Farewell Letter from Jesus
When you wake up, Iíll already be gone. I wanted to spare you the good-byes. You have suffered enough already and it isnít through yet, Mary.
As I write to you, it is night still. The cat looks at me as if to say: "Canít a body sleep in peace in this house?"
I want to tell you why I am going, why I am leaving you, why I donít stay in the workshop making doorframes and repairing chairs for the rest of my life.
For thirty years Iíve watched the people of our village and Iíve tried to understand why they were living, why they got up each morning, and with what hope they went to sleep each night.
John, the tavern keeper, and with him half of Nazareth, all dream of becoming rich and take it as a matter of fact that the more things they have the more they will become important. The mayor and the others find meaning in their lives in getting more power and having more people obey them. The rabbi and his sanctimonious followers have already renounced anything which would look like an effort to believe and they excuse themselves by passing it off as the will of God.
The result is that most days are gray, the loneliness too great to be borne on normal shoulders, bitterness is common at home and the joys short and stale.
Sometimes, Mother, when the town crier would come and blow his horn in the village square and the people would flock around him, Iíd watch those faces waiting anxiously, nervously, for some good news, from no matter whom and no matter where. They would have given half their lives for someone to open them up from the outside, to make a breach in the shell! So I felt like putting myself right in the middle of the square and shout to them: "The good news has already come. The realm of God is here! Why do you keep repeating to yourselves that you are lame if in fact God has given you the feet of gazelles?"
I feel invaded by the fullness of life, Mary. I find myself overcome by a fire which consumes me and makes me tell people plain good news which no newspaper ever publishes. And I want to set the world afire with this flame so that everywhere there may be life, but life in abundance.
I know I am only a carpenter, without much schooling and that I am barely old enough to open my mouth in public. It would be all the same to me to wait a little longer, to think a little bit more, to be more mature, to go to theology school or whateverÖ. But I learned this afternoon that they have arrested John who was baptizing in the river.
And now, who is going to enliven the little spark of hope that still flickers in the hearts of the poor? Who will cry out what God wants in the midst of the noise of the people who want nothing from God? Who will proclaim and announce to the simple and the over-burdened that they have the right to live because they have been loved since the beginning of the world?
Thereís too much sadness, Mary, for me to content myself with making tables and chairs for a few Ö too many blind, too many poor, too many people for whom the world is the blasphemy of God. It is not possible to believe in God in a world where people die prematurely and are not happy Ö unless it is by being on the side of those who give their life so that of all this does not continue to happen, so that the world will be way God intended it to be.
To tell you the truth, I donít see clearly what I am going to do. I know where to begin. But I have no idea where it will end. For now I am going to Capernaum, on the shore of the lake, where there are more people and where what will happen will have more impact.
Day is beginning to dawnÖ.
Iíll write to you. Iíll come to see you from time to time. The neighbors, the cat, the stars in the sky and God our Lord will keep you company in this vast emptiness of companionship with nature which people are unable to discover.
And when we form that little group of people who will live as we are made to live, you can come with us, full of grace, full of flowers, full of rhythm, blessed among all the daughters and sons of Israel, you who had me as your fruit, me, your