Sun 10 June 2018
Mark 3: 20-35
And they come to a house, and the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
And when his friends had heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him. For they said: He is become mad. And the scribes who were come down from Jerusalem, said: He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils he casteth out devils. And after he had called them together, he said to them in parables: How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

And if Satan be risen up against himself, he is divided, and cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into the house of a strong man and rob him of his goods, unless he first bind the strong man, and then shall he plunder his house. Amen I say to you, that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and the blasphemies wherewith they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin. Because they said: He hath an unclean spirit.
And his mother and his brethren came; and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And answering them, he said: Who is my mother and my brethren? And looking round about on them who sat about him, he saith: Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 269.4-13):
[…] The possessed man has been led before Jesus. He is motionless. Matthew was quite right. He is greatly impeded by the demon.

People are gathering in the meantime. It is incredible how, particularly during the hours that I would call of relaxation, people were so quick in gathering where there was something to be seen. The notables of Capernaum are now there, and among them there are four Pharisees. Jairus is also there, and, in a corner, with the excuse of supervising order, there is the Roman Centurion, and citizens from other towns are with him.

«In the name of God, depart from the eyes and the tongue of this man! I want it! Set him free! You are no longer permitted to have him. Go away!» shouts Jesus stretching out His hands while giving the order.

The miracle begins with a howl of rage from the demon and ends with a cry of joy of the cured man who shouts: «Son of David! Son of David! Holy and King!»

269.5«How can this man know that it was He Who cured him?» asks a scribe.

«It’s all a farce! These people are paid to do that!» says a Pharisee shrugging his shoulders.

«By whom? If you do not mind me asking you» asks Jairus.

«By you, too.»

«And for what purpose?»

«To make Capernaum famous.»

«Do not mortify your intelligence by talking nonsense and your tongue by making it foul with lies. You know that it is not true, and you ought to realize that you are talking nonsense. What has happened here has happened in many parts of Israel. So there must be someone paying everywhere? I did not really know that the common people in Israel were very rich! Because you, and with you all the mighty ones, do not certainly pay for that. So it is the common people who pay, being the only ones who love the Master.»

«You are the head of the synagogue and you love Him. There is Manaen. At Bethany there is Lazarus of Theophilus. They are not common people.»

«But they are honest, and I am honest, too. And we do not cheat anybody, in no way. Much less in matters of faith. We do not take the liberty of doing that, because we fear God and we have understood what is pleasant to God: honesty.»

The Pharisees turn their back on Jairus and they attack the relatives of the cured man: «Who told you to come here?»

«Who? Many people, who had already been cured, or their relatives.»

«But what did they give you?»

«Give? The assurance that He would cure him.»

«Was he really ill?»

«Oh! Sly minds! Do you think that all this is feigned? If you do not believe it, go to Gadara and inquire about the misfortune of the family of Anna of Ismael.»

The irritated people of Capernaum are in tumult, while some Galileans, who have come from near Nazareth say: «And yet He is the son of Joseph, the carpenter!»

The citizens of Capernaum, being faithful to Jesus, shout: «No. He is what He said and what the cured man has just said: “Son of God and Son of David”.»

«Do not increase the excitement of the population with your statements!» says a scribe contemptuously. «And what is He, then, according to you?»

«A Beelzebub!»

«Ugh! Tongues of vipers. Blasphemers! You are possessed! Heartless men! You are our ruin. Do you want to deprive us also of the joy of the Messiah? Usurers! Arid stones!» A real uproar!

Jesus, Who had gone into the kitchen to drink some water, appears on the threshold in time to hear the stale and stupid accusation of the Pharisees once again: «He is a Beelzebub because demons obey Him. The great Beelzebub, who is His father, helps Him and He drives out demons only through the assistance of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.»

