23rd August 1945.
It is not yet daybreak. Jesus is standing in the middle of Doras' ruined orchard: rows of withered or withering trees, many of which have already been felled or uprooted. Around Him there are Doras' and Johanan's peasants and the apostles, some standing, some sitting on the felled trunks.
Jesus begins to speak: « Another day and another departure. And I am not the only one who is leaving. You are departing as well, if not materially, morally, as you are going to another master. You will thus be joined to other good and pious peasants, and you will form one family, in which you will be able to speak of God and of His Word, without having to resort to subterfuges to do so. Sustain one another in your faith, help one another, bear one another's faults and edify one another.
That is love. And you heard from My apostles last night, although in different ways, that love is salvation. Simon Peter with his simple kind word made you ponder how love changes your heavy nature into a supernatural nature, how a man without love may become corrupt and corrupting, like a slaughtered animal that is not cooked, or he may become useless like wood rotten with water that will not burn in a fire, and how love makes a man live in the atmosphere of God and thus he comes out of corruption and becomes useful to his neighbour. Because, believe Me, My dear children, love is the great strength of the Universe. I will never tire telling you. All the misfortunes on the earth come from lack of love, beginning from the death and diseases caused by the lack of love of Adam and Eve for the Most High Lord.
Because love is obedience. He who does not obey is a rebel. He who is a rebel does not love him against whom he rebels. Where do other general or particular misfortunes come from, such as wars or the downfall of contending families? From selfishness, which is estrangement. And the ruin of welfare through God's punishment follows the downfall of families. Because God sooner or later will strike him who lives without loving.
I know that it is rumoured here and because of such rumour I am hated by some, looked at with fearful hearts by others, or invoked as a fresh punishment or tolerated for fear of a punishment I know that it is rumoured here that it was My look that made these fields cursed. It was not My look: but the punished selfishness of an unjust and cruel man. If My eyes were to scorch the land of all those who hate Me, very little green would be left in Palestine! I never avenge Myself for ill will manifested towards Me, but I hand over to the Father those who stubbornly persist in their sin of selfishness towards their neighbour and sacrilegiously deride the precept of love, and the more one endeavours to persuade them to love, by means of words and suitable deeds, the more cruel they become. I am always willing to raise My hand and say to a repentant soul: I absolve you. Go in peace. But I will not offend Love by agreeing to inconvertible harshness. Always bear that in mind, to see things in the right light and disprove tales, which are always different from the truth, whether they are told out of veneration or angry fear.
You are changing master, but you will not be leaving this land, to take care of which in its present state seems madness. And yet I say to you: do your duty on it. You have done it so far for fear of cruel punishment. Do it also now, although you are aware that you will not be dealt with as in the past. Nay, I say to you: the more humanely you are treated, the more diligently and cheerfully you are to work, to return humanity through your work to those who grant you humanity. Because while it is true that masters are obliged to be humane to their subordinates remembering that we are all of one race and that every man is born nude in the same manner and dies putrifying in the same manner, whether he is rich or poor, and that wealth is not the work of those who possess it, but of those who either honestly or dishonestly have amassed it for them, and that one is not to be proud of it or make use of it to oppress other people, instead one should use it with love, discretion and justice in order not to be looked at with severity by the true Master, Who is God, Who cannot be bought or seduced by jewels or gold talents, but can be made our friend only through our good deeds because while all that is true, it is also true that servants are obliged to be good to their masters.
Do the will of God, Who wants you in your humble condition, with simplicity and good will. You know the parable of Dives. You know that not gold, but virtue is rewarded in Heaven. Virtue and submission to the will of God, make God the friend of man. I know that it is very difficult to be able to always see God through the deeds of men. It is easy in good people. It is difficult in bad people, because your souls may be induced to think that God is not good. But you must overcome the evil done to you by men tempted by Satan, and beyond that barrier that costs so many tears, you must see the truth of sorrow and its beauty. Sorrow comes from Evil. But as God cannot abolish it, as the power of Evil exists and it is the assay of the spiritual gold of the children of God, He compels it to extract from its poison the juice of a medicine which gives eternal life. Because the pungency of sorrow inoculates good people with such reactions that spiritualise them more and more making them holy.
Be therefore good, respectful, submissive. Do not judge your masters. There is One Who judges them. I would like the man who commands you to become just, to make your life easier, and gain eternal life himself. But remember that the more burdensome the task to be accomplished is, the greater is the merit in the eyes of God. Do not try to defraud your master. Money or victuals obtained by fraud do not enrich or satisfy anybody's hunger. Let your hands, lips and hearts be pure. You will then keep the Sabbaths and holy days of obligation with grace in the eyes of God, even if you are compelled to work in the fields. I solemnly tell you that your labour will be worth more than the hypocritical prayer of those who go to fulfill their duty to be praised by the world, because in actual fact they infringe the precept by disobeying the Law that prescribes that each man and all the members of his family are to keep the Sabbath and festivals of Israel for their own sake. Because prayer does not consist in actions, but in sentiments. And if your hearts love God in a holy manner they will celebrate the rites of the Sabbath and festivals, which other people prevent you from keeping, better than they do and under every circumstance.
I bless you and I will now leave you because the sun is rising and I want to be on the hills before the heat of the day. We shall meet again soon because autumn is not far. Peace be with you all, both the new and the old servants of Johanan and may your hearts be serene. »
And Jesus sets out passing through the peasants and blessing them one by one.
Behind a large withered apple-tree there is a man half-hidden. But when Jesus is about to pass by pretending He has not seen him, the man jumps out and says: « I am Johanan's steward. He said to me: If the Rabbi of Israel should come, let Him stop in my fields and let Him speak to my servants. They will do more work for us, because He teaches only good things. And yesterday he wrote to me informing me that as from today they (and he points to Doras' men) are with me, and these fields belong to Johanan and he says: If the Rabbi should come listen to what He says and act accordingly. Let no calamity befall us. Load Him with honours but see if you can get Him to revoke the curse on the land. Because You must know that Johanan bought it out of spite. But I think he already regrets it. It will be a great achievement if we can turn into grazing ground...»
« Did you hear Me speak? »
« Yes, Master. »
« You know, then, how to behave, both you and your master, to have God's blessing. Tell your master. And as far as you are concerned, moderate his orders, because you know how burdensome in actual fact is the work of a man in the fields and you are well-liked by your master. But it is better for you to lose his favour and your position, rather than lose your soul. Goodbye. »
« But I have to honour You. »
« I am not an idol. I do not need interested honours to grant graces. Honour Me with your soul, by practising what you have heard and you will serve God and your master at the same time. »
And Jesus, followed by the apostles and the women, and then by all the peasants, goes across the fields and directs His steps towards the hills, greeting everybody once again.