They come out of the Gardens. It is still warm and the sun is still shining. But the evening breeze already mitigates the heat and blows some little clouds in the clear sky.
They go up towards Siloam, avoiding the places of the lepers, but Simon goes to them to take the remains of their meal to the few who are still left there and who did not believe in Jesus.
Matthias, the former shepherd, approaches Jesus and asks: « My Lord and Master, my companions and I have pondered a lot on Your words, until we were overcome by tiredness, and we fell asleep before solving the problem we had set to ourselves. And now we are more stupid than before. If we have correctly understood Your speeches of these last days, You have foretold that many things will be changed although the Law remains unchanged, and that a New Temple will have to be erected, with new prophets, wise men and scribes, that they will give battle to it, and that it will not die, whereas this one, always if we have understood correctly, is destined to perish. »
« It is destined to perish. Remember Daniel's prophecy… »
« But how shall we, poor and few as we are, be able to rebuild it, if the kings found it difficult to build this one? Where shall we erect it? Not here, because You say that this place will remain deserted until they bless You as the messenger sent by God. »
« It is so. »
« Not in Your Kingdom. We are convinced that Your Kingdom is spiritual. So, how and where shall we establish it? Yesterday You said that the true Temple - and is that one not the true Temple? - that the true Temple, when they think that they have destroyed it, will then ascend triumphantly to the true Jerusalem. Where is it? We are very confused. »
« It is so. Let the enemies destroy the true Temple. In three days I will raise it up and it will experience no more ambushes as it will ascend where man can no longer harm.
With regard to the Kingdom of God, it is in you and wherever there are men who believe in Me. Scattered at present, it will spread all over the Earth in the course of ages. Then eternal, united, perfect in Heaven. The new Temple will be built there, in the Kingdom of God, that is, where there are spirits who accept My doctrine, the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, and put its precepts into practice.
How will it be erected if you are poor and few? Oh! No money or power is really required to erect the building of the new abode of God. Neither for the individual nor for the collective one. The Kingdom of God is in you. And the union of all those who have the Kingdom of God in themselves, of all those who have God in themselves - God: Grace; God: Life; God: Light; God: Charity - will form the great Kingdom of God on the Earth, the new Jerusalem that will spread all over the world and, complete and perfect, without faults, without shadows, will live for ever in Heaven.
How will you manage to build Temple and town? Oh! not you, but God will build these new places. You have only to give Him your good will. Good will is to remain in Me. Good will is to live My doctrine. Good will is to be united. So united to Me as to form only one body that is nourished by only one humour in all its parts, even in the smallest ones. Only one edifice that rests only on one base and is held together by a mystic cohesion. But as without the help of the Father, Whom I taught you to pray and Whom I will pray for you before I die, you would not be able to be in Charity, in Truth, in Life, that is still in Me and with Me in God the Father and in God Love, because we are only one Divinity, because of that I tell you to have God in you in order to be able to be the Temple that will know no end. You would not be able to do it by yourselves. If God does not build, and He cannot build where He cannot dwell, in vain men busy themselves in building and rebuilding.
The new Temple, My Church, will rise only when your hearts give hospitality to God, and He with you, living stones, will build His Church. »
« But did You not say that Simon of Jonas is its Head, the Stone on which Your Church will be built? And have You not made us also understand that You are its corner-stone? So who is its head? Does this Church exist or not? » says the Iscariot interrupting.
« I am the mystical Head. Peter is the visible head. Because I am going back to the Father leaving you Life, Light, Grace by means of My Word, of My suffering, of the Paraclete, Who will be the friend of those who are faithful to Me.