269.6Jesus descends the two little steps of the threshold and comes forward. He stops erect, severe and calm in front of the group of scribes and Pharisees and staring at them with keen eyes He says to them:

«Also on the earth we see that a kingdom divided into opposed parties becomes weak internally and can be easily attacked and laid waste by nearby countries that make it their slave. Also on the earth we see that a town divided into conflicting parts does not flourish and the same applies to a family, the members of which are divided by mutual hatred. It falls to pieces and becomes a useless nibble, which is of no use to anybody, and the laughing stock of fellow citizens. Harmony is shrewdness besides being necessary. Because it keeps people independent, strong and loving. Patriots, citizens, relatives ought to ponder on that when for the caprice of an individual advantage they are tempted to have separations or commit abuses, which are always dangerous because they are alternative in parties and they destroy love. And such shrewdness is practised by those who are the masters of the world. Consider Rome in its undeniable power, so painful to us. Rome rules the world. But they are united by one mind and one will: “to rule”. Even amongst them there must be differences, aversions, rebellions. But they lie at the bottom. On the surface they are one block, without cracks or perturbations. They all want the same thing and they are successful because of that. And they will be successful as long as they want the same thing.

Consider that example of human cohesive shrewdness and say: if the children of this world are like that, what will Satan be like? The Romans are demons, as far as we are concerned. But their heathen satanism is nothing compared to the perfect satanism of Satan and his demons. In their eternal kingdom, without time, without end, with no limits to cunning and wickedness, where they rejoice in being detrimental to God and men, and to be harmful is their very life and their only cruel painful enjoyment, they have attained with cursed perfection the fusion of their spirits in one will: “to be harmful”. Now if, as you state, to insinuate doubt about My power, Satan is the one who helps Me because I am a minor Beelzebub, does it not follow that Satan is divided against himself and his demons, if he drives them out of the people possessed by him? And if he is at variance with his followers, can his kingdom last? No, it is not so. Satan is very shrewd and does not damage himself in the hearts of men. The aim of his life is “to steal - to damage - to lie - to offend - to upset”. To steal the souls of God and the peace of men. To damage the children of the Father grieving Him. To lie in order to mislead. To offend in order to rejoice. To upset because he is disorder and cannot change. He is eternal in his being and in his methods.

269.7But answer this question: if I drive out demons in the name of Beelzebub, in whose name do your sons drive them out? Are you willing to admit that they are Beelzebub as well? If you say that, they will consider you slanderers. And if their holiness is such that they will not react to your accusation, you will condemn yourselves confessing that you think that you have many demons in Israel, and God will judge you in the name of the children of Israel accused by you of being demons. Therefore whoever may pass judgement, in actual fact they will be your judges, where judgement is not suborned by human pressure.

If, instead, as it is true, I expel demons through the Spirit of God, that would be evidence that the Kingdom of God and the King of that Kingdom have come to you. Which King has such power that no adverse force can resist Him. Thus I bind and compel the usurpers of the children of My Kingdom to depart from the place they have occupied and give Me back the prey so that I may take possession of it. Is that not what is done by one who wants to enter a house inhabited by a powerful man, to take his property, rightly or wrongly acquired? It is. He enters and ties him, and then he can plunder the house. I tie the dark angel who has taken what is Mine, and I take away from him the good property he has stolen of Me. And I am the only one who can do it, because I alone am the Strong One, the Father of the future century, the Prince of Peace.»

269.8«Clarify for us what You mean by saying: “Father of the future century”. Do You think that You will live until the new century and, still more foolishly, do You think that You, a poor man will create time? Time belongs to God» asks a scribe.

«And are you, a scribe, asking Me? Do you not know that there will be a century that will have a beginning but no end and that it will be Mine? I shall triumph in it gathering its children around Me and they will live forever like the century that I shall have created and I am already creating it, giving the spirit its true value above the flesh, the world, and above the infernal angels whom I expel because I can do everything. That is why I say that those who are not with Me are against Me, and those who do not gather with Me, scatter. Because I am He Who I am. And he who does not believe that, which was already prophesied, sins against the Holy Spirit, whose word was announced by the prophets, and it is neither false nor wrong, and must be believed without resistance.

And I tell you: men will be forgiven everything, all their sins and their blasphemy. Because God knows that man is not only spirit, but also flesh and his flesh, when tempted, is subject to sudden weakness. But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. He who has spoken against the Son of man will still be forgiven, because the weight of the flesh enveloping My Person and the man who speaks against Me, can still mislead. But he who has spoken against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this or in future life, because the Truth is what it is: clear, holy, undeniable and manifested to the spirit in such a way that it cannot mislead. Only those who err deliberately, want to err. To deny the Truth spoken by the Holy Spirit is to deny the Word of God and the Love given by that word for the sake of men. And the sin against Love is not forgiven.

