Sun 17 November 2019
Luke 21: 5-19

And some saying of the temple, that it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said:

These things which you see, the days will come in which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying: Master, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when they shall begin to come to pass? Who said: Take heed you be not seduced; for many will come in my name, saying, I am he; and the time is at hand: go ye not therefore after them. And when you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified: these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet presently. Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name' s sake. And it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore into your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.

And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren, and kinsmen and friends; and some of you they will put to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name' s sake.But a hair of your head shall not perish. In your patience you shall possess your souls.

From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 596.22-43):

[…] Jesus is clearly tired and hot, both because of the long thundering speech, and of the sultriness of the windless day. Pressed against the wall by a multitude of people, avidly gazed upon by thousands of people, feeling all the hatred of those who are listening to Him under the porches of the court of the Gentiles, and all the love or at least the admiration surrounding Him, indifferent to the sun blazing down on backs and reddened perspiring faces, He really looks exhausted. He needs solace and He seeks it saying to His apostles and to the seventy-two disciples, who like wedges have opened a passage through the crowd and who are now in the front line, forming a faithful loving barrier around Him: «Let us leave the Temple and go out into the open, among trees. I am in need of shade, silence and fresh air. This place really seems to be already burning with the fire of celestial wrath.»

They elbow their way with difficulty and are thus able to go out through the nearest gate, where Jesus in vain strives to dismiss many people. They want to follow Him at all costs.

In the meantime the disciples are watching the cube of the Temple shining in the sun, as it is almost midday, and John of Ephesus points out the powerful construction to the Master saying: «Look at the size of the stones and of the construction!»

«And yet not a single stone here will be left on another» replies Jesus.

«No? When? How?» ask many.

But Jesus does not say anything. He goes down the Moriah and quickly leaves the town, passing through Ophel and the Gate of Ephraim or Dung Gate and taking shelter at first in the thick of the King’s Gardens, that is until those who, apart from apostles and disciples, have insisted in following Him, go away slowly when Manaen, who has had the heavy gates opened, comes forward imposingly and says to everybody: «Go away. No one can come in here except those whom I allow.»

Shade, silence, scents of flowers, the smell of camphor and cloves, cinnamon, lavender and countless other scented herbs, the gurgling of streams nourished by nearby fountains and cisterns, under galleries of leaves, the warbling of birds make the spot a place of paradisiac rest. The town seems to be miles and miles away, with its narrow streets, dark because of the many archivolts or sunny to the point of dazzling, with its smells and stenches of sewers, which are not always clean, and of streets along which too many quadrupeds pass to be clean, particularly the less important ones.

The guardian of the Gardens must know Jesus very well, because he greets Him with respect and familiarity at the same time, and Jesus asks after his wife and children.

The man would like to give Jesus hospitality in his house, but the Master prefers the fresh restful peace of the large King’s Garden, a real park of delight. And before the two untiring and very loyal servants of Lazarus go away to get the basket of foodstuffs, Jesus says to them: «Tell your mistresses to come. We shall stay here for a few hours with My Mother and the faithful women disciples. And it will be so pleasant…»

«You are very tired, Master! One can tell from Your face» remarks Manaen.

«Yes. So much so that I did not have enough strength to go farther.»

«But I offered You these gardens several times during the past days. You know how pleased I am to be able to offer You peace and solace!»

«I know, Manaen.»

«And yesterday You wanted to go to that sad place! Its neighbourhood is so arid and it is so strangely bare of vegetation this year! And it is so close to that sad gate!»

«I wanted to satisfy my apostles. They are like little boys, after all. Grown up boys. See how happily they are refreshing themselves!… They have immediately forgotten what is being plotted against Me beyond those walls…»

«And they have forgotten that You are so depressed… But I do not think there is any sound reason to be frightened. The place seemed more dangerous on other occasions.»

Jesus looks at him and is silent. How often in these last days have I seen Jesus look and be silent thus! Then Jesus becomes intent in watching the apostles and disciples, who have taken off their headgear, mantles and sandals, cooling their faces and limbs in the fresh rivulets, imitated by many of the seventy-two disciples, who, actually, I think are now many more, and who, all united in the fraternity of ideals, are lying down, resting here and there, a little aside, to let Jesus rest peacefully.