I am one thing with My Church, My spiritual body, of which I am the head. The head contains the brain or mind. The mind is the seat of knowledge, the brain directs the movements of the limbs with its immaterial orders, which are more efficient than any other incentive in making the limbs move. Look at a dead man, whose brain is dead. Is there any movement in his limbs? Look at one who is completely stupid. Is he not perhaps so inert that he is not capable of having those rudimentary instinctive emotions that the lowest animal, the worm we tread on when walking, has? Observe a man whose limbs, one or more of them, have lost contact with the brain by paralysis. Can he move the part that no longer has any vital link with his head? But if the mind directs with its immaterial orders, it is the other organs - eyes, ears, tongue, nose, skin - that transmit sensations to the mind, and it is the other parts of the body that perform and have performed what the mind, informed by the organs, which are as material and visible as the intellect is invisible, orders. Could I get you to sit on the slope of this mountain without saying to you: "Sit down"? Even if I think that I want you to sit down, you do not know until I express My thought in words and I utter them using My tongue and lips. I could sit down Myself, if I only thought of it because I feel that My legs are tired, but if they refused to bend and sit Me down?
The mind needs organs and limbs to accomplish and have accomplished the operations that the thought thinks of. So in the spiritual body that is My Church, I shall be the Intellect, that is, the head, the seat of the intellect; Peter and his collaborators will be those who watch the reactions and perceive the sensations and transmit them to the mind, so that I may illuminate and direct what is to be done for the welfare of the whole body and then, as they are enlightened and guided by My order, they may speak and guide the other parts of the body. The hand that wards off on object that can damage the body and drives away what, being corrupt, may corrupt; the foot that steps over an obstacle, without knocking against it and falling and being hurt, have received an order to do so from the part that directs. The, boy, or also the man, who is saved from a danger, or makes any kind of gain --education, good business, marriage, good alliance through a good piece of advice he received, for a word spoken -- it is through that piece of advice and that word that he is not hurt or he makes a profit. It will be the same in the Church. The head, and the heads, led by the Divine Thought and enlightened by the Divine Light and instructed by the Eternal Word, give orders and advice, and the members will act, receiving spiritual health and gain.
My Church already exists, because it has its supernatural Head and its divine Head and it has its members: the disciples. Still small a germ being formed - perfect only in the Head directing it, imperfect in the rest, which needs the touch of God to be perfect and some time to grow. But I solemnly tell you that it already exists, and that it is holy on account of Him Who is its Head and of the good will of the just members composing it. It is holy and invincible. Hell, consisting of demons and men-demons, will hurl itself against it thousands of times and will fight it in thousands of ways, but it will not prevail. The edifice will be unshakeable.
But the building is not made with only one stone. Look at the Temple, over there, large, beautiful in the setting sun. Is it made with only one stone? It is a complex of stones forming a harmonious whole. We say: the Temple. That is, one unit. But this unit is made with the many stones that have composed and formed it. It would have been useless to lay the foundations, if they were not to support the walls and the roof, if no walls were to be raised on them. And it would have been impossible to raise walls and support the roof, if first they had not laid solid foundations, proportioned to such a huge mass. So with this interdependence of parts, also the new Temple will rise. In the course of ages, you will build it, laying it on the foundations that I have given it, and which are perfect, for its massive size. You will build it under the direction of God, with the good things used to raise it: the spirits in which God dwells.
With God in your hearts, to make them polished flawless stones for the new Temple. With His Kingdom established with its laws in your spirits. Otherwise you would be badly-baked bricks, worm-eaten wood, chipped cracked stones that do not last, and are rejected by the builder, if he is wary, or they do not hold out, they cave in, making a part collapse if the builder, the builders appointed by the Father to the construction of the Temple, are idolatrous builders, who are proud in their hearts but do not watch over or work hard on the building that is rising, and neglect the materials used to make it. Idolatrous builders, idolatrous guardians, idolatrous keepers, thieves! Robbers of the trust in God, of the esteem of men, robbers full of pride, who are pleased to have the possibility of making a profit and of having large stocks of materials, but they do not watch whether they are good or of inferior quality, the cause of ruin.
