And the apostles said to the Lord: Increase our faith.
And the Lord said: If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou transplanted into the sea: and it would obey you. But which of you having a servant ploughing, or feeding cattle, will say to him, when he is come from the field: Immediately go, sit down to meat: And will not rather say to him: Make ready my supper, and gird thyself, and serve me, whilst I eat and drink, and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant, for doing the things which he commanded him? I think not. So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.
From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 408.6; 422.5/8):
Jesus says: «You have realized here that faith can multiply corn when such desire is based on a desire of love. But do not confine your faith to material necessities. God created the first grain of wheat and since then wheat ears for the bread of men. But God created also Paradise and it awaits its citizens. It was created for those who live according to the Law and remain faithful notwithstanding the sorrowful trials of life. Have faith and you will be able to remain holy with the help of the Lord, just as Joseph was able to allot a double quantity of corn to make you happy twice and confirm his servants in the faith. I solemnly tell you that if man had faith in the Lord, and if it were for a just reason, not even mountains, the rocky bowels of which are rooted in the earth, could resist, and they would shift from one place to another at the order of anyone who has faith in the Lord. Have you faith in God?» He asks addressing everybody.
«Who is God according to you?»
«The Most Holy Father, as the disciples of the Christ teach us.»
«And what is Christ to you?»
«The Saviour. The Master. The Holy One!»
«The Son of God. But we must not say that, because if we do, the Pharisees will persecute us.»
«But do you believe that He is the Son of God?»
«Well, increase your faith. Even if you are silent, stones, plants, stars, the ground, everything will proclaim that Christ is the true Redeemer and King. They will proclaim it in the hour of His accession, when He will be in the most holy purple with the wreath of Redemption. Blessed are those who will believe that as from now and will believe even more then, and will have faith in the Christ and consequently eternal life. Have you such unshakeable faith in Christ?»
«Yes, Lord. Tell us where He is, and we will beg Him to increase our faith in order to be blessed as You say.» Not only the poor, but also the servants, the apostles and Joseph take part in the last prayer.
«If you have as much faith as the size of a mustard seed, and you keep the precious pearl of your faith in your hearts, without allowing any human, or superhuman or wicked thing to take it away from you, each of you will be able to say to that mighty mulberry-tree which shades Joseph’s well: “Uproot yourself and be transplanted in the waves of the sea”.»
From The Gospel as Revealed to Me by Maria Valtorta (Chapter 422.5-8):
He then resumes: «And I tell You that You ought to think also of our interests. You have deprived us of everything: home, earnings, affections, peace. We are persecuted because of You and we shall be persecuted even later. Because You, You say so in every possible way, will go away one fine day. But we are staying. We shall be ruined, but we…»
«You will not be persecuted when I am no longer among you. I, who am the Truth, tell you so. And I tell you that I have taken what you spontaneously and insistently gave Me. So you cannot say that I have taken away from you, with abuse of power, even one of the hairs that fall off when you tidy them. Why are you accusing Me?» Jesus is now less severe, His sad countenance expresses the desire to bring Judas back to reason kindly and I think that his compassion, so full and so divine, acts as a check on the others, who would not be so sympathetic towards the culprit.
Judas also perceives that and with one of the brusque changes of his soul urged by two opposed forces, he throws himself on the ground striking his head and chest and shouting: «Because I am a demon. I am a demon. Save me, Master, as You save so many demoniacs. Save me! Save me!»
«Do not let your desire to be saved be inactive.»
«It exists. You can see that. I want to be saved.»
«By Me. You expect Me to do everything. But I am God and I respect your free will. I will give you the strength so that you may get to say: “I do want”. But to want not to be a slave must come from you.»
«I do want! I do want! But do not go to Caesarea. Don’t go!
Listen to me as You listened 2 to John, when You wanted to go to Achor. We have all the same rights. We all serve You in the same manner. You are obliged to satisfy us for what we do… Treat me as You treated John! I want it! What difference is there between him and me?»
«The soul is different! My brother would never have spoken as you did. My brother does not…»
«Be silent, James. I will speak. To everybody. And you stand up and behave as a man, as I treat you, not like a slave moaning at the feet of his master. Be a man, since you are so anxious to be treated as John, who, truly, is more than a man because he is chaste and full of Charity. Let us go. It is late. I want to cross the river at dawn. The fishermen will be coming back then after hauling the lobster-pots and it is easy to find a ferry-boat. The moon in her last days raises her thin crescent higher and higher. We will be able to walk faster in her increased light.
Listen. I solemnly tell you that no one must boast of doing his duty and exact for that, which is an obligation, special favours.
Judas has reminded Me that you have given Me everything. And he told Me that it is My duty to satisfy you for what you do. But just listen. Among you there are some fishermen, some landowners, some own a workshop, and the Zealot had a servant. Now then. When the boat servants, or the men who helped you like servants in the olive grove, in the vineyard, or in the fields, or apprentices in the workshop, or even the faithful servant who looked after the house and meals, finished their work, did you begin to serve them? Is it not so in every house and in every task? Which man, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, or a workman in a workshop, would say to him when he finishes his work: “Go and have your meal immediately”? No one. But whether he comes back from the fields or he lays down his working tools, every master says: “Get my supper laid, get yourself tidy and with clean clothes wait on me while I eat and drink. You will eat and drink afterwards”. Neither can one say that that is insensibility. Because a servant must serve his master, and the master is not obliged to him, because the servant has done what the master had ordered him to do in the morning. Because, while it is true that the master must be kind to his servant, so it is the duty of the servant not to be lazy or a squanderer, but he must cooperate for the welfare of the master who feeds and clothes him. Would you bear your boat assistants, your peasants, workmen, your house servant to say to you: “Serve me because I have worked”? I do not think so.
So with you, when you consider what you have done and you do for Me – and, in future, considering what you will do to continue My work and to continue to serve your Master – you must always say, because you will see that you have always done much less than was fair to do to be on a par with what you received from God: “We are unprofitable servants because we have done but our duty”. If you reason thus, you will see that you will no longer feel pretensions and bad temper arise in you, and you will act according to justice.»
Jesus is silent. They are all pensive.
Peter nudges John, who is pondering staring with his blue eyes at the waters, which from indigo have become silver-blue in the moonlight, and says to him: «Ask Him when is it that one does more than one’s duty. I would like to be able to do more than my duty, I…»
«I, too, Simon. I was just thinking of that» replies John with his beautiful smile and in a loud voice he asks: «Master, tell me: will the man who serves You never be able to do more than his duty to tell You that he thus loves You entirely?»
«Child, God has given you so much, that in all fairness, all your heroism would always be too little. But the Lord is so good that He does not measure what you give Him with His infinite measure. He measures it with the limited measure of human capability. And when He sees that you have given without parsimony, with a full measure, overflowing generously, He then says: “This servant of Mine has given Me more than it was his duty. I will therefore give him the superabundance of My rewards”.»
«Oh! How happy I am! I will give You an overflowing measure to have that superabundance!» exclaims Peter.
«Yes, you will give Me it. You will all give Me it. All those who are lovers of the Truth, of the Light, will give Me it. And they will be supernaturally happy with Me.»