9th July 1945.
The inside of the synagogue of Kerioth, the very spot where they laid on the ground Saul, who died after seeing the future glory of Christ. In this place, in a crowd of people from which Jesus and Judas emerge – they are the tallest and both their faces are shining, one out of love, the other for the joy of seeing that his town is always faithful to the Lord and is distinguishing itself by bestowing solemn honours upon the Master – there are the notables of Kerioth and a little farther away from Jesus the citizens, packed like seeds in a sack. The synagogue is so full that it is difficult to breathe, although the doors are open. And in order to pay homage to the Master and hear Him, they end up by making such confusion and so much noise that it is impossible to hear anything.
Jesus puts up with the situation and is silent. But the others become impatient, they gesticulate and shout: « Silence! » But their voices are lost in the hubbub, like a cry on a stormy beach.
Judas wastes no time. He climbs on to a tall bench and strikes the lamps, which are hanging in a cluster, one against the other. The hollow metal resounds and the chains rattle against one another, like musical instruments. The people become silent and at last it is possible to hear Jesus speak.
He says to the head of the synagogue: « Give Me the tenth roll from that shelf. » And once He has it, He opens it and hands it back to the head of the synagogue saying: « Read the fourth chapter of the story, the second Book of Maccabees. »
The head of the synagogue obeys and begins to read. And Onias' vicissitudes, Jason's errors and Menelaus' betrayals and thefts are presented for the consideration of those present. The chapter is over. The head of the synagogue looks at Jesus Who has been listening carefully.
Jesus nods that it is enough and then turns to the people: « In the town of My dearest disciple I will not speak the usual words to teach you. We shall be staying here for a few days and I want him to say them to you, because it is from here that I want to begin the direct contact, the continuous contact between apostles and people. That was decided in upper Galilee where it had a first bright success. But the humility of My disciples caused them to withdraw into the background, because they are afraid that they are not capable and that they would be usurping My place. No. They must do it, they will do well and help their Master. The true apostolic preaching is therefore to begin here, joining in one love only the Galilean Phoenician borders to the lands of Judah, the southern ones, bordering on the countries of the sun and sands. Because the Master is no longer sufficient for the needs of the crowds. And also because it is right that the eaglets should leave their nests and make their first flights while the Sun is still with them and His strong wing can support them.
Therefore, during these days, I will be your friend and your comfort. They will be the word and will spread the seed that I gave them. Therefore I will not teach the public, but I will give you a privileged thing: a prophecy. I ask you to remember it for the future when the most dreadful event of Mankind will darken the sun and in the darkness your hearts may be led to judge erroneously. I do not want you to be led into error, because from the first moment you have been good to Me. I do not want the world to be in a position to say: “Kerioth was the enemy of Christ.” I am just. I cannot allow criticism, whether spiteful against Me or fond of Me, to be able to accuse you of faults against Me, spurred by its feelings. As it is not possible to expect equal holiness in the children of a large family, so it is not possible to expect it in a large town. But it would be strongly against charity to say: “The whole family or the whole town is anathema” because of one wicked son or one bad citizen.
Listen therefore, then remember, be always faithful, and as I love you so much as to wish to defend you from an unfair accusation, so you must love those who are innocent. Always. Whoever they may be. Whatever their kindred may be with the guilty ones.
Now listen. The time will come when in Israel there will be informers of the treasury and of the country, who in the hope of making friends with foreigners, will speak ill of the true High Priest, accusing him of alliance with the enemies of Israel and of wicked deeds against the sons of God. And to reach their aim they are capable of committing crimes, laying the responsibility on the Innocent One. And the time will come, still in Israel, even more than at the times of Onias, when an infamous man, intriguing to become the Pontiff, will go to the mighty ones in Israel and will corrupt them with the gold of false words, which is even more infamous, and will twist the truth of facts, and he will not speak against crimes, on the contrary, pursuing his shameful object, he will do his best to corrupt customs to have a firmer grip on the souls deprived of God's friendship: everything to reach his aim. And he will succeed. Of course! Because if in the very abode on Mount Moriah there are no gymnasia of the impious Jason, in actual fact they are in the hearts of the inhabitants of the mountain, who for the sake of exemptions are willing to sell what is worth much more than a piece of ground, that is, their very conscience. The fruits of the old error can still be seen, and he who has eyes to see, can see what is happening over there, where there should be charity, purity, justice, goodness and deep holy religion. But if those fruits are already the cause of tremor, the fruits of their seeds will cause not only tremor, but God's malediction.
