8th July 1946.
Day is just dawning when Jesus awakes and sits up on His rustic bed made of earth and grass. He then stands up, picks up His sandals and the mantle with which He had covered Himself as a protection from dew and the chill of the night, and cautiously steps over the tangle of legs, arms, bodies and heads of the apostles asleep around Him. He moves away a few steps, with keen eyes to see where He lays His feet in the subdued gleam of dawn, which under the leafy trees is barely a feeble light. He arrives at an open meadow, from which, through an opening between trees and rocks, one can catch a glimpse of a little strip of a lake which is waking up and a large piece of the sky which is becoming clearer, passing from the grey-blue hue typical of the vault of heaven at daybreak, to sky-blue, while to the east it is already fading into a light yellow shade which becomes more and more defined and deeper and deeper changing into a rosy yellow and finally into a most beautiful pale coral hue.
Dawn promises a lovely day, despite a very light haze which is reluctant to surrender the eastern sphere of the sky to daylight, and moves forward in such light veils of clouds that the blue sky does not suffer by it: on the contrary it is embellished as if it were an ornament of snow-white muslin fringed with gold and corals constantly changing, and becoming more and more beautiful, as if it were striving to reach the perfection of its fleeting beauty before being destroyed by daylight with its triumphant sunshine. To the west, on the other hand, a few stars are still visible, although deprived of their bright night twinkling as light increases, and the moon, about to set behind the tops of mountains, sails on looking very pale, with no moonbeams, like a dying planet.
Jesus, standing barefooted on the dewy grass, His arms folded across His chest, His head raised watching the rising day, is pensive... or is speaking to the Father in a spiritual conversation. There is dead silence, so much so that the large drops of abundant dew can be heard falling on the ground.
Jesus, still standing with arms folded, lowers His head and becomes engrossed in an even deeper meditation. He is completely absorbed in Himself. His magnificent wide open eyes are fixed on the ground as if they wished to wring a reply from the herbs. But I am sure that they do not even see the slow movement of stems quivering in the cold breeze of dawn, like people who wake up, stretch, turn round, stir themselves in order to awake completely and be thus alert in all their nerves and muscles. He looks, but does not see the awaking of herbs and wild flowers, with their little branches, leaves, corollas shaped like umbrellas, or growing in clusters, spikes and tufts. Some of the flowers are isolated in calyces, some are shaped like radiant crowns or snapdragons, cornucopias, plumes or berries. Some are stiff on their stalks: some are soft, hanging from stems which are not their own and round which they have twined, some are lying and creeping on the ground: some are grouped in families of many little low humble plants: some are solitary, large, violent in hue and carriage: they are all intent on shaking off their petals the dew-drops, which they no longer want, eager as they are now for sunshine only, as whimsical in their desires as in their lay-out. They are thus very much like men, who are never satisfied with what they have.
Jesus seems to be listening. But He certainly does not hear either the rustling of the wind, which is becoming stronger and is amusing itself in shaking the dew-drops and making them fall, or the ever increasing whispering of little birds, which are awaking and telling one another their dreams of the night, or are exchanging their views on the warm canorous nests in which, among down and soft hay, nestlings so far bare, are beginning to show plumage or are opening their huge beaks wide showing their greedy red throats and screeching in their first exacting request for food. Jesus seems to be listening. But He certainly does not hear the first scoffing call of the blackbird, the first sweet song of the blackcap or the golden trilled note of the skylark, which rises joyfully towards the early sun, or the shrieking, which rends the quiet air, of the many swallows, which leave the rocks, where they built their nests, and begin to weave their untiring flights from the earth to the sky. Neither does He hear the wild cry of a magpie perched on a branch of an oak near Him and seems to be asking: « Who are You? What are You pondering? » deriding Him. Not even that interrupts His meditation.
But who does not know that magpies are spiteful? This one, tired of seeing an intruder on the little meadow which is perhaps its territory, tears off the oak-tree two lovely acorns joined on one single stem, and with the precision of a first-class shot, drops them on Jesus' head. It is not a heavy shell, capable of hurting, but taking into account the height from which it is dropped, it is sufficiently solid to shake the Pensive One, Who looks up and sees the bird which, with its wings opened out and nodding in a funny way, rejoices at its shot. Jesus smiles gently, shakes His head, He sighs as a conclusion of His meditation and He moves away walking up and down. The magpie with a laugh and a mocking cry flies down to the meadow, flapping its wings, searching and scratching about the grass freed from the Intruder.
