1st July 1945.
Jesus is speaking in the presence of Johanan's peasants, of Isaac and many disciples, of the women amongst whom there is the Blessed Virgin Mary and Martha, and of many people from Bethany. All the apostles are present. The boy, sitting in front of Jesus, does not miss one word. I think Jesus has just begun to speak because people are still arriving...
Jesus says: « ... it is because of this sensation of fear that I realise is so sharp in you, that today I wish to tell you a sweet parable. Sweet for the men of good will, bitter for the others. But the latter can remove the bitterness. Let them become men of good will, and the reproach, provoked in their consciences by the parable, will no longer exist.
The Kingdom of Heaven is the house of the nuptials of God with souls. The moment a soul enters it, is the day of the nuptials.
Now listen. It is a custom with us that virgins escort the bridegroom when he arrives, to take him with lights and songs to the nuptial house together with his sweet bride. When the procession leaves the house of the bride, who wearing a veil and deeply moved turns her steps to the place where she will be queen, that is, to a house which is not hers, but will become hers the moment she becomes one body with her husband, the procession of the virgins, who are generally friends of the bride, runs to meet the happy couple, forming a circle of lights around them.
Now it happened that in a town there was a wedding. While the bride and bridegroom were making merry with relatives and friends in the house of the bride, ten virgins went to their place, that is, to the hall in the groom's house, to be ready to go out and meet him when the sound of cymbals and songs warned them that the young couple had left the bride's house to come to the groom's. But the feast in the house of the nuptials was protracted and night fell. As you know, the virgins always keep their lamps lit, so that they do not waste time at the right moment. Now, of these ten virgins, five were wise and five were foolish, and all their lamps were lit and shining. The wise ones, full of wisdom, had provided themselves with small flasks full of oil, to fill up their lamps in the event they should have to wait longer than expected, whereas the foolish ones had only filled their little lamps.
One hour went by after the other. Cheerful conversation, tales and jokes made their waiting pleasant. But later they did not know what to say or what to do, and weary and tired, the ten girls sat down more comfortably and slowly fell asleep with their lamps lit and close to them. At midnight a cry was heard: “The bridegroom is coming, go and meet him!” The ten girls got up on hearing the order, took their veils and garlands, adorned themselves and ran to the shelf where the lamps were. The light of five of them was already fading... The wicks, no longer sustained with oil, which was finished, were smoky, their light was becoming fainter and fainter and they would go out at the least whiff of air, whereas the flames of the other five lamps, which had been refilled by the wise virgins before they fell asleep, were still bright and became even brighter when more oil was added to the lamps.
“Oh!” begged the foolish girls “give us some of your oil, otherwise our lamps will go out as soon as we move them. Yours are already so beautiful!... But the wise virgins replied: “The wind is blowing in the night outside and heavy drops of dew are falling. There is never enough oil to give a flame strong enough to withstand the wind and dampness. If we give you some, also our lights will begin to fade away. And the procession of the virgins would be really a sad one without the flickering flames of lamps! Go, run to the nearest vendor, beg, knock, make him get up to give you some oil.” And the foolish girls, panting, creasing their veils, staining their dresses, losing their garlands while pushing one another and running, followed the advice of their companions.
But while they were on their way to buy some oil, the bride and the bridegroom appeared at the end of the street. The five virgins with their lamps lit, ran to meet them and the young couple entered the house in the midst of them for the final ceremony, when the virgins at the end would escort the bride to the nuptial room. The door was closed behind them and those who were outside were left out. And that was the case of the five foolish bridesmaids, who at last arrived with the oil, but found the door closed and in vain they knocked, hurting their hands and moaning: “Lord, lord, open the door for us! We were in the wedding procession. We are the propitiatory virgins, chosen to bring honour and good luck to your wedding.” But the bridegroom, leaving for a moment the closest guests whose leave he was taking while the bride was entering the nuptial room, from the upper part of the house said to them: “I tell you that I do not know you. I do not know who you are. I did not see you rejoicing around my beloved bride. You are usurpers. You are therefore left out of the nuptial house.” And the five foolish girls, weeping, went away along the dark streets, with their useless lamps, their creased dresses and torn veils, while their garlands were practically destroyed or lost.
