to do anything.His mortification in admitting it is painful. + 5e told you that it was due to the fact that we were dealing with a great sinner- replies James of Bebedee. 1nd he explains* + 0ou know, Master, it was Jacob and he was very ill. That is why he invokes 0ou, because he is afraid of death and of 'od2s )udgement. "ut he is more avaricious than ever, now that he foresees a real disaster for his crops, which have been completely ruined by frost. He lost all his seed#corn and he cannot sow any more because he is ill and his maid#servant is not fit to plough the field, because she is worn out by fatigue and starvation, as he economises also on flour for bread, sei8ed as he is with fear that he may be left without any food one day. 5e ploughed a large extension of ground for him, and perhaps we sinned, because we worked all day on $riday, also after sunset until it was dark, and even then with torches and bonfires. &hilip, John and 1ndrew know how to do it, so do (. 5e worked hard... %imon, Matthew and "artholomew followed us removing the corn that had come up and had been ruined, and Judas went in 0our name to ask Judas and 1nne for a little seed, promising that we would call on them today. He got it and it was chosen seed. %o we said* 35e will sow it tomorrow.4 That is why we are a little late. "ecause we started at the beginning of sunset. May the 7ternal 5-2

$ather forgive us considering the reason why we sinned. Judas, in the meantime, remained near Jacob2s bed, to convert him. He can speak better than we can. 1t least that is what "artholomew and the Bealot said spontaneously. "ut Jacob turned a deaf ear to all his arguments. He wanted to be cured, because his disease costs him money and he insulted the servant calling her a sluggard. %ince he said* 3( will be converted if ( recover4, Judas imposed his hands on him to calm him down. "ut Jacob remained as ill as before. Judas was discouraged and told us. 5e tried before going to bed. "ut we did not obtain a miracle. .ow Judas maintains that it is because he has lost 0our favour, as he displeased 0ou and is now down#hearted. "ut we say that it is because we had in front of us an obstinate sinner, who pretends to get everything he wants and lays down terms and gives orders to 'od. 5ho is right,+ 0ou seven. 0ou have spoken the truth. 5hat about Judas and 1nne, 1nd their fields,+ 6nly slightly ruined. "ut they have means... and everything has already been repaired. 1nd they are good people9 Here. They have sent 0ou this offering and this food. They hope to see 0ou some time. (t is Jacob2s frame of mind that is sad. ( would have liked to cure his soul, rather than his body...- says 1ndrew. + 1nd what about the other places,+ 6h9 6n the way to Deberet, near the village, we cured a man ; actually Matthew did ; who suffered from bouts of fever. He was )ust coming back from a doctor who had given him up. 5e stopped at his house and he did not have a temperature from sunset till dawn and he said 5-,

that he was feeling well and strong. Then at Tiberias 1ndrew cured a boatman, who had broken his shoulder falling on the bridge. He imposed his hands and the shoulder was cured. 0ou can imagine the man9 He insisted on taking us free of charge to Magdala and :apernaum and then to "ethsaida and he remained there, because there are several disciples there* Timoneus of 1era, &hilip of 1rbela, 7rmasteus and Marcus of Josiah, one of those who were freed from the demon near 'amala. 1lso Joseph, the boatman, wants to become a disciple... The children, at Johanna2s, are very well. They do not seem to be the same. They were playing in the garden with Johanna and :hu8a...+ ( saw them. ( was there, too. 'o on.+ 1t Magdala "artholomew converted an evil heart and cured a wicked body. How well he spoke9 He explained that disorderliness of the spirit engenders disorder in the body and that every concession to dishonesty degenerates into a loss of peace, of health and finally of the soul. 5hen he saw that the man was repentant and convinced, he imposed his hands and the man was cured. They wanted to keep us at Magdala. "ut we obeyed 0our instructions and the following morning we went on our way to :apernaum. There were five people there who wanted to be cured by 0ou. 1nd they were about to go away, as they were discouraged. 5e cured them. 5e did not see anybody, because we left at once by boat for "ethsaida, to avoid !uestions by 7li, Criah and companions. 1t "ethsaida9 "ut, 1ndrew, will you tell your brother...- concludes James of Bebedee who has spoken all the time. + 6h9 Master9 6h9 %imon9 (f 0ou saw Mar)iam9 0ou would 5-3

