26th November 1946.
The synagogue of the Romans is exactly on the other side of the Temple, near the Hippicus tower. People are waiting for Jesus. And when He is pointed out at the beginning of the street, some women are the first to meet Him. Jesus is with Peter and Thaddeus.
« Hail Master. I am grateful to You for hearing me. Have You come into town just now? »
« No, I have been here since the first hour. I went to the Temple. »
« The Temple? Did they not insult You? »
« No. It was early morning and people were not aware of My coming. »
« That is why I sent for You... and also because there were some Gentiles who would like to hear You speak. For days they have been going to the Temple waiting for You. But they were derided and even threatened. I was there as well yesterday and I realised that they were waiting for You to insult You. I sent men to each gate. With gold one achieves everything... »
« I am grateful to you. But it is not possible for Me not to go up to the Temple, as I am the Rabbi of Israel. Who are these women? »
« My freed woman Tusnilde. Twice a barbarian, Lord. She comes from the Teutoburger Wald. A prey of those rash advances that have cost so much blood. My father gave her to my mother, who gave her to me, at my wedding. She passed from her gods to ours, and from ours to You, because she does what I do. She is so good. The other women are the wives of Gentiles waiting for You. They come from every region. Most of them are suffering. They came in the husbands' ship. »
« Let us go into the synagogue... »
The synagogue leader, standing at the door, bows and introduces himself: « Mattathias, a Sicilian, Master. Praise and blessings to You. »
« Peace to you. »
« Come in. I will close the door so that we may be at peace. Such is the hatred that bricks are eyes and the stones ears to watch You and denounce You, Master. Perhaps these people are better, as providing one does not interfere with their business, they leave us alone » says the old synagogue leader walking beside Jesus, taking him through a little yard into a large room, which is the synagogue.
« Let us cure the sick people first, Mattathias. Their faith deserves a reward » says Jesus. And He passes from one woman to another imposing His hands. Some are healthy, but the little son they are holding in their arms is ill, and Jesus cures the child.
One is a little girl completely paralysed, and as soon as she is cured, she shouts: « Sitarè kisses Your hands, Lord! »
Jesus, Who had already passed on, turns around smiling and asks: « Are you Syrian? »
Her mother explains: « Phoenician, Lord. From beyond Sidon. We live on the banks of the Tamiri. And I have ten more sons and two more daughters, one is Syra, the other Tamira. And Syra, although little more than a girl, is a widow. So much so, that being free, she settled here in town with her brother, and is one of Your believers. She told us that You can do everything. »
« Is she not with you? »
« Yes, Lord she is. She is over there, behind those women. »
« Come forward » says Jesus.
The woman comes forward timidly.
« You must not be afraid of Me, if you love Me » says Jesus encouraging her.
« I do love You. That is why I left Alexandroscene. Because I thought that I would here You again... and I would learn to accept my sorrow... » She weeps.
« When did you become a widow? »
« At the end of the month of Adar... If You had been there, Zeno would not have died. He said so... because he had heard You and he believed in You. »
« Then he is not dead, woman. Because he who believes in Me, lives. The true life is not lived by the body in these few days. The true life is achieved believing in and following the Way, the Truth, the Life, and acting according to His word. Even if a person believes and follows for a short time, and acts for a short time, soon interrupted by the death of the body, even if it were for one day only, for one hour only, I solemnly tell you that that person will not know death anymore. Because My Father, Who is the Father of all men, will not take into account the time spent in My Law and in My Faith, but the will of man to live until death in that Law and Faith. I promise eternal Life to those who believe in Me and act according to what I say, loving the Saviour, propagating that love and practicing My teaching during the time granted to them. The workers of My vineyard are all those who come and say: “Lord, accept me among Your workers”, and they perservere in that will until My Father considers that their day has come to an end. I solemnly tell you that there will be workers who have worked for one hour only, their last hour, and will receive their reward more promptly than those who have worked since the first hour, with tepidness, urged to work only by the idea of not deserving hell, that is by the fear of punishment.
