9th May 1945.
Jesus is speaking in a town which I have never seen before. At least, that is what I think, because all the towns are alike in style and it is difficult to tell one from the other at first sight. Also here a road coasts the lake and all the boats are on the shore. Large and small houses are set in a row on the other side of the road, but the hills are much more distant and so the little town is on a charming plain which stretches along the eastern shores of the lake, protected from the winds by the range of hills, and warmed by the sun which here, more than in the other parts of the country, increases the blossoming of the trees.
I think that Jesus' sermon has already begun because He says: « ... It is true, You say: “We will never abandon You because to abandon You is to abandon God”, But, o people of Gherghesa, remember that nothing is more changeable than the human mind. I am convinced that at present that is what you really think. My word and the miracle that took place have encouraged you in that direction and at the present moment you are sincere in what you say. But I wish to remind you of one event, I could quote a thousand both remote and recent. I will mention only this one.
Joshua, the servant of the Lord, on the eve of death, gathered around him all the tribes with their elders, leaders, judges and scribes and he spoke to them in the presence of the Lord, reminding them of all the benefits gained from and prodigies worked by the Lord through His servant. And after enumerating all these things, he asked them to repudiate any god which was not the Lord or at least to be frank in their faith, choosing with sincerity either the True God or the gods of Mesopotamia and of the Amorites, so that there should be a clear separation between the sons of Abraham and the paganizing people.
An openly declared error is always better than a hypocritical profession and mixture of faiths, which is an insult to God and death to souls. And nothing is easier to maintain and more commonly met than such mixture. The appearance is good; the substance underneath it is not good. That state applies also nowadays. Those believers who mix the observance of the Law with what is forbidden by the Law, those miserable fellows who stagger like drunken people between loyalty to the Law and the profit of business and compromise with outlaws from whom they hope to receive some advantage, those priests or Scribes or Pharisees who no longer make the service of God the aim of their lives, but indulge in shrewd politics to triumph over other people and thus be able to do anything against more honest persons, because they are not the servants of God, but they serve a power which they know is strong and useful for their purposes, all those people are nothing but hypocrites who mix our God with false gods.
The people replied to Joshua: “Never let it be that we shall abandon the True God to serve false gods.” Joshua told them what I, have just told you about the holy jealousy of the Father, about His will to be loved exclusively, with our whole selves, about His justice in punishing those who are untruthful. Punishment! God can punish just as He can reward us. It is not necessary to be dead to receive our reward or punishment. Consider, o people of Israel, whether God, after giving you so much, freeing you from the Pharaohs, leading you safely through the desert and the snares of enemies, allowing you to become a great and respected nation, full of glory, has not punished you once, twice, ten times, for your sins! Consider what you have become now! And I, Who see you throwing yourselves headlong into the most sacrilegious idolatry, I see also into which abyss you are about to fall because you always persevere in the same faults. And because of that I rebuke you, o people who are twice Mine, because I am your Redeemer and because I was born of you. My reproach is not hatred, it is not grudge, nor intolerance, it is love, even if it is severe.
Joshua then said: “You are witnesses: you have chosen the Lord” and they all replied: “Yes, we are.” And Joshua, who was wise besides being brave, knowing how fleeting the will of man is, wrote in the book all the words of the Law and of the covenant and he put them in the temple, and also in the sanctuary of the Lord in Shechem, which contained the Tabernacle for the occasion, he set a great stone as witness and said: “This stone which has heard all your words to the Lord shall remain here as a witness so that you may not lie and deny the Lord your God.”