Manaen also withdraws leaving Him alone. Everybody respects the rest of the Master, Who is very tired and has taken shelter under a very thick pergola of a jasmine in bloom, shaped like a bower and isolated by a ring of water that flows gurgling in a little canal over which grass and flowers hang. A real peaceful refuge that is reached by means of a little bridge two palms wide and four long, the railings of which are all covered with a garland of jasmine corollas.

The servants come back and they have increased in number, because Martha wanted to provide for all the servants of the Lord, and they say that the women will be coming shortly.

Jesus sends for Peter and says to him: «With My brother James bless, offer and hand out the food as I do.»

«I will hand it out, but I will not bless it. It is for You to offer and bless it, not for me.»

«When you were the head of your companions and were far away from Me, did you not do it?»

«Yes, I did. But then I was compelled to do it. Now You are with us, and it is for You to bless it. I think that everything tastes better when You offer it for us and hand it out…» and the faithful Simon embraces his Jesus, Who is sitting looking very tired in the shade, and he bends his head over His shoulder, happy to be able to clasp and kiss Him thus…

Jesus stands up and pleases him. He goes towards the disciples, He offers, blesses, hands out the food, He watches them eat gladly and says to them: «Afterwards you may sleep, rest while there is time, so that later you may keep awake and pray when you need to do so, and fatigue and tiredness may not overburden your eyes and spirit with sleepiness, when it will be necessary for you to be ready and wide-awake.»

«Are You not staying with us? Are You not eating?»

«Let Me rest. That is all I need. Eat, eat!» He caresses the ones whom He finds on His way and goes back to His place…

Kind and gentle is the arrival of the Mother near Her Son. Mary comes forward without hesitating, because Manaen, who being less tired than the others, has been watching at the gate, points out to Her the place where is Jesus. The other women disciples, all the Hebrew ones are there, and of the Romans only Valeria is present, stop for a little while and are silent in order not to awake the disciples who are sleeping in the shade of the leafy trees, like sheep lying on the grass at midday.

Mary goes under the jasmine pergola without making the little wooden bridge or the gravel on the ground creak, and even more cautiously She approaches Her Son, Who, overcome by weariness, has fallen asleep with his head on the stone table placed there, his left arm used as a cushion under his face covered by his hair. Mary sits patiently near her exhausted Son. And She contemplates Him… so intently… and a sorrowful loving smile appears on Her lips, while tears silently fall on Her lap; but if Her lips are closed and silent, Her heart is praying with all the strength She possesses, and the power of that prayer and of its inspiration are revealed by the attitude of her hands joined on her lap, held tight with fingers interlaced in order not to tremble, and yet are shaken by a light tremor. Hands that are disjoined only to drive away a fly that insistently wants to alight on Her sleeping Son and might awake Him.

It is the Mother Who is watching Her Son. The last sleep of her Son She can watch. And if the face of the Mother, on this Wednesday before Passover, is different from that of the Mother at the Birth of the Lord, because grief makes it pale and disfigures its features, the mild loving purity of Her glance, the anxious care is the same as She had when, bending over the manger in Bethlehem, with Her love She protected the first uncomfortable sleep of her Child.

Jesus moves, and Mary quickly wipes Her eyes, so that Her Son may not see Her tears. But Jesus has not wakened. He has only changed the position of His face, turning it round to the other side, and Mary resumes Her immobility and Her watching.

But something breaks Mary’s heart: She hears Her Jesus weep in His sleep and whisper the name of Judas, with an indistinct murmur, as He speaks with His mouth pressed against His arm and garment…

Mary stands up, She approaches Her Son and bends over Him, She follows His vague whispering, with Her hands pressed against Her heart. Jesus’ speech, although broken but not to the extent that one cannot follow it, makes Her understand that He is dreaming, and is dreaming once again the present, the past and then also the future, until He awakes with a jerk, as if He wanted to escape something horrible. But He finds the breast of His Mother, the arms of His Mother, the smile of His Mother, the gentle voice of his Mother, Her kiss, Her caress, the light touch of Her veil, with which She had wiped Her face to dry tears and perspiration, while She says to Him: «You were in an uncomfortable position, and You were dreaming… You are wet with perspiration and tired, Son.» And She tidies His ruffled hair, She dries His face and kisses Him, embracing Him with Her arm, holding Him to Her heart as She can no longer take Him in Her lap, as when He was a baby.

