6th August 1945.
The first place where Jesus stops in Nazareth is the house of Alphaeus. He is about to enter the kitchen garden when He meets Mary of Alphaeus who is going to the fountain carrying two copper amphoras.
« Peace be with you, Mary! » says Jesus, embracing His relative, who, effusive as usual, kisses Him shouting for joy.
« This will certainly be a peaceful joyful day, my Jesus, because You have come! Oh! My dearest sons! How happy is your mother to see you! » and she kisses her big boys who were behind Jesus.
« You are staying with me today, are you not? I have just lit the oven for the bread. And I was going to the fountain, because I do not want to interrupt its baking. »
« Mother, we will go » say her sons taking the amphoras.
« How kind they are, aren't they, Jesus? »
« Yes, they are so kind » confirms Jesus.
« Also to You, are they not? Because if they should love You less than they love me, they would be less dear to me. »
« Be not afraid, Mary. They are nothing but joy to Me. »
« Are You alone? Mary went away so suddenly... I would have come too. She was with a woman... A disciple? »
« Yes. Martha's sister. »
« Oh! Blessed be God! I have prayed so much for that. Where is she? »
« There she is, she is arriving with My Mother, Martha and Susanna. » The women in fact have just turned the comer, followed by the apostles. Mary of Alphaeus runs to meet them and she exclaims: « How happy I am to have you as my sister! I should say “daughter” because you are young and I am old. But I will call you by the name which is so dear to me since I call my Mary by it. Come, my dear, you must be tired... But you are certainly happy » and she kisses the Magdalene holding her by the hand as if she wanted her to feel more deeply that she loves her. The fresh beauty of Mary Magdalene seems more striking when she is close to the rather run down figure of good Mary of Alphaeus.
« You are all staying with me today. I will not let you go away » and with a deep unvoluntary sigh of her soul, confession escapes her: « I am always so lonely! When my sister-in-law is not here, my days are sad and lonely. »
« Are your sons not here? » asks Martha.
Mary of Alphaeus blushes and sighs: « With their souls, yes. They are still here. To be a disciple joins and divides... But as you came, Mary, they will come too » and she wipes a tear. She looks at Jesus Who is watching her pitifully and she strives to smile and asks: « It takes a long time, doesn't it? »
« Yes, Mary. But you will see it happen. »
« I was hoping... After that Simon... But he heard of other... things and he became hesitant again. Love him just the same, Jesus! »
« Can you doubt it? »
While Mary is speaking she prepares some refreshments for the pilgrims, turning a deaf ear to the words of everybody assuring her that they need nothing.
« Let us leave the women disciples in peace » says Jesus and He concludes: « And let us have a walk through the village. »
« Are You going away? The other sons may come. »
« I am staying all day tomorrow. So we will be together. I am now going to see My friends. Peace to you, women. Goodbye, Mother. »
Nazareth is already in a state of excitement because of Jesus' arrival and in the company of the Magdalene. Some rush to the house of Mary of Alphaeus, some to Jesus' and since the latter is closed they all go back towards Jesus Who is crossing Nazareth going towards the centre of the village. The town is always ill-disposed to the Master. Some people are ironical, some incredulous, some are openly wicked as is obvious from certain biting remarks: they all follow the great Son of Nazareth out of curiosity, without love, and they do not understand Him. Even in the questions they ask Him there is no love, but disbelief and derision. But He feigns not to notice and replies kindly and mildly to those who speak to Him.
« You give to everybody, but You seem a son without any tie to Your fatherland, because You give it nothing. »
« I am here to give what you ask for. »
« But You prefer not to be here. Are we perhaps bigger sinners than the others?»
« There is no sinner, no matter how big he may be, whom I do not wish to convert. And you are not worse than the others. »
« However, You do not say that we are better than the others. A good son always says that his mother is better than any other mother, even if she is not so. Is perhaps Nazareth a stepmother to You? »
« I am not saying anything. When it is not possible to say that one is good, and when one does not wish to lie, to be silent is the charitable rule towards others and oneself. But you would be readily praised if you only came to My doctrine. »
« So You wish to be admired? »
« No, only listened to and believed, for the good of your souls. »
« Speak, then! We will listen to You. »
« Tell Me about what you wish Me to speak. »
A middle-aged man says: « Listen. I would like You to come with me and explain something to me. »
« I will come at once, Levi. »
And they go to the synagogue while people gather behind the Master and the head of the synagogue. The synagogue is soon crowded.