And here is the true prophecy. I solemnly tell you that he who slyly achieved position and reliance, by means of long underhand tricks, will give into the hands of His enemies, in exchange for money the High Priest, the True High Priest. Deceived by protestations of love and pointed out to His executioners with an act of love, He, the True High Priest, will be killed without any regard to justice. What charges will be made against Christ, because I am speaking of Myself, to justify the right to kill Him? Which fate will be reserved for those who do that? A fate of immediate dreadful justice. Not an individual fate, but a collective one for the accomplices of the traitor. A more remote and even more dreadful fate than the destiny of the man whom remorse will drive to crown his demoniac soul by committing a final crime against himself. Because that one will end in a moment. This last punishment will be a long and frightful one. You will find it in the sentence: “... and His indignation was roused and he ordered Andronicus to be stripped of the purple and to be killed on the very spot where he had laid impious hands on Onias.” Yes, the sacerdotal race will be struck in its sons as well as in the executioners. And you can read the destiny of the evil associated mass of people in the following words: “The voice of this blood cries to Me from the earth. Therefore you shall be accursed...” And they will be said by God to the whole people who did not guard the gift of Heaven. Because if it is true that I have come to redeem, woe to those who will be murderers, and will not be redeemed, amongst this people whose first redemption is My Word.
I have told you. Remember that. And when you hear them say that I am an evil-doer, say: “No. He warned us. And this is the sign, which is being fulfilled and He is the Victim killed for the sins of the world.” »
The people leave the synagogue and gesticulating they all speak of the prophecy and of the esteem in which Jesus holds Judas. The people of Kerioth are elated at the honour conferred on them by the Messiah by choosing the town of an apostle, and precisely of the apostle of Kerioth to begin the apostolic teaching as well as at the gift of the prophecy. Although it is a sad one, it is a great honour to have received it with the loving words preceding it...
Jesus and the group of the apostles are the only ones to be left in the synagogue; they then go into the little garden between the synagogue and the house of the head of the synagogue. Judas has sat down and is weeping.
« Why are you weeping? I do not see any reason...» says the other Judas.
« Well. I almost feel like doing the same myself. Did you hear Him? We are to speak now...» says Peter.
« We have already done a little of that up on the mountain. And. we will improve all the time. You and John did it successfully at once » says James of Zebedee to encourage them.
« I am the worst... but God will help me. Is that right, Master? » asks Andrew.
Jesus, Who was looking through some parchment rolls He had brought with Him, turns round and says: « What were you saying? »
« That God will help me when I have to speak. I will try and repeat Your words as best I can. My brother is afraid and Judas is weeping. »
« Are you weeping? Why? » asks Jesus.
« Because I have really sinned. Andrew and Thomas can tell You. I have been running You down and You benefit me calling me “dearest disciple” and asking me to teach here... How much love!...»
« But did you not know that I loved you? »
« Yes. But... Thank You, Master. I will never grumble again; I am really darkness and You are the Light. »
The head of the synagogue comes back and invites them to his house, and while going there he says: « I am thinking of Your words. If I have understood You properly, as in Kerioth You found a favourite disciple, our Judas of Simon, so You prophesy You will find an unworthy one. I am sorry for that. Fortunately our Judas will make up for the other...»
« With my whole being » says Judas, who has collected himself.
Jesus does not speak, but He looks at His interlocutors and makes a gesture opening out His arms as if He wanted to say: « It is so. »