499. Parable of the Father Who Praises His Far-away Children. Cure of the Little Blind Children Fara and Tamar.
24th September 1946.
It is a beautiful autumn morning. Apart from the yellow-red leaves covering
the ground and reminding one of the season, the grass is so green with some
little flowers springing from the tufts revived by the autumn rains, the air
moving among the branches partly already bare is so serene, that one is inclined
to think it is the beginning of springtime, all the more so as perennials mixed
with annuals bring a cheerful note with their little fresh emerald green leaves
sprouting at the ends of little branches, near the bare branches of other plants,
which thus seem to be putting forth fresh leaves. Sheep come out of folds and
they go with the lambs born in autumn towards the grazing grounds bleating.
The water of a fountain at the beginning of the village is shining like liquid
diamonds in the sun kissing it, and when falling into the dark basin seems to
emit multicoloured gleams against the walls blackened by age of a little house.
Jesus sits on a little wall bounding the road on one side, and waits. His apostles
and the villagers are around him, while the shepherds, who do not wish to
spread out too far, confined as they are by their flock, instead of climbing higher
up, remain on both sides of the road towards the plain.
No one is coming at present on the road which from the valley climbs to mount
Nebo. "Will he be coming?" ask the apostles.
"Yes, he will. And we shall wait for him. I do not want to disappoint a dawning
hope and destroy a future faith" replies Jesus.
"Are you not happy here? We have given you the best we had" says an old
man who is warming himself in the sun.
"Happier than elsewhere, father. And your kindness will be rewarded by God"
replies Jesus. "Then speak to us a little more. Zealous Pharisees and proud
scribes come here at times. But they do not speak to us. It is fair. They are high
up, separated from... everything, and sage. We... So are we to know nothing
because our fate made us come into the world here?"
"In the House of My Father there are no separations or differences for those
who believe in Him and practise His Law, which is the code of His will, that
man may live righteously to obtain the eternal reward in His Kingdom.
Listen. A father had many children. Some had always lived close to Him, some,
for various reasons, had been comparatively farther away from their father.
However, as they were aware of their father's wishes, although they were far
away, they were able to act as if he were present. Some more strove to serve
their father with regard to the little which, more out of instinct than out of
knowledge they knew pleased him, because they were farther away and from the
first day of their birth had been brought up by servants who spoke different
languages and had different customs. One day the father, who was aware that
despite his instructions the servants had refrained from making his thoughts
known to these remote children, because in their pride they considered them
inferior and no longer loved, only because they did not live with their father,
decided to gather all his offspring together. And he summoned them. Well, do
you think that he judged them on the lines of human rights, granting the
possession of his property only to those who had always been in his house, or
who had not been so far as to be prevented from becoming acquainted with his
orders and wishes? On the contrary, following a completely different line and
taking into consideration the deeds of those who had been just for the sake of
their father, whom they knew only by name, and had honoured him with all their
actions, he called them near himself saying: “Your being just is doubly
meritorious, because you were so only through your own will, without any help.
Come and stand around me. You are quite entitled to it! The others have had me
all the time and all their actions were guided by my advice and rewarded with
my smiles. You had to act out of faith and love. Come, because your places are
ready in my house and I do not make any difference between having always
been in the house and having been away from it; but the difference is in the
deeds accomplished by my children, near me or far from me”.
That is the parable. And this is its explanation: the scribes or the Pharisees,
living around the Temple, may not be in the House of the Lord on the eternal
Day, and many, who are so far as to have only a scanty knowledge of the things
of God, may be then in His Bosom. Because what gives the Kingdom is the will
of man inclined to obey God, and not a mass of practices and science.
Do, therefore, what I explained to you yesterday. Do it without excessive fear
that paralyses, do it without calculating to avoid punishment. Do it therefore
only for love of God Who created you to love you and to be loved by you. And
you will have a place in the Father's House."
"Oh! continue speaking to us!"
"What shall I say to you?"
"Yesterday You said that there are sacrifices more pleasing to God than those
of lambs and rams, and also that there are leprosies more disgraceful than those
of the body. What You said is not very clear to me" says a shepherd, who
concludes: "Before a lamb is a year old and it is the most beautiful in the flock,
without any stain or fault, do You realise how many sacrifices one must make
and how many times one has to overcome the temptation of using it as the ram
of the herd or selling it as such? Now if for a year one resists every temptation,
one takes care of it and becomes fond of it, the gem of the herd, do You know
how great is the sacrifice of immolating it without any profit and with deep
sorrow? Is there a greater sacrifice to be offered to the Lord?"
"Man, I solemnly tell you that the sacrifice does not consist in the animal
immolated, but in the effort made by you in keeping it to immolate it. I solemnly
tell you that the day is about to come when, as the inspired word says, God will
say: “I do not need the sacrifice of lambs and rams” and He will exact one only
sacrifice and a perfect one. And from that moment every sacrifice will be
spiritual. But ages ago it was said which sacrifice is preferred by the Lord.
