...Mary becomes silent, watching Jesus, studying His face, waiting for a word...But Jesus has placed His elbow on His knee, resting His head in His hand and is silent, looking at the green expanse of the orchard.
Mary takes His hand and caressing it She says: "Simon (Peter) has this great desire...When I went with him, he did nothing but speak to Me about it, and his reasons are so good that...I could say nothing to keep him quiet. They are the same reasons that all women and mothers think of. The boy (an orphan) is not strong. If he were as strong as You were...oh! he could have faced the life of a disciple without any fear. But he is so thin!... He is very intelligent, very good... but nothing more. When a little dove is so delicate, you cannot throw it in the air to let if fly very early, as you do with strong ones. The shepherds are good... but they are still men.
Children need women. Why do You not leave him with Simon? While You refuse him a son of his own, born of him, I understand the reason. A son is like an anchor. And Simon, who is destined to such a great task, cannot be hindered by anchors. But You must agree that he is to be the "father" of all the sons You will be leaving him. How can he be a father if he has had no training with a child? A father must be sweet. Simon is good, but not sweet. He is impulsive and intolerant. Only a little creature can teach him the fine art of being indulgent to whoever is weak... Consider Simon's destiny... He is Your successor after all! Oh! I must say that cruel word! But for all the sorrow it causes Me saying it, listen to Me. I would never advise You anything unless it were good. Marjiam (the orphan boy) ...You want to make a perfect disciple of him...
But he is only a boy. You will be going before he is a man. To whom can You give him, to complete his formation, better than Simon? Finally, poor Simon, You know how much trouble he has had, with his mother-in-law, also because of You. And yet he has not picked up a tiny part of his past, of his freedom of a year ago, to be left in peace by his mother-in-law, whom not even You have been able to change. And his poor wife? She is longing so much to love and be loved. Her mother...oh! Her husband? A dear domineering man...
No affection is ever given to her without exacting too much... Poor woman! Leave her the boy. Listen, Son. For the time being we will take him with us. I will come to Judaea, too. You will take Me to one of My companions of the Temple, who is almost a relative, because she is of the House of David. She lives at Bethzur. I will be pleased to see her, if she is still alive. Then, when we go back to Galilee, we will give him to Porphirea (Peter's wife). When we are near Bethsaida, Peter will take him. When we come here, so far, the boy will stay with her. Ah! You are smiling now! So You are going to please Your Mother. Thank You, My Jesus."
"Yes, let it be done as Your wish." Jesus stands up and calls out loud: "Simon of Jonas: come here."
Peter starts and rushes down the steps. "What do You want, Master?"
"Come here, you usurper and corrupter!"
"Me? Why? What have I done, Lord?"
"You have corrupted My Mother. That is why you wanted to be alone (with Mary). What shall I do with you?"
But Jesus smiles and Peter recovers confidence. "Oh!" he says.
"You really frightened me! But now You are laughing... What do You want from me, Master? My life? I have but that, because You have taken everything... But if You want, I will give it to You."
"I do not want to take anything from you. I want to give you something. But do not take advantage of your victory and do not disclose the secret to the others, you most artful fellow who defeats the Master by means of the weapon of His Mother's word. You will have the boy, but..."
Jesus can say no more, because Peter, who had knelt down, bounces to his feet and kisses the Master with such delight that he makes the words die on His lips.
"Thank Her, not Me. But remember that this must be of assistance to you, and not an impediment..."
"My Lord, You will not have to repent of the gift... Oh! Mary! May You be always blessed, You holy and good..." And Peter, who has fallen on his knees again, weeps, kissing Mary's hand...
Excerpted from THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, volume 2, pp. 308-309.
Written by Maria Valtorta.