Jesus looks for some water, but He does not find any. He resigns Himself to going back to the apostles, but birds teach Him where to find it. Flocks of them fly towards some very wide calyx-shaped flowers, which in actual fact are little cups containing water, or they alight on wide hairy leaves, where each hair has retained a drop of dew, and they quench their thirst there or have their ablutions. Jesus imitates them. He collects in the hollow of His hands the water of some calyces and refreshes His face, He picks some wide hairy leaves and with them He removes the dust from His bare feet, He cleans His sandals and puts them on, and with some more leaves He washes His hands until He sees that they are clean and He smiles whispering: « The divine perfections of the Creator! »
He is now refreshed, tidy, because with His wet hand He has tidied up His hair and beard and as the first sunbeams turn the meadow into a mat studded with diamonds, He goes to wake up the apostles and the women.
Both groups are hardly able to awaken, tired as they are. Mary is awake but She is unable to move because of the little boy who is sleeping clinging to Her breast, with his little head under Her chin. And the Mother, on seeing Jesus appear at the entrance of the grotto, smiles at Him with Her kind blue eyes, while Her face becomes rosy out of the joy of seeing Him. And She frees Herself from the child, who whimpers a little on being moved, She gets up and goes towards Jesus with Her silent slightly rolling gait of a modest dove.
« May God bless You, Son, today. »
« May God be with You, Mother. Was the night unpleasant for You? »
« No. On the contrary, very pleasant. I seemed to have You, a little Baby, in My arms... And I dreamed that a kind of golden river was flowing from Your mouth, emitting such a sweet sound that it cannot be described, and a voice said... oh! what a voice: “This is the Word which enriches the world and gives beatitude to those who listen to it and obey it. Without any limitation of power, time or space, It will save.” Oh! My Son! And You, My Child, are that Word! How will I be able to live so long and to do so much as to be able to thank the Eternal Father for making Me Your Mother? »
« Do not worry about that, Mother. Every beat of Your heart pleases God. You are the living praise of God, and You will always be so, Mother. You have been thanking Him since You... »
« I do not seem to be doing it sufficiently, Jesus. It is so great, so great what God did for Me! After all, what do I do more than all those good women do, who, like Me, are Your disciples? Son, tell our Father to give Me the opportunity to thank Him as His gift deserves. »
« Mother! And do You think that the Father needs Me to ask Him that for You? He has already prepared for You the sacrifice which You will have to consume for this perfect praise. And You will be perfect when You have accomplished it... »
« My Jesus!... I understand what You mean... But will I be able to think in that hour?... Your poor Mother... »
« The Blessed Spouse of the eternal Love! Mother, that is what You are. And the Love will be thinking in You. »
« You say so, Son, and I relax on Your Word. But You... pray for Me, in that hour that none of these understands... and which is already impending... That is true, is it not? »
It is impossible to describe the expression of Mary's face during this conversation. No writer can possibly translate it into words without spoiling it with mawkishness or uncertain hues. Only he who has a heart, a kind heart, even if a virile one, can mentally give Mary's face the real expression which it has in this moment.
Jesus looks at Her... Another expression untranslatable into poor words. And He replies to Her: « And You will pray for Me in the hour of death... Yes. None of these understands... It is not their fault. Satan is creating fumes so that they may not see, that they may be like drunken people who do not understand, and therefore unprepared... and easier to bend... But You and I will save them, despite Satan's snares. Mother, I entrust them to You as from this moment. Remember these words of Mine: I entrust them to You. I give You My inheritance. I have nothing upon the Earth, except a Mother, and I offer Her to God: Victim with the Victim; and My Church, and I entrust it to You. Be her Nurse. A short time ago I was wondering in how many people, in future, the man of Kerioth will be reviving with all his faults. And I was thinking that anyone, who were not Jesus, would reject that faulty being. But I will not reject him. I am Jesus. During the time that You will remain on the Earth, and You are second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy, he being the Head and You a believer, but first as Mother of the Church having given birth to Me, Who am the Head of this mystical Body, do not reject the many Judases, but assist and teach Peter, My brothers, John, James, Simon, Philip, Bartholomew, Andrew, Thomas and Matthew not to reject, but to assist. Defend Me in My followers, and defend Me from those who want to disperse and dismember the dawning Church. And in future centuries, Mother, always be She Who pleads for and protects, defends and helps My Church, My Priests, My believers, from Evil and Punishment, from themselves... How many Judases, o Mother, in future centuries! And how many will be like half-wits who cannot understand, or like blind and deaf people who cannot see or hear, or like cripples and paralytic people who cannot come... Mother, let them all be under Your mantle! You alone can and will be able to change the punishment decrees of the Eternal Father for one soul or for many of them. Because the Trinity will never be able to deny its Flower anything. »
« I will do that, Son. As far as it depends on Me, You may go to your goal in peace. Your Mother is here to defend You in Your Church, always. »
« May God bless You, Mother... Come! I will pick for You some calyces of flowers full of scented water, and You will refresh Your face with it, as I did. Our Most Holy Father prepared them for us, and the birds have pointed them out to Me. See how everything is useful in the orderly Creation of God! This elevated tableland close to the lake, so fertile because of the mists which rise from the Sea of Galilee and of the tall trees which attract dew, allowing this luxuriance of herbs and flowers, even in the excessive summer heat. This abundant fall of dew to fill these calyces so that His beloved children may wash their faces... That is what the Father has arranged for those who love Him. Here. The water of God, in calyces of God, to refresh the Eve of the new Paradise. » And Jesus picks the very wide flowers, the name of which I do not know, and He pours into Mary's hands the water collected in them...
