The wounded hand of Jesus. Healing of a deaf-mute in the Syrophoenician confines --Valtorta

I do not know where the pilgrims have spent the night. I know that it is again in the morning, that they are on their way, through mountainous places as before, that Jesus has bandaged his hand and James of Alphaeus his forehead, that Andrew limps a lot and James of Zebedee does not wear the sack (his brother John has taken it).

Jesus asked twice:
-Can you go on walking, Andrew?
-Yes, Master. I walk badly because of the bandage. But the pain is not strong.
And the second time he adds:
-What about your hand, Master?
-A hand is not a leg. It is at rest and hurts little.
-Mmm! Little I don't think, as swollen as it is and so open, down to the bone? The oil is good. But perhaps it would have been better if we had asked for some of your mother's ointment from....

-My mother. You are right - Jesus says quickly, sensing what is about to come out of Peter's lips, who, confused, turns red and looks at his Jesus with a desolate look; so desolate, that He smiles and rests his hand, precisely the wound, on Peter's shoulder, to hold him close to Himself.

-It will hurt you to be like this.
-No, Simon. You love me and your love is a magnificent healthy oil.
-Oh, then, if that's the reason, you should be cured by now! We have all suffered from seeing you treated in this way, and some have wept.

Peter looks at John and Andrew.....

-Oil and water are good medicine, but the cry of love and pity is more powerful than anything else. See? I am much more joyful today than yesterday. Because today I know how obedient you are and how much you love me. All - and Jesus looks at them with his gentle gaze, in whose already usual sadness there is a faint light of joy this morning.

-But what hyenas, hey! I've never seen such hatred! - says Judas of Alphaeus. -They must all be Jews.

-No, brother. The region has nothing to do with it. The hatred is the same everywhere. Remember that in Nazareth, months ago, I was expelled and they wanted to stone me. Don't you remember? - says Jesus serene (and this serves as a consolation of the words of Judas Thaddaeus for those who are Jews).

So much consolation, that the Iscariot says:

-Ah, but this I am going to say, I am going to say it! We were not doing anything wrong We did not react. And He spoke full of love at the beginning. They started to stone us, as if we were snakes. I'm going to say it.

-And who are you going to tell, if they are all against us?

-I know who to tell. For the moment, as soon as I see Esteban and Hermas I'll tell them. Gamaliel will know right away. But by Easter I'll tell the one I know. I will say: "It is not right to act like this. With your anger you are unlawful. You are guilty, not He."

-It would be better for you not to get too close to these "gentlemen"! I have the impression that for them you are also guilty - Philip wisely advised.

-It is true. I'd better never have contact with them again. Yes. It is better. But I do tell Esteban. He's good and doesn't poison...

-Leave it, man, Judas! -You wouldn't make anything better. You wouldn't make anything better. I have forgiven. Let's not think about it anymore - says Jesus serene and persuasive.

Twice they find streams, both Andrew and the two Santiagos wet the bandages that cover their bruises. Jesus does not. He continues calmly, as if he felt no pain.

And yet, the pain must be remarkable, if, when they stop to eat, he must ask Andrew to break his bread; if, when a sandal is untied, he must beg Matthew to tie it again; if, above all, when going down a steeply sloping shortcut, and going to hit a log because his foot has slipped, he cannot suppress a groan; if his bandage becomes red with blood again (so much so that, at the first house in a village, which they reach towards twilight, they stop and ask for water and oil to medicate his hand, which, when the bandages are removed, appears very swollen and of a dull color on the back, with a reddish wound in the center).

While they wait for the woman of the house to arrive with what they have asked for, they all approach the wounded hand to observe it, and make their respective comments. But John withdraws a little further to hide his weeping.

Jesus calls to him:
-Come here. It is not serious. Don't cry.

-I know. If I had it, I would not cry. But You have it; and You do not tell all the harm that this beloved hand, which has never harmed anyone, does to You," answered John. Jesus has left his hand relaxed. John caresses it gently, on the fingertips, on the wrist, all around the bruise, and turns it over gently, to kiss his palm and rest his cheek on the bowl of the hand, and says: "It is burning.... How much it must hurt you! - and tears of pity fall on her.

The woman brings the water and the oil. With a piece of cloth, John wants to clean the hand stained with blood; with delicacy, he circulates warm water over the wounded part; then he anoints it, bandages it with clean strips of cloth, and on the ribbon he places a kiss. Jesus places his other hand on her head, which is bent down.