David exclaims weeping: “If You had wanted a sacrifice, I would have given it
to You, but holocausts give You no pleasure. The sacrifice for God is a contrite
spirit (and I add: obedient and loving, because one can offer a sacrifice of
praises and joy and love, not only of expiation). The sacrifice for God is a
contrite spirit; You, o God, will not scorn a contrite and humiliated heart”. No,
neither does your Father scorn a heart that has sinned and repented. So, how will
He receive the sacrifice of a pure just heart that loves Him? That is the most
agreeable sacrifice. The daily sacrifice of human will to the divine will as shown
to you in the Law, in inspirations and in daily events. And likewise, the leprosy
of the flesh is not the most disgraceful disease that excludes people from the
presence of men and from places of prayer. But it is the leprosy of sin. It is true
that it often passes unnoticed by men. But do you live for men or for the Lord?
Does everything come to an end here or does it continue in the next life. You
know. So be holy, that you may not be lepers in the eyes of God, Who sees the
hearts of men and remain pure in spirit that you may live for ever."
"And if one is a hardened sinner?"
"Let him not imitate Cain. Let him not imitate Adam and Eve. But let him run
to the feet of God and ask for mercy with true repentance.
A sick or wounded man goes to a doctor to be cured. Let a sinner go to God to
have forgiveness. I..."
"Are You here, Master?" shouts one who is coming up the road, all
enveloped in a mantle among many other people.
Jesus turns round and looks at him. "Don't You recognise me? I am rabbi
Sadoc. We meet now and again."
"The world is always small when God wants people to meet. We shall meet
again, rabbi. In the meantime, peace be with you."
The other does not reciprocate the salutation of peace, but he asks: "What are
You doing here?"
"I have done what you are about to do. Is this mountain not a holy one for
"You have said it. And I come with my disciples. But I am a scribe!"
"And I am a son of the Law. So I venerate Moses as you do."
"That is a lie. You make void his word with Yours and You exact obedience to
Yours, no longer to ours."
"To yours, no. It is yours. But it is not necessary..."
"It is not necessary? How dreadful!"
"No, not any more than the many flowing zizith adorning your garment are
necessary to protect you from the autumn air. It is the garment that protects you.
So, of the many words that are taught I accept the holy and necessary ones, the
Mosaic ones, and I neglect the others."
"Samaritan You do not believe the prophets!"
"You do not respect the prophets either. If you did, you would not call Me
"Leave Him alone, Sadoc. Do you want to speak to a demon?" says another
pilgrim who has just arrived with other people. And looking round with hard
eyes at the group surrounding Jesus, he sees Judas of Kerioth and greets him
An incident might take place, because the local people want to defend Jesus,
but the man from Petra, followed by a servant, elbows his way through the
crowd. Both he and the servant are holding a child each in their arms. "Let me
pass. Lord, have I kept You waiting too long?"
"No, man. Come to Me."
The people open out to let him pass. He comes to Jesus and kneels down laying
on the ground a little girl whose head is enveloped in linen bandages. The
servant imitates him laying down a boy with unseeing eyes.
"My children, Master Lord!" he says, and all the hope and grief of a father
quiver in the short sentence.
"You have had much faith, man. Supposing I had disappointed you? Or you
had not found Me? Or I said to you that I cannot cure them?"
"I would not believe You. Neither would I believe the evidence of not seeing
You. I would say that You had hidden Yourself to test my faith and I would look
for You until I found You."
"And what about the caravan and your profit?"
"Such things? What are they with respect to You Who can cure my children
and give me firm faith in You?"
"Uncover the girl's face" orders Jesus.
"I keep it covered because the light hurts her very much."
"It will only be a moment of pain" says Jesus.
But the little girl begins to weep desperately and does not want to be
"She is behaving like that because she thinks that You will torture her with fire
as the doctors did" explains the father while struggling to remove the child's
hands from the bandages.
"Oh! don't be afraid, little girl. What is your name?"
The girl is weeping and does not reply. Her father replies in her stead: "Tamar,
from the place where she was born. And the boy Fara."
"Don't weep, Tamar. I will not hurt you. Feel My hands. I am not holding
anything. Come to My lap. In the meantime I will cure your brother and he will
tell you what he felt. Come here, child."
The servant pushes towards Jesus' knees the poor little blind fellow whose eyes
have been ruined by trachoma. Jesus caresses his head and asks him: "Do you
know who I am?"
"Jesus the Nazarene, the Rabbi of Israel, the Son of God."
"Will you believe in Me?"
"Yes, I will."
Jesus lays His hand on the boy's eyes covering more than half of his face. He
says: "I want it! And may the light of his eyes open the way to the light of
Faith." And He removes His hand.
The boy utters a cry taking his hands to his eyes, and then says: "Father! I can
see!" But he does not run to his father. In his boyish spontaneity he clings to
Jesus' neck and kisses His cheeks and remains thus, embracing His neck, with
his little head sheltered on Jesus' shoulder, to get his eyes accustomed again to
The crowds shout at the miracle while the father would like to remove the boy
from Jesus' neck. "Leave him. He is not disturbing Me. Only, Fara, tell your
sister what I have done to you."
