1st January 1945.
I see Jesus entering the enclosure of the Temple with Judas beside Him. After going through the first terrace, He stops in a porch on the side of a wide yard, paved with multicolored marble. The place is beautiful and crowded.
Jesus looks round and sees a spot He likes. But before turning His steps to it, He says to Judas: « Call the official of the place for Me. I must make Myself known, so that no one may say I break the custom and lack in respect. »
« Master, You are above the custom, and no one more than You is entitled to speak in the House of God, since You are His Messiah. »
« I know, you know, but they do not know. I have not come to scandalize or to teach people to break, not only the Law, but also the custom. On the contrary, I have come to teach respect, humility and obedience and to remove scandals. I therefore want to ask to be allowed to speak in God's name, making the official of the place acknowledge Me as being worthy. »
« You did not do that the last time. »
« The last time I was inflamed by the zeal for the House of God, desecrated by too many things. The last time I was the Son of the Father, the Heir Who in the name of the Father and for the love of My House, acted in His majesty, which is above officials and priests. Now I am the Master of Israel, and I teach Israel also that. After all, Judas, do you think that a disciple is greater than His Master? »
« No, Jesus. »
« And who are you? And who am I? »
« You are the Master, I the disciple. »
« Well then, if you admit that, why do you want to teach your Master? Go and obey. I obey My Father, you must obey your Master. The first condition of the Son of God: to obey without discussing orders, knowing that the Father can give but holy orders. The first condition of a disciple: to obey his Master, knowing that the Master knows, and can give but just orders. »
« It is true. Forgive me. I will obey. »
« I forgive you. Go. And, Judas, listen to one more thing: remember that. Always bear that in mind in future. »
« To obey? Yes, I will. »
« No: remember that I was respectful and humble to the Temple. To the Temple: that is, to the mighty castes; go. » Judas looks at Him, wistfully and inquisitively… but he dare not ask further questions. And he goes away thoughtfully.
… He comes back with a sumptuously dressed personage. « Here, Master, the official. »
« Peace be with you. I ask to teach Israel, amongst the rabbis of Israel. »
« Are You a rabbi? »
« Yes, I am. »
« Who was Your teacher? »
« The Spirit of God Who speaks to Me in His wisdom and enlightens for Me every word of the Holy Scriptures. »
« Are You greater than Hillel, since You say You know all doctrines, without a teacher? How can one be formed if there is no one forming him? »
« As David was formed, an unknown little shepherd, who became a powerful and wise king by God's will. »
« Your Name? »
« Jesus of Joseph of Jacob, of the House of David, and of Mary of Joachim of the House of David, and of Anne of Aaron, Mary, the Virgin married in the Temple by the High Priest, according to the law of Israel, because She was an orphan. »
« Who can prove that? »
« There must still be some Levites here who will remember the event and who were the same age as Zacharias of the class of Abijah, My relative. Ask them, if you doubt My sincerity. »
« I believe You. But who will prove to me that You are capable of teaching? »
« Listen to Me and you will judge yourself. »
« You are free to do it… But… are You not a Nazarene? »
« I was born at Bethlehem of Judah, at the time of the census decreed by Caesar. Banished by unfair orders, the children of David are now everywhere. But the family is of Judah. »
« You know… the Pharisees… all Judaea… throughout Galilee… »
« I know. But be reassured. I was born at Bethlehem, at Bethlehem Ephrathah, whence My family comes; if now I live in Galilee, it is only to fulfill the given sign… »
The official goes away a few yards, hastening to where they call him.
Judas asks: « Why did You not say that You are the Messiah? »
« My words will say so. »
« Which is the sign to be fulfilled? »
« The union of Israel under the teaching of the word of Christ. I am the Shepherd of Whom the Prophets speak and I have come to gather all the sheep of every region, I have come to cure the sick ones, and put the wandering ones on a good pasture. There is no Judaea or Galilee, no Decapolis or Idumaea for Me. There is only one thing: the Love that sees with one glance only and joins in one embrace only in order to save… » Jesus is inspired. Rays of light seem to be emanating from Him, so happily He smiles at his dream. Judas, amazed, stares at Him.
Some curious people draw near them, fascinated and struck by their different magnificence. Jesus lowers His head and smiles at the little group with a smile, the sweetness of which no painter will ever be able to portray and no believer, who has never seen it, will ever be able to imagine. And He says: « Come if you are anxious to hear eternal words. »
He turns His steps towards the arch of the porch, and leaning against a column, He begins to speak. He refers to the event of the morning as a starting point.
« This morning, on entering Zion, I saw two children of Abraham who were ready to kill each other for a few coins. I could have cursed them in the name of God, because God says: “You shall not kill” and He also says that who does not maintain the Law is to be cursed. But I felt pity for their ignorance of the spirit of the Law and I only prevented them from committing murder, that they may have the opportunity of repenting, knowing God, serving Him in obedience, loving not only those who love them, but also their enemies.
Yes, Israel. A new day is rising for you and the commandment of love is becoming brighter. Does the year begin with the foggy Ethanim, or with the sad Chislev, the days of which are shorter than a dream and its nights longer than a calamity? No, it begins with the flowery, sunny, happy Nisan, when everything smiles and the heart of man, even the most poor and sad one, opens to hope, because summer is coming, with its crops, sunshine and fruit, when it is sweet to sleep on a meadow full of flowers, under a starry sky, and it is easy for man to nourish himself, because every clod of earth bears herbs or fruit to satisfy his hunger.