The others in the meantime have tidied themselves up and are coming looking for Jesus Who had moved a short distance away from the resting place.
« We are ready, Master. »
« All right. Let us go this way. »
« But is it the right one? The woods come to an end here; the last time we walked through woods... » objects James of Zebedee.
« Because we were coming up from the lake. But now we can take the right road. See? Gamala is over there, south-east, and this is the only road. The other three sides are impassable, except for wild goats. »
« You are right. We will avoid the deep barren valley, from which we saw the men who were possessed come » says Philip.
They walk fast and are soon out of the wood in which they slept, along a stoney path running beyond a little valley that grows Wider the more they approach the bizarre mountain to which Gamala clings and which is very steep on three sides, that is, to the east, north and west and is linked to the remaining area only by this road which runs straight from south to north, and is elevated between two wild stoney valleys that separate it from the country on the eastern side and from woods of oak-trees on the western side.
Many swineherds pass by in the middle of their grunting herds, going to the oak-woods. Carts laden with squared stones pass squeaking, drawn by slow oxen yoked in pairs. Some horsemen pass at a trot raising clouds of dust. Teams of ragged emaciated diggers - I think most of them are slaves or men condemned to hard labour for some reason - pass by going to their work under the strict surveillance of supervisors.
As they draw closer to the mountain and the road begins to climb, they can see fortified ditches surrounding the mountain like rings fastened to its sides. It must be a difficult task to dig out those works, particularly in certain spots which are almost sheer. And yet many men are working to repair existing fortifications, to build new ones and are carrying on their bare shoulders stone cubes which bend the poor wretches and leave bleeding wounds on their naked shoulders.
« What are those citizens doing? It is perhaps wartime that they should work thus? They are mad » say the apostles to one another while the women pity the unhappy men who are half-naked, ill-fed and compelled to do works exceeding their strength.
« But who compels them to work? The Tetrarch or the Romans? » ask the apostles once again and they discuss the matter among themselves because it would appear that Gamala is, so to say, independent of the Tetrarchy of Philip and of that of Herod, and because it seems impossible to some of the apostles that the Romans should busy themselves in building in foreign countries fortifications which in future might be used against them. And the eternal idea, as fixed as a maniacal idea, of the temporal kingdom of the Messiah, is displayed as the insignia of already certain victory, of glory and national independence.
They shout so much that some supervisors approach them and listen. They are coarse men, clearly not of Jewish race, many are elderly, several of them have scars on their bodies. But their identity is clarified by the scornful remark of one of them: « “Our kingdom!” Did you hear that, Titus? O big-nosed people! Your kingdom is already crushed under these stones. He who uses the enemy to build against the enemy serves the enemy. Publius Corfinius tells you. And if you do not understand, live long enough; and the stones will explain the enigma to you » and he laughs raising his lash because he sees an exhausted workman stagger and sit down, and he would strike him if Jesus did not stop him moving forward and saying: « You are not allowed to do that. He is a man like you. »
« Who are You Who meddle with and defend a slave? »
« I am Mercy. My name as a man would not mean anything to you. But My attribute reminds you to be merciful. You said: “He who uses the enemy to build against the enemy serves the enemy.” You spoke a sorrowful truth. But I will tell you a bright one: “Who does not use mercy will not find mercy.” »
« Are You a rhetor? »
« I told you, I am Mercy. »
Some people from Gamala, who are going towards their hometown, say: « He is the Rabbi of Galilee. He Who gives orders to diseases, to the winds, waters and demons, Who changes stones into bread and Whom nothing can resist. Let us run to town to tell the people. So that sick people may come! And we may hear His word. We belong to Israel, too! » and some of them run away, some gather round the Master.
