20th April 1947.
All the apostles are there, all the shepherd disciples, also Jonathan, whom Chuza has dismissed from his service. There is Marjiam and Manaen and many of the seventy two disciples and many more. They are in the shade of trees, which with their foliage mitigate light and heat. They are not up towards the summit, where the Transfiguration took place, but half-way up the hill, where a wood of oak-trees seems to be wanting to veil the summit and support the sides of the mountain with its powerful roots.
Almost everybody is dozing, because of the hour and also because of the inactivity and the long wait. But the cry of a boy – I do not know who he is, because I cannot see him from where I am – is sufficient to make them all stand up, in a first impulsive movement, which soon changes into prostration with their faces among the grass.
« Peace to all of you. Here I am among you. Peace to you. Peace to you. » Jesus passes amid them greeting and blessing.
Many weep, many smile blissfully. But there is so much peace in everybody.
Jesus goes and stops where the apostles and the shepherds form a thick group with Marjiam, Manaen, Stephen, Nicolaus, John of Ephesus, Hermas, and some of the more faithful disciples, whose names I do not remember. I see the man from Korazim who left off burying his father in order to follow Jesus, and another whom I have seen at other times. Jesus takes in His hands the head of Marjiam, who weeps looking at Him, He kisses his forehead and then presses him against His heart.
He then turns round towards the others and says: « Many and few. Where are the others? I know that many are My faithful disciples. Why here there are hardly five hundred people here, without taking into account the children of this one or that one among you? »
Peter, who had remained kneeling on the grass, stands up and speaks on behalf of everybody: « Lord, between the thirteenth and twentieth day from Your death, many people have come here from many towns in Palestine, saying that You were among them. So many of us, in order to see You sooner, went some with this one, some with that one. Some have just left. Those who came here said that they had seen You and spoken to You in different places, and, what was wonderful, they all said that they had seen You on the twelfth day from Your death. We thought this was a deceit of some of those false prophets, that You said will rise to deceive the chosen ones. You said so, on the Mount of Olives, the evening before… before… » Peter, seized again with grief at that recollection, lowers his head and becomes silent. Two tears, followed by more, fall from his beard on the ground…
Jesus lays His right hand on the shoulder of Peter, who quivers at that contact and, as he dare not touch that Hand with his own, he bends his neck, his face to caress that adorable Hand with his cheek, and touch it lightly with his lips.
James of Alphaeus continues the narration: « And we discouraged people from believing those apparitions, that is those among us who got up to run towards the great sea, or towards Bozrah, or Caesarea Philippi, Pella or Kedesh, to the mountain near Jericho and to the plain, and also to the Esdraelon plain, to the great Hermon and to Beth-horon and Beth-shemesh, and to other places which have no names, as they are isolated houses in the plain near Japhia or Gilead. Too uncertain. Some people said: “We have seen Him and heard Him.” Others sent word that they had seen You and had even a meal with You. Yes, we wanted to hold them back, because we thought that they were either snares of those who oppose us, or even phantasms seen by just people, who think of You so much that they end up by seeing You where You are not. But they wanted to go away. Some here, some there. And so we are reduced to less than one third. »
« You were right in insisting to hold them back. Not because I have not really been where those, who came to tell you, said. But because I had ordered you to stay here, united in prayer awaiting Me. And because I want My words to be obeyed, particularly by those who are My servants. If My servants begin to be disobedient, what will the believers do?
Listen all of you who are around here. Remember that in an organism a hierarchy is required, so that it may be really active and wholesome, that is, someone who commands, someone who transmits orders, and those who obey. That is what happens in the courts of kings, as well as in religions. From our Hebrew religion to the others, even if they are so impure, there is always a chief, his ministers, the servants of the ministers, and lastly the believers. A pontiff cannot act by himself. A king cannot act by himself. And their dispositions concern only human contingencies, or the formalism of rites… Yes. Unfortunately, now, also in the Mosaic religion, there is nothing left but the formalism of rites, the continuation of the movements of a device that goes on making the same gestures, even now that the spirit of the gestures is dead. Dead forever. Their Divine Enlivener, He Who gave import to the rites, has withdrawn from them. And the rites are gestures, nothing else. Gestures that any histrion could mime on the stage of an amphitheatre.
