305. Simon Zealot at Nazareth.

18th October 1945. prev home next

It gets dark early in December, the lights are lit early and families gather in one room. That happens also in the little house in Nazareth, and while the two women work, one at the loom, the other doing needlework, Jesus and John of Endor, sitting near the table, are talking in low voices, and Marjiam is about to finish polishing two chests laid on the floor.

The boy is working vigorously when Jesus stands up and bending over the wood says: « That is enough now. It is smooth enough and tomorrow we will be able to paint it. Put everything away now, because we will be working again tomorrow.» And while Marjiam goes out with his polishing tools - stiff spatulas on which rough fish skin is nailed to do the work of our sandpaper, and implements like knives, but certainly not steel, for the same purpose - Jesus lifts with His strong arms one of the chests and takes it into the workshop, where they must have been working because there are sawdust and wood-shavings near one of the benches, which has been placed in the centre of the room for the occasion. Marjiam has put his tools back in their rests and is now picking up the shavings to throw them on the fire, as he says, and would also like to sweep up the sawdust, but John of Endor prefers to do it himself.

Everything has been tidied up when Jesus comes back with the second chest, which He puts near the first one. The three of them are about to come out when they hear someone knock at the door and immediately afterwards the grave voice of the Zealot resounds in a deep salutation to Mary: « Hail, Mother of my Saviour, I bless Your kindness which allows me to live under Your roof.»

« Simon has arrived. We will now learn why he is late. Let us go...» says Jesus.

When they enter the little room where the apostle is with the women, Simon is taking a large bundle off his shoulders.

« Peace to you, Simon...»

« Oh! Blessed Master! I am late, am I not? But I have done everything and well...»

They kiss one another. Simon then continues his story: « I went to see the carpenter's widow. Your assistance arrived at the right moment. The old woman is very ill and expenses have thus gone up. The little carpenter does his best to make little items, and always remembers You. They all bless You. I then went to see Nara, Samira and Sirah. Their brother is more difficult than ever. But they are peaceful, holy as they are, and they eat their poor bread dressed with tears and forgiveness. They bless You for the assistance sent to them. But they ask You to pray that their harsh brother may turn. Old Rachel also blesses You for Your alms. Finally I went to Tiberias to shop. I hope I got the right things, The women can now look at them... But I was held in Tiberias by some people who thought I was Your forerunner. They sequestrated me for three days... Oh! I may say that it was a golden prison! But it was still a prison... They wanted to know so many things... I told them the truth explaining that You had dismissed us all and that You had retired for the worst period of winter... When they were convinced that it was true, also because they went to Simon of Jonah and Philip without finding You and without learning anything else, they let me go. Even the excuse of the bad weather was of no use, as the weather was lovely. That is why I am late.»

« It does not matter. We have plenty time to be together. I thank you for everything... Mother, look at the contents of the parcel with Syntyche and let Me know whether You think it is enough for what You know...» and while the women are opening the parcel, Jesus sits down and talks to Simon.

« And what have You done, Master?»

« I made two chests, to avoid being idle and because they will be useful. I went for walks, I enjoyed being at home...»

Simon stares at Him... But does not say anything.

The exclamations of Marjiam, who sees lengths of linen and woollen cloths, sandals, veils and belts come out of the parcel, make Jesus and His two companions turn round.

Mary says: « Everything is all right. We will begin to sew at once and everything will soon be ready.»

The boy asks: « Are You getting married, Jesus?»

Everybody laughs and Jesus asks: « What makes you think so?»

« All these things for a man and a woman and the two chests You made. They are for Your trousseau and for Your bride's. Will You let me make her acquaintance?»

« Do you really want to meet My bride?»

« Oh! Yes! She must be beautiful and good! What is her name!...»

« It is a secret for the time being. Because she has two names, like you, who were first Jabez and then Marjiam.»

« And can I not know them?»

« Not just now. You will know them one day.»

« Will You invite me to the wedding?»

« It will not be a feast for children. I will invite you to the wedding party. You will be one of the guests and a witness. All right?»

« How long will it be? In a month's time?»

« Oh! much longer!»

« In that case why did You work so hurriedly as to get blisters on Your hands?»

« I got them because I no longer work with My hands. See, My dear child, how painful idleness is? Always. When one resumes working one suffers twice as much because one becomes too delicate. Now, if it hurts one's hands so much, how much will it hurt one's soul? See? This evening I had to ask you to help Me, because My hands were so sore that I could not hold the rasp, whereas only two years ago I could work for fourteen hours without feeling any pain. The same happens to those whose fervour and will become loose. One becomes flaccid and feeble and grows weary of everything very easily, as the poisons of spiritual diseases affect those who are weak. On the other hand, it is twice as difficult to do good actions, which previously, when one was always in practice, cost no effort. Oh! It never pays to be idle saying: “After this period of time I will resume working with fresh energy”! One would never succeed, or would succeed with the greatest difficulty.»

« But You have never been idle!»

« No. I have done other work. But you can see that the idleness of My hands has been detrimental to them..» And Jesus shows His hands which are red and blistered.

Marjiam kisses them saying: « My mother used to do that to me when I hurt myself, because love heals.»

« Yes, love heals many things... Well... Come, Simon. You will sleep in the carpenter's room. Come and I will show you where you can put your clothes and...» they go out and it all ends.

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