489. On the Last Day of the Feast of the Tabernacles. The Living Water.
13th September 1946.
The temple is really crowded with people. But there are not many women and children. The persistence of a windy season with heavy though short showers must have dissuaded women from setting out with children. But men from all over Palestine and proselytes from the Diaspora are literally crowding the Temple for the last prayers and offerings and to listen to the last lessons of the scribes.
The Galilean followers of Jesus are all there, with the most important chiefs in the first row, and Joseph of Alphaeus, highly conscious of his position as a relative, is in the middle of the group with his brother Simon. Another thick group which is waiting is that of the seventy-two disciples, I mean the disciples chosen by Jesus to evangelize, a group which has changed in number and faces, because some of the older ones are no longer in it, after the defection following the sermon on the Bread of Heaven, whilst new ones, such as Nicolaus of Antioch have joined it. A third group which is also compact and numerous is that of the Judaeans, among whom I see the archsynagogues of Emmaus, Hebron and Kerioth; from Juttah there is Sarah's husband and from Bethzur Eliza's relatives.
They are near the Beautiful Gate and they clearly intend to surround the Master as soon as He appears. In fact Jesus cannot take one step inside the walls without being pressed round by these three groups which almost isolate Him from evil-minded persons and even from people who are simply curious. Jesus turns His steps towards the Court of Israel to pray there, and the others follow Him compactly, as far as the over-crowding allows them, deaf to the discontent of those who have to move aside and make room for the large number of people around Jesus. He is between His brothers. And the glances of Joseph of Alphaeus, who looks meaningfully at some Pharisees, are not so kind as Jesus', neither is his bearing so humble...
They pray and then go back to the Court of the Gentiles. Jesus sits humbly on the floor with His back to the wall of the porch and with a semicircle, which is becoming thicker and thicker with people, drawing up behind the rows closer to Him, sitting down or thronging together standing up: a multitude of faces and glances converging on one Face only. The curious and evil-minded people and those who have come from afar and are unacquainted with the Master, are beyond the barrier of believers and they strive to see stretching their necks, standing on the tips of their toes.
Jesus in the meantime listens to this one and that one asking Him for advice or relating information. Eliza's relatives speak of her, asking whether she may come to serve the Master. And He replies: "I am not staying here. She will come later." And the relative of Mary of Simon, the mother of Judas of Kerioth, says that he remained to look after the farm, whereas Mary is almost always with Johanna's mother. Judas opens his eyes wide in amazement, but does not speak. And Sarah's husband says that he will soon have another son and asks what name he should give it. Jesus replies: "John, if it is a boy, Anne if a girl." And the old archsynagogue of Emmaus whispers a case of conscience and Jesus replies in a low voice. And so on.
In the meantime the crowd grows larger and larger. Jesus raises His head and looks around. As the porch is a few steps higher than the floor of the court, although He is sitting, He commands a large part of the court, on that side and can thus see many faces.
He stands up and in loud voice, at the top of His well tuned strong voice, He says: "Let those who are thirsty come to Me and drink! Rivers of living water will spring from the bosoms of those who believe in Me."
His voice fills the wide court, the splendid arcades, it is certainly heard beyond those on this side and spreads elsewhere, it overwhelms every other voice, like a harmonious thunder full of promises. He speaks and then is silent for a moment, as if He wanted to enunciate the theme of His speech and then give time to those not interested in listening to Him, to go away without disturbing later. The scribes and doctors become silent, that is, they lower their voices to a murmur, which is certainly malevolent. I do not see Gamaliel.
Jesus moves forward, through the semicircle which opens out as He approaches it, and then closes up behind Him changing from a semicircle to a ring. He walks slowly, majestically. He seems to be gliding on the polychrome marbles of the floor, with His mantle slightly loose forming a kind of train behind Him. He goes to the corner of the porch, on the step overlooking the court, and stops there. He thus commands two sides of the first enclosure. He raises His right arm in the gesture customary to Him when He begins to speak, while with His left hand on His chest He holds His mantle.