Woe, when a religion dies, and from a real living power becomes a clamorous exterior pantomime, an empty thing behind a painted scenery, behind pompous garments, the movements of devices performing certain actions, just as a key activates a spring, but neither key nor spring is conscious of what they do. Woe! Ponder! Remember this truth and tell your successors about it, so that it may be known throughout ages. The fall of a planet is less frightening than the fall of religion. If the sky should be depopulated of its stars and planets, it would not be for peoples as bad a misfortune as if they remained without religion. God would provide with provident power for the needs of men, because God can do everything for those who, in a wise way, or in the way that their ignorance knows, seek and love the Divinity in a right spirit. But if the day should come when men no longer loved God, because the priests of every religion had made only an empty pantomime of it, as they were the first not to believe in their religion, woe betide the Earth!
Now, if I say so for those religions that are impure, as some have come through partial revelation to a wise person, some derive from the instinctive need of man to create a faith for himself to nourish his soul to love a god – as this need is the strongest incentive of man, the permanent state of research for Him Who is, and Who is wanted by the spirit even if the proud intellect refuses to pay homage to any god, even if man, unaware of the soul, is unable to give a name to such need that stirs within him – what shall I say for this religion that I have given you, for this one that bears My Name, for this one of which I have created you pontiffs and priests, for this one that I order you to propagate all over the world? For this religion Unique, True, Perfect, Immutable in the Doctrine taught by Me, the Master, completed by the continuous teaching of Him Who will come, the Holy Spirit, the Most Holy Guide for My Pontiffs and for those who will help them, second chiefs in the various Churches created in the various regions where My Word will be asserted. These Churches, although various in number, will not be different in thought, but will be one thing only with the Church, as with their individual parts they will form the great building, greater and greater, the great new Temple, that with its pavilions will reach all the corners of the earth. Not different in thought, nor contrasting with one another, but united, brotherly to one another, all subjected to the Head of the Church, to Peter, and to his successors until the end of time.
And those that for any reason should separate from the Mother Church, would be members cut off, no longer nourished with the mystic blood that is Grace coming from Me, the divine Head of the Church. Like prodigal sons, separated through their own will from the paternal house, in their short-lived wealth and constant and graver and graver misery, they would be blunting their spiritual intellects by means of too heavy foods and wines, and then they would languish eating the bitter acorns of unclean animals until they returned to the paternal house, saying with contrite hearts: “We have sinned. Father, forgive us and open the doors of your abode to us.” Then, whether it is a member of a separated Church, or an entire Church – oh! if it were so, but where, when will so many imitators of Me arise, capable of redeeming these entire separated Churches, at the cost of their lives, to make, to remake only one Fold under only one shepherd, as I ardently wish? – then whether it is only one person or an assembly that comes back, open the doors to them.
Be fatherly. Consider that all of you, for one hour or for many, perhaps for years, were, individually, prodigal sons enveloped in concupiscence. Do not be hard on those who repent. Remember! Remember! Many of you ran away twenty two days ago. And was your running away perhaps not an abjuration of your love for Me? Therefore, as I received you as soon as you, repentant, came to Me, do the same yourselves. Do everything I did. That is My command. You lived with Me for three years. You know My deeds and My thoughts. When, in future, you will find yourselves in front of a case to be decided, look back to the time when you were with Me and behave as I behaved. You will never go wrong. I am the living perfect example of what you have to do.
And remember also that I did not refuse Myself even to Judas of Kerioth… A priest must try to save, by all possible means. And let love always prevail, among the means used to save. Consider that I was not unaware of Judas' horror… But, overcoming all disgust, I treated the wretch as I treated John. You… you will often be spared the bitterness of knowing that nothing is of any use to save a beloved disciple… And you will therefore be able to work without the tiredness that affects one, when one knows that everything is useless… One must work even then… always… until everything is accomplished… »
« But You are suffering, Lord!?! Oh! I did not believe that You could suffer any more! You still suffer because of Judas! Forget him Lord! » shouts John, who does not turn his eyes away from his Lord for one moment.