That is not the way to work that My father rewards with immediate glory. On the contrary such clever selfish people, who are anxious to do good and only do so much of it as is sufficient not to deserve eternal punishment, will be given a long expiation by the eternal Judge. They will have to learn at their own expense, through a long expiation, to achieve a spirit active in love, and in true love, entirely directed to the glory of God. And I also tell you that in future there will be many, particularly among the Gentiles, who will be the workers of one hour and even less than one hour, and they will become glorious in My Kingdom, because in that hour of harmony with Grace inviting them to enter the Vineyard of God, they reached heroical perfection of Charity. So be cheerful, woman. Your husband is not dead, he lives. You have not lost him, he is only separated from you for some time. Now, like a bride who has not yet entered the house of her bridegroom, you must prepare yourself for the true immortal wedding with him whom you are mourning. Oh! the happy wedding of two spirits who have become sanctified and are rejoined forever where there is no separation, no fear of estrangement, no pain, where the spirits will rejoice in the love of God and in their reciprocal fondness! Death is true life for the just, because nothing can threaten the vitality of the spirit, that is its permanency in Justice. Do not weep for or mourn what is transient, o Syra. Raise your spirit, and see with justice and truth. God has loved you by saving your husband from the danger that the deeds of the world might demolish his faith in Me. »
« You have consoled me, Lord. I will live as You say. May You be blessed and may Your Father be blessed with You, forever. »
The leader of the synagogue, while Jesus is about to move forward, says: « May I make an objection, without meaning any offense? »
« Tell Me. I am here, the Master, to give wisdom to those who ask for it. »
« You said that some will become glorious at once in Heaven. Is Heaven not closed? Are the just not in Limbo awaiting to enter it? »
« It is so. Heaven is closed. And it will be opened only by the Redeemer. But His hour has come. I solemnly tell you that the day of Redemption is already dawning in the east and it will soon be broad daylight. I solemnly tell you that no other feast will come, after this one, before that day. I solemnly tell you that I am already forcing the gates, as I am already on the top of the mountain of My sacrifice... My sacrifice is already pressing against the gates of Heaven because it is already active. Remember, man, that when it is accomplished, the sacred curtains and the celestial gates will be opened. Because Jehovah will no longer be present with His glory in the Holy of Holies, and it will be useless to put a veil between the Incognoscible One and mortals, and Mankind, who preceded us and was just, will go back to where it was destined, with the First-Born heading it, already a complete whole in body and spirit, and His brothers wearing the garment of light that they will have until also their bodies are called to the jubilation. »
Jesus in the singing tone used by synagogue leaders and rabbis repeating biblical words or psalms, says: « And He said to me: “Prophesy over these bones and say to them: 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord... I am going to inspire the spirit into you and you will live. I shall put sinews in you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give your breath and you will live and you will learn that I am the Lord... I am now going to open your graves... I shall raise you from your graves... When I put My spirit in you, you will live and I shall resettle you on your own soil'.” »
He resumes His normal way of speaking and lowering His arms that He had stretched out He says: « Two are the resurrections of what is arid and dead to life. Two are outlined in the words of the prophet. The first is resurrection to Life and in Life, that is, in Grace which is Life, of all those who receive the Word of the Lord, the spirit generated by the Father, and is God like the Father, Whose Son He is, and is named Word, the Word Who is Life and gives Life. That Life of which everybody is in need, and of which Israel, like the Gentiles, is devoid. Because if so far it was sufficient for Israel to hope for and await the Life coming from Heaven, in order to have eternal Life, from now on Israel will have to accept the Life in order to live. I solemnly tell you that those of My people who do not accept Me-Life, will not have the Life, and My coming will be for them cause of death, because they will have rejected the Life that was coming to them to be communicated to them. The hour has come when Israel will be divided into those who are alive and those who are dead. It is the hour to choose to live or die. The Word has spoken, He has shown His Origin and Power, He has cured, taught, raised people from the dead, and He will soon have accomplished His mission. There is no more excuse for those who do not come to the Life. The Lord passes by. Once He has passed, He does not come back. He did not go back into Egypt to give life back to the first-born of those who had scoffed at and oppressed Him in His children. He will not come back this time either, after the sacrifice of the Lamb has decided destinies. Those who do not receive Me before My passing, and who hate and will hate Me, will not have My Blood to sanctify their spirits, they will not live and will not have their God with them for the remainder of their pilgrimage on the Earth. Without Divine Manna, without the protective bright cloud, without the Water coming from Heaven, devoid of God, they will go wandering through the vast desert that is the Earth, all the Earth, entirely a desert, if those who cross it lack union with Heaven, the closeness of the Father and Friend: God. And there is a second resurrection: the universal one, when the bones which have been dry and scattered for ages, will become fresh and covered with sinews, flesh and skin. And it will be the Judgement. And the flesh and blood of the just will rejoice with their spirits in the eternal Kingdom, and the flesh and blood of the damned will suffer with their spirits in the eternal punishment. I love you, o Israel; I love you, o Gentilism; I love you, o Mankind! And because of this love I invite you to Life and to the blissful Resurrection. »
Those who have gathered in the vast hall are fascinated. There is no difference between the amazement of the Hebrews and that of the others, from different places and religions. Nay, I would say that the ones to be most reverently surprised are the foreigners.
