397. Farewell to Bethzur.
9th March 1946.
It is hardly daybreak when the untiring walkers arrive in sight of Bethzur. Tired as they are, with their garments creased after an uncomfortable rest in a wood, they look at the little town now close at hand with joy, as they are sure that they will find hospitality there.
The peasants going to work are the first to meet Jesus, and they wisely think that it is better to forget about their work and go back to town to listen to the Master. And some shepherds do likewise after asking whether He is going to stop in town.
"I will leave Bethzur in the evening" replies Jesus.
"And are You going to speak, Master?"
"We have our flocks... Could You not speak here, in the country? The sheep would graze and we would not miss Your word."
"Follow Me. I will speak in the pastures north of the town. I must see Eliza first."
With their sticks the shepherds make the sheep turn back and they follow the men with their bleating flocks. They go through the town.
But the news has already reached Eliza's house. And it is in the square before the house that Eliza and Anastasica pay their homage of disciples to the Master, Who blesses them.
"Come into my house, Lord. You relieved it of distress and now its inhabitants and everything in it wish to be of comfort to You" says Eliza.
"Yes, Eliza. But do you see how many people are following us? I will now speak to everybody and later, after the third hour, I will come and stay in your house, and I will depart in the evening. And we will be able to talk to each other..." promises Jesus to console Eliza, who was hoping He would be staying longer and thus looks disappointed hearing Jesus' intentions
But Eliza is a good disciple and does not object. She only asks to be allowed to give instructions to the servants, before following Jesus. And she does so quickly. She is quite different from the inert woman of the previous year...
Jesus is standing in a large meadow on which the sun filters joyfully through the light leaves of forest-trees, which, if I am not mistaken, are ash-trees, and He is curing a boy and an old man, the former suffering from some internal disease, the latter from eye trouble. There are no other sick people, and Jesus blesses the little ones offered by their mothers, while waiting patiently for Eliza and Anastasica. They arrive at last.
Jesus begins to speak at once.
"People of Bethzur, listen. Last year I told you what is to be done to gain the Kingdom of God. I now wish to confirm it, so that you may not lose what you have earned. This is the last time that the Master speaks to you thus, in a meeting where no one is missing.
Hereafter I may meet you by chance, one at a time, or in small groups, along the roads of our earthly fatherland. Later, much later, I will be able to see you in My Kingdom. But it will never be like this.
In future you will be told many things of Me, against Me, of yourselves and against yourselves. They will try to terrorise you. I say to you with Isaiah: do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you and I have called you by your name. Only those who abandon Me, will have reason to fear. Not those, who being faithful, are Mine. Be not afraid! You are Mine and I am yours. Neither the waters of rivers, nor the fire of stakes, nor stones, nor swords will be able to separate you from Me, if you persevere in Me, on the contrary, fire, water, swords and stones will join you to Me more and more and you will be like Me and will receive My reward. I will be with you in the hours of torture, in your trials, I will be with you until the hour of death; and afterwards nothing will be able to separate us.
Oh! My people! People whom I have called and gathered, whom I will call and gather even more when I am raised, drawing everything to Me, o chosen people, holy people, do not be afraid, because I am and will be with you and you will announce Me and will be therefore called My ministers, and I will give you, nay, I give you now, the order to speak to the north, south, east and west, to make everybody become the children of God, also those at the farthest borders of the world, so that everybody may recognise Me as their King and invoke Me by My true Name, and may partake of the glory for which they were created and may be the glory of Him Who created them and perfected them. Isaiah says that tribes and nations will invoke witnesses of My glory in order to believe. And where shall I find witnesses if the Temple and the Royal Palace, and the mighty castes hate Me and lie because they do not want to say that I am Who I am? Where shall I find them? Here are, My God, My witnesses! These people to whom I taught the Law, whose bodies and souls I cured, who were blind and now see, were deaf and now hear, were dumb and now can pronounce Your Name, these who were oppressed and have been freed, all these people to whom Your Word has been Light, Truth, Way and Life. You are My witnesses, servants chosen by Me that you may understand and believe and know that it is I.
I am the Lord, the Saviour. Believe that for your own welfare. Apart from Me there is no other Saviour. Believe that regardless of human or satanic innuendoes. Forget everything else which you might have been told by a mouth that is not Mine and which differs from My word. Reject everything else which you may be told in future. To anybody wishing you to abjure the Christ say: “His works speak to our souls” and persevere in your faith. I have done much to give you an intrepid faith. I cured your sick people and relieved your sorrows, I taught you like a good Master, I listened to you like a Friend, I broke bread with you and shared drinks with you. But those are still the deeds of a saint and a prophet. But I will work more and such deeds that will remove every doubt which darkness may raise, as a whirlwind raises stormy clouds in a clear summer sky. Let the cloud go by remaining firm in your love for your Jesus, for this Jesus Who left the Father to come and save you and Who will give His life to give you Health.