And now listen to the meaning of the parable. I told you at the beginning that the Kingdom of Heaven is the house of the nuptials of God with souls. All the faithful are called to the celestial wedding because God loves all His children. Sooner or later everybody arrives at the moment of the nuptials and it is a great fortune to arrive.
But listen further. You know how girls consider an honour and fortune to be invited as bridesmaids of the bride. Let us see whom the various people represent and you will understand better. The Bridegroom is God. The bride is the soul of a just person who, after the period of engagement in the house of the Father, that is under the protection of and in obedience to God's doctrine, living according to justice, is taken to the house of the Bridegroom for the wedding. The virgin-maids are the souls of the faithful, who following the example set by the bride – the fact that she was chosen by the Bridegroom because of her virtues means that she was a living example of holiness – endeavour to achieve the same honour by sanctifying themselves. They are in a white, clean, fresh dress, with white veils, crowned with flowers. They are holding lighted lamps in their hands. The lamps are very clean, and the wicks are nourished with the purest oil so that they may not be malodorous.
In a white dress. Justice steadily practised gives a white dress and the day will soon come when it will be most white, without even the most remote remembrance of stain, it will be of supernatural, angelical whiteness.
In a clean dress. One must keep the dress always clean through humility. It is so easy to dim the purity of the heart. And those whose hearts are not pure cannot see God. Humility is like water that washes. A humble man soon notices that he has darkened his robe, because his eyes are not dimmed by the fumes of pride and thus he runs to his Lord and says: “I have stained the purity of my heart. I weep at Your feet to be cleansed. Oh! my Sun, purify my heart through Your benign forgiveness and Your paternal love!”
In a fresh dress. Oh! the freshness of a heart! Children have it by gift of God. The just have it by gift of God and through their own will. Saints have it by gift of God and through their will elevated to heroism. But will a sinner, whose soul is torn, burnt, poisoned and disgraced, never be able to have a fresh robe? Oh! of course he will. He begins to have it the moment he looks at himself with disgust. He increases its freshness when he decides to change life. He brings it to perfection when through penance he washes, detoxicates, cures and recomposes his poor soul. And with the help of God, Who does not refuse assistance to anyone who asks Him for a holy help, and through his own will elevated to super-heroism because it is not necessary for him to protect what he has, but to rebuild what he destroyed and thus he must work twice, three times, seven times as much – and with untiring penance, relentless against his sinful ego, he will take his soul back to the freshness of a child's soul. A new freshness, made precious by experience which makes him the master of other people who were once like him, that is, sinners.
With white veils. Humility! I said: “When you pray or do penance, do not let the world see you.” In the Wisdom Books it is written: “It is right to keep the secret of the King.” Humility is the candid veil worn to defend the good we do and the good God grants us. We must not be proud of the privileged love granted to us by God, nor seek foolish human glory. The gift would be taken away at once. But from the depth of our hearts we must sing to our God: “My soul proclaims Your greatness, o Lord... because You have looked upon Your lowly handmaid.” »
Jesus makes a short pause and casts a glance at His Mother, Who blushes under Her veil and bends forward as if She wanted to tidy the hair of the boy sitting at Her feet, but in actual fact to conceal her deep-felt remembrance...
Crowned with flowers. A soul must weave its daily garland of virtuous deeds, because nothing withered or slovenly looking is to appear in the presence of the Most High. I said daily. Because a soul does not know when God-Bridegroom may appear and say: “Come.” Therefore you must never tire renewing the garland. Be not afraid. Flowers wither. But the flowers of virtuous wreaths do not wither. God's angel, whom every man has at his side, picks up these daily wreaths and takes them to Heaven. And they will be there the throne for the new blessed soul when it enters the nuptial house as the bride.
They have lighted lamps. They have them to honour the Bridegroom and to see the way. How refulgent faith is, and what a kind friend it is! It gives a flame as bright as a star, a flame that smiles because it is sure in its certainty, a flame that brightens also the instrument supporting it. Also the flesh of man nourished with faith seems to become brighter and more spiritual, even in this world, free from premature withering. Because he who believes holds on to God's words and commandments in order to possess God, his ultimate aim, and therefore he shuns corruption, is not perturbed or afraid, feels no remorse, is not compelled to make an effort to remember lies or to conceal evil deeds and remains young and handsome by means of the beautiful incorruptibility of saints: flesh and blood, mind and heart free from lust to contain the oil of faith, to give light without smoke. A constant will to feed that light forever. Everyday life, with its disappointments, ascertainments, contacts, temptations, disagreements, tends to diminish faith. No! It must not happen. Go every day to the source of the sweet, sapiential oil of God. A lamp with little oil can be put out by the least puff of wind or by the heavy dew of the night. The night... The hour of darkness, of sin, of temptation comes for everybody. It is night for the soul. But if the soul is filled to the brim with faith, its flame cannot be put out by the wind of the world or by the fog of sensuality.