You, new priests and scribes of the new Temple, listen. Woe to you and to those who after you will become idolatrous and will not watch and look after themselves and the other believers, to examine and test the good quality of the stones and timber, without trusting appearances, and will bring about ruin by allowing inferior quality, or even harmful materials to be used for the Temple, scandalising and causing disaster. Woe to you if you will allow unsafe, curved walls to be erected, full of large fissures and that will collapse easily, as they are not balanced on solid perfect foundations. The disaster would not come from God, the Founder of the Church, but from you, and you would be responsible for it before God and men. Care, attention, insight, prudence! The stone, the brick, the weak beam, which would be ruinous in a main wall, can serve for parts of minor importance, and serve well. That is how you must be able to choose. With charity in order not to disgust the weak parts, with firmness not to disgust God and ruin His Edifice. And if you become aware that a stone, already laid to support a main corner, is not good or is not balanced, be brave, bold, and remove it from that place, mortify it by squaring it with the chisel of holy zeal. If it howls with pain, it does not matter. It will bless you later, in the course of ages, because you saved it. Move it, appoint it to another office. Do not be afraid to send it away altogether, if you see that it is the cause of scandal and ruin and rebels against your work. Few stones are better than much rubbish. Do not be in a hurry. God is never in a hurry, but what He creates is eternal, because well thought over before being carried out. If it is not eternal, it will last to the end of time. Look at the Universe. For ages, for thousands of centuries it is as God made it through subsequent operations. Imitate the Lord. Be as perfect as your Father. Keep His Law and His Kingdom in you and you will not be unsuccessful.
But if you were not so, the building would collapse, you would have toiled in vain to erect it. It would collapse and only the cornerstone and the foundations would be left… That is what will happen to that one!… I solemnly tell you that that is what will happen to it. And that will be the fate of yours, if you put in it what is in this one: parts diseased with pride, avidity, sin, lust. As that pavilion of clouds, so gracefully beautiful, was blown away and dispersed by a breath of wind, while it seemed to be settling on the top of that mountain, likewise, at a gust of a wind of supernatural and human punishment, will tumble the buildings that are holy by name… »
Jesus is silent and pensive. He resumes speaking only to say: « Let us sit down here and rest a little. »
They sit down on a slope of the Mount of Olives, in front of the Temple kissed by the setting sun. Jesus looks fixedly at that place and sorrowfully. The others are proud of its beauty, but a veil of worry, left by the words of the Master, is spread on their pride. And if that beauty should really perish?…
Peter and John speak to each other and then they whisper something to James of Alphaeus and Andrew, who nod assent. Then Peter addresses the Master saying: « Let us go aside and explain to us when Your prophecy on the destruction of the Temple will take place. Daniel mentions it, but if things were as he says and as You say, the Temple would have but a few more hours. But we do not see any armies or preparations for war. So when will it happen? Which will be the sign of it? You have come. You say that You are about to go away. And yet it is known that it will only happen when You are among men. So, will You come back? When will You come back? Tell us, so that we way know… »
« It is not necessary to go aside. See? The most faithful disciples have remained, those who will be of great help to you twelve. They may hear the words that I will speak to you. Come near Me, all of you. » He shouts the last words to gather them all.
The disciples scattered on the slope come near the others, they form a compact group around the main one of Jesus and the apostles and they listen.
« Take care that no one deceives you in future. I am the Christ and there will be no other Christs. So, when many will come and say to you: "I am the Christ" and they will deceive many, do not believe those words, even if they are accompanied by wonders. Satan, the father of falsehood and the protector of liars, assists his servants and followers with false wonders, which, however, can be recognised as not being good ones, because they are always joined to fear, perturbation and falsehood. You know the wonders of God: they give holy peace, joy, health, faith, and they lead to holy desires and deeds. The others do not. So ponder on the forms and consequences of the wonders you may see in future, performed by the false Christs and by all those who will clothe themselves in the garments of saviours of peoples, whereas they are wild beasts who ruin them.