Jesus smiles at Her saying: «You are always the Mother. The one who comforts. The one who rewards for everything. My Mother!»

He makes Her sit close to Him laying His hand on Her knees, and Mary takes His long hand, so gentle and yet so strong, the hand of a handicraftsman, in Her small ones, She caresses its fingers and the back of it, smoothing the veins which had swollen while hanging in His sleep. And She tries to distract His attention…

«We have come. We are all here. Also Valeria. The others are at the Antonia. Claudia wanted them, “as she is very sad” said her freedwoman. She says, I do not know why, that she has a presentiment of much weeping. Superstitions!… God only knows what will happen…»

«Where are the women disciples?»

«Over there, at the entrance of the Gardens. Martha wanted to prepare refreshing and nourishing food and drinks, considering how exhausted You are. But I, look, You always liked this, and I brought it to You. My share. It has a nicer taste because it was made by Your Mother.» She shows Him some honey and a bun on which She spreads it handing it to Her Son and saying: «As we used to do at Nazareth, when You rested during the hottest hours, and then You awoke feeling hot, and I used to come from the cool grotto with this refreshment…» She stops because Her voice trembles.

Her Son looks at Her and then says: «And when there was Joseph, You brought refreshments for two and the cool water of the porous jar that You kept in running water to make it cooler and it was made even more so by the stems of wild mint that You put in it. How much mint there was there, under the olive-trees! And how many bees on the mint flowers! Our honey always tasted a little of that scent…» He is pensive… He remembers…

«We have seen Alphaeus, You know? Joseph was delayed because one of his sons was not too well. But he will certainly be here tomorrow with Simon. Salome of Simon is looking after our house and Mary’s.»

«Mother, when You are all alone, who will You stay with?»

«With whomsoever You will tell Me, Son. I obeyed You, Son, before having You. I will continue doing so after You have left Me.» Her voice trembles, but a heroic smile is on Her lips.

«You know how to obey. How restful it is to be with You! Because, see, Mother? The world cannot understand, but I find complete rest with obedient people… Yes. God rests with the obedient. God would not have had to suffer, to toil, if disobedience had not come to the world. Everything happened because man did not obey. That is why there is sorrow in the world… That is the reason for Our grief.»

«And also for Our peace, Jesus. Because we know that our obedience comforts the Eternal Father. Oh! for Me in particular, what that thought is! I, a creature, have been granted to console my Creator!»

«Oh! Joy of God! You do not know, o joy of Ours, what Your word means to us! It exceeds the harmony of the Celestial Choruses!… Blessed! Blessed You are, as You teach Me the last obedience, and by this thought of Yours You make it pleasant for Me to accomplish it!»

«You do not need to be taught by Me, my Jesus. I have learned everything from You.»

«Jesus of Mary of Nazareth, the Man, has learned everything from You.»

«It was Your light that emanated from Me. The Light that You are and that came from the Eternal Light, annihilated in human appearance… Johanna’s brothers informed Me of the speech You delivered. They were enraptured with admiration. You uttered bitter words against the Pharisees…»

«It is the hour of supreme truths, Mother. They remain dead truths to them. But they will be living truths for the others. And with love and severity I must fight the last battle to snatch them from Evil.»

«That is true. They told Me that Gamaliel, who was with other people in one of the halls in the porches, said at the end, while many were upset: “When one does not want to be reproached, one acts righteously” and he went away after that remark.»

«I am glad that the rabbi heard Me. Who told You?»

«Lazarus did. And he was told by Eleazar, who was in the hall with other people.