not recognise him9...+ 'oodness gracious9 He has not become a girl,- exclaims and asks &eter. + 6n the contrary9 1 fine young man he is tall and thin, as he has grown so much... He is wonderful9 5e could hardly recognise him. He is as tall as your wife and as me...+ 6h9 well9 .either you, nor &orphirea nor ( are palm# trees9 1t most we could be compared to thorn#bushes...says &eter, who, however, is over)oyed at the news that his adoptive son has grown up. + 0es, brother. "ut at the recent feast of the Dedication he was still a stunted boy who hardly reached up to our shoulders. .ow he is really a young man, with regard to height, voice and seriousness. He has behaved like those plants that stagnate for years then all of a sudden they become surprisingly luxuriant. 0our wife has been very busy lengthening his garments and making new ones. 1nd she makes them with wide hems and flounces at the waist, because she rightly foresees that Mar)iam will grow more. 1nd he is growing even more in wisdom. .athanael in his wise humility did not tell 0ou that for almost two months "artholomew was the master of the youngest and most heroic of 0our disciples, who gets up before daybreak to pasture the sheep, split wood, draw water, light the fire, sweep the floors, do the shopping, out of love for his putative mother, and then in the afternoon, until late at night, he studies and writes like a little doctor. Just imagine9 He gathers all the children of "ethsaida together, and on the %abbath he gives them short evangelical lessons. Thus the little ones, who are 5-5

excluded from the synagogue, lest they should disturb the service, have their day of prayer, )ust like grown up people. 1nd mothers tell me that it is beautiful to hear him speak and that children love and obey him with respect and are becoming very good. 5hat a disciple he will be9+ 5ell, well9 (... am moved... My Mar)iam9 7ven at .a8areth, eh9 his heroism... for that little girl. =achel, was it not,- &eter stops in time, blushing for fear he might have said too much. $ortunately Jesus comes to his rescue and Judas is engrossed in thought and inattentive. 6r he pretends he is. Jesus says* + 0es, =achel. 0ou are right. %he is cured. 1nd the fields will yield a good crop of corn. James and ( have been there. The sacrifice of a young child can do so much.+ 1t "ethsaida James worked a miracle for a poor cripple, and Matthew, in the street, near Jacob2s house, cured a boy. 1nd today, in the s!uare of that village near the bridge, &hilip cured a man with diseased eyes and John a boy who was possessed.+ 0ou have all done well. Aery well. 5e shall now go to that village on the slopes and will stop in one of the houses to sleep.+ 1nd 0ou, my dear Master, what have 0ou done, How is Mary, 1nd the other Mary,- asks John. + They are well and they send you their regards. They are preparing garments and all that is necessary for the springtime pilgrimage. 1nd they are longing to make it in order to be with us.5-6

+ 1lso %usanna, Johanna and our mother are )ust as anxious- says John. "artholomew says* + 1lso my wife and daughters want to come this year, after so many years, to Jerusalem. %he says that it will never be as beautiful as this year... ( don2t know why she says so. "ut she maintains that she feels it in her heart.+ (n that case also mine will come. %he has not told me... "ut what 1nne does, Mary does, too- says &hilip. + 1nd /a8arus2 sisters, 0ou have seen them...- asks %imon Bealot. + They comply with the Master2s instructions and with necessities, but they suffer... /a8arus looks very poorly, doesn2t he, Judas, He has to lie down most of the time. "ut they are anxiously awaiting the Master- says Thomas. + (t will soon be &assover and we shall go to /a8arus2 house.+ "ut what have 0ou done at .a8areth and at <ora8im,+ 1t .a8areth ( greeted relatives and friends and the relatives of the two disciples. 1t <ora8im ( spoke in the synagogue and ( cured a woman. 5e stayed at the house of the widow, whose mother died. (t was a grief and a relief at the same time, because of their scanty resources and of the working time that the widow lost to take care of the invalid she is now spinning for other people. "ut she is no longer in despair. 5hat is indispensable for her, is now secured and she is thus happy. 7very morning Joseph goes to work with a carpenter near the 5ell of Jacob to learn the trade.5-7