A dignified old man, murmurs between his teeth.
« What did you say, man? » asks Jesus turning round.
« I said that... I was repeating to myself the words I heard in my youth from my teacher: “Man has been granted to rise to divine perfection through virtue. In man there is the brightness of the Creator and the more man ennobles himself through virtue, by almost consuming matter in the fire of virtue, the more that brightness is revealed. And man has been granted to know the Being Who, at least once in man's lifetime, with severe or paternal affection, shows Himself to man, so that he may say: 'I must be good. Poor me, if I am not so! Because an immense Power flashed in front of me to make me understand that virtue is an obligation and a sign of the noble nature of man.' You will find that flash of Divinity in the beauty of nature, or in the word of a dying man, or in the glance of an unhappy person who looks at you and judges, or in the silence of a beloved person who, by being quiet, reproaches a shameful action of yours, you will find it in the fright of a child seeing a violent action of yours, or in the silence of night when you are all alone with yourselves, and in the most closed and solitary room, you will become aware of another I, much more powerful than yours, Who speaks with a soundless sound. And that will be the God, this God Who must exist, this God Whom Creation worships perhaps without being aware of it, this God, Who the Only One, really satisfies the feelings of virtuous men, who are not sated and comforted by our ceremonies and our doctrines, or before the empty altars, quite empty, notwithstanding that a statue dominates them.” I know these words well because for many years I have been repeating them as my code and my hope. I have lived, worked, and I have suffered and wept. But I endured everything, and I hope virtuously, hoping to meet, before my death, this God that Hermogenes promised that I would meet. Now I was saying to myself that I have really seen Him. And not as a flash, and I have not heard His word as a soundless sound. But the Divine One has appeared to me in the clear and most beautiful shape of man, and I heard Him and I am replete with sacred astonishment. The soul, this thing that true men admit, my soul receives You, o Perfection, and says to You: “Teach me Your Way and Your Life and Your Truth, so that one day I, a lonely man, may be joined to You, Supreme Beauty.” »
« We shall be rejoined. And I tell you that, later, you will be united again to Hermogenes. »
« But he died without knowing You! »
« Material knowledge is not the only necessary one to possess Me. The man who through his virtue succeeds in feeling the unknown God and in living virtuously in homage to that God, can be really said to have known God, because God revealed Himself to him, as a reward for his virtuous life. It would be dreadful if it were necessary to know Me personally. Very soon it would not be possible for anyone to be united to Me. Because, I tell you, the Living One will soon leave the kingdom of the dead to go back to the Kingdom of Life, and men will have no further possibility to know, except through faith and the spirit. But the knowledge of Me will not stop, nay it will spread and in a perfect way, as it will be devoid of everything that makes senses dull. God will speak, God will act, God will live, God will reveal Himself to the souls of His believers by means of His unknowable and perfect Nature. And men will love the God-Man. And the God-Man will love men with the new means, with the ineffable means that His infinite love will leave on the Earth before going back to the Father, after everything has been accomplished by Him. »
« Oh! Lord! Lord! Tell us how we shall be able to find You and to know that it is You Who are speaking to us and where You are, after You have gone away! » many of them exclaim. And some go on: « We are Gentiles, and we do not know Your law. We have not enough time to stay here and follow You. How shall we acquire that virtue that makes one worthy of knowing God? »
Jesus smiles, brightly handsome in the happiness of His conquests in Gentilism and He kindly explains:
« Do not worry about learning many laws. These will come (and He lays His hands on the shoulders of Peter and Thaddeus) to bring My Law to the world. But until they come, follow as a rule the following few sentences in which all My Law of Salvation is summarised. Love God with all your hearts. Love authorities, relatives, friends, servants, people, and also your enemies, as you love yourselves. And to be sure that you do not commit sin, before every action, whether you have been ordered to do it or it is a spontaneous one, ask yourselves: “Would I like what I am about to do to this fellow, to be done to me?” And if you feel that you would not like it, do not do it. With these simple lines you are able to trace in yourselves the way by which God will come to you and you will go to God. Because no man would be pleased if a son were ungrateful, or if someone killed him, or another robbed him, or took his wife, or seduced his sister or his daughter or usurped his house, his fields, or his faithful servants. With that rule you will be good children and good parents, good husbands, brothers, merchants, friends. So you will be virtuous, and God will come to you.