You will hear also, and you will see people speak of wars and rumours of wars and they will say to you: "These are the signs of the end". Do not be upset. It will not be the end. All this must happen before the end, but it is not the end yet. People will rise against people, kingdom against kingdom, nation against nation, continent against continent, and plagues, famines and earthquakes will follow in many places. But this is only the beginning of the birthpangs. Then they will bring affliction upon you and will kill you, accusing you of being guilty of their suffering, and hoping to get out of it by persecuting and destroying My servants. Men will always accuse the innocent of being the cause of the evil that they, sinners, procure for themselves. They accuse God Himself, Perfect Innocence and Supreme Goodness, of being the cause of their suffering, and they will do the same with you, and you will be hated on account of My Name. It is Satan who instigates them. And many will be scandalised and they will betray and hate one another. It is still Satan who instigates them. And many false prophets will arise, who will deceive many. And Satan is still the true author of so much evil. And with the increase of lawlessness, love in many men will grow cold. But those who stand firm to the end will be saved. And first this Good News of the Kingdom of God is to be preached all over the world, as a witness to all the nations. Then the end will come. The return to the Christ of Israel who will accept Him and the preaching of My Doctrine to all the world.
And then another sign. A sign for the end of the Temple and for the end of the World. When you see the abomination of the desolation prophesied by Daniel - let those who are listening to Me understand properly and let those who read the Prophet read between the lines - then those who are in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those who are on the terrace must not come down to collect what is in their houses, and those who are in the fields must not come back home to fetch their cloaks, but they must flee without turning back, otherwise it may happen that they will no longer be able to do so, and while running away they must not even turn round to look, in order not to keep the horrible sight in their hearts, and thus go mad. Woe to those with child and to those giving suck in those days! And woe if you have to escape on a Sabbath! The flight would not be sufficient to save you without sinning. So pray that it may not happen in winter or on a Sabbath, because then the tribulation will be so great as it has never been from the beginning of the world until now, nor will ever be alike again, because it will be the end. And if those days were not shortened for the sake of those who are chosen, no one would be saved, because the satan-men will enter into an alliance with hell to torture men.
And even then, in order to corrupt and mislead those who have remained faithful to the Lord, some people will arise and say: "The Christ is there, the Christ is here. He is in that place. There He is" Do not believe them. Let no one believe them, for false Christs and false prophets will arise and produce great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the chosen, if it were possible, and they will speak doctrines that are apparently so comforting and good as to deceive even the best ones, if the Spirit of God were not with them enlightening them on the truth and the satanic origin of such portents and doctrines. I am telling you. I am foretelling it, so that you may know how to behave. But do not be afraid of falling. If you remain in the Lord, you will not be led into temptation and ruin. Remember what I told you: "I have given you the power to walk on snakes and scorpions, and of all the power of the Enemy nothing will harm you, because everything will be subjected to you". But I also remind you that, in order to achieve this, you must have God within you, and you must rejoice, not because you control the powers of Evil and poisonous things, but because your names are written in Heaven.
Remain in God and in His truth. I am the Truth and I teach the truth. So I repeat to you once again: whatever they may say about Me, do not believe it. I alone have spoken the truth. I alone tell you that the Christ will come, but when it is the end. So, if they say to you: "He is in the desert", do not go. If they say to you: "He is in that house", do not listen to them. Because in His second coming the Son of man will be like lightning striking in the east and flashing as far as the west, in a shorter time than a blink. And He will glide over the great Body, suddenly turned into a Corpse, followed by His shining angels, and He will judge. Wherever the corpse is, there will the eagles gather. And immediately after the distress of those last days, as you have been told - I am speaking of the end of time and of the world and of the resurrection of the bones, of which the prophets speak - the sun will be darkened, and the moon will shed no more light, and the stars will fall from the sky like grapes from a bunch that is too ripe and is shaken by a gale, and the powers of Heaven will be shaken. And then in the darkened vault of heaven the dazzling sign of the Son of Man will appear, and all the nations of the Earth will weep, and men will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory. And He will order His angels to reap the corn and gather the grapes, and to separate the darnel from the corn, and to throw the grapes into the vat, because the time of the great harvest of Adam's seed has come, and there will be no more need to keep small bunches or seeds, because the human race will never be perpetuated again on the dead Earth. And He will order His angels to gather the chosen with loud trumpets from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to another, so that they may be beside the Divine Judge to judge with Him the last living men and those who have been raised from the dead.