+ Have those of <ora8im become any better,- asks Matthew. + .o, Matthew. They are becoming worse and worseJesus admits frankly. + 1nd they ill#treated us. The mighty ones did, of course. .ot the simple people.+ (t is a very awkward place. Don2t go there any moresays &hilip. + (t would grieve the disciple 7lias, the widow and the woman ( cured today, and all the other good people.+ 0es. "ut they are so few that... ( would not worry any more about that place. 0ou said it 0ourself* 3(t is unworkable4- says Thomas. + =esin is one thing and hearts are a different thing. %omething will remain, like seed buried under very hard clods of earth. (t will take a long time to spring up, but it will at last come up. The same applies to <ora8im. 5hat ( have sowed will begin to grow one day. 6ne must not give up the first time one is defeated. /isten to this parable. (t could be called* 3The parable of the good farmer.4 1 rich man owned a beautiful large vineyard, in which there were various kinds of fig#trees. The vineyard was cultivated by a servant, an expert vine#dresser and pruner of fruit#trees, who did his work with love for his master and for the trees. 7very year, at the right season, the rich man used to go to his vineyard several times to see his grapes and figs ripen and to taste them, picking the fruit with his own hands. 6ne day he went towards a fig#tree of a very good !uality, the only one of that !uality in the vineyard. "ut also on that day, as in the previous 5--

two years, he found that it was all leaves without any fruit. %o he called the vine#dresser and said* 3$or three years ( have come looking for fruit on this fig#tree and ( have found nothing but leaves. (t is obvious that the tree has finished yielding fruit. %o cut it down. (t is useless to have it here taking up room and wasting your time without any profit. :ut it down, burn it, clean the ground of its roots and put another young tree in its place. (n a few years2 time it will yield fruit.4 The vinedresser, who was patient and loving, replied* 30ou are right. "ut leave it to me for another year. ( will not cut it down. .ay, ( will dig the ground with greater care, ( will manure it and trim it. (t may yield fruit again. (f after this last trial it does not bear fruit, ( will comply with your desire and cut it down.4 <ora8im is the tree that does not bear fruit. ( am the 'ood $armer. 0ou are the impatient rich man. /eave it to the 'ood $armer.+ Aery well. "ut the parable is not finished. Did the fig# tree bear fruit the following year,- asks the Bealot. + (t did not and it was cut down. "ut the farmer was )ustified for cutting down a tree which looked young and flourishing, because he had done all his duty. ( also wish to be )ustified for cutting off some people with an axe and removing them from My vineyard, in which there are unfruitful and poisonous plants, nests of snakes, sap# suckers, parasites or poisons that spoil or in)ure their fellow disciples, or they penetrate creeping with their wicked roots to proliferate, without being called into My vineyard, where they rebel to being grafted, as they entered only to spy, to denigrate and to make My field sterile. ( will cut them off after trying everything to 5-0

convert them. $or the time being, instead of an axe, ( make use of shears and of the pruner2s knife, and ( thin out branches and engraft... 6h9 it will be hard work. "oth for Me 5ho does it and for those who undergo the treatment. "ut it is to be done. %o that in Heaven they may say* 3He has accomplished everything, but the more He pruned, grafted, hoed and manured them, shedding perspiration, tears and blood while working, the more sterile and wicked they have become... There is the village. 'o ahead, all of you and look for lodgings. 0ou, Judas of <erioth, stay with Me.They remain alone and in the twilight they proceed close to each other, in dead silence. 1t last Jesus says, as if He were speaking to Himself* + 1nd yet, even if we lose 'od2s favour by infringing His /aw, we can always become what we were, by renouncing sin...Judas does not reply. Jesus resumes* + 1nd if one understands that it is not possible to have the power of 'od, because 'od is not there where %atan is, one can easily remedy, by preferring what 'od grants to what our pride desires.Judas is silent. They have by now reached the first house of the village and Jesus, still speaking to Himself, says* + 1nd to think that ( did severe penance that he might mend his ways and go back to his $ather...Judas starts, raises his head, looks at Him... but does not say anything. 50/

Jesus also looks at him... and then He asks* + Judas, to whom am ( speaking,+ To me, Master. (t is because of 0ou that ( no longer have power. 0ou took it off me to increase it in John, %imon, James, in everybody, except me. 0ou do not love me, that2s what it is9 1nd ( will end up by not loving 0ou and by cursing the hour when ( did love 0ou and ( ruined myself in the eyes of the world for a cowardly king, who is overwhelmed even by the populace. ( was not expecting this from 0ou9+ .either ( from you. "ut ( have never deceived you. 1nd ( have never forced you. %o why do you remain with Me,+ "ecause ( love 0ou. ( cannot part with 0ou. 0ou attract me and 0ou disgust me. ( desire 0ou as much as ( desire air to breathe and... 0ou frighten me. 1h9 ( am cursed9 ( am damned9 5hy do 0ou not drive the demon out of me, since 0ou can,- Judas2 face is livid and upset, he looks like a madman full of hatred and fear... He reminds me, although faintly, of the satanic mask of Judas on 'ood $riday. 1nd Jesus2 face reminds me of the scourged .a8arene, 5ho sitting on an upturned tub in the courtyard of the &raetorium, looks at His sneerers with all His loving pity. He says, and a sob already appears to be in His voice* + "ecause there is no repentance in you, but only hatred against 'od, as if He were guilty of your sin. Judas utters a horrible curse between his teeth... + Master, we have found lodgings. There is room for five in one place, for three in another, for two in a third place and then two places can accommodate one each. 5e could 501