And finally vigilance, vigilance, vigilance. He who is unwarily trustful and says: “Oh! God will come on time, while my light is still on”, and makes up his mind to go to sleep instead of keeping awake, and goes to sleep without providing what is necessary to get up and be ready at the first call, and he who waits until the last moment to procure the oil of faith or the strong wick of good will, runs the risk of being left out when the Bridegroom arrives. Be vigilant, therefore with prudence, perseverance, purity, confidence, so that you may be always ready for God's call, because you really do not know when He will come.
My dear disciples, I do not want you to be afraid of God, on the contrary I want you to have faith in His goodness. Both you who will remain here, and you who will be going away, must consider that, if you do what the wise virgins did, you will be invited not only to escort the Bridegroom, but like the virgin Esther, who became queen in the place of Vashti, you will be chosen and elected to be brides, as the Bridegroom “found more approval and favour with you than with anybody else.” I bless you, who are about to go away. Take My words with you for yourselves and for your companions. May the peace of the Lord be always with you. »
Jesus goes near the peasants to say goodbye to them once more, but John of Endor whispers to him: « Master, Judas is here now... »
« It does not matter. Take them to the wagon and do as I told you. »
The people at the meeting slowly go away. Many talk to Lazarus... And Lazarus turns towards Jesus, Who after leaving the peasants was going towards him, and says: « Master, before leaving us, speak to us again... It is the desire of the hearts of the people of Bethany. »
« Night is falling. But it is placid and serene. If you wish to gather on the mown hay, I will be speaking to you before leaving this friendly town. Or we can meet tomorrow, at dawn. Because the hour of farewell has come. »
« Later! This evening! » they all shout.
« As you wish. Go now. I will speak to you half way through the first watch »...
... and in fact, untiring, Jesus sets out towards the middle of a recently mown meadow, on which the withering hay forms a sweet smelling soft rug, while the sun sets and also its glow disappears and crickets begin their early uncertain solitary chirping. He is followed by the apostles, the Maries, Martha and Lazarus and their household, Isaac and his disciples, and I would say by all the people of Bethany. Among the servants there is the old man and the woman, the two who on the Mount of Beatitudes found comfort for the rest of their days.
Jesus stops to bless the patriarch, who kisses His hand weeping, and caresses the boy walking beside Jesus and says to him: « You are happy that you can follow Him all the time! Be good, be careful, son. You are very lucky! Very lucky, indeed! A crown is suspended over your head... You are blessed! »
When they are all settled, Jesus begins to speak.
« After the departure of our dear friends, who needed to be confirmed in the hope, nay, in the certainty that little knowledge is required to be admitted to the Kingdom, that only a minimum truth on which one's good will may work is sufficient, I will now speak to you, who are much happier than they are, because you enjoy much more material comfort and you have greater help from the Word. Only by thought I can extend My love to them. Here, My love reaches you also through My word. Therefore, you are to be treated both here on the earth and in Heaven with greater strength, because more will be asked of those to whom more was given. They, the poor friends who are going back to their prison, have the least welfare, and, on the contrary, the greatest sorrow. Therefore, there are only promises of benignity for them, because anything else would be superfluous. I solemnly tell you that their lives are penance and holiness, and nothing else is to be imposed upon them. And I also solemnly tell you, that like wise virgins, they will not let their lamps go out until the hour they are called. Let them go out? No. The light of their lamps is the only good they possess. They cannot let it go out.
I solemnly tell you that as I am in the Father, so the poor are in God. That is why I, the Word of the Father, wanted to be born poor and to remain poor. Because amongst the poor I feel closer to the Father Who loves the least people and is loved by them with all their strength. The rich have many things. The poor have but God. The rich have friends. The poor are alone. The rich have many comforts. The poor have none. The rich have many distractions. The poor have but their work. Money makes everything easy for the rich. The poor have also the cross of having to be afraid of diseases and famine, because they mean starvation and death to them. But the poor have God. Their Friend. Their Comforter. He Who distracts them from their painful present by means of heavenly hope. He, to Whom man can say – and they know how to say it, because they are poor, humble, alone – “Father, support us in Your mercy.”
