31st December 1944.
I see Jesus walking along a shady road all alone. It looks like a fresh little valley, rich in waters. I call it a little valley because it is embanked between two risings of the ground and a rivulet flows in its centre. The place is deserted in the early morning hour. The sun has just risen, a beautiful, clear summer day, and with the exception of the warbling of the birds in the trees and the plaintive cooing of wild doves nesting in the crevices of the barren hill, no other sound is heard. The trees are mostly olive-trees, particularly on the hill on the left-hand side, whereas the other hill is more barren with low lentisk, thorny acacia and agave bushes, etc. Even the rivulet, with very little water lying in the centre of the riverbed, does not seem to make any noise, and flows gently reflecting in its depth the green of the surrounding hills, and thus looks dark emerald.
Jesus crosses a primeval little bridge: the trunk of a tree, half planed, thrown across the torrent, without parapet or any protection, and goes on His way on the other bank. I can now see walls and gates and also some merchants with vegetables and foodstuffs crowding near the gates, still closed, waiting to go into town. Donkeys are busy braying and brawling; also their owners scuffle in robust style. Insults and blows with cudgels are aimed at and given not only to the donkeys' backs, but also to human heads.
Two men are quarrelling in earnest, because the donkey of one of them has helped itself from the beautiful basket of lettuce of the other donkey and has eaten quite a lot of it! Perhaps it is only a pretext to give vent to old ill-feelings. In fact from under their short tunics, which reach down to their calves, they pull out two short large knives, as broad as a hand: they look like short pointed daggers, and they glint in the sun. Screams of women and shouts of men are heard everywhere. But no one tries to separate the men who are ready for a rustic duel.
Jesus, Who was walking, thoughtful, raises His head, He sees the fight and rushes between the two:
« Stop, in the name of God! » He orders.
« No, I want to fix this cursed dog once and for all! »
« And so do I! You are fond of fringes? I'll make a fringe for you with yours bowels! »
The two move fast round Jesus, pushing Him, insulting Him to get rid of Him, endeavoring to strike each other, but without success, because Jesus, moving His mantle carefully, wards off the blows and interferes with their aiming. He gets His mantle torn.
People shout: « Come away, Nazarene. You'll be the loser ». But He does not move and endeavors to calm them, reminding them of God. In vain! The two rivals are mad with rage!
The power of miracle can be seen radiating from Jesus. For the last time He shouts: « I order you to stop it! »
« No! Get out of the way. Go your way, dog of a Nazarene! »
Jesus then stretches out His hands, with His powerful bright look. He does not say one word. But the blades fall in pieces to the ground, as if they were made of glass, and had clashed against a rock.
The two men look at the short, useless handles, left in their hands. Astonishment deadens wrath. Also the astonished crowd shout.
« And now? » asks Jesus, severely. « Where is your strength? »
Also the soldiers on duty at the gate, who rushed out at the latest shouts, stare surprised and one bends down to pick up the fragments of the blades and test them on his nails, not believing they were made of steel.
« And now? » repeats Jesus. « Where is your strength? On what did you base your right? On those bits of metal now lying in the dust? On those splinters of metal which had no other strength but to induce you to a sin of wrath against a brother, thus depriving you of all the blessings of God and consequently of all strength? Oh! how miserable are those who rely on human means to win, and who do not realize that holiness and not violence will make us winners both on the earth and beyond it! Because God is with the just.
Listen, people of Israel, and you, soldiers of Rome. The Word of God speaks to all the sons of man, and the Son of man will not reject the Gentiles. The second commandment of the Lord is a commandment of love for our neighbors. God is good and wants good will in His children. Who is not kindly disposed towards his neighbor, cannot consider himself a son of God neither can he have God in himself. Man is not an animal without reason, that rushes at and bites a prey. Man has reason and a soul. With his reason he must behave as a man. With his soul he must behave as a saint. Who behaves differently, lowers himself below animals; he stoops down to embrace demons because a soul becomes wicked with the sin of wrath.