Jesus opens His arms, in His usual attitude of resigned confirmation of a painful fact, and He says: « It is so… Judas has been and is the deepest sorrow in the sea of My sorrows. It is the sorrow that remains… The other sorrows have come to an end with the end of the Sacrifice. But this one remains. I loved him. I consumed Myself in the effort to save him… I was able to open the doors of Limbo and bring out the just, I was able to open the doors of Purgatory, and bring out those who were being purified. But the place of horror was closed upon him. In vain I died for him. »
« Do not suffer! Do not suffer! You are glorious, my Lord! Glory and joy to You. You have consumed Your sorrow! » implores John again.
« No one really thought that He could still suffer! » they all say, amazed and moved, whispering to one another.
« And do you not think of how much sorrow My Heart will still have to suffer throughout ages, for every unrepentant sinner, for every heresy that denies Me, for every believer who abjures Me, for every – torture of all tortures – for every guilty priest, the cause of scandal and ruin? You do not know! You do not know as yet. You will never know fully, until you are with Me in the Light of Heaven. Then you will understand… In contemplating Judas, I contemplated the chosen ones whose election is changed into ruin through their wicked will… Oh! you who are faithful, you who will form the future priests, remember My sorrow, grow holier and holier to comfort My sorrow, make them holy so that, as far as possible, there may be no repetition of this sorrow, exhort, watch, teach, fight, be as heedful as mothers, as untiring as teachers, as vigilant as shepherds, as manlike as warriors, to support the priests that will be formed by you. Ensure, oh! do ensure that the sin of the twelfth apostle may not have too many repetitions in future… Be as I was with you, as I am with you.
I said to you: “Be as perfect as the Father in Heaven.” And let your humanity tremble at that command, now even more than when I told you. Because now you are aware of your weakness. Well, to encourage you I will say to you: “Be like your Master.” I am the Man. What I have done, you can do. Also miracles. Yes, also them. So that the world may know that it is I Who send you, and he who suffers may not weep, disheartened by this thought: “He is no longer among us to cure our sick people and to comfort our sorrows.” During these days I have worked miracles to comfort hearts and convince them that the Christ is not destroyed because He was put to death, on the contrary, He is stronger, eternally strong and powerful. But when I am no longer among you, you will do what I have done so far, and what I will still do. But not so much out of the power or working miracles, but because through your holiness the love for the new Religion will grow greater. And it is over your holiness, not over the gift I transmit to you, that you must be jealously watchful. The holier you are, the dearer you will be to My Heart, and the Spirit of God will enlighten you, while the Goodness of God and His Power will fill your hands with the gifts of Heaven.
A miracle is not a common and essential act for the life in faith. On the contrary, blessed are those who will be able to remain in the faith without extraordinary means to help them to believe! But neither is a miracle an act so exclusively reserved to special times, that it must cease when they cease. There will always be miracles in the world. Always. And the more numerous are the just in the world, the more numerous will the miracles be. When you see that the true miracles are becoming very rare, you can then say that faith and justice are languishing. Because I said: “If you have faith, you will be able to move mountains.” Because I said: “The signs that will accompany those, who have true faith in Me, are the victories over demons and diseases, over elements and snares.” God is with those who love Him. The sign of how My believers are in Me will be the number and the power of the miracles they will work in My name and to glorify God. To a world without true miracles, it will be possible to say, without slander: “You have lost faith and justice. You are a world without saints.”
So, to go back to what I was saying at the beginning, you did the right thing in trying to detain those who, like children seduced by the noise of music or by something glittering strangely, run away absent-mindedly from what is certain. But, see? They have their punishment, because they lose My word. But you have been wrong as well. You did remember that I told you not to run here and there at every rumour saying that I was in a certain place. But you did not remember that I also said that, in His second coming, the Christ will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing into the west, in a time shorter than the blinking of an eye. Now this second coming began at the moment of My Resurrection. It will culminate in the apparition of the Christ Judge to all the risen. But before that, how many times I will appear to convert, to cure, to console, to teach, to give orders!