not find anything better- say the disciples. + 1ll right. ( will go with Judas of <erioth- says Jesus. + .o. ( prefer to be alone. ( am upset. 0ou would not be able to rest...+ 1s you wish... ( will go with "artholomew. 0ou can do as you like. (n the meantime let us go where there is more room, so that we may all have supper together.-

881. $oin& to/ards Meiron.

28rd +ove ber 1!45.

1 beautiful springtime dawn makes the sky rosy and the hills a pleasant sight. The disciples re)oice at the sight while gathering at the entrance of the village waiting for the late#comers. + (t is the first day that it is not cold, after the hailstorms- says Matthew, rubbing his hands. + (t was time9 This is the new moon of the month of 1dar9exclaims 1ndrew. + Aery well9 (f we had to go up on the mountains with the cold weather of the past days9...- comments &hilip. + "ut where are we going,- asks 1ndrew. + ( wonder... $rom here we can go either to %aphet or to Meiron. 1nd then,- replies James of Bebedee and he turns round to ask the sons of 1lphaeus* + Do you know where we are going,502

+ Jesus told us that He wants to go to the north. That is all- says Judas of 1lphaeus laconically. + 1gain, 1t the next moon we must begin our &assover pilgrimage...- says &eter not very enthusiastically. + 5e have plenty time- remarks Thaddeus. + 0es. "ut no time to rest at "ethsaida...+ 5e shall certainly go there to get the women and Mar)iam- replies &hilip to &eter. + 5hat ( ask of you is not to look bored or indifferent or the like. Jesus is most depressed... 0esterday evening He was weeping. ( found Him weeping while we were preparing supper. He was not praying out on the terrace, as we thought. He was weeping- says John. + 5hy, Did you ask Him,- they all ask. + 0es, ( did. "ut all He said was* 3/ove Me, John.4+ &erhaps... it2s because of the people of <ora8im.The Bealot, who has )ust arrived, says* + The Master is coming here with "artholomew. /et us go and meet Him.1nd they set out, but they continue their conversation* + 6r it is because of Judas. They remained alone last night...- says Matthew. + That2s right9 1nd Judas had previously stated that he was upset and wanted to be alone- remarks &hilip. + He did not want to stay even with the Master9 5hereas ( would have been so glad to be with Him9- says John with a sigh. 50,

+ 1nd (9- says everybody. + ( do not like that man... He is either ill, or bewitched, or mad, or possessed... There is something wrong with himsays Thaddeus resolutely. + 1nd yet, believe me, on our way back here he was a model disciple. He always defended the Master and the interests of the Master, as none of us ever did. ( saw him and heard him myself9 1nd ( hope you do not doubt my word- states Thomas. + Do you think that we do not believe you, .o, Thomas9 1nd we are pleased to hear that Judas is better than we are. "ut you can see it yourself. He is strange, is he not,asks 1ndrew. + 6h9 He certainly is. &erhaps innermost problems worry him... 6r probably because he did not work any miracle. He is rather proud. 6h9 for a good purpose9 "ut he is keen on doing things and he likes to be praised for them...+ H2m9 (t may be9 "ut the Master is sad. /ook at Him over there* He does not look like the man we have always known. "ut, long live the /ord9 (f ( find out who is making the Master suffer... 5ell9 That2s all9 ( know what ( will do to him- says &eter. Jesus, 5ho is talking intently to .athanael, sees them and !uickens His pace smiling. + &eace to you. 1re you all here,+ Judas of %imon is missing... ( thought he was with 0ou, because at the house, where he slept, they told me that they found his room empty and tidied up...- explains 1ndrew. 503

