4th April 1945.
They also walk fast under the olive-trees, and they are so certain of His Resurrection that they converse with the joy of happy children. They go straight towards the town.
« We will tell Peter to look at Him carefully and to tell us how beautiful is His face » says Elias.
« Oh! no matter how beautiful it may be, I shall never be able to forget what He was like when He was tortured » whispers Isaac.
« But do you remember Him when He was lifted up on the Cross? » asks Levi. « And do you all remember Him? »
« I do, and perfectly. The light was still good then. Later, with my old eyes, I could not see much » says Daniel.
« I, instead, saw Him until He seemed to be dead. But I would have preferred to be blind, in order not to see » says Joseph.
« Oh! well. Now He has risen. That must make us happy » says John to comfort him.
« And the thought that we only left Him for an act of charity » adds Jonathan.
« But our hearts remained up there. All the time » whispers Matthias.
« Yes. All the time. Since you have seen the veronica, tell us: what is it like? Does it look like Him? » asks Benjamin.
« As if He were speaking » replies Isaac.
« Will we see that veil? » many ask.
« Oh! the Mother shows it to everybody. You will certainly see it. But it is a sad sight. It would be better to see... Oh! Lord! »
« Faithful servants. Here I am. Go. I will wait for you in Galilee in a few days' time. I want to tell you once more that I love you. Jonah is blissful, with the others, in Heaven. »
« Lord! Oh! Lord. »
« Peace to you of good will. »
The Risen Lord vanishes in the bright midday sunbeam. When they raise their heads, He is no longer there. But there is the joy of having seen Him as He is now: glorious.
They stand up, transfigured with joy. In their humbleness they cannot be persuaded that they deserved to see Him and they say: « To us! To us! How good is our Lord! From His birth to His triumph, always humble and good to His poor servants! »
« And how handsome He was! »
« Oh! He was never so handsome! What majesty! »
« He looks even taller and of riper age. »
« He is really the King! »
« Oh! They called Him the peaceful King! But He is also the terrible King for those who must be afraid of His judgement! »
« Did you see what beams were emitted by His Face? »
« And how His eyes flashed! »
« I did not dare stare at Him. And I would have liked to stare at Him, because I think that perhaps I shall be granted to see Him so only in Heaven. And I want to know Him, so that I shall not be afraid of Him then. »
« Oh! we must not be afraid if we remain as we are: His faithful servants. You have heard Him: “I want to tell you once more that I love you. Peace to you of good will”. Oh! not a word too many. But in that little there is His full approval of what we have done so far and His greatest promises for our future lives. Oh! let us intone the song of joy. Of our joy: “Glory to God in the most high Heavens and peace on earth to men of good will. The Lord has really risen, as He had said through the mouths of the prophets and with His own faultless word. With His Blood He has wiped off the corruption that the kiss of a man had laid on Him, and, as the altar is cleansed, His Body has assumed the inexpressible beauty of God. Before ascending to Heaven He has shown Himself to His servants. Alleluia. Let us go on singing, alleluia! The eternal youth of God! Let us go announcing to the people that He has risen, alleluia! The Just, the Holy Lord has risen, alleluia, alleluia! From the Sepulchre He has risen immortal. And just men have risen with Him. In sin, as in a grotto, the hearts of men were closed. He died to say: 'Rise!' And those who were dispersed have risen, alleluia! Having opened the gates of Heaven, He said to the chosen ones: 'Come'. For the sake of His holy Blood may He grant us to ascend as well. Alleluia!” »
Matthias, the elderly ex-disciple of John the Baptist, goes ahead singing, as perhaps in days gone by David had sung before His people along the streets in Judaea. The others follow him, replying in chorus to each alleluia with holy joy.
Jonathan, who is a member of the group, while Jerusalem is already at the feet of the hillock which they are descending rapidly, says: « Through His birth I have lost fatherland and home, and through His death I have lost the new house where for thirty years I worked honestly. But even if they had taken my life because of Him, I would have died happily, because I would have lost it for Him. I bear him, who is unfair to me, no grudge. Through His death my Lord has taught me perfect meekness. And I am not worried about the future. My abode is not here, but in Heaven. I shall live in the poverty so dear to Him and I will serve Him until He calls me... and... yes... I will offer Him also the fact that I have to abandon... my mistress... This is the most aching pain... But now that I have seen the suffering of the Christ and His glory, I must not weigh my grief, but only hope in the celestial glory. Let us go and tell the apostles that Jonathan is the servant of the servants of the Christ. »