29th January 1945.
I see Jesus coming out of His house and going out of Nazareth with Peter, Andrew, John, James, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Judas Thaddeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot and the shepherd Joseph. They stop in the neighborhood, in a thicket of olive-trees.
He says: « Come round Me. During these months of presence and absence I have weighed you up and studied you. I have known you and I have known the world with the experience of a man. Now I have decided to send you into the world. But before I must teach You, to make you capable of facing the world with the kindness and wisdom, the calm and perseverance, the conscience and science necessary for your mission. This period of excessive heat, which makes any long journey through Palestine impossible, will be used by Me for your education and formation as disciples. Like a musician, I have heard what is dissonant in you and I will now tune you to the celestial harmony you must convey to the world in My name. I am keeping this son (and He points at Joseph) because I will delegate to him the task of referring My words to his companions, so that also there an efficient group may be formed, that will announce Me not by simply stating that I exist, but by explaining the most essential features of My doctrine.
First of all I tell you that it is absolutely necessary for you to love one another and be united. Who are you? Men of every social condition, of different age, from everywhere. I preferred to choose those who are not indoctrinated, because I will more easily instill into them My doctrine, and also because – as you are destined to evangelize those who are in complete ignorance of the true God – I want them not to disregard their previous ignorance of God, when they remember it, and to teach them with charity, remembering with how much charity I taught them.
You may object: “We are not heathens, even if we are not intellectually cultured.” No, you are not. However, not only you but also those among you who represent the learned and rich people, are involved in a religion, which has only the name of religion, as its nature has been perverted by too many factors. I tell you that there are many who boast of being children of the Law. But eight out of ten of them are but idolaters who have confused the true, holy, eternal Law of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, in the haze of a thousand petty human religions. Therefore, looking at one another, both you humble fishermen without culture, and you merchants or sons of merchants, and you officials or sons of officials, and you wealthy people or sons of wealthy people, you must say: “We are all equal. We have all the same faults and we all need the same teaching. Since we are brothers in our personal or national faults, from now on we must become brothers in the knowledge of the Truth and in our efforts in practising it.”
Exactly: brothers. I want you to call and to consider one another as such. You are like one family. When does a family thrive and when does the world admire it? When its members are united and of the same mind. If one son becomes the enemy of another, if one brother harms another, is it possible for the prosperity of that family to last long? No. In vain the father of the family strives to work, to smooth down difficulties, to impose himself on the world. His efforts are not successful, because the wealth of the family falls to pieces, their difficulties increase, the world laughs at their perpetual quarrels by which hearts and possessions – which united were powerful against the world – are broken into a small knot of tiny opposite interests, and the enemies of the family take more and more advantage of them to hasten their ruin. You must never be like that. Be united. Love one another. You must love one another to help one another.
Look. Also what surrounds us teaches us this great strength. Look at this army of ants running all to the same place. Let us follow them. We will discover the reason of their sensible rushing to one spot… Here it is. This little sister of theirs, with her tiny organs which are invisible to us, has discovered a great treasure under this large wild chicory leaf. It is a bread crumb which perhaps was dropped from the hands of a peasant who had come here to attend to his olive-trees, or from the hands of a wayfarer who rested here in the shade eating his food, or of a child who was playing happily on the grass full of flowers. How could she trail to the hole by herself this treasure which is a thousand times her size? So she called a sister and said to her: “Look. Go quickly and tell our sisters that there is food here for the whole tribe and for many days. Go before a bird discovers this treasure and calls his mates and they devour it”. And the little ant ran, panting because of the rough ground, up and down pebbles and stalks, until she reached the anthill and she said: “Come. One of us is calling you. She found enough for us all. But she can't bring it here by herself. Come”. And all the ants ran, also the ones who already tired because of a hard day's work, were resting along the tunnels of the nest; also the ones who were laying in stores in the store cells. One, ten, a hundred, a thousand… Look… They grasp it with their jaws, they lift it supporting it with their bodies and they trail it pushing their tiny feet on the ground. This one has fallen… that one there is almost crippled because the edge of the crumb, turning over, is squeezing her against a stone; and this one, so small, obviously one of the youngest in the tribe, is stopping exhausted… but having caught her breath, she is starting again.