Love. I say nothing else. Love your neighbor as the Lord God of Israel prescribes. Do not always be of Cain's blood. And why are you so? For the sake of a few coins, you who might have become murderers. For a few palms of land. For a better position. For a woman. What are such things? Are they eternal? No. They last less than a lifetime, which lasts an instant of eternity. And what do you lose if you follow them? The eternal peace promised to the just, and which the Messiah will bring you together with His Kingdom. Come on to the way of Truth. Follow the Voice of God. Love one another. Be honest. Be moderate. Be humble and fair. Go and meditate. »
« Who are You who speak such words and break swords with Your will power? Only One can do such things: the Messiah. Not even John the Baptist is greater than He is. Are You perhaps the Messiah? » three or four people ask Him.
« Yes, I am. »
« You? Are You the One who cures sick people and preaches God in Galilee? »
« I am. »
« I have an old mother who is dying. Cure her! »
« And I, see? I am losing all my strength because of my pains. My children are still young. Cure me! »
« Go home. Your mother this evening will prepare your supper; and you: be healed. I want it! » The crowd roars with joy. They then ask: « Your Name! Your Name! »
« Jesus of Nazareth. »
« Jesus! Jesus! Hosanna! Hosanna! »
The crowd is jubilant. The donkeys now can do what they like, no one pays attention to them. Mothers rush out from the town, as the news has obviously spread and they lift up their little ones. Jesus blesses and smiles. And He endeavors to make His way through the acclaiming crowd to enter the town and go His way. But the crowd will not hear of it. « Stay with us! In Judaea! In Judaea! We are the sons of Abraham, too! » they shout.
« Master! » Judas runs towards Him. « Master, You arrived before me. But what is happening »
« The Rabbi has worked a miracle! Not in Galilee; here! We want Him here! »
« See, Master? The whole of Israel loves You. It is only fair You should stay here, too. Why do You not want to? »
« It is not that I do not want to, Judas. I came here by Myself, that the roughness of the Galilean disciples might not irritate the subtleness of the Judaeans. I want to gather all the sheep of Israel under the scepter of God. »
« That is why I said to You: “Take me”. I am a Judaean, and I know how do deal with my equals. Will You therefore remain in Jerusalem? »
« For a few days. To wait for a disciple, who is also a Judaean. Then I will go through Judaea… »
« Oh! I will come with You. I will accompany You. You will come to my village. I will take You to my house. Will You come, Master? »
« I will come… Have you any news of the Baptist, since you are a Judaean and you live with the mighty ones? »
« I know that he is still in jail, but they want to set him free, because the crowds are threatening a revolt, if they do not get their prophet. Do You know him? »
« Yes, I do. »
« Do You like, him? What do You think of him? »
« I think no one has been more like Elijah than he is. »
« Do You really consider him the Precursor? »
« Yes, he is. He is the morning star announcing the sun. Blessed are those who through his preaching have prepared themselves for the Sun. »
« John is very severe. »
« Not more with others than he is with himself. »
« That is true. But it is difficult to follow him in his penance. You are more kind, and it is easy to love You. »
« And yet… »
« Yet… what, Master? »
« Yet, as he is hated because of his austerity, I will be hated because of My goodness, because they both preach God, and God is disliked by the wicked. But it is to be thus. As he precedes Me in preaching, so he will precede Me in death. Woe to the killers of Penance and Goodness. »
« Why, Master, have You always such sad forecasts? The crowds love You. You saw that… »
« Because I am sure. Humble people do love Me. But the crowd is not all humble and of humble people. But I am not sad. It is a Placid vision of the future and compliance with the will of the Father, Who sent Me for that. And I have come for that. Here we are at the Temple. I am going to the Bel Nidrasc (1) to teach the crowds. If you wish, you may stay. »
(1) The authoress does not explain the meaning of « Bel Nidrasc ». However, in view of the fact that she often confuses m and n in Jewish names, it may well be that the correct spelling should be Midrash (a rabbinical comment on the Scriptures). In which case Bel Midrash would be the part of the Temple where doctors used to teach people. In fact the text says: « … Here we are at the Temple. I am going to the Bel Nidrasc to teach the crowds. »
« I will stay with You. There in only one thing I wish: to serve You and let You triumph. »
They enter the Temple, and it all ends.