What I say on this land of Lazarus, a friend of Mine and a friend of God although he is so rich, may seem strange. But Lazarus is an exception amongst the rich. Lazarus has been successful in achieving that most difficult virtue to be found on the earth, and even more difficult to be practised when it is recommended by other people. The virtue of freedom from wealth. Lazarus is just. He does not feel offended. He cannot be offended because he knows that he is the rich-poor man, and thus My concealed reproach does not affect him. Lazarus is just. And he knows that the world of great people is as I say. I therefore speak and say: I solemnly tell you that it is much easier for a poor man to be in God than it is for a rich one; and in the Heaven of My Father and yours, many seats will be occupied by those who on the earth were despised because they were the least amongst men, like trodden dust.
The poor keep in their hearts the pearls of the words of God. They are their only treasure. Who has only one precious thing, watches over it. Who has many, is bored and absent-minded, proud and sensual. That is why he does not admire with humble loving eyes the treasure given by God, and confuses it with other treasures, only apparently precious, treasures which are the riches of the earth and he thinks: “It is only out of kindness that I accept the words of one who is like me fleshwise!” and by means of strong flavours of sensuality he blunts his capability of savouring what is supernatural. Strong flavours!... Yes, very spicy to disguise their stench and their putrid flavour...
But listen and you will understand better how worldly cares, riches and orgies prevent one from entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
Once a king celebrated the wedding of his son. You can imagine the feast at the palace. He was the only son, and having reached the perfect age, he was getting married to his beloved bride. The father and king wanted the joy of his son to be surrounded with joy, as he was at last getting married to his dear fiancee. Among the many celebrations he gave a sumptuous dinner. And he prepared it in good time, watching every detail, to ensure it was magnificent and worthy the wedding of the king's son.
He sent out his servants early to tell friends and allies, as well as the mighty ones of his kingdom, that the wedding was to take place on a certain evening and that they were invited, and that they should come to form a worthy retinue to the king's son. But friends, allies and mighty ones of the kingdom did not accept the invitation.
The king then, doubting that the first servants had not spoken clearly, sent out some more, who should insist saying: “Please, do come! Everything is now ready. The tables are laid in the hall, rare wines have been brought from everywhere, oxen and fattened cattle are already in the kitchen to be cooked, women slaves are kneading flour to make cakes and crushing almonds in mortars to make the finest delicacies flavoured with rare spices. The most clever dancers and musicians have been engaged for the feast, Come, therefore, or all the preparations will be useless!”
But friends, allies and great ones of the kingdom either refused or said: “We have other things to do”, or pretended to accept the invitation, but then they attended to their own matters, some to their fields, some to their business, some to even less noble affairs. And finally there were some who, bored with so much insistence, took the servant of the king and killed him to keep him quiet, as he insisted saying: “Do not refuse the king's invitation or you may find yourself in trouble.” The servants went back to the king and reported the situations and the king flared up in a temper and sent his soldiers to punish the murderers of his servants and chastise those who had scorned his invitation, whilst he intended to reward those who had promised to come.
But at the fixed hour on the evening of the feast, no one came. The king was very angry, he called his servants and said to them: “On no account my son will be left without people who will give him a hearty welcome on the evening of his wedding. The banquet is ready, but the guests we invited are not worthy of it. And yet the nuptial banquet of my son is to take place. Go therefore to the squares, along the streets, stand at the crossroads, stop the passersby, gather together those who are standing there, and bring them all here. Let the hall be filled with joyful people.” The servants went. They went out along the streets, they spread out on the squares, they stood at crossroads, they gathered as many people as they could find, both good and bad, rich and poor, and took them to the royal palace, and they gave each of them the means to be worthy to enter the hall of the nuptial banquet. Finally they led them into the hall, which was full of jubilant people, as the king desired.