I solemnly tell you: I am about to go back to My Father. But the Earth will not lose My Presence. I shall be watchful and friendly, Master and Doctor, where bodies or souls, sinners or saints, will need Me or will be elected by Me to transmit My words to other people. Because, and this also is true, Mankind will be in need of a continuous act of love from Me because it is so hard to bend, so easy to wane, ready to forget, eager to descend instead of ascending, that if I did not detain it with supernatural means, the law, the Gospel, the divine assistance administered by My Church would be of no avail to keep Humanity in the knowledge of the Truth and in the will to reach Heaven. And I am speaking of the Humanity that believes in Me… Always little when compared to the great mass of the inhabitants of the Earth.
I will come. Let those who will have Me remain humble. Let those who will not have Me, not be eager to have Me, to be praised thereby. Let no one wish what is uncommon. God knows when and where to give you it. It is not necessary to have extraordinary things to enter Heaven. On the contrary, they are a weapon, that, when it is badly used, may open hell instead of Heaven. And now I will tell you how. Because pride may arise. Because a state of the spirit may intervene, contemptible in the eyes of God, as it is like a torpor in which one may relax to caress the treasure received, considering oneself already in Heaven having been granted that gift. No. In that case, instead of flame and wing, it becomes ice and boulder, and the soul falls and dies. And also: a gift badly used may give rise to the eagerness to have even more, in order to be more praised. Then, in that case, the Spirit of Evil might replace the Lord to seduce the imprudent believers by means of impure prodigies. Always keep away from all kinds of enticements. Avoid them. Be happy with what God grants you. He knows what is useful to you and in what manner. And always consider that every gift is also a trial, in addition to being a gift, a trial of your justice and will. I have given everyone of you the same things. But what improved you, ruined Judas. Was it therefore a bad gift? No. But wicked was the will of that spirit…
The same now. I have appeared to many people. Not only to console and assist, but also to make you happy. You have begged Me to convince the people that I have risen, because the members of the Sanhedrin are trying to convince them of what they think. I have appeared to children and to adults, on the same day, in places so distant from one another, that it would take many days walk to reach them. But I am no longer subjected to distances. And My simultaneous appearances have puzzled you as well. You have said to one another: “These people have seen phantasms.” So you have forgotten part of My words, that is, that from now on I shall be east and west, north and south, wherever I think it is just that I should be, without anything preventing Me from doing so, and as fast as lightning flashing across the sky. I am a real Man. Here are My limbs, My solid warm Body, capable of moving, breathing, speaking, as you do. But I am true God. And if for thirty three years My Divinity, for a supreme purpose, was concealed in My Humanity, now the Divinity, although joined to the Humanity, has overwhelmed the latter, and My Humanity enjoys the perfect freedom of glorified bodies. Queen with the Divinity no longer subjected to what is limitation for Humanity. Here I am. I am here with you and I could be, if I wanted, in a moment at the end of the world to draw to Myself a spirit seeking Me.
And what effect will have the fact that I have been near Caesarea on the Sea and at the high Caesarea, and at the Cherith, and at Engedi, and near Pella and Juttah, and in other places in Judaea, and at Bozrah, and on the Great Hermon, and at Sidon and at the borders of Galilee? And that I cured a boy, and I brought back to life one who had breathed his last shortly before, and I consoled an anguished person, and I called to My service one who had mortified himself with hard penance, and to God a just man who had begged Me to do so, and I gave My message to some innocents and My orders to a faithful heart? Will that convince the world? No, it will not. Those who believe, will continue to believe, with greater peace, but not with greater strength, because they already really believed. Those who did not believe with true faith will remain doubtful, and the wicked will say that My apparitions are frenzy and falsehood, and that the dead man was not dead, but was sleeping…
Do you remember when I told you the parable of Dives? I said that Abraham replied to the damned soul: “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not believe even one who rises from the dead to tell them what they have to do.” Did they perhaps believe Me, the Master, and My miracles? What did Lazarus' miracle achieve? My hurried death sentence. And My Resurrection? An increase of their hatred. Even My miracles of these last days among you will not convince the world, but only those who no longer belong to the world, as they have chosen the Kingdom of God with its present fatigue and pains and its future glory.