Jesus knits His brows for a moment and becomes engrossed in thought, lowering His head. He then says* + (t does not matter. /et us go )ust the same. Tell the people in the last houses that we are going to Meiron and to 'iscala. (f Judas should look for us ask them to direct him there. /et us go.They all feel that the atmosphere is stormy and they obey without uttering a single word. Jesus continues His conversation with "artholomew and is a few steps ahead of the others. ( can hear famous names being mentioned by them during their conversation* Hillel, Jael, "arak and glorious events of (srael, which they recollect, commenting and admiring the great doctors, while "artholomew regrets the past... + 6h9 (f wise Hillel were still alive9 He was good and strong. He would not have been upset. He would have )udged 0ou by himself, independently of others9+ Do not worry, "artholomew9 1nd bless the Most High 5ho has received him in His peace. The spirit of the 5ise Man thus did not become aware of the excitement of so much hatred against Me...+ My /ord9 .ot only hatred9...+ More hatred than love, My friend. 1nd it will always be so.+ Do not be sad. 5e will defend 0ou...+ (t is not death that grieves Me... (t is the sight of men2s sins...+ Death9... .o9... Don2t speak of death. They will not go to that extent... because they are afraid...505

+ Hatred will be stronger than fear. "artholomew, when ( am dead, and when ( am far away, in Holy Heaven, say to men* 3He suffered more because of your hatred, than because of His death4...+ Master9 Don2t say that9 .o one will hate 0ou so much as to cause 0ou to die. 0ou can always prevent it. 0ou are powerful...Jesus smiles sadly, ( would say wearily, while with measured steps He climbs the mountainous road leading to Meiron, and the more the road climbs, the wider becomes the beautiful view of the lake of Tiberias, visible through an opening in a gorge, on nearby arch#shaped hills, which, however, obstruct the sight of lake Merom, while the view extends beyond the lake of Tiberias, on the tableland beyond the Jordan, as far as the remote indented mountains of Hauran, Trachonitis and &erea. "ut Jesus points to north#northeast saying* + 1fter &assover we will have to go there, to &hilip2s tetrarchy. 1nd we shall )ust have enough time to do so, as we shall have to be in Jerusalem once again for &entecost.+ 5ould it not be more convenient to go there now, 5e could go beyond the Jordan, towards its sources... and then come back through the Decapolis...Jesus passes His hand across His brow, with the tired gesture of one whose mind is clouded, and He whispers* + ( do not know, ( do not know yet9... "artholomew9...- How much depression, sorrow, entreaty there is in His voice9... "artholomew bends a little, as if he were hurt by Jesus2 strange unusual tone, and he says with loving anxiety* + Master, what is the matter with 0ou, 5hat do 0ou want 506

from old .athanael,+ .othing, "artholomai... 0our prayer... That ( may see clearly what is to be done... "ut they are calling us, "artholomai... /et us stop here...- 1nd they stop near a group of trees. The others appear round a bend of the path they are in a group* + Master, Judas is running after us at breakneck speed...+ /et us wait for him.- 1nd in fact Judas soon appears, running... + Master... ( am late... ( overslept and...+ 5here, if ( did not find you in the house,- asks 1ndrew who is ama8ed. Judas remains dumbfounded for a moment, but he is !uick in collecting himself and he says* + 6h9 ( am sorry that my penance has become known to everybody9 ( was in the wood, all night, praying and doing penance... . 1t dawn ( was overcome by sleep. ( am weak... "ut the Most High /ord will pity His poor servant. (s that right, Master, ( woke up late and ( was aching all over.+ (n fact you look rather worn out- remarks James of Bebedee. Judas laughs* + 6f course9 "ut my soul is delighted. &rayer does one good. &enance makes one2s heart )oyful. 1nd it grants humility and generosity. Master, forgive 0our foolish Judas...- and he kneels at Jesus2 feet. + 0es. %tand up and let us go.+ 'ive me peace with a kiss of 0ours. (t will be a sign that 0ou have forgiven the bad mood ( was in yesterday. ( did not want 0ou, that is true. "ut it was because ( wanted to 507