"A caress, Tamar. It felt like mummy's hand. Oh! be cured as well and we shall
The girl, still somewhat reluctant, has herself placed on the knees of Jesus,
Who would like to cure her without even touching her bandages. But the scribes
and their companions shout: "It's a trick. The girl can see. It's a plot to take
advantage of your confidence in Him, o inhabitants of this place."
"My daughter is sick. I..."
"Never mind! Now, Tamar, be good and let Me remove your bandages."
The girl, who is now convinced, agrees. What a sight when the last linen
bandage is removed! Two red, scabby, swollen sores are in the place of her eyes,
and tears and pus run down from them. The crowds yell with terror and pity
while the little girl takes her hands to her face to protect herself from the light
which must make her suffer terribly; two red recent burns appear on her
Jesus removes her little hands and with a light touch He lays His hand on such
ruin saying: "Father, Who created light for the joy of the living, and gave eyes
even to midges, grant light to this creature of Yours that she may see You and
believe in You and from the light of the Earth, she may enter, through Faith, the
light of Your Kingdom." He removes His hand...
"Oh!" they all shout.
There are no more sores. But the girl still keeps her eyes closed.
"Open them, Tamar. Be not afraid. The light will not hurt you."
The girl obeys rather timorously and opens her eyelids showing two lively dark
"Father! I can see you!" and she also relaxes on Jesus' shoulder to become
slowly accustomed to the light.
The crowds are rejoicing while the man from Petra throws himself at Jesus' feet
weeping for joy.
"Your faith has received its reward. From now on may your gratitude lead your
faith in the Man to the highest sphere: to the faith in the true God. Stand up and
let us go."
And Jesus puts down the girl who smiles happily and He becomes detached
from the boy when He stands up. He caresses them once again and He would
like to squeeze through the crowd thronging to see the cured eyes.
"You also ought to ask to have your veiled eyes cured" says a disciple to an
old man led by the hand as his eyes are so dimmed.
"Me?! Me?! I don't want light from a demon. On the contrary! I shout to You,
eternal God! Listen to me. To me! Complete darkness to me! That I may not see
the face of the demon, of that demon, of that impious usurper, blasphemer,
deicide! May shadows fall upon my eyes for ever. Darkness, darkness, that I
may never see Him!" It is he who seems to be a demon! In his paroxysm he
strikes his eye- sockets as if he wanted his eyes to burst.
"Be not afraid. You will not see Me. Darkness does not want the Light and the
Light does not impose itself on those who reject it. I am going, old man. You
will not see Me again on the Earth. But you will see Me just the same,
And Jesus is so depressed that the gait typical of very tall people - slightly
inclined forward - is more outstanding as He sets out downhill. He is so
dejected that He already seems the Condemned man descending the Moriah
under the load of the Cross... And the shouts of His enemies, incited by the old
madman, are very much like the shouts of the crowds in Jerusalem on Good
The man from Petra, mortified, with the little girl weeping out of fear in his
arms, whispers: "Because of me, Lord! Because of me! You have done so much
good to me! But I... to You! I have something for You in the tent on the camel.
But what is it compared to the insults which I have brought about? I am
ashamed that I came near You..."
"No, man. That is My bitter daily bread. And you the honey sweetening it. The
bread is always more than the honey. But a drop of honey is sufficient to make
much bread sweet."
"You are good... But at least tell me: what shall I do to dress those wounds?"
"Keep faith in Me, for the time being as best you can. Before long... Yes, My
disciples will come as far as Petra and farther. Then follow their doctrine
because I shall speak through them. And for the time being speak to those of
Petra of what I did for you, so that when those surrounding Me and others will
come in My Name, this Name of Mine is not unknown to them."
At the end of the descent, on the Roman road, there are three camels. One with
just the saddle, the others with baldachins. A servant is watching them.
The man goes to the tent and takes some parcels from it: "Here" he says
offering them to Jesus. "They will be useful to You. Do not thank me. It is I
who have to bless You for what You have given to me. If You can do it for
uncircumcised people, bless me and my children, Lord!" and he kneels down
with the children. The servants imitate him.
Jesus stretches out His hands praying in a low voice looking fixedly at the sky.
"Go. Be just and you will find God on your way and you will follow Him
without ever losing Him. Goodbye, Tamar! Goodbye, Fara!" He caresses them
before each of them climbs on a camel with the servants.
The animals stand up at the cries of the camel-drivers and they turn trotting
southwards. Two little brown hands stretch out from the tents and two shrill
voices say: "Goodbye, Lord Jesus! Goodbye, father!"
The man is about to mount, too. He bends to the ground and kisses Jesus'
garment, he then mounts and departs northwards.
"And now let us go" says Jesus setting out northwards as well. "What? Are
You no longer going where You wanted to go?" they ask Him.
"No. We cannot go any longer! The voices of the world were right! Because the
world is shrewd and is aware of the works of the demon We shall go to Jericho"
How sad is Jesus! They all follow Him, laden with the parcels given by the man,
dejected and speechless.