Oh! How united they are! Look: now the bread crumb has been completely embraced by them and it is moving, very slowly, but it is moving. Let us follow it… A little more, little sisters, still a little more, and your efforts will be rewarded… They are exhausted. But they do not give up. They rest and start again… Now they are reaching the ant nest. And now? Now they work to break the big crumb into little bits. Look how they work! Some cut bits off, some carry them away… It's all finished. Now it is all safely stored and they happily disappear into the crevices, down along the tunnels. They are ants. Nothing but ants. And yet they are strong because they are united. Meditate on that. Have you anything to ask Me? »
« I would like to ask You: but are we not going back to Judaea again? » asks Judas Iscariot.
« Who said so? »
« You did, Master. You said that You want to prepare Joseph so that he may teach the others in Judaea! Have You felt so hurt, that You do not want to go there again? »
« What have they done to You in Judaea? » asks Thomas anxiously and Peter, at the same time, vehemently: « Ah! I was right then in saying that You had come back much thinner. What did the “perfect ones” in Israel do to You? »
« Nothing, My friends. Nothing more than what I will find even here. If I went round the whole world, I would find friends and enemies everywhere. But, Judas, I asked you to be quiet… »
« That's true, but… No, I cannot be quiet when I see that You prefer Galilee to my fatherland. You are unfair. You were honored also there… »
« Judas! Judas… Oh! Judas. Your reproach is unfair. And you accuse yourself, giving vent to wrath and jealousy. I had done My best to make known only the good I had received in your Judaea and without lying I was able to mention such good with joy, so that you people of Judaea might be loved. I did so with joy. Because for the Word of God there is no distinction of regions, there are no antagonisms, enmities, differences. I love all men. All of them… How can you say that I prefer Galilee when I worked the first miracles and the first demonstrations on the holy ground of the Temple and of the Holy City, so dear to every Israelite? How can you say that I am partial, if of My eleven disciples, or rather ten, because My cousin is one of the family, not just a friend, four are Judaeans? And if I take into account also the shepherds, who are all from Judaea, you can see how many friends I have in Judaea. How can you say that I do not love you, if, knowing all things, I arranged My journey so as to give My name to a new-born in Israel and receive the soul of a dying just man of Israel? How can you say I do not love you Judaeans, if I wanted two Judaeans and only one Galilean to be present at the revelation of My birth and of My preparation to My mission? You accuse Me of injustice. But examine yourself, Judas, and consider whether you are not the unjust one. »
Jesus has spoken with majesty and kindness. But even if He had not said anything else, the three ways in which He pronounced « Judas » at the beginning of His speech, would have been sufficient to give him a good lesson. The first « Judas » was pronounced by the majestic God Who demands respect, the second by the Master Who teaches in a fatherly manner, the third was the prayer of a friend grieved at the behavior of a friend. Judas lowers his head mortified, but still bad-tempered, and ugly looking because of low sentiments coming to light.
Peter cannot keep silent. « At least beg His forgiveness, boy. If I had been in Jesus' place, you would not have got off just with words! You are more than unfair! You are lacking in respect, my fine gentleman! Is that how they educate you in the Temple? Or is it you that is not educable? Because, if it is, then… »
« That is enough, Peter. I said what was to be said. This will be a starting point for tomorrow's teaching. And now I will repeat to everybody what I told these disciples in Judaea: do not tell My Mother that Her Son was ill-treated by the Judaeans. She is already quite sad because She has realized that I am suffering. Respect My Mother. She lives in seclusion and silence. She is active only in virtue and prayer for Me, for you, for everybody. Let the gloomy lights of the world and harsh quarrels be far away from Her retreat, which is protected by discretion and purity. Do not put even the shadow of hatred where everything is love. Please respect Her. She is braver than Judith, as you will see. But do not compel Her, before Her time, to taste the dregs, which are the sentiments of the wicked people of the world. That is, the sentiments of those who have not even a rough idea of God and God's Law. I spoke to you of them at the beginning: they are the idolaters who consider themselves the wise men of God and they thus add idolatry to pride. Let us go. »
And Jesus goes back to Nazareth.