But I am glad that you have been confirmed in the faith and that you have been faithful to My order, by remaining upon this mountain waiting, without being in a hurry to enjoy things that are also good, but are different from the ones I mentioned to you. Disobedience gives one tenth and takes away nine tenths. They went away and will hear words of men, always those. You have remained and you have heard My Word which, even if it repeats things already said, is always good and useful. The lesson will serve as an example for all of you, and also for them, for the future. »
Jesus looks around at those faces gathered there and calls: « Elisha of Engedi, come here. I have something to tell you. »
I had not recognised the ex-leper, the son of old Abraham. Then he was a ghastly skeleton, now he is a buxom man in the prime of life.
He goes near, prostrating himself at the feet of Jesus, Who says to him: « A question is trembling on your lips since you heard that I have been to Engedi. And it is this: “Have You comforted my father?” I say to you: “I have more than consoled him! I have taken him with Me.” »
« With You, my Lord? And where is he, since I do not see him? »
« Elisha, I am still here for a short time. Then I will go to My Father… »
« Lord!… You mean… My father is dead! »
« He died peacefully on My Heart. Sorrow is over also for him. He consumed it all, and by remaining always faithful to the Lord. Do not weep. Had you not left him to follow Me? »
« Yes, my Lord… »
« Well. Your father is with Me. Therefore, by following Me, you still come near your father. »
« But when? And how? »
« In his vineyard, where he heard Me speak for the first time. He reminded Me of his prayer of last year. I said to him: “Come.” He died a happy death, because you left everything to follow Me. »
« Forgive me if I weep… He was my father… »
« I do appreciate grief. » He lays His hand on his head to comfort him and says to the disciples: « Here is a new companion. Love him, because I took him from his sepulchre, so that he may serve Me. »
He then calls: « Elias. Come to Me. Do not be shy like one who is a stranger among brothers. All the past is destroyed. And you come, too, Zacharias, who left father and mother for Me, go among the seventy-two with Joseph of Cintium. You deserve it, as you have defied the ways of the mighty ones for My sake. And you, Philip, and you, his companion, who do not want to be called with your name any more, as it sounds horrible to you, so take that of your father, who is a just man, even if he is not yet among those who follow Me openly. Can you all see? I do not exclude anybody of good will. Neither those who followed Me already as disciples, nor those who performed good deeds in My name, even if they did not belong to the groups of My disciples, nor those who belonged to sects, that not everybody loves, as they can always take the right road and are not to be rejected. Do, as I do. I join these to the old disciples. Because the Kingdom of Heaven is open to all those of good will. And, although they are not present, I tell you not to reject the Gentiles either. I have not repelled them, when I knew that they were anxious to know the Truth. Do what I have done. And you, Daniel, who have really come out, not of the pit of the lions, but of the jackals, come and join these. And you, Benjamin. I join you to these (he points to the group of the seventy-two which is almost complete) because the harvest of the Lord will be very rich and many labourers are required. Now let us be united here for a short time, while the day wears on. In the evening you will depart from the mountain and at dawn you apostles and you two, whom I have mentioned separately, will come with Me, with all those who are here of the seventy-two (He points at Zacharias and at this Joseph of Cintium, who is not new to me). The others will remain here, waiting for those who have run away here and there like idle wasps, to tell them in My name that one cannot find the Lord by imitating unwilling disobedient children, and that they all have to be at Bethany twenty days before Pentecost, because later they would look for Me in vain. Sit down now, and rest. You, come with Me a little aside. »
He sets out, holding Marjiam by the hand all the time, followed by the eleven apostles.
He sits down in the thickest part of a thick wood of oak-trees, and draws to Himself Marjiam, who is very sad. So sad that Peter says: « Comfort him, Lord. He was already sad, now he is even more so. »
« Why, child? Are you not with Me? Should you not be happy to know that I have overcome sorrow? »
Marjiam's only answer is to burst into tears.
« I do not know what the matter is with him. I have asked him in vain. And today I was not expecting these tears! » grumbles Peter, somewhat annoyed.
« But I know » says John.
« So much the better for you! So why is he weeping? »
« He did not begin to weep today. He has been weeping for days… »
« Eh! I have noticed that! But why? »
« The Lord knows, I am sure. And I know that He alone has the word that can comfort him » says John smiling.
