«A favour, Johanna.» Jesus looks at her and smiles: «I would like those to have a mother, a father, a home; and the mother’s name to be Johanna…» He has no time to finish because Johanna’s cry is like that of one freed from prison, while she prostrates herself to kiss the feet of her Lord.
– Jesus asking a great favor of Johanna, who has hoped for this exact joy.
298. Jesus is proceeding slowly beside Chuza who shows how happy he is to have the Master as his guest: «My Johanna will be delighted. And I am, too. She is feeling better and better. She told me about the journey. What a triumph, my Lord!»
«Did you mind?»
«Johanna is happy. And I am happy to see her thus. I might have lost her months ago, my Lord.»
«Yes, you might have… And I gave her back to you. Be grateful to God for that.»
Chuza looks at Him perplexedly… he then whispers: «A reproach, Lord?»
«No, an advice. Be good, Chuza.»
«Master, I am Herod’s servant…»
«I know. But your soul is the servant of no one but God, if you wish so.»
«That is true, Lord. I will amend my way of living. Sometimes I am seized by the fear of public opinion…»
«Would you have minded last year when you wanted to save Johanna?»
«Oh! No. At the cost of losing all respect I would have applied to anyone who could save her.»
«Do likewise for your soul. It is even more precious than Johanna. Here she is coming.»
They quicken their steps towards Johanna who is running along the avenue to meet them.
«My Master! I did not hope to see You so soon. Which kindness of Yours has brought You to Your disciple?»
«A favour, Johanna.»
«A favour? Which? Tell us and if we can, we will help You» they both reply together.
«Yesterday evening on a desert road I found two poor children, a little girl and a little boy… they were barefooted, ragged, starving, all alone… and I saw them being driven away, as if they were wolves, by a hard-hearted man. They were dying of starvation… Last year I gave so much wealth to that man. And he denied two orphans a piece of bread. Because they are orphans. Orphans wandering on the roads of a cruel world. That man will receive his punishment. Do you want to receive My blessing? I am stretching My hand out to you, a Beggar of love, for those orphans who have no home, no clothes, no food, no love. Will you help Me?»
«But, Master, why ask? Tell me what You want, how much You want; tell us everything!…» says Chuza impulsively.
Johanna does not speak, but with her hands pressed on her heart, tears on her long eyelashes, a smile of desire on her red lips, she waits and her silence is more eloquent than words.
Jesus looks at her and smiles: «I would like those to have a mother, a father, a home; and the mother’s name to be Johanna…»
He has no time to finish because Johanna’s cry is like that of one freed from prison, while she prostrates herself to kiss the feet of her Lord.
«And what do you say, Chuza? Will you receive in My name My beloved ones, who are much dearer to My heart than jewels?»
«Master, where are they? Take me to them and upon my honour I swear to You that from the moment I lay my hand on their innocent heads, I will love them in Your name as if I were their real father.»
«Come, then. I knew that I was not coming for nothing. Come. They are coarse and frightened, but good. You can trust Me because I can read the hearts of men and the future. They will give peace and strength to your union, not so much now as in the future. You will find yourselves again in their love. Their innocent embraces will be the best lime for your home of a married couple. And Heaven will always be benign, and merciful towards you because of your charity. They are outside the gate. We came from Bethsaida…»
Johanna does not listen any more. She runs away, seized by a great desire to caress them. And she does so, falling on her knees to clasp the two little orphans to her heart, kissing their emaciated cheeks, while they are amazed looking at the beautiful lady with garments adorned with jewels. And they look at Chuza, who caresses them and takes Matthias in his arms. And they look at the beautiful garden and at the servants who gather round them… And they admire the house which opens its halls full of riches to Jesus and His apostles. And they look at Esther who covers them with kisses. The world of dreams is open to the little waifs…
Jesus watches and smiles…