524. At Bethabara, Remembering the Baptist.

7th November 1946. prev home next

Peace to You, Master! greet the shepherd disciples who had gone ahead some days previously and were waiting beyond the ford with the sick people they had gathered together, and other people anxious to hear the Master.

Peace to you. Have you been waiting for Me long?

For three days.

I was held up on the way. Let us go to the sick people.

We put up some tents to give shelter to them without going backwards and forwards to and from the nearby villages. We were given milk for them by some of our shepherd friends, who are now over there with their herds waiting for You say the disciples while leading Jesus into a thicket, which by itself would be a protection for anyone taking shelter in it.

There are about twenty small tents supported by poles, or stretched between two trunks of trees, and under them there is the large sad crowd of sick people who are waiting, and as soon as they realise Who is coming they utter the usual cry: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us.

Jesus does not want to keep them waiting long and appearing, or rather bending from tent to tent, as His height does not allow Him to go in standing straight, He looks into each smiling, and His smile is already a grace. The sun shining behind Him casts His shadow on the little beds and emaciated faces or on the inert limbs. He only says a few words: Peace to you who believe and He then passes to the next tent. And the cry follows Him. A cry repeated each time His sentence is repeated, a cry that is heard in the tent just left, as if it were the echo of the one uttered in the previous tent: I am cured. Hosanna to the Son of David!

And the large group of sick people, previously lying under the dark tents, comes out and gathers together behind the Master. They are all full of joy and they throw away their sticks or crutches, they wrap themselves in the blankets of the now useless stretchers, they take off the no longer needed bandages, and above all they exult in the joy of their recovery.

They have all been cured by now. And Jesus turns round and with a most loving smile He says: The Lord has rewarded your faith. Let us bless His goodness together and He intones the psalm: Acclaim the Lord, all the Earth, serve the Lord gladly. Come into His presence with songs of joy. Know that He, the Lord, is God, He made us, etc.

The people follow Him as best they can. Some, who are probably not Israelites, follow the song with a murmur of their lips. But their hearts do sing, as one can tell from their faces. God will certainly accept that poor murmur better than the perfect but arid song of some Pharisees.

Matthias says to Jesus: O Lord, when You speak to those who are awaiting Your word, mention our John.

I was thinking of doing that because this place brings back to My heart an even livelier recollection of the figure of the Baptist and surrounded by the crowd He climbs a rising of the ground, covered with thin grass, and He begins to speak.

What have you come to seek in this place? The health of your bodies, o sick people, and it was given to you. The word that evangelizes, and you have found it. But the health of your bodies must prepare you to seek the health of your spirits, as the word that evangelizes must prepare your wills to seek justice. How dreadful it would be if the health of the body were confined to the joy of the flesh and blood, being instead inactive with regard to the spirit! I made you praise the Lord Who granted you the gift of health. But your gratitude to the Lord must not come to an end after the moment of exultation. And gratitude reveals itself in the good will to love Him. Every gift of God is nothing, no matter how full of active strength it is, if in man there is no will to recompense it with the gift of his own spirit to God.

This place heard the preaching of John. Many among you certainly heard it. Many people in Israel heard it, but it did not have the same results in everybody, although John spoke the same words to everybody. Why so much difference then? What is the cause of it? The different wills of men who heard those words. Some were really prepared by them to receive Me, and consequently they were prepared for their own holiness. Others instead were prepared against Me, and consequently for their own injustice. They resounded like the cry of a sentinel, and the army of spirits divided, although one only was the cry. Some of them prepared to follow their Leader. Some armed themselves and studied plans to fight Me and My followers. And because of that Israel will be defeated, because a kingdom, which is divided in itself, cannot be strong, and foreign countries take advantage of it to subdue it.

The same applies to individual spirits. In every man there are good and bad powers. Wisdom speaks to the whole man, but only few men want one part only to reign: the good one. In deciding to choose one part only as queen, the children of the world are more skillful. They know how to be completely wicked, when they so wish, and they throw away the good parts, as if they were useless garments, whereas they could oppose resistance in them. The men, instead, who are not of the world and who are stimulated towards the Light, only with difficulty can imitate the children of the world and throw away, like rejected garments, the wicked parts which try to resist in them.

I said that if one eye causes you to sin, it should be torn out, if a hand causes you to sin, it should be cut off, because it is better to enter the eternal Light crippled, than enter eternal Darkness with both eyes or hands. The Baptist was a man of our days. Many of you have known him. Imitate his heroical example. Out of love for the Lord and for his soul, he gave away much more than an eye and a hand, he gave his very life, to be faithful to Justice. Many among you were perhaps his disciples and still say that they love him. But bear in mind that you prove your love for God and for the teachers who take you to God by doing what they taught you, imitating their works of justice and loving God with your whole selves, to the extent of heroism. Then, by doing so, the gifts of health and wisdom granted by God do not remain idle and do not become condemnation, on the contrary they are a ladder to ascend to the abode of My and your Father, Who awaits everybody in His Kingdom.

For your own good, ensure that the sacrifice of the Baptist - a whole life of sacrifice ended in martyrdom - and My sacrifice - a whole life of sacrifice and ending in a martyrdom hundreds of times greater than My Precursor's - may not be fruitless for you. Be just, have faith, obey the word of Heaven, renew yourselves in the New Law. Let the Gospel be really good news for you, making you good and deserving to enjoy the Bounty, that is the Most High Lord in an eternal Day. Learn to tell true shepherds from false ones, and follow those who will give you the words of Life they learned from Me.

The feast of Lights, the celebration of the Dedication of the Temple is close at hand. Remember that many lights to honour the festivity and the Lord are of no avail, if your hearts are without light. Love is light and its lamp-holder is the will to love the Lord with good deeds. Remember that the Dedication of the Temple is a good thing, but it is much greater, better and more pleasant to the Lord to dedicate one's spirit to God and reconsecrate it through love. Just spirits in just bodies, because the body is like the walls surrounding the altar, and the spirit is the altar upon which the glory of the Lord descends. God cannot descend upon altars desecrated by one's sins, or by contact with flesh bitten by lust and by wicked thoughts.

Be good. The fatigue of being so through the continuous tests in life is rewarded a hundredfold by the future prize, and at present, by the peace comforting the hearts of just people at the end of each day, when they lie down to rest and find their pillows free from remorse, which is instead the nightmare of those who want to enjoy themselves illicitly and they only succeed in being seized with a restless frenzy. Do not envy the rich, do not hate anybody, do not wish to have what you see other people have. Be satisfied with your condition considering that to do the Will of God in everything is the key that opens the gates of the eternal Jerusalem.

I am leaving you. Many among you will not see Me again, because I am about to go to prepare the places for My disciples... My special blessing to your children, to your women whom I shall not see again. And to you, men... Yes, I want to bless you... My blessing will help those who are stronger not to fall, and the weaker to rise up again. Only for those who will betray Me because they hate Me, My blessing will be of no value.

He blesses them all together, He then blesses the women, He kisses the children and then He goes back to the ford with the five apostles who are still with Him and with the shepherd disciples.

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