The supervisor mentioned previously asks: « Is it true what they are saying about You? »
« Yes, it is. »
« Work a miracle and I will believe. »
« You do not ask for miracles to believe. You ask faith to believe, and thus obtain a miracle. Faith and pity for your neighbour. »
« I am a heathen... »
« That is not a valid reason. You live in Israel which gives you money... »
« Because I work. »
« No. Because you make people work. »
« I know how to make people work. »
« Yes, mercilessly. But have you never considered that if instead of being a Roman you were a Jew, you might have been in the place of one of these men? »
« Eh!... Of course... But I am not, through the protection of the gods. »
« Your vain idols could not protect you if the true God wanted to strike you. You are not dead yet. So be merciful in order to receive mercy... »
The man would like to retort and discuss, but he shrugs his shoulders disdainfully and turning his back he goes away and strikes a man who had stopped working with his pick in a hard rocky layer.
Jesus looks at the unhappy fellow who has been struck and He looks at the striker as well. Two glances of the same, and yet different, pity. And they are so deeply sad, that they remind me of certain glances of Christ during His passion. But what can He do? As He has no power to interfere, He resumes His way, with the burden of the misfortunes just seen lying heavy on His heart.
But some citizens, certainly notables, run down from Gamala, and they reach Jesus before Whom they bow deeply inviting Him to enter their town and speak to the people, who are coming in flocks of their own accord.
« You can go wherever you wish. They (and He points at the workers) cannot. It is now cool and we are protected here from the sun. Let us go towards those poor wretches so that they may hear the Word of Life as well » replies Jesus. And He sets out first retracing His steps and taking an uneven path which leads down the mountain, where it is more painful to work. He then addresses the notables saying: « If it is in your power to do so, order the work to be stopped. »
« We certainly can! We are the ones who pay and if we pay some hours for nothing, no one can complain » reply the men from Gamala and they go to speak to the supervisors and a few moments later I see the latter shrug their shoulders, as if to say: « If you are happy, why should we worry? » They then whistle to the gangs, a signal which obviously means rest.
Jesus in the meantime has spoken to other people from Gamala, and I see them nod assent and walk away fast back to town.
The workers hurry around the supervisors looking frightened. « Stop working. Your noise is annoying the philosopher » orders one of them, probably the head of them all.
The workmen look with tired eyes at the one pointed out as the philosopher who is giving them the gift of a rest. And the philosopher looking at them pitifully, replies to their glances and to the words of the supervisor saying: « Their noise does not annoy Me, but their misery grieves Me. Come, My children. Rest your bodies and even more your hearts near the Christ of God. »
The population, the slaves, the condemned men, the apostles and disciples crowd in the free space between the mountain and the trenches, and those who do not find any room there, climb up to the upper trenches on the ground, and the less lucky ones resign themselves to going onto the road, where the sun is already shining. And more people come from Gamala and many travellers coming from other towns and going to Gamala stop as well.
There is a large crowd. And those who had gone away a short time before are elbowing their way through the crowd. They are carrying heavy baskets and containers. They push their way as far as Jesus, Who has instructed the apostles to bring the workmen to the front row. They lay baskets and amphorae at Jesus' feet.
« Give them the offerings of charity » orders Jesus.
« They have had their food and there is still some water mixed with vinegar and bread. If they eat too much, they will feel heavy at work » shouts one of the supervisors.
Jesus looks at him and repeats His order: « Give them food suitable for men, and bring Me their food. »
The apostles with the help of volunteers execute His order.
Their food! A kind of a hard dark crust, not suitable for animals, and some water mixed with vinegar. That is the nourishment of the convicts! Jesus looks at it and has the poor food placed near the mountain side. And He looks at those who were to eat it, underfed bodies in which only the muscles, overdeveloped through excessive fatigue, can hold out with sheaves of fibres swelling out from the flaccid skin, feverish frightened eyes, avid mouths which seem even bestial in biting the good, plentiful unexpected food, in drinking the real corroborating fresh wine...