Learn the similitude from the fig-tree: when you see its twigs grow supple and put forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So, when you see all these things, know that the Christ is about to come. I solemnly tell you: this generation that did not want Me will not pass away, before all this takes place. My word does not pass. What I have said will take place. The hearts and minds of men may change, but My word does not change. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
But as for the day and the exact hour, nobody knows them, not even the angels of the Lord, only the Father knows them. As it was in the, days of Noah, so it will be when the Son of man comes. In the days before the Flood, men were eating, drinking, taking wives, taking husbands, without worrying about the sign, right up to the day Noah went into the ark and the cataracts of heaven were opened and the Flood swept all living beings and things away. It will be like this also for the coming of the Son of man. Then two men will be close to each other in the field, and one will be taken and the other will be left, and two women will be at the millstone grinding, and one will be taken and one left by the enemies in the Fatherland, and even more by the angels who will be separating the good seed from the darnel, and they will have no time to prepare for the judgement of the Christ.
So be awake because you do not know at what time your Lord will come. Consider this: if the head of a family knew at what time a burglar would come, he would stay awake and would not let his house be robbed. So be vigilant and pray, being always prepared for the coming, without letting your hearts become sluggish through all kinds of abuse and intemperance, and your spirits be dull and distracted from the things of Heaven by excessive care for the things of the Earth, so that death may not take you all of a sudden, when you are not prepared. Because, bear this in mind, each one of you must die. All men, once they are born, must die, and this death and subsequent judgement is a particular coming of the Christ and its universal repetition will take place at the solemn coming of the Son of man.
What will happen to that faithful and prudent servant, appointed by his master to give food to the servants in his absence? His lot will be a happy one if his master comes back suddenly and finds him doing his duty with diligence, justice and love. I tell you solemnly that he will say to him: "Come, good faithful servant. You have deserved my reward. Here, administer all my property". But if he seemed good and faithful, but was not, and if interiorly he was as bad as he was hypocritical exteriorly, and once the master has left, he says to himself: "The master will come back late! Let us have a good time", and he begins to beat and ill-treat his fellow servants, cutting down their food and everything else to have more money to spend with revellers and drunkards, what will happen? The master will come back all of a sudden, when the servant does not expect him, and his wrong-doing will be found out, his position and money will taken off him, and he will be led where justice wants. And there will he remain.
And the same will happen to the unrepentant sinner, who does not think that death can be close at hand, as his judgement can be near, and he enjoys himself and abuses saying: "Later I will repent". I tell you solemnly that he will not have time to do so, and he will be condemned to be for ever where there is dreadful horror, where there is only blasphemy and weeping and torture, and he will come out only for the final Judgement, when he will be reclothed with the flesh raised from the dead, to present himself entire at the final Judgement, as he was entire when he sinned in the time of his earthly life, and in body and soul he will present himself to Jesus Judge, Whom he did not want as his Saviour.
They will all be gathered there before the Son of man. An infinite multitude of bodies, given back by the land and by the sea and recomposed after being ashes for such a long time. And the souls in their bodies. To each flesh returned to the skeletons will correspond its own soul that once animated it. And they will stand before the Son of man, splendid in His divine Majesty, sitting on His throne of glory supported by His angels.
