1st August 1945.
The sky is once again clear over the Sea of Galilee. Now that the rain has washed away the dust, everything seems more beautiful than before the storm. The air is perfectly clear and looking at the sky you get the impression that it is higher up and lighter... a transparent veil stretched between the earth and the splendour of Paradise. The lake reflects the deep blue of the sky and its turquoise water is a quiet charming sight.
It is dawning. Jesus with His Mother, Martha and Mary Magdalene embarks in Peter's boat. In addition to Peter and Andrew, also the Zealot, Philip and Bartholomew are with Him. Matthew, Thomas, Jesus' cousins, the Iscariot are instead in the other boat with James and John. They are sailing towards Bethsaida, a short voyage favoured by a fair wind. The crossing lasts only a few minutes.
When they are about to arrive, Jesus says to Bartholomew and to his inseparable companion Philip: « You will go and inform your womenfolk. I am coming to your houses today. » And He stares at them meaningfully.
« We will, Master. Are You not granting me or Philip the pleasure of having You as our guest? »
« We are staying only until sunset and I do not wish to deprive Simon Peter of the joy of Marjiam's company. »
The boat rubs against the shore and stops. They disembark and Philip and Bartholomew part from their companions to go to the village.
« Where are those two going? » Peter asks the Master Who was the first to disembark and is now beside him.
« To inform their women. »
« Then, I will go and tell Porphirea, too. »
« It is not necessary. Porphirea is so kind that it is not necessary to prepare her in any way. Her heart can give but kindness. »
Peter's face shines with joy on hearing the praise of his wife and does not say anything else.
In the meantime also the women have disembarked, on a plank (placed for them as a wharf, and they go towards Simon's house.
Marjiam, who is taking his sheep out to browse on the fresh grass on the lower hillsides of Bethsaida, is the first to see them and he announces them with a cry of joy running to embrace Jesus, Who has bent to kiss him. He then goes to Peter. Also Porphirea, whose hands are covered with flour, arrives and bows, greeting them.
« Peace to you, Porphirea. You were not expecting us so soon, were you? But I was anxious to bring My Mother to you, together with two women disciples, as well as My blessing. My Mother was anxious to see the boy again. There he is in Her arms. And the women disciples wanted to meet you... this is Simon's wife: the good and silent disciple, more active in her obedience than many others. And these are Martha and Mary from Bethany. Two sisters. Love one another. »
« Those You bring to me are dearer to me than my own blood, Master. Come. My house is more beautiful every time You set foot in it. »
Mary approaches Porphirea smiling and embraces her saying: « I see that you are really a loving mother. The boy is already much better and is happy. Thank you. »
« Oh! Woman blessed above every other woman! I know that it was because of You that I had the joy of being called mother. And You must know that I will never grieve You by not living up to that privilege. Come in, with the sisters...»
Marjiam looks at the Magdalene curiously. Many thoughts must he crossing his mind. At last he says: « But... you were not at Bethany...»
« No, I was not. But I shall always be there from now on » says the Magdalene blushing and smiling faintly. She caresses the boy saying: « Even if we have just met, do you love me? »
« Yes, because you are good. You have wept, have you not? That is why you are good. And your name is Mary, isn't it? Also my mother's name was Mary and she was good. Every woman, whose name is Mary, is good. But » he concludes, not to offend Porphirea and Martha, « but also many of those with other names are good. What was your mother's name? »
« Eucheria... and she was so good » and two large tears stream down the face of Mary of Magdala.
« Are you weeping because she is dead? » asks the boy, and he caresses her beautiful hands, which she has crossed on her dark dress, which is obviously one of Martha's adapted for her, because its hem has been let down. And he adds: « You must not weep. You know, we are not alone. Our mothers are always near us. Jesus says so. And they are like guardian angels. Jesus says that also. And if we are good, they will come and meet us when we die and we go up to God in our mother's arms. It is true, you know? He said so! »
Mary Magdala clasps her little consoler in her arms and kisses him saying: « Then pray that I may become good. »
« But are you not already? Only those who are good go with Jesus... And if one is not completely good, one becomes good, in order to become a disciple of Jesus. Because you cannot teach what you do not know. We cannot say: “Forgive” if we do not forgive first. Neither can we say: “You must love your neighbour” if we do not love him first. Do you know Jesus' prayer? »
« No, I don't. »
« Of course, you have been with Him only a short time. It is so beautiful, you know? It mentions all these things. Listen how beautiful it is. » And Marjiam slowly says the « Our Father » with deep sentiment and faith.
« How well you know it! » says Mary of Magdala admiringly.
« My mother taught me it by night and Jesus' Mother by day. If you wish so, I will teach you it. Do you wish to come with me? The sheep are bleating. They are hungry. I am going to take them to the pasture. Come with me. I will teach you how to pray and you will become thoroughly good » and he takes her by the hand.
« But I do not know whether the Master wants...»
« Go, by all means, Mary. You have an innocent child as a friend and some little lambs... You may go, tranquilly...»
Mary of Magdala goes out with the boy and she can be seen going away preceded by the three sheep. Jesus is looking on... and the others, too. « My poor sister! » exclaims Martha.
« Do not pity her. She is a flower straightening its stem after a storm. Can you hear her?... She is laughing... Innocence is always a consolation. »