18th November 1945.
« And now that we have satisfied also the shepherd, what shall we do?» asks Peter, who is alone with Jesus, while the others are in a group a few metres behind them.
« We are going to the road along the coast, towards Sicaminon.»
« Are we?! I thought we were going to Capernaum...»
« It is not necessary, Simon of Jonah. Not necessary. You have had news of your wife and of the boy, and with regard to Judas... it will be easier to go and meet him.»
« Exactly, my Lord. Is he not coming by the inland road, along the river and the lake? It is the shortest and the best sheltered one...»
« But he is not coming that way. Remember that he has to watch over the disciples and they are mostly scattered on the western side in this season, which is also very cold once again.»
« All right. If You say so... I am satisfied with being with You and seeing that You are not so sad. And... I am in no hurry to meet Judas of Simon. I wish we did not meet him!... We have been so well among ourselves!...»
« Simon, Simon! Is that your brotherly charity?»
« Lord... it is my truth» says Peter frankly. And he says so with such impetuosity and expression that Jesus finds it difficult not to laugh. But how can anyone reproach such a frank and loyal man severely?
Jesus prefers to be silent, showing extreme interest in the slopes on their left, while the plain expands on their right. The other nine, in group, are following them talking, and John seems a good shepherd, as he is carrying a lamb on his shoulders, probably a present from Annas, the shepherd.
After a little while Peter asks once again: « Are we not going to Nazareth?»
« We shall certainly go. My Mother will be pleased to hear of the journey of John and Syntyche.»
« And to see You!»
« And to see Me.»
« Will they have left at least Her in peace?»
« We shall find out.»
« But why are they so ruthless? There are so many people like John even in Judaea, and yet... Nay, to spite Rome, they protect them and hide them...»
« You must convince yourself that they do it, not because of John, but because he is a witness for the prosecution against Me.»
« But they will never find him now! You organised everything very well... You sent us all alone... by sea... in a little boat for several miles, and later, on the other side of the frontier, by ship... Oh! all well organised! I really hope that they will be disappointed.»
« They will be.»
« I am anxious to see Judas of Kerioth, to practise a little astrology on him, like a sky swept by winds and full of signs, to see whether...»
« Now, that is enough!»
« You are right. It's a fixed idea I have in here» and he strikes his forehead.
Jesus, to divert his attention, calls all the others and points out to them the strange destruction worked by hail and cold that took place when people would presume that the risk was over for that year... Some say one thing, some another, but they are inclined to consider it a divine punishment for insolent Palestine that will not accept the Lord. And the more learned among them cite similar events, mentioned by ancient stories, while the younger and less educated ones listen with great astonishment and attention.
Jesus shakes His head. « It is the effect of the moon and of remote winds. I have already told you. In the hyperborean countries a phenomenon has taken place and whole regions are suffering from its consequences.»
« But why, then, some fields are beautiful?»
« Hail does that.»
« But could it not be a punishment for the most wicked ones?»
« It could be. But it is not. It would be dreadful if it were...»
« Almost all our Fatherland would become arid and desolate, would it not, Lord?» says Andrew.
« But in the prophecies it is stated, through symbols, that evil will befall those who do not accept the Messiah. Can the Prophets possibly tell lies?»
« No, Bartholomew. And what was said, will happen. But the Most High is so infinitely good, that He wants much more than what is happening at present, to punish people. You must be good, too, and not always wish punishment for those whose hearts and minds are hardened. You must wish them conversion, not punishment. John, hand the lamb to one of your companions and come and look at the sea from the top of those dunes. I am coming, too.»
In fact they are on a road very close to the sea, and it is separated from it only by a large strip of undulating dunes, on which some thin palm-trees are swaying, or ruffled tamarisks, mastic trees and other sand plants grow.
Jesus goes with John. But who leaves Him? Nobody. And soon they are all up there, in the pleasant beautiful sunshine, facing the clear charming sea...
The town of Ptolemais is very near with its white houses. « Are we entering it?» asks Judas of Alphaeus.
« It is not necessary. We will stop and eat at the first houses. I want to be at Sicaminon by evening. We may find Isaac there.»
« How much good he is doing, eh? Did You hear Abel, John and Joseph?»
« Yes. But all the disciples are very active. I bless My Father, day and night, for that. You all... My joy, My peace, My security...» and He looks at them with so much love that tears come to the eyes of the ten apostles...
And with such loving look my vision ends.