2nd September 1945.
The scene is the same as in the last vision. Jesus is taking leave of the widow, holding little Joseph by the hand and He says to the woman: « Nobody will come before I come back, unless they are Gentiles. But keep here until the day after tomorrow whoever should come, saying that I shall definitely be here. »
« I will, Master. And if there are any sick people, I will give them hospitality as You taught me. »
« Goodbye, then, and peace be with you. Come, Manaen. »
From this brief conversation I understand that sick and unhappy people in general have come to the Master at Korazim and that Jesus has been evangelizing not only working but also through miracles. And if Korazim is still indifferent, it really means that it is a wild untillable soil. And yet Jesus walks through it, exchanging greetings with those who greet Him, as if nothing were the matter and then resuming His conversation with Manaen, who is uncertain whether he should leave again for Machaerus or remain another week...
... In the meantime in the house at Capernaum they are preparing for the Sabbath. Matthew still limping a little welcomes his companions, offers them water and fresh fruit, inquiring about their mission.
Peter turns up his nose seeing that some Pharisees are already sauntering near the house: « They want to poison our Sabbath. I almost feel like going to meet the Master to tell Him to go to Bethsaida and thus frustrate their plans. »
« And do you think that the Master would do it? » asks his brother.
« Then, there is that poor wretch waiting for Him in the room on the ground floor » remarks Matthew.
« We could take him to Bethsaida by boat, and I, or someone else, could go and meet the Master » says Peter.
« It's not a bad idea...» says Philip, who would willingly go to Bethsaida where his family is.
« All the more that, take note, their guardianship has been reinforced with scribes. Let us go immediately. You will take the sick man, go through the kitchen garden and away through the back of the house. I will take the boat to the “fig well” and James will do likewise. Simon Zealot and Jesus' brothers will go to meet the Master. »
« I am not going away with the possessed man » proclaims the Iscariot.
« Why not? Are you afraid the demon might cling to you? »
« Don't bother me, Simon of Jonah. I said that I am not going and I will not go. »
« Go with the cousins to meet Jesus. »
« No. »
« Ugh! Come by boat. »
« No. »
« Well, what is it you want? You are always a hindrance...»
« I want to stay here, where I am. I am not afraid of anybody and I am not running away. In any case the Master would not be happy with the trick. And there would be another sermon reproaching us, and I have no intention of getting it through your fault. You may go. I will stay here to report...»
« Definitely no! Either everybody or nobody » shouts Peter.
« Then nobody, because the Master is here. Here He is coming » says the Zealot seriously, looking down the road.
Peter, who is obviously dissatisfied, grumbles into his beard. But he goes to meet Jesus with the others. After greeting Him, they inform Him of a blind and dumb man possessed, who has been waiting for several hours with his relatives for Him.
Matthew explains: « He is like an inert body. He threw himself on some empty sacks and has not moved since. His relatives hope in You. Come and refresh Yourself and You will assist him later. »
« No. I am going to him at once. Where is he? »
« In the room on the ground floor, near the oven. I put him in there with his relatives, because there are many Pharisees and scribes, who seem to be lying in wait...»
« Yes, and it would be better not to make them happy » grumbles Peter.
« Is Judas of Simon not here? » asks Jesus.
« He stayed in the house. He must do the opposite of what others do » grumbles Peter again.
Jesus looks at him but does not reproach him. He goes quickly towards the house, entrusting the boy just to Peter, who caresses him taking out at once from his wide sash a whistle saying: « One for you and one for my son. I will take you to see him tomorrow evening. I got a shepherd to make them for me after I had spoken to him of Jesus. »
Jesus enters the house, He greets Judas who seems to be busy sorting out the kitchenware, and He then goes straight to a kind of low dark store-room beside the oven.
« Get the sick man to come out » orders Jesus.
A Pharisee who is not from Capernaum, but whose stand-offishness is even worse than that of the local Pharisees, says: « He is not sick, he is possessed. »
« That is still a disease of the spirit...»
« But his eyes and tongue are bound...»