Lazarus came at midday. He greeted us and went away again without listening to his sisters who wanted to keep him until sunset. He told them to send John, or somebody else, to get those fruits and flowers, which are just perfect.»

«I will send John tomorrow.»

«Lazarus comes every day. But Mary gets angry because she says that he seems an apparition. He goes up to the Temple, he comes, gives orders and leaves again.»

«Lazarus also knows how to obey. I told him to behave so, because they are lying in wait for him as well. But don’t tell his sisters. Nothing will happen to him. And now let us go to the women disciples.»

«Do not move. I will call them. The disciples are all asleep…»

«And we will let them sleep. They do not sleep much at night, because I teach them in the peace of Gethsemane.»

Mary goes out and comes back with the women, who seem to have got rid of their weight, so light are their steps. They greet Him with deep respect. Only Mary of Clopas is well known.

And from a large bag Martha takes out a small porous amphora, while from another vase, which is also porous, Mary takes fresh fruit that came from Bethany, and lays it on the table beside what her sister has prepared, that is a crisp appetising grilled dove, and she begs Jesus to accept it saying: «Eat it. It is nourishing. I prepared it myself.»

Johanna instead has brought some rose-vinegar. She explains: «It is so refreshing in these first warm days. My husband also makes use of it when he is tired after long rides.»

«We have nothing» say Mary Salome, Mary Clopas, Susanna and Eliza apologising.

And Nike and Valeria in turn say: «Neither have we. We did not know that we had to come.»

«You have given Me all your hearts. That is enough for Me. And you will still give Me…»

He takes some food, but above all He drinks the cool honied water that Martha pours out for Him from the porous amphora and He eats the fresh fruit, a real refreshment for the Tired One.

The women disciples do not speak much. They look at Him while He takes some refreshments. In their eyes there is love and anxiety. And all of a sudden Eliza begins to weep, and she apologises saying: «I do not know. My heart is burdened with sadness…»

«All our hearts are. Even Claudia in her palace…» says Valeria.

«I wish it were already Pentecost. whispers Salome.

«I, instead, would like to stop the time at this hour» says Mary of Magdala.

«You would be selfish, Mary» replies Jesus.

«Why, Rabboni?»

«Because you would like the joy of your redemption exclusively for yourself. There are millions of people who are awaiting this hour, or who will be redeemed because of this hour.»

«That is true. I was not thinking of that…» she lowers her head, biting her lips to conceal the tears in her eyes and the trembling of her lips. But she is always the brave struggler, and she says: «If You come tomorrow, You will be able to put on the tunic You sent me. It is fresh and clean, worthy of the Passover supper.»

«I will come… Have you nothing to tell Me? You are silent and distressed. Am I no longer Jesus?…» He smiles at the women encouragingly.

«Oh! You are! But You are so great these days that I can no longer see You as the little boy I used to carry in my arms!» exclaims Mary of Alphaeus.

«Neither can I see You as the simple rabbi who used to come into my kitchen looking for John and James» says Salome.

«And I have always known You so: the King of my soul!» Proclaims Mary of Magdala.

And Johanna meekly and gently says: «And I, too: divine, since the dream in which You appeared to me, when I was dying, to call me to the Life.»

«Lord, You have given us everything. Everything!» says with a sigh Eliza, who has collected herself.

«And you have given Me everything.»

«Too little!» they all reply.

«The possibility of giving will not come to an end after this hour. It will cease only when you are with Me in My Kingdom. My faithful women disciples. You will not sit at My side, on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel, but you will sing hosannas with the angels, forming a chorus of honour for My Mother, and then, as now, the heart of the Christ will find its joy in contemplating you.»

«I am young! Long will be the time to ascend to Your Kingdom. Happy Annaleah!» says Susanna.

«I am old, and happy to be so. I hope my death is near» says Eliza.

«I have my sons… I would like to serve these servants of God!» says Mary of Clopas with a sigh.

«Do not forget us, Lord!» says the Magdalene with restrained anxiety, I would say with a cry of her soul, so much does her voice quiver, even more than a cry, although it is kept low in order not to awake those who are sleeping.