He repeats His initial words:
"Let those who are thirsty come to Me and drink! Rivers of living water will spring from the bosoms of those who believe in Me!
He who saw the theophany of the Lord, the great Ezekiel, a priest and prophet, after he had prophetically seen the impure acts in the desecrated house of the Lord, and after he had seen, once again in a prophetical way, that only those marked with the Tau will be living in the true Jerusalem, whilst the others will know more than one slaughter, more than one condemnation, more than one punishment - and the time is close at hand, o you who are listening to Me, it is close at hand, closer than you may think, so that I, as Master and Saviour, exhort you not to delay further to mark yourselves with the Sign that saves, not to delay further to put the Light and Wisdom into yourselves, not to delay further to repent and weep, on your own and other people's behalf, so that you may save yourselves - Ezekiel, after seeing all that and even more, speaks of a terrible vision. That of the dry bones.
The day will come when on a dead world, under a dark vault of heaven, bones and bones of dead people will appear at the angelical blare. Like a womb that opens to give birth, the Earth will eject from its bowels every bone of man who died on it and is buried in its mud, from Adam down to the last man. And then it will be the resurrection of the dead for the great supreme judgement after which, like an apple of Sodom, the world will become empty, turning into nullity and the vault of heaven with its stars will come to an end. Everything will come to an end, with the exception of two things which are eternal, remote, at the extremes of two abysses of immeasurable depth, in complete antithesis with regard to form, aspect and way in which the power of God will continue for ever in them: Paradise: light, joy, peace, love; Hell: darkness, sorrow, horror, hatred.
But do you think that the immense field of the Earth is not covered with lifeless, very dry, inert, separated, dead bones, simply because the world is not yet dead and the angelical trumpets are not sounding to gather the dead? I solemnly tell you that it is so. Among the living, because they still breathe, there are numberless people who are like corpses: like the dry bones seen by Ezekiel. Who are they? Those who do not possess the life of the spirit.
Such people are in Israel, and all over the world. And it is natural that among Gentiles and idolaters there are but dead people awaiting to be vitalised by the Life, and it grieves only those who possess true Wisdom, because It makes them understand that the Eternal Father created human creatures for Himself and not for idolatry and He grieves at seeing so many dead. But if the Most High has such sorrow, and it is great indeed, what will His sorrow be like for those of His People who are white, lifeless, spiritless bones?
Why should those chosen, beloved, protected, nourished, taught by Him directly or by His servants and prophets be culpably dry bones, as He always trickled a fine stream of vital water from Heaven for them and nourished them with the water of Life and Truth? Why did they dry up, considering that they were planted in the Land of the Lord? Why did their spirits die when the Eternal Spirit put a full sapiential treasure at their disposal, that they might draw from it and live? Who, and by which prodigy, will be able to come back to Life, if they left the springs, the pastures, the lights granted by God and are groping in darkness, are drinking at impure sources and are feeding on unholy food?
So will they never become alive again? Yes, they will. I swear to it in the name of the Most High. Many will rise again. God has the miracle ready, nay, it is already active, it has already been worked on some, and arid bones have been reclothed with life because the Most High, Who is forbidden nothing, has kept and keeps His promise and completes it more and more. From the height of Heaven He shouts to these bones awaiting Life: “Now, I shall infuse the spirit into you and you shall live”. And He took His Spirit, He took Himself, and He formed flesh to clothe His Word, and He sent Him to these dead people, so that by speaking to them, Life should be infused into them once again.
How many times Israel has shouted throughout ages: “Our bones are dried up, our hope is dead, we are separated!” But every promise is sacred, every prophecy is true. Now, the time has come when the Messenger of God opens tombs to draw the dead out and vivify them and lead them to the true Israel, to the Kingdom of the Lord, to the Kingdom of your Father and Mine.