« It is always a disease of the spirit that expands to limbs and organs. If you had allowed Me to finish you would have realized that is what I wanted to say. Fever is in the blood when one is ill, but after the blood it attacks this or that part of the body. »
The Pharisee does not know what to retort and becomes silent.
The possessed man has been led before Jesus. He is motionless. Matthew was quite right. He is greatly impeded by the demon.
People are gathering in the meantime. It is incredible how, particularly during the hours that I would call of relaxation, people were so quick in gathering where there was something to be seen. The notables of Capernaum are now there, and among them there are four Pharisees. Jairus is also there, and, in a corner, with the excuse of supervising order, there is the Roman Centurion, and citizens from other towns are with him.
« In the name of God, depart from the eyes and the tongue of this man! I want it! Set him free! You are no longer permitted to have him. Go away! » shouts Jesus stretching out His hands while giving the order.
The miracle begins with a howl of rage from the demon and ends with a cry of joy of the cured man who shouts: « Son of David! Son of David! Holy and King! »
« How can this man know that it was He Who cured him? » asks a scribe.
« It's all a farce! These people are paid to do that! » says a Pharisee shrugging his shoulders.
« By whom? If you do not mind me asking you » asks Jairus.
« By you, too. »
« And for what purpose? »
« To make Capernaum famous. »
« Do not mortify your intelligence by talking nonsense and your tongue by making it foul with lies. You know that it is not true, and you ought to realize that you are talking nonsense. What has happened here has happened in many parts of Israel. So there must be someone paying everywhere? I did not really know that the common people in Israel were very rich! Because you, and with you all the mighty ones, do not certainly pay for that. So it is the common people who pay, being the only ones who love the Master. »
« You are the head of the synagogue and you love Him. There is Manaen. At Bethany there is Lazarus of Theophilus. They are not common people. »
« But they are honest, and I am honest, too. And we do not cheat anybody, in no way. Much less in matters of faith. We do not take the liberty of doing that, because we fear God and we have understood what is pleasant to God: honesty. »
The Pharisees turn their back to Jairus and they attack the relatives of the cured man: « Who told you to come here? »
« Who? Many people, who had already been cured, or their relatives. »
« But what did they give you? »
« Give? The assurance that He would cure him. »
« Was he really ill? »
« Oh! Sly minds! Do you think that all this is feigned? If you do not believe it, go to Gadara and inquire about the misfortune of the family of Anna of Ismael. »
The irritated people of Capernaum are in tumult, while some Galileans, who have come from near Nazareth say: « And yet He is the son of Joseph, the carpenter! »
The citizens of Capernaum, being faithful to Jesus, shout: « No. He is what He said and what the cured man has just said: “Son of God and Son of David.” »
« Do not increase the excitement of the population with your statements! » says a scribe contemptuously.
« And what is He, then, according to you? »
« A Beelzebub! »
« Ugh! Tongues of vipers. Blasphemers! You are possessed! Heartless men! You are our ruin. Do you want to deprive us also of the joy of the Messiah? Usurers! Arid stones! » A real uproar!
Jesus, Who had gone into the kitchen to drink some water, appears on the threshold in time to hear once again the stale stupid accusation of the Pharisees: « He is a Beelzebub because demons obey Him. The great Beelzebub, who is His father, helps Him and He drives out demons only through the assistance of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. »
Jesus descends the two little steps of the threshold and comes forward. He stops erect, severe and calm in front of the group of scribes and Pharisees and staring at them with keen eyes He says to them:
« Also on the earth we see that a kingdom divided into opposed parties becomes weak internally and can be easily attacked and laid waste by nearby countries that make it their slave. Also on the earth we see that a town divided into conflicting parts does not flourish and the same applies to a family, the members of which are divided by mutual hatred. It falls to pieces and becomes a useless nibble, which is of no use to anybody, and the laughing stock of fellow citizens. Harmony is shrewdness besides being necessary. Because it keeps people independent, strong and loving. Patriots, citizens, relatives ought to ponder on that when for the caprice of an individual advantage they are tempted to have separations or commit abuses, which are always dangerous because they are alternative in parties and they destroy love. And such shrewdness is practised by those who are the masters of the world. Consider Rome in its undeniable power, so painful to us. Rome rules the world. But they are united by one mind and one will: “to rule.” Even amongst them there must be differences, aversions, rebellions. But they lie at the bottom. On the surface they are one block, without cracks or perturbations. They all want the same thing and they are successful because of that. And they will be successful as long as they want the same thing.
