5th August 1946.
The news that the Master is there and that He is going to speak before evening has certainly spread and the surroundings of the house are crowded with people speaking in low voices, because they are aware that the Master is resting and they do not want to wake Him. They are waiting patiently under the trees, which protect them from the sun but not from the heat which is still strong. There are no sick people, at least I think so, but, as usual, there are children and Anne, to keep them quiet, has some fruit given to them.
But Jesus does not sleep for long and the sun is still high when He appears pushing aside the curtain and smiling at the crowds. He is alone. The apostles are probably still sleeping. Jesus goes towards the people and stops near the lower edge of a well which is certainly used to water the trees of the orchard, because little irrigation canals depart radially from the well spreading out among the trees. He sits on the lower edge and begins to speak at once.
« Listen to this parable.
A wealthy man had many subordinates in numerous places of his estate, but not every place was rich in water and fertile soil. Several places suffered from lack of water, and people suffered even more because if the ground was cultivated with trees which could withstand the drought, people suffered very much from the shortage of water. The rich owner instead had, close to the house in which he lived, a lake rich in water which gushed from underground springs.
One day he decided to make a tour of his estate and he saw that some places, those closest to the lake, were rich in water, whereas others, which were remote, had none, except the small quantity which God sent as rain. And he also noticed that those who had plenty water were not kind to their brothers who were deprived of it, and grudged them even a pail of water with the excuse that they were afraid of being left without. The lord meditated on the situation. And he decided thus: “I will divert the waters of my lake towards those who are closer to it and I will order them not to refuse water any longer to my distant servants who are suffering because of the parched land.”
And he undertook the work at once and had canals dug to take the good water of the lake to the nearest parts of his property, where he dug large cisterns so that abundant water should gather there increasing the supplies already existing, and from each part he had smaller canals built to feed other more remote cisterns. He then summoned the people living in those places and said to them: “Remember that I have not done all this work to give you superfluous quantities of water, but I did it to assist, with your help, those who lack also what is necessary. Be, therefore, as Merciful as I have been” and he dismissed them.
Some time passed and the rich owner wished to visit all his possessions once again. He saw that the nearest ones had become more beautiful and abounded not only in useful plants, but also in ornamental ones, in vats, swimming-pools, fountains placed everywhere around the houses.
“You have turned these houses into abodes of rich people” remarked the lord. “I do not have so much superfluous beauty myself “, and he asked them: “Do the others come? Have you given them plenty water? Are the smaller canals fed?”
“Yes. They have been given as much as they asked. And they are over particular, they are never pleased, they are neither prudent nor moderate, they come and ask at any time, as if we were their servants and we have to defend ourselves to protect what belongs to us. They were no longer satisfied with the small canals and cisterns. They come as far as the large ones.”
“Is that why you have enclosed these places and placed these wild dogs in each of them?”
“Yes, that is the reason, sir. They used to come in without any consideration and pretended to take everything away and they spoiled...”
“But have you really given water to them? Do you realise that I did all this for them and I used you as an intermediate link between the lake and their parched land? I do not understand... I had as much water diverted from the lake as to satisfy everybody, without any waste.”
“And yet you must believe us: we never denied them water.”
The lord set out towards his remote possessions. The tall trees fit for arid ground were green and leafy. “They have spoken the truth” said the lord seeing them rustling in the distance. But when he approached them and walked under them he saw the parched soil, the almost withered grass on which emaciated sheep grazed with difficulty, the sandy vegetable gardens near houses, and then the first farmers: sickly, with feverish eyes, downhearted... They looked at him and lowered their heads withdrawing as if they were frightened.
He was surprised at their behaviour and he called them. They approached him trembling. “What are you afraid of? Am I no longer your good master who has taken care of you and with provident work has relieved you of the shortage of water? Why are your faces so sickly looking? Why is this land so arid? And the sheep so lean? And why do you seem to be frightened of me? Speak without fear. Tell your master what is afflicting you.”