I am Resurrection and Life! I am the Light which came to enlighten those lying in darkness! I am the Fountain which spurts eternal Life.
Those who come to Me will not know Death. Let those who thirst after Life come to Me and drink. Let those who want to possess Life, that is, God, believe in Me and rivers of living water, not drops, will flow from their bosoms. Because those who believe in Me will form with Me the new Temple from which the wholesome water, of which Ezekiel speaks, flows.
Come to Me, peoples! Come to Me, creatures! Come and form one only Temple, because I do not reject anybody, but out of love, I want you with Me, in My work, in My merits, in My glory.
“And I saw the waters flow from under the door of the house eastwards... And the waters flowed from under the right side, south of the altar”.
The believers in the Messiah of the Lord, in the Christ, in the New Law, in the Doctrine of the time of Salvation and Peace, are that Temple. As the walls of this Temple are built with stones, so the mystical walls are formed with living spirits and it will live for ever and will rise from the Earth to Heaven, like its Founder, after the struggle and the test.
That altar from which the water spouts, that altar facing east is I. And My waters spring from the right hand side, because that side is the place for those elected to the Kingdom of God. They spring from Me to flow into those I have elected, to enrich them with the vital waters, that they may bear them and spread them to the north, south, east and west, to give Life to the Earth in its people who are waiting for the hour of Light, the hour that will come, will definitely come for every place before the Earth ceases being.
My waters spring and spread out mingled with those which I personally gave and will give to My followers, and although they are spread out to better the Earth, they will be united in only one river of Grace, which will become deeper and deeper, wider and wider, growing day by day, step by step, with the waters of the new followers, until it becomes like a sea that will wash every place to sanctify the whole Earth.
God wants that and does that. A deluge washed the world killing sinners. A new deluge, of a different liquid from rain, will wash the world giving Life. And through a mysterious act of grace, men will be able to take part in that sanctifying deluge, by joining their wills to Mine, their fatigue to Mine, their sufferings to Mine. And the world will become acquainted with the Truth and Life. And those who want to participate in it, will be able to do so. And only those who do not want to be nourished with the waters of Life will become a marshy pestiferous place, or will remain such, and will not know the rich harvest of the fruits of grace, wisdom, health, with which those living in Me will be acquainted.
I solemnly tell you once again that those who are thirsty and come to Me, will drink and will never be thirsty again, because My Grace will open springs and rivers of living water in them. And those who do not believe in Me will perish like a saline where life cannot exist.
I solemnly tell you that the Fountain will not cease after Me, because I shall not die, but I will live, and after that I have gone, gone but not dead, to open the Gates of Heaven, Another will come, Who is like Me, and will complete My work making you understand what I told you and setting you on fire to make you “lights”., because you received the Light."
Jesus is silent. The crowd, so far silent, held spellbound by the speech, now whispers making different comments.
Some say: "What words! He is a real prophet!"
Some say: "He is the Christ. I am telling you. Not even John spoke like that. And no prophet is so strong."
"And He makes us understand the prophets, even Ezekiel, whose symbols are so obscure."
"Did you hear that? The waters! The altar! It is evident!"
"And the dry bones?! Did you see how the scribes, Pharisees and priests became upset? They understood the psalm!"
"Of course! And they sent the guards, who... forgot to capture Him and remained like children to whom angels appear. Look at them over there! They seem to be dumbfounded."
"Look! Look! An official is calling them and reproaching them. Let us go and hear him!"
Meanwhile Jesus is curing some sick people who have been brought to Him and does not pay attention to anything else until He is reached by a group of priests and Pharisees, elbowing their way through the crowd, led by a man about thirty or thirty-five years old, whom everybody shuns so fearfully that they seem to be terrified.
"Are You still here? Go away! In the name of the High Priest!"
