2nd March 1947.
The main square in Shechem is incredibly crowded. I think that the whole town is there and that also the people from the country and nearby villages have gathered, too. The inhabitants of Shechem, in the afternoon of the first day, must have spread everywhere informing people and everybody has come: healthy and sick people, sinners and innocents. As the square and roof-terraces are filled up, many people have even perched on the trees shading the square. In the first row, near the place kept clear for Jesus, facing a house built up on four steps, are the three children whom Jesus saved from the highwaymen, and their relatives. How anxious are the little ones to see their Saviour! Every shout makes them turn round looking for Him. And when the door is opened and Jesus appears at it, the three children rush forward shouting: « Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! » and they climb the steps without waiting till He comes down to embrace them. And Jesus bends and embraces them and then lifts them up – a living bunch of innocent flowers – and He kisses their little faces and is kissed by them.
A compassionate whisper runs through the crowd and some voices say: « He is the only one who knows how to kiss our innocent children. » And other people say: « See how He loves them? He saved them from the highwaymen, He gave them a home after feeding and clothing them, and He is now kissing them as if they were His own sons. »
Jesus, Who has put the children down, on the top step, close to Himself, replies to everybody by answering the last anonymous words:
« Really they are more than My own children to Me. Because I am their father with regard to their souls, which are Mine, not for the time that passes, but for the eternity that remains. I wish I could say that of every man who from Me, the Life, did draw life to come out of death!
I invited you to do that the first time I came here, and you thought that you had plenty time to make up your minds to do so. Only one woman was prompt to follow My call and go on the path of Life: the biggest sinner among you. Perhaps just because she felt that she was dead and, she saw herself dead, rotten in her sin, she was in a hurry to come out of death. You do not feel and see yourselves dead, and you are not in that hurry. But which sick man waits to die before taking the medicines of life? A dead body needs only a shroud, aromas and a sepulchre in which to lie to become dust after being putrefaction. If the putridity of Lazarus, whom you look at with eyes opened wide by fear and amazement, was restored to life by the Eternal Father for His wise purposes, that must not tempt anyone to arrive at the death of the spirit saying: “The Most High will restore me to the life of the soul.” Do not put the Lord your God to the test. You are to come to the Life. There is no more time to wait.
The grapes of the Vine are about to be gathered and pressed. Prepare your spirits for the Wine of Grace that is about to be given to you. Do you not do that when you are to take part in a great banquet? Do you not prepare your stomachs to receive the choice food and wines by wisely fasting before the banquet, as that refines your taste and invigorates your stomachs making you enjoy and relish food and drinks? And does the vine-dresser not do the same to taste the wine that has just matured? He does not spoil his palate, the day that he wants to taste the new wine. He does not do that, because he wants to taste the good qualities and faults accurately, to boast of the former and correct the latter, and sell his goods at a good price. But if a person invited to a banquet can do that to enjoy food and wines with greater pleasure, and if the vine-dresser does that to sell his wine at a good price, or to make saleable what being faulty would be refused by buyers, should man not be able to do so for his spirit, to enjoy Heaven, to gain the treasure to be able to enter Heaven?
Take My advice. Yes, take it. It is a good piece of advice. It is the just advice of the Just One Who is ill-advised in vain, and wants to save you from the consequences of evil advice given to you. Be as just as I am. And give the just value to the advice given to you. If you become just, you will give it its just value.
Listen to a parable. It closes the cycle of those I said at Shiloh and Lebonah, and deals once again with advice given and taken.
A king sent his beloved son to visit his kingdom. The kingdom of that king was divided into many provinces, as it was a very large one. Those provinces had a different knowledge of their king. Some knew him so well as to consider themselves the favourite ones and to be proud of it. According to them, they were the only perfect ones and they alone knew the king and what the monarch wanted. Some knew him but, without considering themselves wise because of that, they did their best to know him better and better. Some knew the king, but they loved him their own way, as they had adopted a special code of laws, which was not the true code of the kingdom. Of the true code they had taken what they liked and as far as they liked it, then they had adulterated also that little by means of other laws copied from other kingdoms, or which they had made themselves, and were not good. No. They were not good. Some were even less acquainted with their king, and some only knew that there was a king. Nothing else. And they thought that was only an idle story.
