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by Maria Valtorta

Excerpts from Volume 3

1989 Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl
Isola del Liri (Fr) Italy

Rose of Jerico
(a partial excerpt)

"I will remain awake and look after the fire. You can sleep" orders Jesus after some time.

And shortly afterwards, the heavy breathing of the tired Twelve, lying on the benches among the straw, mingles with the crackling of the fire. And when the straw falls off anyone, leaving his body uncovered, Jesus gets up and covers him again, with the loving care of a mother. And He weeps while contemplating the hermetic faces of some of His sleeping apostles, some in fact are placid, some worried.

He looks at the Iscariot, who seems to be grinning also in his sleep, with a grim countenance and clenched fists... He looks at John sleeping with one hand under his cheek while his rosy face is veiled by his fair hair, and he looks as serene as a child in a cradle. He looks at the honest face of Peter, at the severe face of Nathanael, at the pock-marked face of the Zealot and at the aristocratic one of His cousin Judas. And He contemplates for a long time James of Alphaeus who is so much like very young Joseph of Nazareth. He smiles upon hearing the monologues of Thomas and Andrew, who appear to be speaking of the Master.

He carefully covers Matthew who is breathing with difficulty, and He gets more straw with which He covers his feet after warming it near the fire. He smiles hearing James proclaim "Believe in the Master and you will have Life"... and continue to speak to people in his dream. And He bends to pick up a bag in which Philip keeps dear souvenirs, and lays it gently under his head. And in the intervals He meditates and prays...

Parable of the Vineyard Labourers
(a partial excerpt)

Listen to a parable.

A landowner went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard and he made an agreement with them for one denarius a day. He went out again. at the third hour and thinking that the workers he had hired were too few and seeing other people idle in the square waiting to be hired, he took them and said to them: "Go to my vineyard and I will give you what I promised the others". And they went. He went out again at the sixth hour and at the ninth and seeing some more workers, he said to them: "Will you work for me? I give my workers one denarius a day". They agreed and went. Finally he went out about the eleventh hour and saw some more standing in the sunshine and he asked them: "Why are you standing here idle? Are you not ashamed of standing here all day without doing anything?".

"Because no one hired us for the day. We would have liked to work and earn our living. But no one asked us to go and work".

"Well, I am asking you to go to my vineyard. Go and you will have the same pay as the others". He said so because he was a good landowner and felt sorry for the dejection of his neighbour.

In the evening, when the work was finished, the man called the bailiff and said: "Call the workers and pay them their wages, as agreed, beginning with the last arrivals, who are the most needy as they have not had any food during the day, whereas the others have been fed once. and some several times, and who out of gratitude to me, as I felt sorry for them, have worked harder than all the others; I, in fact, have been watching them. Then dismiss them so that they may go and rest, as they deserve, and may enjoy with their families the fruit of their work". And the bailiff did as the landowner ordered, and gave each man one denarius.

When the last ones came, those who had worked from daybreak they were surprised at receiving one denarius each and they complained to the bailiff who said to them: "That is the order I was given. Go and complain to the landowner, not to me". And they went and said: "You have not been fair! We have worked for twelve hours, first in the dewy moisture, then in the heat of thi sun and once again in the dampness of the evening, and you have given us the same wages you gave the lazy workers who worked for one hour only!... Why?". And one of them in particular raised his voice saying that he had been betrayed and exploited undeservedly.

"My friend, in what have I wronged you? What did I agree with you at daybreak? One full day's work and the wages of one denarius. Did I not?".

"Yes, that is true. But you have given the same wages to those who haye worked much less..."

"Did you agree to that pay because it seemed fair?".

"Yes. I agreed because others pay less".

"Were you ill-treated by me?".

"In all conscience... no".

"I granted you a long rest during the day and I gave you some food, did I not? You had three meals. And food and rest were not agreed upon. is that right?".

"Yes. They were not agreed upon".

"Why did you accept them, then?".

"Well... You said: 'I prefer to do so, so that you will not get tired going back home'. And we could hardly believe that it was true... your food was good, and we saved, and..."

"It was a favour that I was doing you gratuitously and that none of you could pretend. Is that right?".

"That is true".

"So I did you a good turn. Well, why are you complaining? I should complain of you, because, although you realised that you were -dealing with a good master; you worked lazily, whereas those who came after you and had one meal only, and the last arrivals who had none at all, set to work with a will and in a shofter time they did the same work that you did in twelve hours. I would have betrayed you if I had halved your wages to pay them. But that is not the case. So take what is yours and go away. Are you going to come to my house and impose me to do what suits you? I do what I like and what is fair. Don't be malicious and don't compel me to be unfair. For I am good".

I solemnly say to all of you who are listening to Me, that the Father God makes the same agreement with all men and promises the same reward to everybody. Those who serve the Lord diligently will be treated by Him with justice, even if they do little work, being close to death. I solemnly tell you that the first will not always be the first in the Kingdom of Heaven, where we shall see that the last are first and the first are last. We shall see there that men who do not come from Israel are holier than many men of Israel... I have come to call everybody, in the name of God. But if many are called, few are chosen, because few want Wisdom, He is not wise who lives according to the world and to flesh, but not according to God. He is neither wise for the earth nor for Heaven. Because on the earth he will make enemies, will receive punishment and will feel remorse. And he will lose Heaven for ever.

I repeat: be good to your neighbour, whoever he may be. Be obedient and leave to God the task of punishing those who are unjust in giving orders.


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