25th January 1945.
« And I tell You, Master, that humble people are better. The ones I addressed either laughed at me or ignored me. Oh! The little ones at Juttah! » It is Isaac speaking to Jesus. They are all in a group sitting on the grass on the river bank. Isaac seems to be giving a report on his work. Judas intervenes and, an exceptional case, he calls the shepherd by his name: « Isaac, I am of your opinion. We waste our time and lose our faith dealing with them. I am giving it up. »
« I will not. But it makes me suffer. I will give up only if the Master tells me. For years I have been accustomed to suffering out of loyalty to the truth. I could not tell lies to get into the good graces of the mighty ones. And do you know how many times they came to make fun of me, in the room where I was ill, promising help – oh! they were certainly false promises – if I would say that I had lied, and that You, Jesus, were not the New-Born Savior?! But I could not lie. If I had lied I would have denied my own joy, I would have killed my only hope, I would have rejected You, my Lord! Reject You! In my dark misery, in my dreary illness there was always a sky strewn with stars above me: the face of my mother, the only joy of my orphan life, the face of a bride, who was never mine and whom I continued to love even after her death. These were the two minor stars. And the two major stars, like two most pure moons: Joseph and Mary smiling at the New-Born Baby and at us poor shepherds, and Your bright, innocent, kind, holy, holy, holy face, in the centre of the sky of my heart. I could not reject that sky of mine! I did not want to deprive myself of its light, as there is no other so pure. I would have rather rejected my own life, or I would have lived in torture, rather than reject You, My blessed remembrance, my New-Born Jesus! »
Jesus lays His hand on Isaac's shoulder and smiles.
Judas speaks again: « So you insist? »
« I do. Today, tomorrow, and the day after again. Someone will come. »
« How long will the work last? »
« I don't know. But believe me. It is enough not to look either ahead or back. And do things day by day. And in the evening, if we have worked with profit, we say: “Thank You, my God”, if without any profit, just say: “I hope in Your help for tomorrow.” »
« You are wise. »
« I don't even know what it means. But I do in my mission what I did during my sickness. Thirty years' infirmity is no trifling matter! »
« Ehi! I believe that. I was not yet born and you were already an invalid. »
« I was ill. But I never counted those years. I never said: “Now it is the month of Nisan again, but I am not blossoming again with the roses. Now it is Tishri and I still languish here.” I went on, speaking of Him, both to myself and to good people. I realized that the years were passing, because the little ones of bygone days came to bring me their wedding confections or the cakes for the birth of their little ones. Now, if I look back, now that from old I have become young, what do I see of my past? Nothing. It is past. »
« Nothing here. But in Heaven it is “everything” for you, Isaac, and that “everything” is waiting for you » says Jesus. And then speaking to everyone:
« You must do so. I do so Myself. We must go on. Without getting tired. Tiredness is one of the roots of human pride. And so is haste. Why is man annoyed by defeats, why is he upset by delays? Because pride says: “Why say '‘no’ to me? So much delay for me? This is lack of respect for the apostle of God.” No, My friends. Look at the whole universe and think of Him Who made it. Meditate on the progress of man, and consider his origin. Think of this hour which is now being completed and count how many centuries have preceded it. The universe is the work of a calm creation. The Father did not do things in a disorderly way. But He made the universe in successive phases. Man is the work of patient progress, the present man, and he will more and more progress in knowledge and in power. And such knowledge and power will be holy or not holy, according to his will. But man did not become skilled all at once. The First Parents, expelled from the Garden, had to learn everything, slowly, progressively. They had to learn the most simple things: that a grain of corn is more tasty if ground into flour, then kneaded and then baked. And they had to learn how to grind it and bake it. They had to learn how to light a fire. How to make a garment by observing the fleece of animals. How to make a den by watching beasts. How to built a pallet, by watching nests. They learned how to cure themselves with herbs and water, by observing animals, that do so by instinct. They learned to travel across deserts and seas, studying the stars, breaking in horses, learning how to balance boats on water, by watching the shell of a nut floating on the water of a stream. And how many failures before success! But man succeeded. And he will go farther. But he will not be happier on account of his progress, because he will become more skilled in evil than in good. But he will make progress. Is Redemption not a patient work? It was decided centuries and centuries ago, it is happening now after being prepared for centuries. Everything is patience. Why be impatient, then? Could God not have made everything in a flash? Was it not possible for man, gifted with reason, created by the hands of God, to know everything in a flash? Could I not have come at the beginning of centuries? Everything was possible. But nothing must be violence. Nothing. Violence is always against order; and God, and what comes from God is order. Do not attempt to be superior to God. »
« But, then, when will You be known? »
« By whom, Judas? »
« By the world! »
« Never! »
« Never? But are You not the Savior? »
« I am. But the world does not want to be saved. Only one in a thousand will be willing to know Me, and only one in ten thousand will really follow Me. And I will say even more. I will not be known even by My most intimate friends. »
« But if they are Your intimate friends, they will know You. »
« Yes, Judas. They will know Me as Jesus, as Jesus the Israelite. But they will not know Me as He Who I am. I solemnly tell you that I will not be known by all My intimates. To know means to love with loyalty and virtue… and there will be who does not know Me. » Jesus takes the attitude of resigned discouragement which is customary to Him when He announces His future betrayal: He opens His hands and holds them out, turned outwards, His sorrowful face looking at neither man nor Heaven, but only at His future destiny of a betrayed person.
« Do not say that » implores John.
« We follow You, to know You more and more » says Simon, and the shepherds join their voices to his.
« We follow You, as we would follow a bride and You are dearer to us than she could be; we are more jealous of You than of a woman. Oh! no. We know You already so much that we cannot ignore You any longer. He (and Judas points at Isaac) says that to deny Your remembrance of a New-Born Baby would have been more distressing than losing his life. And You were but a new-born baby. We know You as Man and Master. We listen to You and see Your works. Your contact, Your breath, Your kiss: they are our continuous consecration and our continuous purification. Only a satan could deny You after being Your close companion. »
« It is true, Judas. But there will be one. »
« Woe to him! I will be his executioner. »
« No. Leave justice to the Father. Be his redeemer. The redeemer of this soul that is inclined towards Satan. But let us say goodbye to Isaac. It is evening. I bless you, My faithful servant. You now know that Lazarus of Bethany is our friend and is willing to help My friends. I am going. You are staying here. Prepare the parched land of Judaea for Me. I will come later. In case of need you know where to find Me. My peace be with you » and Jesus blesses and kisses His disciple.