«I will not forget you. I will come. You, Johanna, know that I can come even if I am far away… The others must believe that. And I will leave something to you… a mystery that will keep Me in you and you in Me, until we are united again, you and I, in the Kingdom of God.

Go now. You may say that I have not told you much, that it was almost useless to make you come for so little. But I wanted to have around Me hearts that have loved Me without selfishness. For my sake: for Jesus. Not for the future King of Israel people have dreamt of. Go. And may you be blessed once more. Also the other women disciples, who are not here, but think of Me with love: Anne, Myrtha, Anastasica, Naomi, and the far away Syntyche, and Photinai, and Aglae and Sarah, Marcella, Philip’s daughters, Mirjiam of Jairus, the virgins, the redeemed women, the wives, the mothers who have come to Me, who have been sisters and mothers to Me, better, oh! much better than the best men!… All of them! I bless them all. Grace begins already to descend, grace and forgiveness, on woman, through this blessing of Mine. Go…»

He dismisses them holding back His Mother, to whom He says: «Before evening I shall be at Lazarus’ mansion. I need to see You again. John will be with Me. But I only want You, Mother, and the other Maries, Martha and Susanna. I am so tired…»

«We shall be the only ones. Goodbye, Son…»

They kiss each other and part… Mary goes away slowly. She turns around before going out. She turns around before leaving the little bridge. She turns again, as long as She can see Jesus… She seems unable to depart from Him…

Jesus is alone once again. He gets up and goes out. He goes and calls John, who is sleeping lying on his face among the flowers, like a little boy, and He hands him the small amphora with the rosevinegar that Johanna brought Him, saying to him: «We shall go to My Mother this evening. But only the two of us.»

«I understand. Did they come?»

«Yes, they did. I preferred not to awake you…»

«You did the right thing. Your joy must have been greater. They know how to love you better than we do…» says John disconsolately.

«Come with Me.» John follows Him. «What is the matter with you?» Jesus asks him, when they are once again in the green dim light of the pergola, where there are still some remains of food.

«Master, we are very bad. All of us. There is no obedience in us… and no desire to be with You. Also Peter and Simon have gone away. I don’t know where. And so Judas found the opportunity to be quarrelsome.»

«Has Judas also gone away?»

«No, Lord. He has not. He says he has no need to go away, that he has no accomplices in our intrigues to try and get protection for You. But if I went to Annas, if others have gone to the Galileans residing here, it was not for an evil purpose!… And I do not think that Simon of Jonas and Simon Zealot are men capable of underhand intrigues…»

«Never mind. In fact Judas does not need to go while you are resting. He knows when and where to go to accomplish what he has to do.»

«Then why does he speak so? It is not nice, in the presence of the disciples!»

«It is not nice. But it is so. Cheer up, My lamb.»

«I, Your lamb? There is no other Lamb but You!»

«Yes. You. I, the Lamb of God, and you, the lamb of the Lamb of God.»

«Oh!!! You already told me this word on another occasion, it was the first days I was with you. There were only the two of us, as now, among the green vegetation, as now, and in the fine season.» John rejoices at the recollection. And he whispers: «I am always, I am still the lamb of the Lamb of God…»

Jesus caresses him. And He offers him some of the grilled dove, left on the table on a sheet of parchment that had wrapped it. He then opens some juicy figs for him and offers them to him, happy to see him eat them.

Jesus has sat sideways on the edge of the table and looks at John so intensely that the latter asks: «Why are You looking at me thus? Because I am eating like a glutton?»

«No. Because you are like a child… Oh! My beloved! How much I love you because of your heart!» and Jesus bends to kiss the fairhaired head of the apostle and says to him: «Remain thus, always thus, with your heart without pride and malice. Thus, also in the hours of unchecked ferocity. Do not imitate those who sin, My child.»