I have around Me not only Hebrews and proselytes, in whom there is no wickedness, I mean that they do not come to Me to catch Me at fault, as those do who drove you out of the Temple so that you might not come to the Life, but I have also Gentiles from every part of the world. I see Cretans and Phoenicians mingled with people from Pontus and Phrygia and there is one from the shores of the unknown sea, a route to unknown lands where I will also be loved. And I see Greeks with Sicilians and people from Cyrenaica and Asia. Well, I say to you: go! Tell the people of your countries that the Light is in the world, and let them come to the Light. Tell them that Wisdom left Heaven to become bread for men, water for languishing men. Tell them that Life has come to cure and to revive what is sick and dead. And tell them that... time flows as rapidly as lightning in summer. Let those come who wish to have God. Their spirits will know God. Let those come who want to be cured. As long as My hand is free, it will cure those who invoke it with faith.
Say... Yes! Go quickly and say that the Saviour is waiting for those who expect and wish to have divine assistance at Passover in the holy City. Tell those who are in need and also those who are only curious. The spark of faith in Me, of the Faith that saves, may originate from an impure impulse of curiosity. Go! Jesus of Nazareth, the King of Israel, the King of the world assembles the representatives of the world to give them the treasures of His graces and have them witnesses of His exaltation that will consecrate Him triumpher forever and ever, King of kings and Lord of lords. Go!
At the dawn of My earthly life the representatives of My People came from different areas to worship the Child in Whom the Immense One was concealed. The will of a man, who considered himself powerful and was a servant of the will of God, had ordered the census of the Empire. As he obeyed an unknown and intransgressible order of the Most High, that pagan was to become the herald of God, Who wanted all the men of Israel, spread all over the world, in the Land of this people, near Bethlehem Ephrathah, to wonder at the signs that had come from Heaven at the first wailing of a new-born Baby. And as if it were not enough, other signs spoke to the Gentiles and their representatives came to worship the little poor King of kings, Who was then far from His earthly coronation, but was already King in the eyes of angels.
The hour has come when I will be King in the sight of peoples, before I return whence I came. At the end of My earthly day, in the evening of My human lifetime, it is fair that men of all peoples should be here to see Him Who is to be worshipped and in Whom all Mercy is concealed. And may all good people enjoy the early fruit of this new harvest, of this Mercy that will burst like a cloud in Nisan to swell rivers with wholesome waters, capable of making fructiferous the trees planted on their banks, as we read in Ezekiel. »
And Jesus resumes curing sick people and listens to their names, as now all wish to say their own: « I Zilla... I Zabdi... I Gail... I Andrew... I Theophanus... I Selina... I Olyntus... I Philip... I Elissa... I Berenice... My daughter Gaia... I Argenide... I... I... I... »
He has finished and He would like to go away. But how insistently they beg Him to stay, to speak again!
And a man, probably blind in one eye, that is covered with a bandage, in order to keep Him a little longer, says: « Lord, I was struck by a man, who as jealous of my good trade. I saved myself with difficulty. But I lost an eye, burst by the blow. Now my enemy has become poor and unpopular and he has fled to a village near Corinth. What should I do to him who almost killed me? It is fair that I should not do to other people what I would not like to receive. But I have already received from him...harm; much harm... » and his face is so expressive that one can read on it the thought he has not spoken: « so I should take my revenge on him... »
Jesus looks at him with His smiling sapphire eyes, but with the dignified countenance of the Master, and says « And you, a man from Greece, are asking Me? Did your great men not say that mortals become like God when they respond to the two gifts that God grants them to make them like Himself, that is: to be able to be in the truth and to assist one's neighbor? »
« Of course, Pythagoras! »
« And did they not say that man approaches God not through science, power or other means, but by doing good? »
« Yes, Demosthenes! But excuse me, Master, if I ask You... You are a Hebrew and Hebrews are not fond of our philosophers... How do You know such things? »
« Man, because I am the Wisdom that inspired the minds that thought those words. I am wherever Good is active. You, a Greek, should listen to the advice of the wise men, through which advice I still speak. Do good to those who have done you wrong, and God will say that you are holy. And now let Me go, I have other people waiting for Me. Goodbye, Valeria. And do not be afraid for Me. It is not yet My hour. And when My hour comes, not even Caesar's armies could stop My enemies. »
« Hail, Master. And pray for me. »
« That peace, may possess you. Goodbye. Peace to you, leader of the synagogue. Peace to My believers and to those who seek peace. »
And with a gesture that is a greeting and a blessing, He leaves the hall, He goes across the yard and out into the street...