269.9Every tree bears its fruit. You bear yours, but your fruit is not good. If you give a good tree to have it planted in the orchard, it will give good fruit; but if you give a bad tree, the fruit it will yield will be bad and everybody will say: “This is not a good tree”. Because a tree is known by its fruit. And how can you think that you are able to speak well, since you are bad? Because a mouth speaks of what fills its heart. Because it is out of the superabundance of what is within us, that we act and speak. A good man takes good things out of his good treasure; a wicked man takes wicked things out of his evil one and he speaks and behaves according to what is within him.

I tell you solemnly that idleness is sinful. But it is better to be idle than accomplish wicked deeds. And I also tell you that it is better to be silent than speak idly and wickedly. Even if to be silent is to be idle, do that rather than sin with your tongues. I assure you that on Doomsday justification will be requested for every word spoken idly to men, and that men will be justified by the words they have spoken, and by their words they will be condemned. Be careful, therefore, because you speak many words that are more than idle, as they are not only idle but also harmful, and are spoken to drive hearts away from the Truth speaking to you.»

269.10The Pharisees and scribes consult one another and afterwards, pretending to be kind, they ask: «Master, it is easier to believe what one sees. Give us, therefore, a sign so that we may believe that You are what You say You are.»

«You can see that there is in you the sin against the Holy Spirit, Who several times has pointed Me out to you as the Word Incarnate. Word and Saviour, Who has come in the predicted time, preceded and followed by the signs prophesied, and operating what the Spirit says.»

They reply: «We believe in the Spirit, but how can we believe in You unless we see a sign with our own eyes?»

«How can you believe in the Spirit whose actions are spiritual, if you do not believe in Mine that are perceptible by your eyes? My life is full of them. Are they not enough? No, they are not. I say so Myself. They are not enough. One sign only will be given1 to this adulterous wicked generation that seeks a sign: that of the prophet Jonah. In fact as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days, so the Son of man will be for three days in the bowels of the earth. I tell you solemnly that the Ninevites will rise on the Day of Judgement like all men, and they will rebel against this generation and condemn it. Because they did penance upon Jonah’s preaching, but you do not. And there is One here who is greater than Jonah. And so the Queen of the South will rise and stand up against you and will condemn you, because she came2 from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And there is One greater than Solomon here.»

269.11«Why do you say that this generation is adulterous and wicked? It is not any worse than the others. There are the same saints in it as in the others. The structure of Israel has not changed. You offend us.»

«You offend yourselves by injuring your souls, because you remove them from the Truth, and therefore from Salvation. But I will reply to you just the same. This generation is holy only in garments and outward appearance. It is not holy inwardly. There are in Israel the same names meaning the same things. But there is no reality of things. There are the same habits, garments and rites. But their spirit is missing. You are adulterers because you rejected the supernatural marriage with the Divine Law and you have married, in a second adulterous union, the law of Satan. You are circumcised only in a frail member. Your hearts are no longer circumcised. And you are wicked because you have sold yourselves to the Evil one. I have spoken.»

«You offend us too seriously. But, if it is so, why do You not free Israel from its demon so that it may become holy?»

«Is Israel willing to do that? No. Those poor people who come here to be freed from the demon are willing, because they feel it like a burden and a shame. But you do not feel that. And you would be freed quite uselessly, because as you are not anxious to be relieved, you would be caught again at once and in a stronger way. Because when an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through arid country looking for a place to rest and cannot find one. The country is not materially arid, mind you. It is arid because it is hostile to him as it will not receive him, just as arid soil is hostile to seed. He then says: “I will go back to the house from which I was expelled by force and against his will. And I am sure that he will welcome me and let me rest”. In fact he goes back to the one he possessed, and many times finds him willing to welcome him, because I solemnly tell you that man feels nostalgia more for Satan than for God and if Satan does not oppress his body, he does not complain of being possessed. He thus goes back and finds the house empty, swept, tidied, smelling of purity. He then goes off and collects seven other spirits, because he does not want to lose it again, and with these seven spirits more evil than himself he enters the house and they all settle in there. And the present state of a man who was converted once and is perverted a second time is worse than it was before. Because the demon now knows exactly how much that man loves Satan and is ungrateful to God and also because God will not go back where they tread on His graces, and where people, after the first experience of possession, open their arms to a greater one. A relapse into satanism is worse than a relapse into lethal phthisis already cured once. It cannot improve or recover. The same will apply to this generation, which although converted by the Baptist wanted to return to sin because it loves the Evil one and does not love Me.»