John is seized with his worry again and he says: «But I cannot believe that Simon and Peter…»

«You would really make a mistake if you thought they were sinners. Drink this. It is a good fresh drink. Martha prepared it… Now you are feeling better. I am sure that you had not finished your meal…»

«That is true. I had begun to weep. Because, as long as the world hates us, one can understand. But that one of us should insinuate…»

«Forget about it. You and I know that Simon and the Zealot are two honest men. And that is enough. And, unfortunately, you know that Judas is a sinner. But keep silent about it. But when many lustra have gone by and it is just to reveal how deep My grief was, then you will tell also what I suffered because of the deeds of that man, in addition to those of that apostle. Let us go. It is time to leave this place and go towards the Field of the Galileans and…»

«Are we staying there also tonight? And are we going to Gethsemane first? Judas wanted to know. He says he is tired of being out in the dew, with little and uncomfortable rest.»

«It will soon be over. But I will not tell Judas what I intend doing…»

«You are not obliged. It is You Who have to guide us, and not we who have to guide You.» John is so far from betraying that he does not even understand the reason of prudence why Jesus for some days has never mentioned what He intends doing.

They are now among the sleeping disciples. They call them. They awake. Manaen, who has accomplished his task, apologises to the Master for not being able to stay, and not being able to be with Him at the Temple the following day, as he has to remain at the palace. And in saying so he stares at Peter and Simon, who have in the meantime come back, and Peter nods quickly, as if to say: «I have understood.»

They come out of the Gardens. It is still warm and the sun is still shining. But the evening breeze already mitigates the heat and blows some little clouds in the clear sky.

They go up towards Siloam, avoiding the places of the lepers, but Simon goes to them to take the remains of their meal to the few who are still left there and who did not believe in Jesus.

Matthias, the former shepherd, approaches Jesus and asks: «My Lord and Master, my companions and I have pondered a lot on Your words, until we were overcome by tiredness, and we fell asleep before solving the problem we had set to ourselves. And now we are more stupid than before. If we have correctly understood Your speeches of these last days, You have foretold that many things will be changed although the Law remains unchanged, and that a New Temple will have to be erected, with new prophets, wise men and scribes, that they will give battle to it, and that it will not die, whereas this one, always if we have understood correctly, is destined to perish.»

«It is destined to perish. Remember Daniel’s prophecy…»

«But how shall we, poor and few as we are, be able to rebuild it, if the kings found it difficult to build this one? Where shall we erect it? Not here, because You say that this place will remain deserted until they bless You as the messenger sent by God.»

«It is so.»

«Not in Your Kingdom. We are convinced that Your Kingdom is spiritual. So, how and where shall we establish it? Yesterday You said that the true Temple – and is that one not the true Temple? – that the true Temple, when they think that they have destroyed it, will then ascend triumphantly to the true Jerusalem. Where is it? We are very confused.»

«It is so. Let the enemies destroy the true Temple. In three days I will raise it up and it will experience no more ambushes as it will ascend where man can no longer harm.

With regards to the Kingdom of God, it is in you and wherever there are men who believe in Me. Scattered at present, it will spread all over the Earth in the course of ages. Then eternal, united, perfect in Heaven. The new Temple will be built there, in the Kingdom of God, that is, where there are spirits who accept My doctrine, the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, and put its precepts into practice.

How will it be erected if you are poor and few? Oh! No money or power is really required to erect the building of the new abode of God. Neither for the individual nor for the collective one. The Kingdom of God is in you. And the union of all those who have the Kingdom of God in themselves, of all those who have God in themselves – God: Grace; God: Life; God: Light; God: Charity – will form the great Kingdom of God on the Earth, the new Jerusalem that will spread all over the world and, complete and perfect, without faults, without shadows, will live forever in Heaven.

How will you manage to build Temple and town? Oh! not you, but God will build these new places. You have only to give Him your goodwill. Goodwill is to remain in Me. Goodwill is to live my doctrine. Goodwill is to be united. So united to Me as to form only one body that is nourished by only one humour in all its parts, even in the smallest ones. Only one edifice that rests only on one base and is held together by a mystic cohesion. But as without the help of the Father, Whom I taught you to pray and Whom I will pray for you before I die, you would not be able to be in Charity, in Truth, in Life, that is still in Me and with Me in God the Father and in God Love, because we are only one Divinity, because of that I tell you to have God in you in order to be able to be the Temple that will know no end. You would not be able to do it by yourselves. If God does not build, and He cannot build where He cannot dwell, in vain men busy themselves in building and rebuilding.