One man spoke on behalf of everybody. “Lord, we have been badly disappointed and deeply grieved. You promised to help us and we have lost also what we had previously and we have given up every hope in you.”
“How? Why? Did I not let water come abundantly to the nearest people with instructions that the abundance was for you?”
“Is that what you said? Really?”
“Most certainly. The level of the ground prevented me from bringing the water here directly. But with good will you could have gone to the little canals of the cisterns with goatskins and donkeys and taken as much as you wanted. Did you not have enough donkeys and goatskins? And was I not there to give you some?”
“There you are! I told you! I said: 'It is not possible that the lord has given instructions to deny us water'. I wish we had gone for it!”
“We were afraid. They told us that the water was a reward for them and that we were to be punished.” And they informed the good master that the tenant farmers of the privileged possessions has told them that the landlord, in order to punish the servants of the arid fields because they were not producing more, had given instructions to measure not only the water of the cisterns but also that of the old wells, so that while previously they had two hundred baths of water a day for themselves and the land, and they had to carry it with much fatigue for a long distance, now they did not even have fifty and to have enough for men and animals they had to go to the brooks at the borders of the fortunate places, where water overflowed from gardens and baths and take that muddy water, and they were dying. They were dying of diseases and thirst, and vegetables and sheep were also perishing...
“Oh! that is too much! And I must stop it. Take your goods and chattels and your animals and follow me. You will fatigue a little, worn out as you are, but then you will have peace. I shall proceed slowly to allow you to follow me, in spite of your weakness. I am a good master, a good father to you and I see to my children.” And he sets out slowly, followed by the sad crowd of servants and animals who, however, were already rejoicing in the solace of their good master's love.
They arrived at the possessions very rich in water. When they were at the borders, the master took some of the strongest men and said to them: “Go and ask for some water in my name.”
“And if they set the dogs on us?”
“I shall be behind you. Be not afraid. Go and say that I sent you and tell them not to close their hearts to justice, because the water belongs to God and all men are brothers. Tell them to open the canals at once.”
They went and the landlord followed them. They stopped at a gate and the master hid himself behind the enclosure wall. They called and the tenant farmers went to the gate.
“What do you want?”
“Have mercy on us. We are dying. The landlord has sent us with instructions to take the water which he brought here for us. He says that God gave the water to him, he gave it to you for us because we are brothers and that you are to open the canals at once.”
“Ha! Ha!” laughed the cruel people. “These ragged people are our brothers? You are dying? So much the better. We will take over your places, and we will take water there. We will certainly take it there in that case! And we will make the soil fertile. Water for you? You are stupid! The water is ours.”
“Have mercy. We are dying. Open the canals. It's the master's order.”
The wicked tenants consulted with one another, and then they said: “Wait a moment” and they went away. They then came back and opened the gate. But they had dogs with them and heavy clubs... The poor people were afraid. “Come in, come in... Are you not coming in now that we have opened the gate? And then you will say that we were not generous... One of the men went in imprudently and a shower of blows rained on him while the unleashed dogs rushed upon the others.
The landlord appeared from behind the wall. “What are you doing, you cruel people? Now I know you and your animals and I will strike you” and he shot arrows at the dogs and he went in. He was severe and angry. “Is that how you carry out my orders? Is that why I gave you this wealth? Call all your people. I want to speak to you. And you” he said to the parched servants “come in with your women and children, with your sheep and donkeys, with your doves and all your animals, and drink and refresh yourselves, and pick this juicy fruit and you, little innocent children, play among the flowers. Enjoy yourselves. There is justice in the heart of your good master and there will be justice for everybody.”
And while the thirsty people ran to the cisterns, dived into the swimming-pools, and the cattle went to the vats and they were all full of joy, the others came from all directions looking frightened.