pray...+ 5e could have prayed together...Judas laughs and says* + .o, 0ou could not have prayed with me last night, or be where ( was...+ 6h9 That2s nice9 5hy not, He has always been with us and He taught us to pray9- exclaims &eter who is utterly ama8ed. They all laugh. "ut Jesus does not laugh. He stares at Judas who has kissed Him and is now looking at Him with eyes glaring with biting malice, as if he wanted to defy Him. He dares to repeat* + (s it not true that 0ou could not have been with me last night,+ .o, ( could not. .either will ( ever be able to share the embraces of My soul with the $ather, with a third party, nothing but blood and flesh, like you, and in the places where you go. ( love solitude peopled with angels, to forget that man is the stench of flesh corrupted by sensuality, by gold, by the world and by %atan.Judas no longer laughs, not even with his eyes. He replies gravely* + 0ou are right. 0our spirit has seen the truth. %o where are we going,+ To venerate the tombs of the great rabbis and heroes of (srael.+ 5hat, 'amaliel does not love 0ou. 1nd the others hate 0ou- many of the apostles say. + (t does not matter. ( bow to the tombs of the )ust awaiting =edemption. ( am going to say to their bones* 3He 5ho inspired your souls will soon be in the <ingdom of Heaven, ready to descend from there on the last Day, 50-

to make you live again and forever in &aradise.4They proceed until they find the village of Meiron. 1 lovely village, well kept, full of light and sunshine, situated among fertile hills and mountains. + /et us stop. (n the afternoon we will leave for 'iscala. The great sepulchres are scattered along these slopes, awaiting the glorious resurrection.-

88!. At 4illel*s Sep,lchre at $iscala.

24th +ove ber 1!45.

$rom the village of Meiron Jesus and His apostles take a mountainous road that runs north#west through woods and pastures rising all the time. They have perhaps already venerated some sepulchres, because ( can hear them speak about them. The (scariot is now ahead with Jesus. 1t Meiron they must have received and given alms, and Judas is now giving an account of what he received and what he gave. He concludes saying* + 1nd here is my offer. ( swore last night ( would give 0ou it for the poor and as a penance. (t is not much. ( have not much money with me. "ut ( convinced my mother to send me some fre!uently through many friends. (n the past, when ( came away from home, ( had a good deal of money. "ut this time, as ( had to travel across mountains by myself or with Thomas only, ( took only what was sufficient for our )ourney. ( prefer to do that. The only thing is... sometimes ( will 500

have to ask 0ou for permission to leave 0ou and go and see my friends. ( have already arranged everything... Master, shall ( continue to keep the money, Do 0ou still trust me,+ Judas, you are saying everything by yourself. 1nd ( do not know why you do that. 0ou must know that nothing has changed as far as ( am concerned... because ( hope that you will change and become once again the disciple you were in the past, and that you will become a )ust man, for whose conversion ( pray and suffer.+ 0ou are right, Master. "ut with 0our help ( will certainly become %o. (n any case... they are minor imperfections. Things of no importance. .ay, they help us to understand our fellow#men and cure them.+ 0our morals, Judas, are strange indeed9 1nd ( should say more than that. ( have never heard of any doctor falling voluntarily ill in order to be able to say* 3.ow ( know how to cure people affected by this disease.4 %o am ( an incapable man,+ 5ho says that, Master,+ 0ou do. 1s ( do not commit sins, ( cannot cure sinners.+ 0ou are 0ou. "ut we are not 0ou, and we need experience to learn...+ That is your old idea. The very same idea of twenty months ago. The only difference is that you then thought that ( should commit sin to be able to redeem. ( am really surprised that you have not tried to correct this... fault of Mine, according to your way of )udging, and to gift Me with this... ability to understand sinners.6//

+ 0ou are )oking, Master. 1nd ( am glad. ( felt sorry for 0ou. 0ou were so sad. 1nd it is double )oy to me that ( have made 0ou )oke. "ut ( never thought of claiming to be 0our master. (n any case, as 0ou can see 0ourself, ( have corrected my way of thinking as ( now say that this experience is necessary only to us. To us, poor men. 0ou are the %on of 'od, are 0ou not, 0our wisdom, therefore, needs no experience to be what it is.+ 5ell, you had better know that innocence is also wisdom, a much greater wisdom than the low dangerous knowledge of sinners. 5hen the holy ignorance of evil should limit our ability to guide ourselves and other people, then the angelical ministry, which is always present in pure hearts, makes up for that. 1nd you may rest assured that the angels, who are most pure, can tell 'ood from 7vil and they can lead the pure souls, whom they guard, on the )ust path and to )ust deeds. %in does not increase wisdom. (t is not light. (t is not a guide. .ever. (t is corruption, it is derangement of mind, it is chaos. Thus, he who commits it, tastes its flavour but at the same time loses the ability to savour many other spiritual things and no longer has an angel of 'od, a spirit of order and love, to guide hi