« That is true. I know. And I know that Marjiam, a good disciple, is really a little boy just now, a little boy who does not see the reality of things. But, My beloved one among all the disciples, do you not consider that I went to corroborate wavering faiths, to absolve, to receive lives that had come to an end, to annul poisonous doubts with which the weaker ones had been imbued, to reply with pity or severity to those who still want to fight against Me, to testify with My presence that I have risen from the dead, where they were more eager to say that I was dead? Was there any need for Me to come to you, a child, whose faith, hope, charity, whose good will and obedience are known to Me? Should I have come to you for a moment, when I shall have you with Me, as now, much more often? Who will celebrate Passover with Me, except you alone among all the other disciples? Can you see all these? They have celebrated their Passover, and the flavour of the lamb and of the caroset, of the unleavened bread and of the wine became completely like ashes and gall and vinegar for their palates immediately afterwards. But you and I, My dear boy, will consume our Passover joyfully, and it will be like honey that trickles and remains such. Who wept then, will rejoice now. Who rejoiced then, cannot expect to rejoice again. »
« Really… We were not very cheerful that day… » whispers Thomas.
« Yes. Our hearts trembled… » says Matthew.
« And we were boiling over with suspicion and indignation, at least I was » says Thaddeus.
« And so you all say that you would like to celebrate the supplementary Passover… »
« It is so, Lord » says Peter.
« One day you complained because the women disciples and your son were not taking part in the Passover banquet. Now you complain because who did not rejoice then, must do so now. »
« That is true. I am a sinner. »
« And I am He Who is compassionate. I want you all to be around Me, and not you only, but also the women disciples. Lazarus will give us hospitality once again. I did not want your daughter, Philip, or your wives, I did not want Myrtha, Naomi, and the young girl who is with them, and this boy. Jerusalem, in those days, was not a place for everybody! »
« True! It is a good thing that they were not there » says Philip with a sigh.
« Yes. They would have seen our cowardice. »
« Be quiet, Peter. It has been forgiven. »
« Yes. But I confessed it to my son and I thought that that was why he was so sad. I confessed it, because every time I confess it, it is a relief. It is as if I removed a big stone from my heart. I feel more absolved every time I humiliate myself. But if Marjiam is sad because You have shown Yourself to other people… »
« For that and for nothing else, father. »
« Then, cheer up! He loved you and He loves you. You can see that. But I informed you of the second Passover… »
« I thought that I had done the obedience that Porphirea had given me in Your name not too willingly, Lord. And that, therefore, You were punishing me. And I also thought that You did not show Yourself to me because I hated Judas and those who crucified You » confesses Marjiam.
« Do not hate anybody. I have forgiven. »
« Yes, my Lord. I will not hate my more. »
« And do not be sad any longer. »
« I will not be so any more, Lord. »
Marjiam, like all very young people, is not so timid with Jesus as the others are, and he relaxes confidently in Jesus' arms, now that he is sure that Jesus is not angry with him. And even more, like a chick under its mother's wing, he takes shelter in the arms of Jesus, Who presses Him against Himself, and as the anxiety that had made him sad and upset for so many days ceases, he blissfully falls asleep.
« He is still a boy » remarks the Zealot.
« Yes. But how much he has suffered! Porphirea told me when, informed by Joseph of Tiberias, she brought him to me » Peter replies to him. Then he says to the Master: « Porphirea also at Jerusalem? » How much eagerness there is in Peter's voice!
« All the women. I want to bless them before I ascend to My Father.
They have served as well, and very often better than men. »
« And to Your Mother? Are You not going? » asks Thaddeus.
« We are together. »
« Together When? »
« Judas, Judas, and do you think that I, Who have always found joy near Her, should not stay with Her now? »
« But Mary is all alone in Her house. My mother told me yesterday. »
Jesus smiles and replies: « Only the High Priest goes behind the Holy of Holies. »
« So? What do You mean? »
« That there are beatitudes that cannot be described and known. That is what I mean. »
He gently moves Marjiam away from Himself and entrusts him to the arms of John, who is the one closest to Him. He stands up. He blesses them. And while they all, with their heads lowered, on their knees, with the exception of John, who has Marjiam's head in his lap, receive His blessing, He disappears.
« He is really like the lightning of which He speaks » says Bartholomew.
They remain meditating, awaiting sunset.
The Lord wants me to take another copy book for the last instructions and visions, as they could not be contained here, the pages being too few.