You, whom I loved and I still love more than Myself, because there is no greater love than sacrificing oneself for the sake of those whom one loves, must not be inferior to those who in the prophecy of Isaiah are called wild beasts, dragons and ostriches, that is, heathens, idolaters, pagans, unclean people. Because when by Myself I witness the power of My love and of My Nature, defeating even Death by Myself − which is something that can be verified and no one will be able to deny, unless one is falsehood personified − they will say: “He was the Son of God!” and overcoming obstacles, apparently insurmountable, of centuries and centuries of filthy paganism, of darkness, of vice, they will come to the Light, to the Source, to Life. Be not like too many in Israel who do not offer Me holocausts, who do not honour Me with sacrifices, on the contrary they trouble Me with their iniquity and victimise Me with their hard hearts, and to My forgiving love they reply with their deceitful hatred, which undermines the ground to make Me fall and thus be able to say: “See? He fell because God struck Him.”
Citizens of Bethzur, be strong. Love My word, because it is true, and love My Sign, because it is holy. May the Lord be always with you and may you be with the servants of the Lord, all together, so that each of you may be where I am going and an eternal abode may be made in Heaven for all those who, after overcoming affliction and winning the battle, die in the Lord and rise in the Lord forever!"
"Lord, what do You mean? There are cries of triumph and cries of sorrow in Your words!" say some citizens.
"Yes. You are like one who is surrounded by his enemies" other people remark.
"And You almost infer that we shall be, too" others say.
"What is there in Your future, Lord?" ask some.
"Glory!" shouts Judas of Kerioth.
"Death!" whispers Eliza sighing and weeping.
"Redemption. The fulfillment of My mission. Be not afraid. Do not weep. Love Me. I am happy to be the Redeemer. Come, Eliza. Let us go to your house..." and He is the first to set out, squeezing through the crowd, which is upset by contrasting emotions.
"But why, Lord, do You always deliver such speeches?" asks Judas grumbling and reproaching. And he adds: "They do not befit a king."
Jesus does not reply to him. He instead replies to His cousin James who asks Him, with tears shining in his eyes: "Brother, why do You always quote passages of the Bible in Your farewell speeches?"
"So that those accusing Me may not say that I talk nonsense or I blaspheme, and those who do not want to yield to the reality of facts may realise that from the very beginning Revelation has always shown Me as the King of a Kingdom that is not human, but is intended, built and cemented by the immolation of the Victim, of the only Victim capable of re-creating the Kingdom of Heaven, destroyed by Satan and the First Parents. Pride, hatred, falsehood, lust, disobedience destroyed it. Humility, obedience, love, purity, sacrifice will rebuild it... Do not weep, woman. Those whom you love and who are waiting, are pining for the hour of My immolation..."
They enter the house and while the apostles are busy refreshing themselves and appeasing their appetite, Jesus goes into the tidy flowery garden with Eliza, who says to Him: "Master, I am the only one who knows that Johanna wants to speak to You secretly. She sent Jonathan to me. He said: “For very grave matters”. Not even the daughter You gave me − and may You be blessed for Your gift − knows about it. Johanna sent servants everywhere looking for You. But they could not find You..."
"I was very far away, and I would have gone even farther, if My spirit had not urged Me to come back... Eliza, you will come with Me and the Zealot to Johanna's. The others will remain here for two days' rest and then they will come to Bether. You will come back here with Jonathan."
"Yes, my Lord..." Eliza looks at Him with motherly love, she scans His face. She cannot help saying: "Are You suffering?"
Jesus shakes His head and although His gesture is not denial it is a clear sign of depression.
"I am a mother... You are my God... but... Oh! my Lord! What do You think Johanna wants? You have been speaking of death, and I understood because in the Temple the virgins often read the Scriptures which mention You Saviour, and I remember those words. You were speaking of death and Your face was shining with heavenly joy... But it is not shining now... Mary was like a daughter to me... and You are Her Son... So, if it is not a sin to say so, I see You somehow as my son... Your Mother is far away... But a mother is beside You. Blessed Son of God, can I not relieve Your grief?"
"You are already relieving it, because You love Me. What do I think about what Johanna wants to tell Me? My life is like this rosery. You good women disciples are the roses. But if you take the roses away, what is left? Thorns..."
"But we will remain with You until death."
"That is true. Until death! And the Father will bless you for the comfort you give Me. Let us go home and rest. At sunset we will leave for Bether."