28th December 1944.
In the afternoon I see Jesus… in the olive-grove… He is sitting on one of the little ground terraces, in His familiar posture, His elbows resting on His knees, His forearms forward and His hands joined. It is getting dark and the light becomes fainter and fainter in the thick olive-grove. Jesus is alone. He has taken off His mantle as if He were warm, and His white tunic stands out against the green of the surroundings which are made even darker by the twilight.
A man comes down through the olive-trees. He seems to be looking for something or someone. He is tall, and is wearing gay colored garments: a yellow pink hue that makes his big mantle more showy, adorned as it is with swinging fringes. I cannot see his face very well because of the dim light and the distance, and also because the edge of the mantle is lowered over part of his face. When he sees Jesus, he makes a gesture as if to say: « There He is! » and he hastens his step. When he is a few meters away, he greets Him: « Hail, Master! »
Jesus turns round suddenly and looks up, because the man is standing on the next terrace, which is higher up. Jesus looks at him, He is serious, and I would say also sad. The man says once again: « I greet You, Master. I am Judas of Kerioth. Do You not recognize me? Do You not remember? »
« I remember and recognize you. You spoke to Me here with Thomas, last Passover. »
« And You said to me: “Think about it and make up your mind before I come back.” I have made up my mind. I will come. »
« Why are you coming, Judas? » Jesus is really sad.
« Because… The last time I told You why. Because I dream of the Kingdom of Israel and I see You as a king. »
« Is that why you are coming? »
« Yes, it is. I will put myself and everything I possess: capability, acquaintances, friends, fatigue at Your service and at the service of Your mission to rebuild Israel. »
The two are now close, in front of each other, standing, and they stare at each other. Jesus is grave and melancholy. Judas exalted by his dream, is smiling, handsome and young, sprightly and ambitious.
« I did not look for you, Judas. »
« I know. But I looked for You. For days and days I have been putting people at the gates to warn me of Your arrival. I thought You would be coming with some followers and that it would therefore be easy to notice You. Instead… I understood that You had been here, because a group of pilgrims was blessing You as You had cured a sick man. But no one could tell me where You were. Then I remembered this place. And I have come. If I had not found You here, I would have resigned myself to not finding You any more… »
« Do you think it is a good thing for you, that you found Me? »
« Yes, because I was looking for You. I was longing for You, I want You. »
« Why? Why did you look for Me? »
« But I have told You, Master! Did You not understand? »
« I did understand you. Yes, I did. But I want you also to understand Me before you follow Me. Come. We will talk while walking. » And they start walking, one beside the other, up and down the paths that cross one another in the olive-grove. « You want to follow Me for a human reason, Judas. But I must dissuade you. I have not come for that. »
« But are You not the designated King of the Jews? The one of whom the Prophets spoke? Others have come. But they lacked too many things and they fell like leaves no longer supported by the wind. But You have God with You, in fact You work miracles. Where there is God, the success of the mission is guaranteed. »
« You have spoken the truth. I have God with Me. I am His Word. I was prophesied by the Prophets, promised to the Patriarchs, expected by the people. But why, Israel, have you become so blind and deaf that you are no longer able to read and see, to hear and understand the reality of events? My Kingdom is not of this world, Judas. Allow yourself to be convinced of that. I have come to Israel to bring Light and Glory. But not the light and glory of the earth. I have come to call the just of Israel to the Kingdom. Because it is from Israel that the plant of eternal life is to come, and with Israel it is to be formed, the plant, the sap of which will be the Blood of the Lord, the plant that will spread all over the earth, until the end of time. My first followers will be from Israel. My first confessors will be from Israel. But also My persecutors will be from Israel. Also My executioners will be from Israel. And also My traitor will Be from Israel… »
« No, Master. That will never happen. If everyone should betray You, I will remain with You and defend You. »
« You, Judas? And on what do you base your certainty? »
« On my honor as a man. »
« Which is more fragile than a cobweb, Judas. It is God we have to ask for the strength to be honest and faithful. Man!… Man accomplishes human deeds. To accomplish spiritual deeds – and to follow the Messiah with truthfulness and justice is to accomplish a spiritual deed – it is necessary to kill man and make him be born again. Are you capable of so much? »
« Yes, Master. And in any case… Not everybody in Israel will love You. But Israel will not give the Messiah executioners and traitors. Israel has been waiting for You for centuries! »
« I will be given them. Remember the Prophets… Their words… and their end. I am destined to disappoint many. And you are one of them. Judas, you have here in front of you a mild, peaceful poor man, who wishes to remain poor. I have not come to impose Myself and make war. I am not going to contend with the strong and mighty ones for any kingdom or any power. I contend only with Satan for souls and I have come to break the chains of Satan with the fire of My love. I have come to teach mercy, sacrifice, humility, continence. I say to you and to everybody: “Do not crave for human wealth, but work for eternal coins.” You are deceiving yourself if you think I am to triumph over Rome and the ruling classes. Herods and Caesars can sleep tranquilly, while I speak to the crowds. I have not come to snatch anybody's scepter… and My eternal scepter is already ready, but no one, unless one was love as I am, would like to hold it. Go, Judas, and ponder… »
« Are You rejecting me, Master? »
« I reject nobody, because who rejects does not love. But, tell Me, Judas: how would you describe the gesture of a man, who, knowing he is infected by a contagious disease, says to another man who approaches him unaware of the situation, to drink out of his chalice: “Watch what you are doing”? Would you define it hatred or love? »
« I would say it was love, because he does not want the man, unaware of the danger, to ruin his health. »
« Well, define also My gesture likewise. »
« Can I ruin my health coming with You? No, never. »
« You can ruin more than your health, because, consider this carefully, Judas, little will be debited to him who is a murderer, but believes he is doing justice, and he believes it because he does not know the Truth; but a great deal will be debited to him, who knowing the Truth, not only does not follow it, but becomes its enemy. »
« I will not do that. Take me, Master. You cannot refuse me. If You are the Savior and You see that I am a sinner, a sheep astray, a blind man off the right path, why do You refuse to save me? Take me. I will follow You, even to death… »
« To death! That is true. Then… »
« Then, Master? »
« The future is in God's bosom. Go. We will meet tomorrow at the Fish Gate. »
« Thank You, Master. The Lord be with You. »
« And may His mercy save you. »
And it all finishes.