256. Jesus Goes up Mount Carmel with His Cousin James.
19th August 1945.
"Evangelize in the plain of Esdraelon until I come back" Jesus orders His apostles on a clear morning, while they are taking a little food, some bread and fruit, on the banks of the Kishon. The apostles do not appear to be very enthusiastic, but Jesus comforts them, telling them how to behave, and He concludes: "In any case you have My Mother with you. She will give you good advice. Go to Johanan's peasants, and on the Sabbath endeavour to speak to Doras' peasants. Give them some assistance and console the old relative of Marjiam, giving him news of the boy and tell him that we will take him his grandson for the feast of the Tabernacles. Give those poor people very much, everything you have. Tell them everything you know, give them all the love you can, all the money we have. Be not afraid. As it goes, so it comes. We shall never die of starvation, even if we have to live on bread and fruit only. And if you see people needing clothes, give them some, also Mine. Nay, Mine first. We shall never be left nude. And above all if you come across poor wretches looking for Me, do not disdain them. You have no right to do that. Goodbye, Mother. May God bless you all through My lips. Go without any fear. Come, James."
"Are You not taking Your bag?" asks Thomas seeing that the Lord is going away without picking it up.
"I do not need it. I shall walk more freely."
James also leaves his, notwithstanding his mother had taken care to fill it with bread, cheese and fruit.
They set out following for a little while the bank of the Kishon, then they start climbing the first slopes leading up to Mount Carmel and can no longer be seen by those left behind.
"Mother, we are now in Your hands. Guide us because... we are not capable of doing anything" confesses Peter humbly.
Mary smiles reassuringly and says: "It is very simple. All you need do is obey His orders and you will do everything very well. Let us go."
Jesus is climbing with His cousin and does not speak. Neither does James. Jesus is engrossed in thought; James, who feels he is on the threshold of a revelation, is full of reverential love, of spiritual tremor and looks now and again at Jesus, Whose pensive solemn face brightens up now and again with a smile. James looks at Him as he would look at God not yet incarnate and shining in His immense majesty. The apostle's face, which resembles the countenance of Saint Joseph, a brownish visage, with, however, some red on the top points of cheeks, becomes pale with emotion. But he respects the silence of Jesus. They climb up steep short cuts, paying no attention to the shepherds pasturing their flocks on the green meadows under holm-oaks, oaks, ash-trees and other forestry, and as they climb up, they brush with their mantles glaucous juniper bushes, or golden broom ones, or emerald tufts strewn with myrtle pearls, or trembling curtains of honeysuckle and flowery clematis.
They ascend leaving behind woodsmen and shepherds until they reach, after an exhausting climb, the crest of the mountain, or rather a small tableland close to the crest crowned with gigantic oaks, and surrounded by a veritable balustrade of forestry, whose base is formed by the tops of the other trees on the mountain side, so that the little meadow seems to be resting on a rustling support, isolated from the rest of the mountain, and is rather concealed by the branches beneath. Behind it there is the peak, with its trees rising towards the sky, with the firmament above and in front the unbroken horizon reddening in the sunset and stretching endlessly beyond the bright sea. A fissure on the earth, which does not collapse only because the roots of gigantic oaks hold it firmly in position, opens in the cliff and is barely wide enough for one man of normal build. The path is further narrowed and lengthened by some fringe undergrowth.
Jesus says: "James, My dear brother, we shall stop here tonight, and although our bodies are so tired, I ask you to pass the night in prayer. Tonight and all day tomorrow until this time. A whole day is not too much to receive what I want to give you."
"Jesus, My Lord and Master, I will always do what You want" replies James, who became even paler when Jesus began to speak.
"I know. Let us go now and pick some blackberries and bilberries to eat and refresh ourselves at a spring that I heard below here. You may leave your mantle in the cave. No one will take it."
And together with His cousin He goes round the cliff and picks wild fruit off the bushes in the undergrowth, and then, a few yards further down, on the opposite side to the one they came up, they fill their flasks, the only things they brought with them, at a babbling spring, which runs out from a mass of intertwined roots, and they refresh themselves because it is still very warm notwithstanding the height. They then climb back to the tableland, and while the sun setting in the west reddens the mountain top, they eat what they have picked and drink some water, smiling at each other like two happy children or two angels. They speak only a few words: a remembrance of those left down in the plain, an exclamation admiring the infinite beauty of the day, the names of two mothers... Nothing else.
Then Jesus draws His cousin towards Himself and James takes John's habitual posture: his head resting on the upper part of Jesus' chest, one arm hanging loose, the other hand in that of his Cousin. They remain thus, while in the dusk, birds twitter loudly in the thicket, the tinkle of cattle-bells recedes and fades in the distance, and a light breeze rustles caressingly in the tree tops, cool and reviving after the heat of the day, and promising dew in the night. They remain thus for a long time, and I think that only their lips are silent, whilst their souls, more active than ever, are engaged in supernatural conversation.