The landlord climbed on to the edge of a cistern and said: “I had all this work done and I made you trustees of my order and of this treasure, because I had chosen you as my ministers. But you failed in the test. You appeared to be good. You should have been good, because welfare makes people good, grateful to their benefactor and I had always assisted you by giving you the tenancy of this well-watered land. Such wealth and choice has made you hardhearted, more arid than the land which you have made completely arid, and more sick than these people parched with thirst. Because water can cure them, whereas you, with your selfishness, have parched your spirits which are not likely to recover, and the water of charity will flow back into you with great difficulty. I will now punish you. Go into their lands and suffer what they suffered.”
“Mercy, lord! Have mercy on us! Do you want us to perish? Are you less compassionate towards us men than we are towards animals?”
“And who are these? Are they not men, your brothers? What mercy did you have on them? They were asking for water and you gave them blows with clubs and treated them sarcastically. They were asking for what was mine and which I had given, and you refused them saying that it was 'yours'. Whose water is it? Even I will not say that the water of the lake is mine although the lake is mine. Water belongs to God. Which of you has created one single drop of dew? Go!... And to you, to you who have suffered, I say: be kind. Do to them what you would have liked done to you. Open the canals which they closed and let the water flow towards them, as soon as possible. I make you my dispensers to these guilty brothers to whom I leave means and time to redeem themselves. And the Most High entrusts you with the wealth of His water. More than I do, so that you may be providential for those who have none. If you can do this with love and justice, being satisfied with what is necessary, giving what is superfluous to the poor, being honest, not calling yours what is a gift given to you, a deposit more than a gift, great will be your peace and God's love and Mine will always be with you.”
That is the end of the parable and everybody can understand it. I only say to you that rich people are only the depositories of the wealth granted to them by God with instructions to distribute it to those who suffer. Consider the honour which God grants you by calling you to be partners in the work of Providence in favour of poor and sick people, of widows and orphans. God could rain money, garments, food on poor people. But in that case He would deprive rich people of great merits: those of charity towards their brothers. Not all rich people can be learned, but they can all be good. Not all rich people can take care of sick people, bury the dead, visit invalids and prisoners. But all rich people, and even those who are not poor, can give a piece of bread, a drop of water, cast-off garments, and they can welcome to their fireplaces those who are shivering, and can give hospitality to those who are homeless, and are exposed to rain and dog-days. He is poor who lacks what is necessary to live. The others are not poor, they have scanty means, but they are still rich as compared with those who die of starvation, privations and cold.
I am going away. I can no longer assist the poor people of this area. And My Heart suffers thinking that they are losing a friend... Well I Who am speaking to you, and you know Who I am, I ask you to be the providence of the poor who are being left without their merciful Friend. Give them alms and love them in My name and in memory of Me... Be My continuators. Relieve My depressed heart with this promise: that you will always see Me in the poor and that you will receive them as the most true representatives of Christ Who is poor, Who wanted to be poor out of love for the most unhappy people on the Earth, and to expiate, through His own indigence and ardent love, the unfair prodigality and selfishness of men.
Remember! Charity and mercy are rewarded forever. Remember! Charity and mercy are absolution from sins. God remits very much to those who love. And love for the poor who cannot reciprocate is the most deserving in the eyes of God. Remember these words of Mine until the end of your lives and you will be saved and blissful in the Kingdom of God.
May My blessing descend upon those who accept the word of the Lord and practise it. »
The apostles and Marjiam have come out of the house quietly while He was speaking and are in a compact group behind the crowds. But they come forward when Jesus ends His speech, and while doing so they collect the alms offered by many people. And they take the money to Jesus.
A shabby sickly looking man follows them. He is walking with his head so bent that I cannot see his face. He approaches Jesus and striking his chest he moans: « I have sinned, Lord, and You punished me. I deserved it. But at least forgive me before You depart. Have mercy on Jacob, a sinner! » He raises his face and I recognise, rather because he mentions his name than by his worn-out appearance, the former who was helped first and later punished through his harshness towards the two little orphans.