Consider that example of human cohesive shrewdness and say: if the children of this world are like that, what will Satan be like? The Romans are demons, as far as we are concerned. But their heathen satanism is nothing compared to the perfect satanism of Satan and his demons. In their eternal kingdom, without time, without end, with no limits to cunning and wickedness, where they rejoice in being detrimental to God and men, and to be harmful is their very life and their only cruel painful enjoyment, they have attained with cursed perfection the fusion of their spirits in one will: “to be harmful.” Now if, as you state, to insinuate doubt about My power, Satan is the one who helps Me because I am a minor Beelzebub, does it not follow that Satan is divided against himself and his demons, if he drives them out of the people possessed by him? And if he is at variance with his followers, can his kingdom last? No, it is not so. Satan is very shrewd and does not damage himself in the hearts of men. The aim of his life is “to steal – to damage – to lie – to offend – to upset.” To steal the souls of God and the peace of men. To damage the children of the Father grieving Him. To lie in order to mislead. To offend in order to rejoice. To upset because he is disorder and cannot change. He is eternal in his being and in his methods.
But answer this question: if I drive out demons in the name of Beelzebub, in whose name do your sons drive them out? Are you willing to admit that they are Beelzebub as well? If you say that, they will consider you slanderers. And if their holiness is such that they will not react to your accusation, you will condemn yourselves confessing that you think that you have many demons in Israel, and God will judge you in the name of the children of Israel accused by you of being demons. Therefore whoever may pass judgement, in actual fact they will be your judges, where judgement is not suborned by human pressure. If, instead, as it is true, I expel demons through the Spirit of God, that would be evidence that the Kingdom of God and the King of that Kingdom have come to you. Which King has such power that no adverse force can resist Him. Thus I bind and compel the usurpers of the children of My Kingdom to depart from the place they have occupied and give Me back the prey so that I may take possession of it. Is that not what is done by one who wants to enter a house inhabited by a powerful man, to take his property, rightly or wrongly acquired? It is. He enters and ties him, and then he can plunder the house. I tie the dark angel who has taken what is Mine, and I take away from him the good property he has stolen of Me. And I am the only one who can do it, because I alone am the Strong One, the Father of the future century, the Prince of Peace. »
« Clarify for us what You mean by saying: “Father of the future century.” Do You think that You will live until the new century and, still more foolishly, do You think that You, a poor man will create time? Time belongs to God » asks a scribe.
« And are you, a scribe, asking Me? Do you not know that there will be a century that will have a beginning but no end and that it will be Mine? I shall triumph in it gathering round Me its children and they will live forever like the century that I shall have created and I am already creating it, giving the spirit its true value above the flesh, the world, and above the infernal angels whom I expel because I can do everything. That is why I say that those who are not with Me are against Me, and those who do not gather with Me, scatter. Because I am He Who I am. And he who does not believe that, which was already prophesied, sins against the Holy Spirit, Whose word was announced by the prophets, and it is neither false nor wrong, and must be believed without resistance.
And I tell you: men will be forgiven everything, all their sins and their blasphemy. Because God knows that man is not only spirit, but also flesh and his flesh, when tempted, is subject to sudden weakness. But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. He who has spoken against the Son of man will still be forgiven, because the weight of the flesh enveloping My Person and the man who speaks against Me, can still mislead. But he who has spoken against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this or in future life, because the Truth is what it is: clear, holy, undeniable and manifested to the spirit in such a way that it cannot mislead. Only those who err deliberately want to err. To deny the Truth spoken by the Holy Spirit is to deny the Word of God and the Love given by that word for the sake of men. And the sin against Love is not forgiven.