269.12A whispering, which is neither of approval nor of protest, runs through the crowd which has become so large that not only the kitchen garden and terrace are full, but also the street. People are sitting astride the low wall, many have climbed up the fig-tree and the trees of the neighbouring orchards, because everybody wants to listen to the dispute between Jesus and His enemies. The whispering, like a wave that from the open sea arrives at the shore from mouth to mouth reaches the apostles who are closer to Jesus: that is Peter, John, the Zealot and Alphaeus’ sons. Some of the other apostles are on the terrace, some in the kitchen, except Judas who is in the street, among the crowds.

Peter, John, the Zealot, Alphaeus’ sons pick up the whispering and say to Jesus: «Master, Your Mother is here with Your brothers. They are out there, in the street, and they are looking for You because they want to speak to You. Tell the crowds to move away, so that they may come to You, because a serious reason has certainly brought them here looking for You.»

Jesus raises His head and at the end of the crowd He sees the anguished face of His Mother, Who strives not to weep, while Joseph of Alphaeus is speaking to Her excitedly, and He sees Her repeated emphatic gestures of denial notwithstanding Joseph’s insistency. He also sees the embarrassed face of Simon, who is openly grieved and disgusted… But He does not smile, neither does He give any order. He leaves the Sorrowful One in Her grief and His cousins where they are.

He lowers His head and looks at the crowd, and replying to the apostles near Him, He replies also to those who are far away and are endeavouring to make blood have more weight than one’s duty. «Who is My Mother? Who are My brothers?» He looks around with severe countenance, as His face becomes pale as a result of the violent effort He has to make against Himself to set duty above family ties and blood, and to disavow His tie to His Mother in order to serve His Father, and pointing with a large gesture to the crowd pressing around Him in the red light of torches and in the silvery light of the almost full moon, He says: «This is My Mother and these are My brothers. Those who do the will of God are My brothers and sisters, they are My Mother. I have nobody else. And My relatives will be such if they are the first to do the will of God with greater perfection than anybody else to the extent of completely sacrificing every other will or the call of blood or of affection.»

The crowds whisper in louder voices, like a sea made rough by sudden gusts of wind.

The scribes begin to withdraw saying: «He is a demon! He repudiates His own blood!»

His relatives come forward saying: «He is crazy! He tortures His very Mother!»

The apostles say: «His word is really full of heroism!»

The crowds comment: «How much He loves us!»

269.13Mary, Joseph and Simon elbow their way through the crowd with difficulty. While Mary is thoroughly kind, Joseph is very angry and Simon is utterly embarrassed. They arrive near Jesus.

Joseph attacks Him at once: «You are crazy! You are offending everybody. You do not respect even Your Mother. But I am here now and I will stop You. Is it true that You are wandering about as a workman? If it is true, why do You not work in Your own shop, and thus provide for Your Mother? Why do You lie saying that Your task is to preach, You idle and ungrateful man when You work for money with other people? I think that You are really possessed by a demon misleading You. Reply to me!»

Jesus turns around and takes little Joseph by the hand, He draws him close to Himself and holding him up by his armpits He says: «I worked to provide food for this innocent child and his relatives and persuade them that God is good. It was a sermon on humility and charity for Korazim. And not only for Korazim. But also for you, Joseph, My unfair brother. But I forgive you because I know that you have been bitten by snakes. And I forgive you, too, Simon, who are so changeable. I have nothing to forgive My Mother or be forgiven by Her, because Her judgement is just. Let the world do what it wants. I do what God wants. And with the blessing of My Father and Mother I am happier than I would be if the whole world hailed Me king according to the world. Come, Mother. Do not weep. They do not know what they are doing. Forgive them.»

«Oh! Son! I know. You know. There is nothing else to be said…»

«There is nothing else to be said except say to the people: “Go in peace”.»

And Jesus blesses the crowd, and holding Mary with His right hand and Joseph with His left one, He goes towards the staircase and is the first to climb it.