Jesus waits patiently for them to finish their meal. And He does not have to wait long because their avidity is such that everything is soon consumed.
Jesus stretches out His arm in the habitual gesture when He is about to speak, to draw the attention of people and impose silence. He says: « What do the eyes of man see in this place? Valleys dug deeper than they were created by nature, hills formed by man with massive ramparts, winding roads penetrating into the mountain like dens of animals. And why all that? To stop a danger which is not known whence it may come, but is felt impending like a hailstorm from a stormy sky.
In actual fact they have acted here in a human way, with human power and human means, at times also inhuman, to defend themselves and prepare means of offence, unmindful of the words of the Prophet, who teaches his people how it is possible to defend oneself from human misfortunes through superhuman means, the most valid ones. He cries: “Console my people... comfort Jerusalem, because her slavery is ended, her sin is atoned for, because she has received from the hand of the Lord double punishment for all her crimes.” And after the promise he explains the way to make it become real: “Prepare the ways of the Lord, make straight the ways of God across the desert. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain will be laid low, the winding way will become straight, the hard one will become comfortable. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all men, without any exception shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Those words were taken up by the man of God, John the Baptist, and death only silenced them on his lips.
That is, o men, the true defence against the misfortunes of mankind. Not weapon against weapon, defence against offence, not pride, not fierceness. But supernatural weapons, but virtues achieved in solitude, that is, in the interior of the individual, all alone with himself, who works to sanctify himself, erecting mountains of charity, lowering peaks of pride, straightening twisted ways of concupiscence, removing sensual obstacles from his way. Then the glory of the Lord will appear and man will receive the defence of God against the spiritual and material snares of enemies. What do you expect a few trenches, a few glacis, a few forts to be against God's punishment which the wickedness or just the tepidness of man draws upon himself? Against punishments which will be named: Romans, as in the past they were named: Babylonians, Philistines, or Egyptians, but in actual fact are divine punishments, and nothing else, deserved by the excessive pride, sensuality, greed, falsehood, selfishness, disobedience to the holy Law of the Decalogue. A man, even the strongest one, can be killed by a fly. Even the most fortified town can be taken by storm when neither man nor town enjoy God's protection, which vanishes or is driven away by the sins of man or of the town.
The Prophet goes on saying: “All flesh is grass and all its glory is like a wild flower. The grass withers, the flower fades as soon as the breath of the Lord blows on them.”
Today, by My will, you are looking at these men with pity, whereas up to yesterday you had looked at them like machines compelled to work for you. Today, because I put them, brothers among brothers, amid you, who are rich and happy, today you see them for what they are: men. Contempt or indifference have disappeared from many hearts and pity has replaced them. But consider them more intimately, beyond their oppressed flesh. In it, in them, there is a soul, a thought, feelings as in you. Once they were like you: healthy, free, happy. Later they were no longer so. Because if the life of man is like grass which withers, his well-being is even more fragile. Those who are healthy today, may be taken ill tomorrow, those who are free today, may become slaves tomorrow, those who are happy today, may be unhappy tomorrow. Some of these men are certainly guilty. Do not judge their faults, do not rejoice at their expiation. For many reasons, you might be guilty yourselves tomorrow and compelled to make hard expiation. So be merciful, because you do not know your future, which may be so different from your present time, that you may need all divine and human mercy. Be prone to love and forgiveness. There is no man on the Earth who does not need to be forgiven by God and by some of his own fellow-men. So forgive, to be forgiven.
The Prophet goes on to say: “Grass withers, flowers fade; but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
That is the weapon and defence: the eternal Word which has become the law of all your actions. Raise that true bulwark against the impending danger and you will be saved. So accept the Word, Him Who is speaking to you, but do not receive it in a material way, just for one hour within the walls of the town, but in your hearts, forever, because I am He Who knows, Who acts and Who rules with power. And I am the good Shepherd, Who pastures the flock which relies upon Him, and I neglect nobody, not the little ones, or those who are tired, injured or hit by bad fortune, or those who bewail their errors, or those who, although rich and happy, disregard everything to achieve true riches and happiness: that is, to serve God until their death.