Here, Israel. Winter, the time of expectation, is over. Here is now the joy of the promise which is being accomplished. The Bread and Wine are about to be ready for your hunger. The Sun is among you. Everything breathes more freely and sweetly under this Sun. Also the precept of our Law: the first and most holy of the holy precepts: “Love your God and love your neighbor”.
In the dim light granted to you so far, you were told: “Love those who love you and hate your enemies”: you could not have done any better, because the wrath of God still weighed upon you, owing to Adam's sin of estrangement. And your enemy was not only who crossed the borders of your fatherland, but also who did you wrong privately or you thought he had done. Hatred, therefore, was smoldering in every heart, because which man, intentionally or unintentionally, does not give offence to his brother? And which man reaches an old age without being offended?
I say to you: love also those who offend you. Do that, considering that Adam, and every man through him, is a sinner against God, and there is no one who can say: “I have not offended God”. And yet, God forgives, not once only He forgives, but dozens of times, He forgives thousands of times, as it is proved by the fact that man still exists on the earth. Forgive therefore, as God forgives. And if you cannot do it out of love for the brother who injured you, do it for the love of God, Who gives you bread and life, Who protects you in your worldly needs, and has arranged all events to procure eternal peace for you in His bosom. This is the new law, the law of God's springtime, of the flowery time of Grace amongst men, of the time that will bear you a matchless Fruit that will open the gates of Heaven for you.
The voice that spoke in the desert is no longer heard. But it is not mute. It still speaks to God on behalf of Israel and still speaks to every Israelite with an honest heart and it says – after teaching you to do penance to prepare the ways to the Lord Who is coming, and to be charitable giving what is surplus to those who lack even what is necessary, and to be honest without extorting and vexing – it says: “The Lamb of God, He Who takes away the sins of the world, Who will baptize with the fire of the Holy Spirit is amongst you. He will clear His threshing-floor and gather His wheat.”
Endeavor to recognize Him Whom the Precursor indicates to you. His suffering is imploring God to give you light. See. May your spiritual eyes be opened. You will recognize the Light that is coming. I pick up the voice of the Prophet announcing the Messiah, and with the power I receive from the Father, I amplify it and I add My authority to it and I call you to the truth of the Law. Prepare your hearts for the grace of the oncoming Redemption. The Redeemer is amongst you. Blessed are those who will be worthy of being redeemed, because they are men of good will. Peace be with you. »
Someone asks: « Are You a disciple of the Baptist, since You speak of him with such veneration? »
« I was baptized by him, on the banks of the Jordan, before he was imprisoned. I venerate him because he is holy in the eyes of God. I solemnly tell you that among the children of Abraham there is no one greater in grace than he is. From his birth to his death, the eyes of God will rest upon that blessed man without any feeling of disdain. »
« Did he give You any assurance about the Messiah? »
« His word, which does not lie, pointed out the living Messiah to those present.»
« Where? When? »
« When it was time to do so. »
But Judas feels bound to say to everybody: « The Messiah is He Who is speaking to you. I declare it, because I know Him, and I am His first disciple. »
« Him!… Oh!… » The people move away frightened. But Jesus is so sweet that they gather round Him again. « Ask Him to work some miracles. He is powerful. He can cure. He can read your hearts. He can answer all your questions. »
« Tell Him, on my behalf, that I am not well. My right eye is blind. My left one is already failing… »
« Master. »
« Judas. » Jesus, Who is caressing a little girl, turns round.
« Master, this man is almost blind and he wants to see. I told him you can… »
« I can cure who has faith. Have you faith, man? »
« I believe in the God of Israel. I come here to enter the Bethzatha Pool. But there is always someone before me. »
« Can you believe in Me? »
« If I believe in the angel of the pool, should I not believe in You, Who Your disciple says are the Messiah? »
Jesus smiles. He wets His finger with saliva and lightly touches the diseased eye. « What can you see? »
« I see things without the fog I used to see. Are You not curing the other one? »
Jesus smiles once again. He repeats the operation on the blind eye. « What can you see? » He asks, removing His fingertip from the closed eyelid.
« Ah! Lord of Israel! I can see as well as when I was a little boy, running on the meadows! May You be blessed forever and ever! » The man cries, kneeling at Jesus' feet.
« Go. Be good, now, out of gratitude to God. »
A Levite who arrived towards the end of the miracle, asks: « On what authority do You do such things? »
« Are you asking Me? I will tell you, if you answer a question. According to you, who is greater, a prophet who prophesies the Messiah or the Messiah Himself? »
« What a question! The Messiah is greater: He is the Redeemer promised by the Most High! »
« Well, then, why did the Prophets work miracles? On what authority? »
« On the authority given to them by God to prove to the crowds that God was with them. »
« Well, I work miracles on the same authority: God is with Me, I am with Him. And I thus prove to the people that what I say is true and that the Messiah, with a greater right and a greater power, can do what the Prophets were able to do. »
The Levite goes away pensive and the vision ends.