A stone, no matter how great and hard it may be, can always be reduced to powder by man, by thunderbolt or by the erosion of water and time. But I am the Eternal Corner-Stone. And I cannot be destroyed. Do not lie to this Living Stone. Do not love it only because it works miracles. Love it because through it you will touch Heaven. I would like you to be more spiritual, more faithful to the Lord. I am not saying to Me. I am, only because I am the Voice of the Father. By trampling on Me, you wound Him Who sent Me. I am the mediator. He is everything. Take what I offer you and keep within yourselves what is holy so that you may reach God. Do not love the Man, love the Messiah of the Lord not because of the miracles He works, but because He wants to work in you the intimate and sublime miracle of your sanctification. »
Jesus blesses and directs His steps towards a house. He is almost at the door when He is stopped by a group of elderly men who greet Him respectfully saying: « May we ask You a question, Lord? We are disciples of John and as he always speaks of You and also because the fame of Your miracles reached us, we wish to make Your acquaintance. We have just listened to You and we have a question to ask You. »
« Ask it. If you are disciples of John, you are already on the path of justice. »
« You said, speaking of the idolatries which are common amongst believers, that there are people amongst us who come to compromise between the Law and those who are out of the Law. But You also are a friend of theirs. We know that You do not disdain the Romans. So? »
« I do not deny it. But can you say that I do it to make a profit? Can you say that I caress them even to receive only their protection? »
« No, Master. And we are more than certain. But the world is not made only of us, who want to believe only in the evil that we see and not in the evil we are told about. Now tell us the convincing reason for approaching Gentiles, for our own guidance and to defend You in the event of someone slandering You in our presence. »
« It is evil to have contact when one does it for human purposes. It is not evil when one approaches them to take them to the Lord our God. That is what I do. If you were Gentiles, I could spend some time explaining to you how every man comes from One God only. But you are Jews and disciples of John. You are therefore the cream of Jews, and I need not explain that to you. You can therefore understand and believe that it is My duty, as the Word of God, to take His word to all men, the sons of the Universal father. »
« But they are not His sons, they are pagans...»
« With regard to Grace they are not. Because of their erroneous faith, they are not. That is true. But until I redeem you, man, also a Jew, will have lost Grace, he will be deprived of it, because the Stain of Origin prevents the ineffable ray of Grace from descending into men's hearts. But with regard to creation, man is always a son. From Adam, the founder of the human family, descend both the Jews and the Romans and Adam is the son of the Father Who gave him His spiritual likeness. »
« That is true. Another question, Master. Why do John's disciples fast very sternly and Yours do not? We do not mean that You should not eat. Also the Prophet Daniel was holy in the eyes of God although he was a great man at the court in Babylon, and You are greater than he. But they...»
« What very often is not achieved by rigorism, is achieved by cordiality. There are people who would never come to the Master, and the Master must go to them. There are others who would go to the Master, but are ashamed of going amongst the crowd. The Master must go also to them. And since they say to Me: “Be my guest that I may know You” I go, bearing in mind, not the pleasure of a rich table, and of a conversation that sometimes is very painful for Me, but only and always the interest of God. That is as far as I am concerned. And as often at least one of the souls which I approach is converted to God, and every conversion is a wedding feast for My soul, a great feast in which all the angels in Heaven take part and which is blessed by the Eternal God. My disciples, the friends of Me-the Spouse, rejoice with the Spouse and Friend. Would you like to see My friends in pain while I rejoice? While I am with them? But the time will come when they will no longer have Me. And then they will fast. New methods for new times. Up to yesterday, in the days of the Baptist, there was the ash of Penance. Today, in My days, there is the sweet manna of Redemption, of Mercy, of Love. The old methods could not be engrafted into Mine, as My method could not have been used then, not even yesterday. Because Mercy was not yet on the earth. It is now. No longer the Prophet, but the Messiah, to Whom everything has been entrusted by God, is on the earth. Each day has what is useful to it. Nobody sews a new cloth on to an old garment, lest the new piece of cloth, particularly when being washed, should shrink and thus tear the old cloth and the hole would become bigger. Likewise no one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the new wine would burst the wineskins, which cannot stand the effervescence of the new wine, and it would run out of the burst wineskins. But the old wine, which has already been decanted several times, is put into old wineskins, and the new wine into new ones. So that one force may be compensated by another equal one. The same happens now. The force of the new doctrine suggests new methods to divulge it. And I, Who am aware of it, make use of them. »
« Thank You, Lord. We are now happy. Pray for us. We are old wineskins. Will we be able to restrain Your force? »
« Yes, because the Baptist shaped you and because his prayers and Mine will make you capable of so much. Go with My peace and tell John that I bless him.»
« But... according to You, is it better for us to stay with the Baptist or with You? »
« As long as there is old wine, drink it, if its flavour is agreeable. Later... as the putrid water which is everywhere will disgust you, you will love the new wine.»
« Do You think that the Baptist will be recaptured? »
« Yes, most certainly. I have already sent him a warning. Go now. Enjoy your John as long as you can and make him happy. Afterwards you will love Me. And you will find it hard... also because no one who has become used to old wine will all of a sudden wish to have new wine. One says: “The old one was better.” And in fact I will have a different flavour, which will seem sour to you. But you will relish its vital flavour day by day. Goodbye, friends. May God be with you. »