The Spirit of the Lord is over Me because the Lord has sent Me to announce the Good News to the meek, to cure those whose hearts are broken, to preach freedom to slaves and liberation to prisoners. Neither can anyone say that I am an instigator, because I do not instigate to rebellion, neither do I advise slaves and prisoners to evade, but I teach the man in chains and the slave true freedom and true liberation, which cannot be taken away from them or even limited, as the more man gives himself up to it, the greater it grows: spiritual freedom, liberation from sin, meekness in sorrow. I teach him to see God beyond men fettering prisoners, to believe that God loves those who love Him, and forgives when man does not forgive, to hope for an eternal place of reward for those who are successful in being good in misfortunes, who can repent their sins and be faithful to the Lord. Do not weep, men, to whom I am particularly referring. I have come to comfort, to gather those who have been rejected, to bring light to their darkness, peace to their souls, to promise a joyful abode both to those who repent and to those who are not guilty. There is no past which may prevent this Present that waits in Heaven for those who serve the Lord in the situation in which they are.
It is not difficult, My poor children, to serve the Lord. He has granted you an easy way to serve Him, because He wants you to be happy in Heaven. To serve the Lord is to love. To love the will of God because you love God. The will of God is hidden even in the most apparently human things. Because - I am speaking to you who have perhaps shed the blood of brothers - because if it certainly was not the will of God that you should be violent, it is now His will that through expiation you should cancel your debts towards Love. Because, if it was not God's will that you should rebel against your enemies, it is now His will that you should become as humble as once you were proud, to your own detriment. Because if it was not God's will that you should obtain by fraud, whether big or small, what did not belong to you, it is now God's will that you should be punished, so that you may not present Yourselves to God with your sins in your hearts. And that should not be forgotten by those who are at present happy, by those who think that they are safe, and through such silly safety do not Prepare in themselves the Kingdom of God, and in the hour of the trial will be like children remote from the house of the Father, at the mercy of the storm, under the lash of pain.
You must act with justice, all of you, and raise your eyes to the house of the Father, to the Kingdom of Heaven, which, once its gates have been opened wide by Him, Who came to open them, will not refuse to accept anyone who has achieved justice. You, who are mutilated in your bodies, cripples, eunuchs; or you, who are mutilated in your spirits, cripples, eunuchs in the power of the spirit, rejected in Israel, be not afraid of having no place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mutilations, crippling, impairment of bodies come to an end with bodies. The moral ones, such as prison and slavery, will come to an end one day as well; those of the spirit, that is the fruit of past faults, are mended through good will. And material mutilations do not count in the eyes of God, and spiritual ones are cancelled in His eyes when loving repentance covers them.
The fact that one does not belong to the holy People does not prevent one from serving the Lord. Because the time has come when all frontiers of the Earth disappear before the Only King, the King of all kings and peoples, the King who gathers all peoples into one only to make it His new People. That people from which only those will be excluded who try to deceive the Lord with false obedience to His Decalogue, which all men of good will can follow, whether they are Jews, Gentiles or idolaters. Because where there is good will, there is natural inclination to justice, and he who is prone to justice, will have no difficulty in adoring the true God, once he gets to know Him, in respecting His Name, in observing holy days, in honouring parents, in not killing, stealing, bearing false witness, in not being an adulterer or fornicator, in not desiring what does not belong to him. And he who has not done that so far, should do it as from now onwards, so that his soul may be saved and he may conquer his place in Heaven. It is written: “I will give them a place in My House if they keep My Covenant and I will make them joyful.” And that is said with regard to all men of holy will, because the Holy of Holies is the common Father of all men.
I have finished. I have no money for these people. Neither would it be of any use to them. But I say to you, people of Gamala, who have made so much progress in the way of the Lord since the first time we met, that you should build the most valid defence for your town: that of love for one another and for these men, by assisting them in My Name while they work for you. Will you do that? »
« Yes, Lord » shout the crowds.
« Let us go then. I would not have entered your town if the hardness of your hearts had replied “no” to My request. May you, who are remaining here, be blessed... Let us go... »
And He goes back to the road, now flooded with sunshine and goes up to the town which is almost built in the rock like a troglodytic town, but has well-kept houses and a most beautiful varied view, according to the direction in which one looks, to the mountains of Hauran or the sea of Galilee, to the remote Great Hermon or to the green Jordan valley. The town is cool because of the way it is built, high up, and with streets which protect from the hot sun. It looks more like a huge castle than a town, a chain of fortresses, because the houses, half brickwork and half dug in the mountain, seem forts.
In the main square, the highest of them all, in the highest part of the town - one's eyes therefore enjoy a vast panorama of mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, all lying underneath - are the sick people of Gamala. And Jesus passes curing them...