But when the king went into the hall to see whether the feast could begin, he saw one man who, notwithstanding the assistance given to him by the servants, was not wearing a wedding garment. He asked him: “How did you get in here, without a wedding garment?.” And the man did not know what to say, because he had no excuse. The king then called his servants and said to them: “take this man, bind him hand and foot and throw him out of my palace, into the dark and icy mud. He shall stay there weeping and grinding his teeth as he deserved through his ingratitude and because he offended me and my son more than me, by entering the banquet hall with a poor dirty garment, whereas nothing must enter it but what is worthy of it and of my son.”
As you can see, worldly cares, avarice, sensuality, cruelty bring down the king's wrath on people and cause the children of such cares never to enter again the palace of the king. And you can also see how among those who were invited, for the sake of his son, some were punished.
How many there are nowadays in this land, to whom God has sent His Word! God has really invited the allies, the friends, the great ones of His people, through His servants, and He will invite them again, and more urgently, as the hour of My Wedding approaches.
But they will not accept the invitation, because they are false allies, false friends and they are great only by name, because they are base. (Jesus' voice is rising louder and louder and His eyes are flashing like two gems, in the light of the fire lit between Him and His audience, to give light in the moonless night; the moon is in fact waning and will rise later). Yes, they are base. And because of their baseness, they do not understand that it is their duty and an honour for them to accept the King's invitation. Pride, harshness, lust act like a wall in their hearts. And – wicked as they are! they hate Me and so they do not want to come to My wedding. They refuse to come. They prefer to be connected with filthy policy, with even filthier money and with the most filthy sensuality, rather than come to My wedding. They prefer shrewd calculations, conspiracies, underhand conspiracies, snares, crimes.
I condemn all that in the name of God. Consequently the voice which speaks and the feasts to which they are invited, are hated by them. Those who kill the servants of God are to be looked for among this people: the Prophets who have been the servants till now; My disciples who are the servants from now onwards. The swindlers of God who say: “Yes, we will come”, whereas inwardly they think: “Never on your life!” are to be selected among this people. All that is in Israel.
And the King of Heaven will send to gather at the crossroads those who are not friends, not great ones, not allies, but only people passing by, so that His Son may have a worthy wedding celebration. And through Me, through Me the Son and the servant of God, the gathering has already begun. They will come, whoever they are... And they have already come. And I help them to be clean and properly dressed for the wedding feast. But there will be someone, who for his own misfortune, will misuse also the munificence of God, Who gives him scents and regal garments to make him appear what he is not, that is, a rich and worthy person, and he will take abominable advantage of such bounty to seduce and make a profit... An individual with a wicked soul, embraced by the revolting octopus of all vices... and he will embezzle scents and garments to make an unlawful profit, as he will not use them for the wedding of the Son, but for his own wedding with Satan.
All that will happen. Because many are called but few are those, who knowing how to persevere in their vocation, are chosen. But it will also happen that those hyenas, who prefer putrid food to living nourishment, will be punished by being thrown out of the Banquet hall into the dark and mud of an eternal pond, in which Satan grins horribly at each triumph over a soul and where there is an eternal sound of desperate weeping of the mad people who followed Crime instead of following Bounty Who had called them.
Get up and let us go and rest. I bless you, citizens of Bethany. I bless you all and I give you My peace. And I particularly bless you, Lazarus, My friend, and you, Martha. I bless My old and new disciples, whom I will be sending into the world to invite people to the wedding of the King. Kneel down, that I may bless you all. Peter, say the prayer that I taught you, and say it here, standing beside Me, because that is how it is to be said by those who are destined by God for that task. »
They all kneel down on the hay, only Jesus and Peter remain standing. Jesus, tall as he is, is most handsome in His linen robe, and Peter, in his dark brown tunic, deeply moved, says the prayer, almost trembling, in a voice which although not beautiful is manly, going very slow for fear he might make a mistake: « Our Father... » The sobs of men and women can be heard...
Marjiam, kneeling just in front of Mary Who is holding his hands joined, is looking at Jesus with an angelical smile and says in a low voice: « Look, Mother, how lovely He is! And how lovely also my father is! I seem to be in Heaven... Will my mother be here, watching? »
And Mary, in a whisper ending in a kiss, replies: « Yes, My dear. She is here. And she is learning the prayer. »
« And what about me? Will I learn it? »
« She will whisper it to your soul while you sleep, and I will repeat it to you during the day. »
The boy bends back his little dark-haired head, resting it on Mary's breast, and remains thus while Jesus blesses with the solemn Mosaic blessing.