The new Temple, my Church, will rise only when your hearts give hospitality to God, and He with you, living stones, will build his Church.»

«But did You not say that Simon of Jonas is its Head, the Stone on which Your Church will be built? And have You not made us also understand that You are its corner-stone? So who is its head? Does this Church exist or not?» says the Iscariot interrupting.

«I am the mystical Head. Peter is the visible head. Because I am going back to the Father leaving you Life, Light, Grace by means of my Word, of my suffering, of the Paraclete, Who will be the friend of those who are faithful to Me. I am one thing with my Church, my spiritual body, of which I am the head.

The head contains the brain or mind. The mind is the seat of knowledge, the brain directs the movements of the limbs with its immaterial orders, which are more efficient than any other incentive in making the limbs move. Look at a dead man, whose brain is dead. Is there any movement in his limbs? Look at one who is completely stupid. Is he not perhaps so inert that he is not capable of having those rudimentary instinctive emotions that the lowest animal, the worm we tread on when walking, has? Observe a man whose limbs, one or more of them, have lost contact with the brain by paralysis. Can he move the part that no longer has any vital link with his head? But if the mind directs with its immaterial orders, it is the other organs – eyes, ears, tongue, nose, skin – that transmit sensations to the mind, and it is the other parts of the body that perform and have performed what the mind, informed by the organs, which are as material and visible as the intellect is invisible, orders. Could I get you to sit on the slope of this mountain without saying to you: “Sit down”? Even if I think that I want you to sit down, you do not know until I express my thought in words and I utter them using my tongue and lips. I could sit down Myself, if I only thought of it because I feel that my legs are tired, but if they refused to bend and sit Me down? The mind needs organs and limbs to accomplish and have accomplished the operations that the thought thinks of.

So in the spiritual body that is my Church, I shall be the Intellect, that is, the head, the seat of the intellect; Peter and his collaborators will be those who watch the reactions and perceive the sensations and transmit them to the mind, so that I may illuminate and direct what is to be done for the welfare of the whole body and then, as they are enlightened and guided by my order, they may speak and guide the other parts of the body. The hand that wards off on object that can damage the body and drives away what, being corrupt, may corrupt; the foot that steps over an obstacle, without knocking against it and falling and being hurt, have received an order to do so from the part that directs. The, boy, or also the man, who is saved from a danger, or makes any kind of gain – education, good business, marriage, good alliance through a good piece of advice he received, for a word spoken – it is through that piece of advice and that word that he is not hurt or he makes a profit. It will be the same in the Church. The head, and the heads, led by the Divine Thought and enlightened by the Divine Light and instructed by the Eternal Word, give orders and advice, and the members will act, receiving spiritual health and gain.

My Church already exists, because it has its supernatural Head and its divine Head and it has its members: the disciples. Still small a germ being formed – perfect only in the Head directing it, imperfect in the rest, which needs the touch of God to be perfect and some time to grow. But I solemnly tell you that it already exists, and that it is holy on account of Him Who is its Head and of the goodwill of the just members composing it. It is holy and invincible. Hell, consisting of demons and men-demons, will hurl itself against it thousands of times and will fight it in thousands of ways, but it will not prevail. The edifice will be unshakeable.

But the building is not made with only one stone. Look at the Temple, over there, large, beautiful in the setting sun. Is it made with only one stone? It is a complex of stones forming a harmonious whole. We say: the Temple. That is, one unit. But this unit is made with the many stones that have composed and formed it. It would have been useless to lay the foundations, if they were not to support the walls and the roof, if no walls were to be raised on them. And it would have been impossible to raise walls and support the roof, if first they had not laid solid foundations, proportioned to such a huge mass. So with this interdependence of parts, also the new Temple will rise. In the course of ages, you will build it, laying it on the foundations that I have given it, and which are perfect, for its massive size. You will build it under the direction of God, with the good things used to raise it: the spirits in which God dwells.