The king's son came to visit his father's kingdom to give all the various regions an exact knowledge of the monarch, correcting arrogance here, encouraging dejected people there, redressing wrong ideas elsewhere, convincing people to remove the impure elements from the pure law in another region, teaching other subjects how to fill gaps, instructing people of other regions in order to give them the minimum knowledge and faith in the real king, as every man was his subject. But the king's son was of the opinion that the first lesson for everybody was the example of justice, in conformity with the code of laws, both in grave matters and in minor ones. And he was perfect. So much so that the people of good will were improving themselves by following both the deeds and the words of the king's son, as his actions corresponded to his words without the least difference. But the people of the provinces that considered themselves perfect only because they knew the code word by word, but did not possess its spirit, realised that from the observance of what the king's son did and what he exhorted to do, it appeared too clearly that they knew the letter of the code but did not possess the spirit of the king's law, and thus their hypocrisy was unmasked. They then decided to remove what made them appear what they really were. And to do that they chose two different ways: one against the king's son, the other against his followers. For the former: evil advice and persecutions. For the latter: evil advice and threat. Many things are evil advice. It is a bad piece of advice to say: “Do not do that, as it may damage you”, pretending to be favourably interested, and it is a bad piece of advice to persecute in order to convince him, whom one wants to lead astray, to fail in the fulfillment of his mission. It is a bad piece of advice to say to followers: “Defend at all costs and by any means the just man who is persecuted”, or to say to followers: “If you defend him, you will provoke our anger.” But I am not referring now to advice given to followers. I am referring to the advice that people gave or had it given to the king's son, with false simple-heartedness, with livid hatred, or through the words of innocent people used as instruments to do harm, while they thought they were being used to do good.
The king's son listened to that advice. He had ears, eyes, intellect and a heart. Therefore he could but hear them, see them, understand them and weigh them. But above all he had the upright spirit of a true just man, so to each piece of advice, given to him consciously or unconsciously to make him sin, setting a bad example to his father's subjects and causing infinite sorrow to his father himself, he replied: “No. I will do what my father wants. I will follow his code of laws. The fact that I am his son does not exempt me from being the most faithful of his subjects in the observance of the Law. You, who hate me and want to frighten me, should bear in mind that nothing will make me infringe the Law. You, who love me and wish to save me, should know that I bless you for your thoughts, but bear also in mind that your love for me and my love for you, as you are more loyal to me than those who say that they are 'wise', must not make me unfair in my duty towards the greatest love, which is the love to be given to my father.”
That is the parable, My children. And it is so clear that each of you can understand it. And righteous spirits can only exclaim: “He is really just because no human advice can lead Him astray.” Yes, children of Shechem. Nothing can lead Me into error. Woe to Me if I should fall into error! Woe to Me and to you. Instead of being your Saviour, I should be your traitor, and you would be right in hating Me. But I will not do that.
I do not reproach you for accepting suggestions or for thinking of measures against justice. You are not guilty since you did it out of a spirit of love. But I say to you what I said at the beginning and at the end: you are dearer to Me than if you were My own children, because you are the children of My spirit. I have led your spirits to the Life and I will do so even more. Bear in mind, in memory of Me, bear in mind that I bless you for the thoughts you had in your hearts. But grow in justice, by wanting only what gives honour to the true God for Whom you must have absolute love, such as is given to no other creature. Come to this perfect justice that I am setting as an example to you, the justice that tramples on the selfishness of one's own welfare, on the fear of enemies and of death, on everything, to do the will of God. Prepare your spirits. The dawn of Grace is rising. The banquet of Grace is being prepared. Your souls, the souls of those who want to come to the Truth, are at the eve of their wedding, of their liberation, of their redemption. Prepare yourselves in justice for the feast of Justice. »
Jesus beckons to the children's relatives, who are near them, to go into the house with Him, and He withdraws after taking the three children in His arms as He did at the beginning.
Comments are exchanged in the square. And they differ considerably.
The best people say: « He is right. We were betrayed by those false messengers. »
Those who are not so good say: « Then He should not have flattered us. He makes us more hateful. He mocked at us. He is a true Judaean. »
« You cannot say that. Our poor people are aware of His assistance, and our sick people of His power. Our orphans experienced His goodness. We cannot expect Him to commit sin to please us. »
« He has already sinned, because He hated us by making us hated... »
« By whom? »
« By everybody. And He mocked at us. Yes, He mocked at us. »
The square is full of the different opinions, which, however, do not upset the house in which Jesus is with the notables, the children and their relatives. Once again the prophetic word is confirmed: « He will be a stone of contradiction. »