Every tree bears its fruit. You bear yours, but your fruit is not good. If you give a good tree to have it planted in the orchard, it will give good fruit; but if you give a bad tree, the fruit it will yield will be bad and everybody will say: “This is not a good tree.” Because a tree is known by its fruit. And how can you think that you are able to speak well, since you are bad? Because a mouth speaks of what fills its heart. Because it is out of the superabundance of what is within us, that we act and speak. A good man takes good things out of his good treasure; a wicked man takes wicked things out of his evil one and he speaks and behaves according to what is within him.
I tell you solemnly that idleness is sinful. But it is better to be idle than accomplish wicked deeds. And I also tell you that it is better to be silent than speak idly and wickedly. Even if to be silent is to be idle, do that rather than sin with your tongues. I assure you that on Doomsday justification will be requested for every word spoken idly to men, and that men will be justified by the words they have spoken, and by their words they will be condemned. Be careful, therefore, because you speak many words that are more than idle, as they are not only idle but also harmful, and are spoken to drive hearts away from the Truth speaking to you. »
The Pharisees and scribes consult one another and afterwards, pretending to be kind, they ask: « Master, it is easier to believe what one sees. Give us, therefore, a sign so that we may believe that You are what You say You are. »
« You can see that there is in you the sin against the Holy Spirit, Who several times has pointed Me out to you as the Word Incarnate. Word and Saviour, Who has come in the predicted time, preceded and followed by the signs prophesied, and operating what the Spirit says. »
They reply: « We believe in the Spirit, but how can we believe in You unless we see a sign with our own eyes? »
« How can you believe in the Spirit whose actions are spiritual, if you do not believe in Mine that are perceptible by your eyes? My life is full of them. Are they not enough? No, they are not. I say so Myself. They are not enough. One sign only will be given to this adulterous wicked generation that seeks a sign: that of the prophet Jonah. In fact as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days, so the Son of man will be for three days in the bowels of the earth. I tell you solemnly that the Ninevites will rise on the Day of Judgement like all men, and they will rebel against this generation and condemn it. Because they did penance upon Jonah's preaching, but you do not. And there is One here who is greater than Jonah. And so the Queen of the South will rise and stand up against you and will condemn you, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And there is One greater than Solomon here. »
« Why do you say that this generation is adulterous and wicked? It is not any worse than the others. There are the same saints in it as in the others. The structure of Israel has not changed. You offend us. »
« You offend yourselves by injuring your souls, because you remove them from the Truth, and therefore from Salvation. But I will reply to you just the same. This generation is holy only in garments and outward appearance. It is not holy inwardly. There are in Israel the same names meaning the same things. But there is no reality of things. There are the same habits, garments and rites. But their spirit is missing. You are adulterers because you rejected the supernatural marriage with the Divine Law and you have married, in a second adulterous union, the law of Satan. You are circumcised only in a frail member. Your hearts are no longer circumcised. And you are wicked because you have sold yourselves to the Evil one. I have spoken. »
« You offend us too grievously. But, if it is so, why do You not free Israel from its demon so that it may become holy? »
« Is Israel willing to do that? No. Those poor people who come here to be freed from the demon are willing, because they feel it like a burden and a shame. But you do not feel that. And you would be freed quite uselessly, because as you are not anxious to be relieved, you would be caught again at once and in a stronger way. Because when an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through arid country looking for a place to rest and cannot find one. The country is not materially arid, mind you. It is arid because it is hostile to him as it will not receive him, just as arid soil is hostile to seed. He then says: “I will go back to the house from which I was expelled by force and against his will. And I am sure that he will welcome me and let me rest.” In fact he goes back to the one he possessed, and many times finds him willing to welcome him, because I solemnly tell you that man feels nostalgia more for Satan than for God and if Satan does not oppress his body, he does not complain of being possessed. He thus goes back and finds the house empty, swept, tidied, smelling of purity. He then goes off and collects seven other spirits, because he does not want to lose it again, and with these seven spirits more evil than himself he enters the house and they all settle in there. And the present state of a man who was converted once and is perverted a second time is worse than it was before. Because the demon now knows exactly how much that man loves Satan and is ungrateful to God and also because God will not go back where they tread on His graces, and where people, after the first experience of possession, open their arms to a greater one. A relapse into satanism is worse than a relapse into lethal phthisis already cured once. It cannot improve or recover. The same will apply to this generation, which although converted by the Baptist wanted to return to sin because it loves the Evil one and does not love Me. »
A whispering, which is neither of approval nor of protest, runs through the crowd which has become so large that not only the kitchen garden and terrace are full, but also the street. People are sitting astride the low wall, many have climbed up the fig-tree and the trees of the neighbouring orchards, because everybody wants to listen to the dispute between Jesus and His enemies. The whispering, like a wave that from the open sea arrives at the shore from mouth to mouth reaches the apostles who are closer to Jesus: that is Peter, John, the Zealot and Alphaeus' sons. Some of the other apostles are on the terrace, some in the kitchen, except Judas who is in the street, among the crowds.