The woman asks:
-Is he your brother?
-No. He is my Master, our Master.
The woman continued asking, this time to the others:
-Where do you come from?
From the Sea of Galilee. Far away! What for?
To preach health.
-It is almost night. Stay in my house. A house of the poor, but of honest people. I can give you milk as soon as my sons return with the sheep. My husband will welcome you with pleasure.

-Thank you, woman. If the Master wants, we'll stay here.
The woman goes to her work while the apostles ask Jesus what they should do.
-Yes. Tomorrow we will go to Quedes and then to Paneade. I have thought it over, Bartholomew. It is good to do as you say.

You have given me good advice. I hope to find other disciples in this way and send them ahead of me to Capernaum. I know that by now there must have been some disciples in Quedes, among them the three Lebanese shepherds.

The woman returned and asked:
-Yes, good woman. We are spending the night here.
-And you dine. Accept it. It doesn't bother me. And, besides, some, who are disciples of this Jesus of Galilee, whom they call Messiah, who performs so many miracles and preaches the Kingdom of God, have taught us mercy. But He has never come here. Perhaps because we are in the Syrophoenician confines. But his disciples have come. And that is already a lot. For Easter, all of us from the village want to go to Judea to see if we can see this Jesus. For we have sick people, and the disciples have healed some, but not others. And among these is a young son of a brother of my brother-in-law's wife's wife.

-What is the matter with him? - Jesus asked, smiling.

-It's... He doesn't speak and he doesn't hear. He was born like that. Perhaps a demon entered the mother's womb to make her despair and suffer. But he is good. A demoniac would not be like that. The disciples have said that Jesus of Nazareth is necessary for him, because he must lack something, and only this Jesus.... 

Ah, here are my children and my husband! Melchias, I have welcomed these pilgrims in the name of the Lord. I was talking about Levi... Sarah, go quickly to milk the milk, and you, Samuel, go down to the grotto for oil and wine, and fetch apples from the loft. Hurry, Sara; we'll prepare the beds in the upper rooms.

-Don't fret, woman. We'll be all right anywhere. Could I see the man you were talking about? -Yes... But... Oh, Lord, aren't you the Nazarene?
-It is I.
The woman fell to her knees and cried out:

-Melchiah, Sarah, Samuel! Come and worship the Messiah! What a great day! What a great day! And I have Him in my house! And I was talking to Him, like this! And I brought Him the water to wash the wound!... Oh!... - she chokes with emotion. And he runs to the basin. He sees it empty: "Why did you throw that water away? It was holy! Melchias! The Messiah in our house!

-Yes. But calm down, woman. And don't tell anyone. Rather, go get the deaf-mute and bring him to me... - says Jesus smiling...

...And soon Melchias returns with the young deaf-mute, his relatives and at least half the town... The mother of the unhappy man adores Jesus and pleads with him.

-Yes, it will be as you wish.

He takes the deaf-mute by the hand, separates him a little from the mass of people who are crowded together, while the apostles, out of compassion for the wounded hand, struggle to keep the people apart. Jesus draws the deaf-mute close to Himself. He puts his index fingers in his ears and his tongue on his half-open lips; then, raising his eyes to the sky, already somewhat darkened, he expels his breath on the face of the deaf-mute and shouts loudly: "Open up!" and lets him go.

The young man looks at him for a moment, while people whisper.

The change in the deaf-mute's face is striking: first apathetic and sad, now surprised and smiling. He puts his hands to his ears. He squeezes and releases... He convinces himself that he really hears.... She opens her mouth and says:

-"Mother, I hear! Oh, Lord, I adore you!
The usual enthusiasm takes hold of the people; even more so, because they ask themselves:
-And how can he know how to speak, if he has never heard a word since he was born? A miracle in a miracle! He has given him speech and at the same time taught him to speak. Long live Jesus of Nazareth! Hosanna to the Holy One, to the Messiah!

And they crowd against Him, who raises His wounded hand to bless, while some people, informed by the woman of the house, wet their faces and limbs with the drops of water that had remained in the basin. Jesus sees them and cries out:

-By your faith be healed, all of you. Go to your homes. Be good, be honest. Believe in the word of the gospel. And keep to yourselves what you know, until the hour comes for you to proclaim it in the streets and on the highways of the earth. My peace be with you.

And he enters the large kitchen, where the fire shines and the lights of two lamps tremble.