Then they all get up and go to their homes: only Lazarus follows Jesus, entering Simon's house with Him, to remain a little longer together. All the others come in as well. The Iscariot places himself in a semidark comer and looks mortified. He dare not go near Jesus with the others...
Lazarus congratulates Jesus. He says: « Oh! I am sorry to see You go away. But I am happier than I would have been, had I seen You go away the day before yesterday! »
« Why, Lazarus? »
« Because You looked so tired and sad... You did not speak, and You hardly ever smiled... Yesterday and today You have become once again my kind holy Master, and that makes me so happy... »
« I was so even if I was quiet... »
« You were. But You are serenity and word. That is what we want from You. We drink our strength at those sources. And now those sources seemed to be dried up. Our thirst was painful... You see that also the Gentiles are amazed, and they have come looking for them... »
The Iscariot, whom John of Zebedee had approached, dares to speak: « Of course, they inquired also of me... Because I was very often at the Antonia, hoping to see You. »
« You knew where I was » replies Jesus briefly.
« I did. But I was hoping You would not disappoint those who were expecting You. Also the Romans were disappointed. I do not know why You behaved like that... »
« And you are asking Me? Are you not aware of the humours of the Sanhedrin, of the Pharisees, and of others as well, with regard to Me? »
« What? Were You afraid? »
« I was disgusted. Last year, when I was alone – all by Myself against the whole world, which did not even know whether I was a prophet – I bore evidence that I was not afraid. And you were a conquest of that audacity of Mine. I spoke openly against a whole world of howlers; I caused the voice of God to be heard by a people who had forgotten it; I cleansed the House of God of the material filth in it, without any hope of purifying it of the more serious moral filth nesting in it, because I am not unaware of the future of men. But I had to do My duty, because of My zeal for the House of the Eternal Lord, which had been converted into a place where swindlers, usurers and thieves bawled, and I did it to rouse from their torpor those whom centuries of priests' carelessness had caused to fall into spiritual lethargy. It was a cry to gather My people and take it to God... This year I have come back... And I saw that the Temple is still the same... it is even worse. It is no longer a den of thieves, but a place of conspiracy, it will later become the centre of Crime, then a brothel and finally it will be destroyed by a power greater than Samson's, crushing a caste unworthy of being called holy. It is useless to speak in that place, where, I would remind you, I was forbidden to speak. Faithless people, whose poisoned leaders dare to forbid the Word of God to speak in His House! I was forbidden. I was silent for the sake of the least ones. It is not yet time to kill Me. Too many people are in need of Me, and My apostles are not yet strong enough to take on their arms My offspring: the World. Do not weep, Mother, forgive, good Mother, Your Son's need to tell those, who wish to or may deceive themselves, the truth that I know... I will be silent... But woe to those who cause God to be silent!... Mother, Marjiam, do not weep!... Please. Let no one weep. »
But in actual fact they are all weeping more or less bitterly.
Judas, as white as death in his striped red and yellow robe, dares still to speak, in a moaning ridiculous voice: « Believe me, Master, that I am amazed and grieved... I do not know what You mean... I know nothing... It is true that I have not seen anyone of the Temple. I have broken off contacts with everybody... But if You say so it must be true... »
« Judas!... You have not seen Sadoc either? »
Judas bends his head grumbling: « He is a friend. I met him as such, not as one of the Temple... »
Jesus does not reply to him. He turns to Isaac and John of Endor, whom He gives more advice concerning their work.
Meanwhile the women comfort Mary Who is weeping and the boy who is weeping seeing Mary weep.
Also Lazarus and the apostles are sad. But Jesus comes towards them. He is smiling kindly once again, and while embracing His Mother and caressing the child, He says: « And now I will say goodbye to you who are staying. Because we are leaving tomorrow at dawn. Goodbye, Lazarus. Goodbye, Maximinus. Joseph, I thank you for your kindness to My Mother and the women disciples, while waiting for Me. Thank you for everything. Lazarus, bless once again Martha in My name. I will come back soon. Come, Mother, to rest. And you, too, Mary and Salome, if you wish to come. »
« Of course we are coming! » say the two Maries.
« Well... to bed. Peace to everybody. God be with you. » He makes a gesture of blessing and goes out holding the boy by the hand and embracing His Mother...
The stay in Bethany is over.