With God in your hearts, to make them polished flawless stones for the new Temple. With His Kingdom established with its laws in your spirits. Otherwise you would be badly-baked bricks, worm-eaten wood, chipped cracked stones that do not last, and are rejected by the builder, if he is wary, or they do not hold out, they cave in, making a part collapse if the builder, the builders appointed by the Father to the construction of the Temple, are idolatrous builders, who are proud in their hearts but do not watch over or work hard on the building that is rising, and neglect the materials used to make it.

Idolatrous builders, idolatrous guardians, idolatrous keepers, thieves! Robbers of the trust in God, of the esteem of men, robbers full of pride, who are pleased to have the possibility of making a profit and of having large stocks of materials, but they do not watch whether they are good or of inferior quality, the cause of ruin.

You, new priests and scribes of the new Temple, listen. Woe to you and to those who after you will become idolatrous and will not watch and look after themselves and the other believers, to examine and test the good quality of the stones and timber, without trusting appearances, and will bring about ruin by allowing inferior quality, or even harmful materials to be used for the Temple, scandalising and causing disaster. Woe to you if you will allow unsafe, curved walls to be erected, full of large fissures and that will collapse easily, as they are not balanced on solid perfect foundations. The disaster would not come from God, the Founder of the Church, but from you, and you would be responsible for it before God and men.

Care, attention, insight, prudence! The stone, the brick, the weak beam, which would be ruinous in a main wall, can serve for parts of minor importance, and serve well. That is how you must be able to choose. With charity in order not to disgust the weak parts, with firmness not to disgust God and ruin His Edifice. And if you become aware that a stone, already laid to support a main corner, is not good or is not balanced, be brave, bold, and remove it from that place, mortify it by squaring it with the chisel of holy zeal. If it howls with pain, it does not matter. It will bless you later, in the course of ages, because you saved it. Move it, appoint it to another office. Do not be afraid to send it away altogether, if you see that it is the cause of scandal and ruin and rebels against your work. Few stones are better than a pile of pebbles. Do not be in a hurry. God is never in a hurry, but what He creates is eternal, because it is well thought over before being carried out. Even if it is not eternal, it will last to the end of time. Look at the Universe. For ages, for thousands of centuries it is as God made it through subsequent operations. Imitate the Lord. Be as perfect as your Father. Keep His Law and His Kingdom in you and you will not be unsuccessful.

But if you were not so, the building would collapse, you would have toiled in vain to erect it. It would collapse and only the cornerstone and the foundations would be left… That is what will happen to that one!… I solemnly tell you that that is what will happen to it. And that will be the fate of yours, if you put in it what is in this one: parts diseased with pride, avidity, sin, lust. As that pavilion of clouds, so gracefully beautiful, was blown away and dispersed by a breath of wind, while it seemed to be settling on the top of that mountain, likewise, at a gust of a wind of supernatural and human punishment, will tumble the buildings that are holy by name…»

Jesus is silent and pensive. He resumes speaking only to say: «Let us sit down here and rest a little.»

They sit down on a slope of the Mount of Olives, in front of the Temple kissed by the setting sun. Jesus looks fixedly at that place and sorrowfully. The others are proud of its beauty, but a veil of worry, left by the words of the Master, is spread on their pride. And if that beauty should really perish?…

Peter and John speak to each other and then they whisper something to James of Alphaeus and Andrew, who nod assent. Then Peter addresses the Master saying: «Let us go aside and explain to us when Your prophecy on the destruction of the Temple will take place. Daniel mentions it, but if things were as he says and as You say, the Temple would have but a few more hours. But we do not see any armies or preparations for war. So when will it happen? Which will be the sign of it? You have come. You say that You are about to go away. And yet it is known that it will only happen when You are among men. So, will You come back? When will You come back? Tell us, so that we way know…»

«It is not necessary to go aside. See? The most faithful disciples have remained, those who will be of great help to you twelve. They may hear the words that I will speak to you. Come near Me, all of you.» He shouts the last words to gather them all.

The disciples scattered on the slope come near the others, they form a compact group around the main one of Jesus and the apostles and they listen.