The head of the synagogue takes a roll and reads: « Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter from the Citadel of David up to the house he had built for her, because he said: “My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel, because it was sanctified when the ark of the Lord entered it” Now I would like to have Your opinion on the matter, whether You think that measure was right or not, and why. »
« It was undoubtedly right, because respect for David's house, which had been sanctified when the ark of the Lord was brought into it, demanded it. »
« But since the Pharaoh's daughter was Solomon's wife, was she thereby not worthy to live in the house of David. Does the wife not become, according to Adam's word, “bone of the bone” of her husband and “flesh of his flesh”? If it is so, how could she desecrate what the husband did not desecrate? »
« In the first Book of Ezra it is written: “You have committed sin by marrying foreign women; you have added to the sin of Israel.” And one of the causes of Solomon's idolatry was his marriages with foreign women. God had said: “Foreign women will lead your hearts astray to the extent of making you follow foreign gods.” We are aware of the consequences. »
« But he was not led astray because he had married the Pharaoh's daughter, in fact he wisely judged that she was not to live in the holy house. »
« God's goodness cannot be measured by our standards. Man, after one fault, does not forgive, although he himself is always guilty. God is not inexorable after a first fault, but He does not allow man to persist with impunity in the same sin. He therefore does not punish man the first time he falls; He then speaks to his heart. But He punishes when His goodness does not serve to convert, but is mistaken for weakness by man. He then inflicts punishment, because God is not to be derided. Although bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, the Pharaoh's daughter had laid the first germs of corruption in the heart of the Wise King, and you know that a disease breaks out not when there is only one germ in the blood, but when the blood is corrupt with many germs that have multiplied from the first one. Man's fall into sin always begins with an apparently innocuous laxity. Then compliance with evil increases. Then one becomes accustomed to conscience compromises and to neglecting one's duties and obedience to God and thus by degrees man falls into grave sins, even of idolatry in the case of Solomon, who thus provoked a schism, the consequences of which are still lasting. »
« So You say that it is necessary to be extremely careful and to have the greatest respect for holy things? »
« Most certainly. »
« Now explain also this to me. You say that You are the Word of God. Is it true? »
« I am. He sent Me to bring the Gospel to all men on the earth and to redeem them from all their sins. »
« So, if You really are what You say, You are greater than the Ark. Because God is not in the glory dominating the Ark, but He is within You. »
« You are right. That is the truth. »
« Why, then, do You desecrate Yourself? »
« And did you bring Me here to tell Me that? I feel sorry for you, for you and for those who urged you to speak. I ought not to justify Myself, because every justification is deliberately misunderstood by your hatred. But I will give a justification to you who accuse Me of not loving you and of desecrating My person. Listen. I know what you are hinting at. But I reply to you: “You are wrong.” As I open My arms to those who are dying in order to bring them back to life and I call the dead and give their lives back to them, likewise I open My arms to those who are more truly about to die and to those who are more truly dead: sinners, to bring them to eternal Life and raise them, if they are already putrid, so that they may not die again. But I will tell you a parable. A man became a leper because of his many vices. Human society banished him from its company and the man, in dire solitude, began to ponder on his situation and his sins, which had brought him to that state. Many years passed thus and when he had given up hope he suddenly recovered his health. The Lord had mercy on him because of his many prayers and tears. What did the man then do? Could he go back home because the Lord had had mercy on him? No. He had to show himself to the priest, who after examining him for some time, had him purified and sacrificed two sparrows. And after washing his clothes not only once, but twice, the man went back to the priest with the prescribed spotless lambs, the ewe-lamb, flour and oil. The priest then led him to the door of the Tabernacle. And the man was finally religiously readmitted amongst the people of Israel. But tell Me: when he went to the priest the first time, why did he go? »
« To, be purified the first time and thus be able to go through the great purification, which would readmit him amongst the holy people! »
« You are right. So he was not entirely purified? »
« Ehi! No. There is still a lot missing before he is; with regard both to his body and his soul. »
« How did he dare then to go near the priest the first time when he was utterly unclean, and a second time to go near the Tabernacle? »
« Because the priest is the necessary means to be readmitted amongst the living. »
« And the Tabernacle? »
« Because only God can forgive sins and it is of our faith to hold that God rests in His glory beyond the Holy Veil, dispensing His pardon from that source. »
« So the cured leper is not yet clear of sin when he approaches the priest and the Tabernacle? »
« No. Certainly not! »
« Men with twisted thoughts and insincere hearts, why do you accuse Me, if I, Priest and Tabernacle, allow spiritual lepers to approach Me? Why do you have two measures to judge? Yes, the woman who was lost is now here with Me, as well as Levi the publican, who is here with his new soul and his new office and many others as well, who came before them. They may stay because they have been readmitted amongst the people of the Lord. They were brought to Me by the will of God Who has given Me the power to judge and absolve, to cure and raise people from the dead. There would be desecration if they persisted in their idolatry as Pharaoh's daughter did, but there is no desecration because they have embraced the doctrine that I brought to the earth and through it they have risen to the Grace of the Lord. Men of Nazareth, who lay snares for Me as you do not think that it is possible that the true Wisdom and Justice of the Word of the Father are in Me, I say to you: “Imitate sinners.” They truly surpass you in coming to the Truth. And I also say to you: “Do not have recourse to mean snares to oppose Me.” Do not do that. Ask, and I will give you the vital Word, as I give it to everyone who comes to Me. Receive Me as a son of this land of ours. I bear you no grudge. My hands are full of caresses and My heart of the desire to teach you and make you happy. I am so anxious to please you, that if you wish so, I will spend the Sabbath with you, teaching you the New Law. »
There is a conflict of opinions amongst the crowd. But curiosity or love prevails and many shout:
« Yes, we will be here tomorrow and will listen to You. »
« I will pray that every obstacle oppressing your hearts may be removed during the night. So that every prejudice may vanish and with free minds you may understand the Voice of God that has come to bring the Gospel to the whole world, but it is My desire that the first place capable of receiving it may be the town where I grew up. Peace to you all. »