And He will separate men from men, placing the good on one side and the bad on the other, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the kids, and He will place the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left. And in a gentle voice and with a benign appearance he will say to those who look at Him with all the love of their hearts, and are peaceful and beautiful, shining with the glorious beauty of their holy bodies: "Come, you who have been blessed by My Father, take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you since the origin of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a pilgrim and you gave Me hospitality, I was naked and you clothed Me, sick and you visited Me, in prison and you came to comfort Me". And the just will ask Him: "Lord, when did we see You hungry and we fed You, thirsty and we gave You drink? When did we see You a pilgrim and we welcomed You, naked and we clothed You? When did we see You sick and in prison and we came to visit You?" And the King of kings will say to them: "I tell you solemnly: when you did one of these things to one of the least of My brothers, you did it to Me".
He will then address those who are on His left hand and will say to them, looking very severe, and His eyes will be like flashes of lightning striking the reprobates, and in His voice the wrath of God will thunder: "Go away from here! Away from Me, with your curse upon you! Go to the eternal fire prepared by the fury of God for the devil and the angels of darkness and for those who have listened to their voices of treble obscene lechery. I was hungry and you did not give Me any food, I was thirsty and you did not quench My thirst, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was a pilgrim and you rejected Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me. Because you had but one law: the pleasure of your own egos". And they will say to Him: "When did we see You hungry, thirsty, naked, pilgrim, sick, in prison? Really, we never met You. We did not exist, when You were on the Earth". And He will reply to them: "That is true. You never met Me. Because you did not exist when I was on the Earth. But you were acquainted with My word and you had among you people who were hungry, thirsty, naked, ill, in prison. Why did you not do to them what you would have perhaps done to Me? Because no one says that those, who had Me among them, were merciful to the Son of man. Do you not know that I am in My brothers, and that where one of them suffers, I am there, and that what you have not done to one of the least of My brothers, you have refused it to Me, the First-Born of men? Go and bum in your own selfishness. Go and be enveloped in darkness and ice, because you were darkness and ice yourselves, though you knew where the Light and the Fire of Love were". And they will go to the eternal torture, whereas the just will enter eternal life.
Those are the future things… Go now. And do not part from one another. I am going with John, and I shall be with you half through the first watch, for supper, and then we shall go to our teaching. »
« Also this evening? Shall we be doing that every evening? I am aching all over because of the dew. Would it not be better to go to some hospitable house now? Always under tents! Always watching at night, when it is cold and damp… » says Judas complaining.
« It is the last night. Tomorrow… it will be different. »
« Ah! I thought You wanted to go to Gethsemane every night. But if it is the last one… »
« I did not say that, Judas. I said that it will be the last night to spend all together at the Field of the Galileans. Tomorrow we will prepare for Passover and will consume the lamb, then I will go by Myself to Gethsemane to pray. And you can do what you like. »
« But shall we not come with You, Lord! When have we ever wanted to leave You? » asks Peter.
« You should be quiet, because you are culpable. You and the Zealot do nothing but flutter here and there as soon as the Master does not see you. I have been keeping an eye on you. At the Temple… on the day… in the tents up there… » says the Iscariot, happy to denounce them.
« That is enough! If they do that, they are doing the right thing. But do not leave Me alone… I beg you… »
« Lord, we are not doing anything wrong. Believe me. Our deeds are known to God, and His eyes do not turn away from them in disgust » says the Zealot.
« I know. But it is useless. And what is useless may always become harmful. Be together as much as possible. » He then says to Matthew: « My good reporter, you will repeat to them the parable of the ten wise virgins and the ten foolish ones, and that of the master who gives some talents to his three servants to make them bear interests, and two earn twice as much and the sluggard hides it in the ground. Do you remember? »
« Yes, my Lord, very well. »
« Repeat them, then, because not everybody knows them. And also those who know them will be pleased to hear them again. You can while away the time so, in wise conversation, until I come back. Stay awake! Be vigilant! Keep your spirits awake. Those parables are also appropriate to what I have said. Goodbye. Peace be with you. »
He takes John by the hand and goes away with him towards the town… The others set out towards the Fields of the Galileans.
Written by Maria Valtorta. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Volume 5, Chapter 594, pp. 458-469
Copyright 1990 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.