« My forgiveness! Some time ago you wanted to be cured by this apostle. And you were worried because your corn was spoiled. And these apostles sowed for you (1). Are you perhaps without bread? »
(1) For full details on this incident see Vol. 3, Chapter 297.
« I have enough. »
« And is that perhaps not forgiveness? » Jesus is very severe.
« No. I would rather die of starvation but feeling that my mind is at rest. I tried to make amends as best I can... I have prayed and wept... But You only can forgive and give peace to my spirit. Lord, I ask but to be forgiven... »
Jesus stares at him... He makes him raise his face, which he had bowed and pierces him with His bright eyes, bending slightly over him... He then says: « Go. You will or will not be forgiven according to how you live in the time left to you. »
« Oh! my Lord! Not thus! You have forgiven graver sins... »
« They were not persons who had been assisted like you and they had not sinned against innocent children. The poor are always sacred, but orphans and widows are the most sacred of all. Do you not know the Law?... »
The man is weeping. He wanted to be forgiven at once.
Jesus resists: « You have fallen twice and you have not been in a hurry to rise... Remember. What you, a man, allowed yourself, God can allow Himself. God is still very good if He tells you that He is not denying you forgiveness in an absolute manner, but He conditions it to the way you will live until your death. Go. »
« At least bless me... so that I may have more strength to be just. »
« I have already given My blessing. »
« No, not like that. Bless me in particular. See my heart... »
Jesus lays His hand on the man's head and says: « I have warned you. But may this caress convince you that, although I am severe, I do not hate you. My love is severe to save you, to treat you as an unhappy friend, not because you are poor, but because you have been bad. Remember that I loved you, that I had mercy on your spirit and may this remembrance make you anxious to have Me no longer as a severe friend. »
« When, Lord? Where shall I find You if You say that You are going away? »
« In My Kingdom. »
« Which one? Where are You establishing it? I will come there... »
« My Kingdom will be in your heart if you make it good and then it will be in Heaven. Goodbye. I must leave because it is getting dark and I must bless those whom I am leaving » and Jesus dismisses him turning to His disciples and to the landlord and landlady, and He blesses them one by one.
He then resumes His journey after giving the money to Judas... He disappears in the green country as He walks south-westwards towards Capernaum...
« You are walking too much, Master! » exclaims Peter. « We are tired. We have covered so many stadia... »
« Be good, Simon. We shall soon be in sight of Korazim. You will enter the town calling at the few houses which are friendly to us and in particular at the widow's. And tell little Joseph that I want to greet him at dawn. You will bring him to Me on the road which goes up to Giscala... »
« But are You not coming to Korazim? »
« No. I am going up the mountain to pray. »
« You are exhausted. You are pale. Why do You neglect Yourself? And why are You not coming with us? Why are You not coming to town? » They overwhelm Him with questions. Their fondness is at times heavy.
But Jesus is patient... and He replies patiently: « You know very well! Prayer is rest for Me. It is fatigue to be among people when I am not there to cure or to evangelize. So I will go up the mountain. Where I have been other times. You know the place. »
« On the path that takes one to Joachim's house? »
« Yes. You know where to find Me. At dawn I will come and meet you... »
« And shall we be going towards Giscala? »
« It is the right road to go towards the Syro-Phoenician borders. I told the people at Aphek that I would go there and I will go. »
« It's because... Don't You remember the last time? »
« Be not afraid, Simon. They have changed system. At present they honour Me... »
« Oh! So they love You. »
« No. They hate Me more than they did previously. But as they cannot overthrow Me by means of their strength, they try to do so by deceit. They are trying to seduce the Man... And to seduce one makes use of honours, even if they are false. Nay... Come here near Me, all of you » He says to the others who were proceeding in a group seeing that Jesus was speaking to Peter privately.
