Christ's Journal Part 12

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I walk accompanied by my disciples.

As we pa.s.s a tall wooden cross I remembered that the Romans have crucified as many as two thousand men at one time because of religious dedication. Almost every single one of us has witnessed a crucifixion.

Hail Caesar!

Ours was a solemn path on a clear morning, larks singing, the air brisk.

Carrying fronds, waving, hoping to speak to us, hundreds filled the paths and streets, wanting the miracle of love and life.

Our path crooked upward to the "House of the Figs," where I was given a donkey, a tall, white one. Children shouted joyously. For me, he was my donkey of peace. I waved as I rode along. Some women cut branches and tossed them in front of me. Others threw flowers and shouted "Hosanna."

Jerusalem spread around me, blocks of stone, yellow walls, piles of ancient masonry, new porticos, towers, shops... It was my city, my hated city; I esteemed the meaning it has for my forefathers, men who slept in the valley, with peaked cypresses above their graves.

Dust fanned over us as we followed a narrow way. Romans turned on me and turned on the crowd but I warned them to desist.

At the temple I found more money changers. The courtyard was cattleyard; waiting rooms were storerooms. Animals bellowed. I struck again at the vendors, toppling tables, hurling money trays. The crowd screamed, cheered. In the midst of this bedlam strangers, travelers, stopped Philip and Andrew. They insisted upon being presented to me.

The four men offered me sanctuary in the kingdom of Edessa.

Priests, soldiers, young and old crammed around me as I explained the life eternal, the image of redemption, eternal salvation and the price we must pay.

G.o.d is our Father...the world of nature proclaims His goodness...men must share His divine harmony...you reach G.o.d from within...reborn, you recognize the light.

Children sang.

My love went to them.

Astride my donkey I preached to them in simple words.

As the sun slipped behind the city towers there were scores listening and we lingered on the terrace:

"There is light for you for a little while longer...walk while there is light... darkness will come...he who walks in darkness cannot tell where he is going... believe in the light..."

The evening air was becoming chilly; a wind was blowing in from the desert.

With my twelve I walked through the Golden Gate, pa.s.sing great herds of sheep and goats, grey pastoral sheep and black mountain goats. I was proud of my men, proud of their courage and love, proud of their humility.

Jerusalem

Nisan 29

We met in an upper room-a white-walled room. Centering it was a long table and we sat around it, sharing bread and wine...below us roses were in flower.

G.o.d was with me as I told them, my legatees, that I must die.

"Tonight you are entrusted with the keys of the kingdom. Two at a time you are to go about the world, preaching the gospel. Faith is our church."

I loved each man. Such faces! Bartholomew, Matthew, Luke, James, Simon, Peter, Thaddeus, Judas, John, Phillip. I gazed at one and then the other, fisherman, cobbler, farmer, physician, lawyer...brothers.

"Your task is to save mankind!"

The lamps on our table shaped shadows on the walls, on the floor, far more than shadows. The white walls enshrined each of us. When the wind puffed our lamps blinked. Ours was an aura that may never recur.

"Soon my enemies will crucify me...one of you will betray me..."

What consternation! What hysterical exclamations! What accusations!

Then the pleas began: you must escape! Let us help you! We can!

Listen...flee...tonight.

"Faith is the miracle for everyone," I said. "Heal the sick. Remember Cana... Galilee...Lazarus...the lepers on the roadway..."

I reminded them that we are samaritans. Mercy is ours, ours to give.

We are to help the heavy laden. Love our children. We are to teach by example.

Israel, I told myself, you are to nurture goodwill, tolerance, peace, hope.

So it was in that white room, at that hour.

Clibus'

By the light of candles I write, to shepherd words, to commune once more. There is little time for writing, little time for thinking. I feel that I must endure. By the flickering lights I commune with Father, Mother, earth.

I would like to go on healing the sick, alleviating pain, the body's pain, the soul's. To be a good shepherd, yes. Will my disciples persevere?

I can write no more tonight.

Peter's

Iyyar 2

O

h, Jerusalem, you killer of prophets, stoner of those sent to help you! How I have wanted to care for your children as a hen cares for her chicks under her wings. You would not have me!

Plotters have attempted to trap me. A group cornered me near the temple. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar? they asked. I asked for a coin. I called their attention to the face on the coin, the face of Caesar Augustus.

Christ's Journal Part 12

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Christ's Journal Part 12 summary

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