2nd May 1945.
Jesus is in a house, which, from what the people living in it say, I understand to be the house of John and James. With Jesus, beside the two apostles, there are Peter and Andrew, Simon Zealot, the Iscariot and Matthew. I do not see the others.
James and John are most happy. They come and go from their mother to Jesus and viceversa, like butterflies which do not know which of two equally loved flowers they should prefer. Mary Salome, who is also most happy, caresses each time her big boys, while Jesus smiles.
They must already have had their meal, because the table is still laid. But the two disciples at all costs want Jesus to eat some bunches of white grapes, which their mother has preserved and which must be as sweet as honey. What would they not give Jesus?
But Salome wants to give and receive something better than grapes and caresses. And after being lost in thought for a little while, looking at Jesus, then at Zebedee, she makes up her mind. She goes near Jesus Who is sitting with His back to the table, and kneels down before Him.
« What do you want, woman? »
« Master, You have decided that Your Mother, and the mother of James and Judas should come with You, and also Susanna is coming, and the great Johanna of Chuza will certainly come as well. If only one woman comes, all the others who venerate You, will come. I would like to be one of them. Take me, Jesus. I will serve You with all my love. »
« You have Zebedee to look after. Do you not love him any more? »
« Oh! Of course I love him. But I love You more. Oh! I do not mean that I love You as a man. I am sixty years old, I have been married for almost forty, and I have never seen any other man but my husband. I am not going to be crazy now that I am old. Neither is my love for my Zebedee going to end because of my old age. But You... I am not good at speaking. I am a poor woman. I will tell You as best I can. Thus: I love Zebedee with my constant inborn femininity. I love You with the spirit You have aroused in me with Your words and what James and John have told me. It is something completely different... but so beautiful. »
« It will never be so beautiful as the love of a very good husband. »
« Oh! No. It is much more beautiful. Oh! Don't take it amiss, Zebedee! I still love you with all my heart. But I love Him with something, which is still Mary, but it is no longer Mary, your poor wife, it is something more... Oh! I do not know how to tell you! »
Jesus smiles at the woman who does not wish to offend her husband, but cannot conceal her new great love. Also Zebedee smiles gravely, and goes near his wife, who, still on her knees, turns round to look at her husband and at Jesus alternately.
« Do you realise, Mary, that you will have to leave your home? And you are so proud of it! Your doves, your flowers... this vine that bears such sweet grapes of which you are so proud... your beehives, which are the most famous ones in the village... and you will no longer have your loom on which you have woven so much linen and so much woollen cloth for your dear ones... And what about your little nephews? What will you do without your little nephews? »
« Oh! My Lord! What do all these things matter: walls, doves, flowers, vines, beehives, looms, they are all good and dear things, but so insignificant as compared to You and to loving You?! My little nephews... well! Yes! I will feel sorry that I cannot put them to sleep on my lap or hear them call me... But You are worth more! Oh! You are worth more than all the things You mentioned! And if those things were taken all together and because of my weakness they were as dear or dearer than serving and following You, I would cast them aside, with the tears of a woman, to follow You with the smile of my soul. Take me, Master. John, James, will you tell Him... and you too, my husband. Be good. Help me. »
« All right. You will come with the others. I wanted you to meditate carefully on the past and the present, on what you leave and what you get. But come, Salome. You are mature to enter My family. »
« Oh! Mature! I am less than a child. But You will forgive my errors and hold me by the hand. You... because, coarse as I am, I will be much ashamed before Your Mother and before Johanna. I will be ashamed before everybody. Except You. Because You are the Good One and You understand, pity and forgive everything. »