Jesus straightens up - He was bent over a paralytic - and looks at them calmly and mildly. He then bends again to impose His hands on the invalid.
"Go away! Have You understood? You seducer, of crowds. Or we will have You arrested."
"Go and praise the Lord living holily" says Jesus to the invalid who stands up cured, and that is His only reply, while those threatening Him spit venom and the crowds warn them with their hosannas not to harm Jesus.
But if Jesus is meek, Joseph of Alphaeus is not and straightening up and throwing his head back to look taller, he shouts: "Eleazar, since you and the like of you would like to overthrow the sceptre of the chosen Son of God and David, you had better know that you are cutting down every tree, beginning with your own, of which you are so proud. Because your wickedness agitates the sword of the Lord over your head!" and he would go on speaking, but Jesus lays His hand on his shoulder saying: "Peace, peace, My brother!" and Joseph, purple with anger, becomes silent.
They go towards the exit. And when they are outside the enclosure Jesus is informed that the chiefs of the priests and the Pharisees had reproached the guards for not arresting Him and that they had justified themselves saying that no one had ever spoken like Jesus and that the chiefs of the priests and the Pharisees, among whom there were many members of the Sanhedrin, had been driven wild by their reply. So much so that, to prove to the guards that only stupid people could be allured by a madman, they wanted to come and arrest Him under the charge of blasphemy, also to teach the crowds to understand the truth. But Nicodemus, who was present, opposed their decision saying: "You cannot proceed against Him. Our Law prohibits us from condemning a man before hearing him and seeing what he does. And in His case we have only heard and seen things which are not condemnable." And that caused Jesus' enemies to disburden their wrath upon Nicodemus by means of threats, insults and mockery, as if he were a fool and a sinner. And Eleazar ben Annas had gone personally with the most furious ones to drive Jesus out, as he did not dare to do anything else, owing to the feelings of the crowds.
Joseph of Alphaeus is furious. Jesus looks at him and says: "See, brother?" He does not say anything else... but those words mean so much! They are a warning that He is right whether He speaks or is silent, they are a reminder of His words, they are an indication of what the most important castes in Judaea are, of what the Temple is and so forth.
Joseph lowers his head and says: "You are right..." He becomes silent and thoughtful, then, all of a sudden, he throws his arms round Jesus' shoulders and weeps on His chest saying: "My poor Brother! Poor Mary! Poor Mother!" I think that Joseph realised just then, and very clearly, what was Jesus' destiny...
"Don't weep! Do, as I do, the will of our Father!" says Jesus comforting him and kissing him at the same time to console him.
When Joseph has calmed down a little, they set out towards the house where Jesus is given hospitality and they kiss each other goodbye. Joseph is deeply moved and his last words are: "Go in peace, Jesus! Don't worry about anything. I repeat to You what I told You near Nazareth, and I repeat it even more firmly. Go in peace. Take care of Your work only. I will see to the rest. Go and may God comfort You." And he kisses Him again with paternal attitude, caressing His head, as if he were giving the blessing of the head of the family.
Then Joseph says goodbye to his brothers. He greets Simon as well. But I notice that James, I do not know why, is rather stiff with Joseph, and viceversa. Instead with Simon there is more tenderness. Joseph's last question to James is: "So, have I to say that I lost you?"
"No, brother. You must say that you know where I am and therefore it is up to you to find me. Without ill-feeling. On the contrary, with many prayers for you. But in spiritual matters one must not take two paths at the same time. You know what I mean..."
"You can see that I defend Him..."
"You defend the man and the relative. That is not enough to give you the rivers of Grace of which He was speaking. Defend the Son of God, without any fear of the world, without considering advantages, and you will be perfect. Goodbye. Look after our mother and Mary of Joseph..."
Jesus - I do not know whether He has heard them, as He was intent on greeting the other Nazarenes and Galileans - when the greetings are over says: "Let us go to the Mount of Olives. Then from there we shall go to some other place..."