Jesus’ Mercy to His Enemies


Peter: «That old man hates You, remember that. He is one of Your first and fiercest accusers at the Temple.»

Jesus: «I remember that I am Mercy.»


161.    They are about to come back when they see Simon Peter arrive, running as fast as he can. «Master! Master!» he shouts panting. «The village is in turmoil, because the only grandchild of Eli, the Pharisee, is about to die from a snakebite. He had gone with the old man, and against his mother’s wishes, to their olive-grove. Eli was overseeing some works, while the child was playing near the roots of an old olive-tree. He put his hand into a hole, hoping to find a lizard, and he found a snake. The old man seems to have become distraught. The child’s mother, who incidentally hates her father-in-law, quite rightly as it happens, is accusing him of being a murderer. The boy is getting colder and colder every moment. Although relatives, they did not love one another! And they could not have been more closely related!»

«Family grudge is never a good thing!»

«Well, Master, I say that the snakes did not love the snake: Eli. And they have killed the little snake. I am sorry that he saw me and he shouted after me: “Is the Master there?” And I am sorry for the little one. He was a nice boy and it is not his fault that he was the grandson of a Pharisee.»

«Of course, it is not his fault.»

They walk towards the village and they see a crowd of people, shouting and weeping, coming towards them, with the elderly Eli in front of them.

«He has found us! Let us go back!»

«Why? That old man is suffering.»

«That old man hates You, remember that. He is one of Your first and fiercest accusers at the Temple.»

«I remember that I am Mercy.»

Old Eli, unkempt and upset, with untidy garments, runs towards Jesus, his arms outstretched, and drops at His feet shouting: «Mercy! Mercy! Forgive me. Do not avenge Yourself on an innocent boy for my harshness. You are the only one who can save him! God, Your Father, has brought You here. I believe in You! I venerate You! I love You! Forgive me! I have been unfair! A liar! But I have been punished. These hours alone serve as a punishment. Help me! It’s the boy! The only son of my dead son. And she is accusing me of killing him» and he weeps striking his head on the ground rhythmically.

«Come on! Do not cry like that. Do you want to die without having to look after your grandson any more?»

«He is dying! He is dying! Perhaps he is already dead. Let me die, too. Don’t let me live in that empty house! Oh! My sad last days!»

«Eli, get up and let us go…»

«You… are You really coming? But do You know who I am?»

«An unhappy man. Let us go.»

The Visions of Maria Valtorta

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