They gather together. Jesus says: « I was saying to Simon - and I will say it to everybody as I have no secrets for My friends - I was saying to Simon that those who are hostile to Me have changed their way to harm Me, but they have not changed their minds with regard to Me. So whilst previously they made use of insults and threats, now they have resort to honours. Not only with regard to Me, but also to you. So be strong and wise. Do not let their false words, their gifts and seductions deceive you. Remember what Deuteronomy says: “Gifts blind the eyes of wise men and alter the words of just people.” Remember Samson. He was God's nazirite from his birth, from his mother's womb and she conceived and formed him in abstinence by order of the angel so that he might be a just judge of Israel. But where did so much good end? And how? And through whom? And was virtue not demolished many other times by means of honours, money and hired women to play into the enemies' hands? So be shrewd and vigilant in order not to be deceived and not to serve enemies even unawares. Strive to remain as free as birds, which prefer scanty food and a branch on which to rest to golden cages where food is plentiful and where they can rest comfortably, but where they are prisoners of the whims of men. Remember that you are My apostles, servants, therefore, of God only, as I am servant only of the Will of the Father. They will try to seduce you, perhaps they have already done so, catching each of you by your weak points, because the servants of Evil are cunning as they are taught by the Evil One. Do not believe their words. They are not sincere. If they were, I would be the first to say to you: “Let us greet these people as good brothers of ours.” Instead we must mistrust their deeds and pray for them, that they may become good. I do so. I pray for you, that you may not be deceived by the new form of war, and I pray for them, that they may stop laying snares for the Son of man and they may cease offending God His Father. Imitate Me. Pray the Holy Spirit fervently. That He may give you light to see. And be pure, if you want Him to be your friend. Before leaving you I want to fortify you. I absolve you if you have sinned up to the present time. I absolve you of everything. Be good in future. Good, wise, chaste, humble and faithful. May the grace of My absolution fortify you... Why are you weeping, Andrew? And why are you upset, My brother? »
« Because this sounds like a farewell... » says Andrew.
« And do you think that I would say goodbye to you so briefly? It is only a piece of advice for the present days. I see that you are all upset. That must not happen to you. Agitation upsets peace. Peace must always be with you. You are in the service of Peace and She loves you so much that She has chosen you as Her first servants. She loves you. Therefore you must consider that She will always help you, also when you are left alone. God is Peace. If you are faithful to God, He will be with you. And if He is with you, of what can you be afraid? And what can separate you from God, if you do not get into a situation whereby you may lose Him? Sin only separates from God. But the rest: temptations, persecutions, death, no, not even death separates from God. On the contrary, they join one more to God, because every temptation which is overcome raises man by one step towards Heaven, because persecutions achieve for you double protecting love of God and the death of a saint or of a martyr is but union with the Lord God. I solemnly tell you that with the exceptions of the children of perdition, none of My great disciples will die before I open the gates of Heaven. Consequently none of My faithful disciples will have to wait for the embrace of God after passing away from this dark exile into the light of the other life. I would not tell you this if it were not true. You can see it yourselves. Also today you have seen a man who after going astray has come back to the way of justice. One ought not to sin. But God is merciful and forgives those who repent. And he who repents can surpass also one who has not sinned, if his repentance is absolute and if his virtue, following his repentance, is heroical. It will be so pleasant to meet up there! To see you come up to Me, while I run to meet you and embrace you, taking you to My Father saying: “Here is one of My beloved. He always loved Me and thus he always loved You since I spoke to him of You. He has come now. Bless him, Father, and may Your blessing be his bright crown.” My friends... Friends here and in Heaven. Do you not think that every sacrifice is light if it achieves such eternal joy? You have cheered up now. Let us part here. I am going up there and you must be good... Let Me kiss you... » And He kisses them one by one.
Judas weeps when he kisses Him. He waited to be the last, although he usually seeks to be the first, and he clings to Jesus, kissing Him several times and whispering through His hair, close to His ear: « Pray, pray for me... »
They part, Jesus goes towards the hill and the others proceed towards Korazim, whose white houses already appear through the green trees.
Jesus says: « You will put here the vision of 23rd September 1944. There is no better rest for Me than to say: “I have saved one who was perishing.”, and the dictation that follows. »