Peter, John, the Zealot, Alphaeus' sons pick up the whispering and say to Jesus: « Master, Your Mother is here with Your brothers. They are out there, in the street, and they are looking for You because they want to speak to You. Tell the crowds to move away, so that they may come to You, because a grave reason has certainly brought them here looking for You. »
Jesus raises His head and at the end of the crowd He sees the anguished face of His Mother, Who strives not to weep, while Joseph of Alphaeus is speaking to Her excitedly, and He sees, Her repeated emphatic gestures of denial notwithstanding Joseph's insistency. He sees also the embarrassed face of Simon, who is openly grieved and disgusted... But He does not smile, neither does He give any order. He leaves the Sorrowful One in Her grief and His cousins where they are.
He lowers His head and looks at the crowd, and replying to the apostles near Him, He replies also to those who are far away and are endeavouring to make blood have more weight than one's duty. « Who is My Mother? Who are My brothers? » He looks round with severe countenance, as His face becomes pale as a result of the violent effort He has to make against Himself to set duty above family ties and blood, and to disavow His tie to His Mother in order to serve His Father, and pointing with a large gesture to the crowd pressing round Him in the red light of torches and in the silvery light of the almost full moon, He says: « This is My Mother and these are My brothers. Those who do the will of God are My brothers and sisters, they are My Mother. I have nobody else. And My relatives will be such if they are the first to do the will of God with greater perfection than anybody else to the extent of completely sacrificing every other will or the call of blood or of affection. »
The crowds whisper in louder voices, like a sea made rough by sudden gusts of wind.
The scribes begin to withdraw saying: « He is a demon! He repudiates His own blood! »
His relatives come forward saying: « He is crazy! He tortures His very Mother! »
The apostles say: « His word is really full of heroism! »
The crowds comment: « How much He loves us! »
Mary, Joseph and Simon elbow their way through the crowd with difficulty. While Mary is thoroughly kind, Joseph is very angry and Simon is utterly embarrassed. They arrive near Jesus.
Joseph attacks Him at once: « You are crazy! You are offending everybody. You do not respect even Your Mother. But I am here now and I will stop You. Is it true that You are wandering about as a workman? If it is true, why do You not work in Your own shop, and thus provide for Your Mother? Why do You lie saying that Your task is to preach, You idle and ungrateful man when You work for money with other people? I think that You are really possessed by a demon misleading You. Reply to me! »
Jesus turns round and takes little Joseph by the hand, He draws him close to Himself and holding him up by his armpits He says: « I worked to provide food for this innocent child and his relatives and persuade them that God is good. It was a sermon on humility and charity for Korazim. And not only for Korazim. But also for you, Joseph, My unfair brother. But I forgive you because I know that you have been bitten by snakes. And I forgive you, too, Simon, who are so changeable. I have nothing to forgive My Mother or be forgiven by Her, because Her judgement is just. Let the world do what it wants. I do what God wants. And with the blessing of My Father and Mother I am happier than I would be if the whole world hailed Me king according to the world. Come, Mother. Do not weep. They do not know what they are doing. Forgive them. »
« Oh! Son! I know. You know. There is nothing else to be said...»
« There is nothing else to be said except say to the people: “Go in peace.” »
And Jesus blesses the crowd, and holding Mary with His right hand and Joseph with His left one, He goes towards the staircase and is the first to climb it.