My head feels really clear now. Joseph’s death upset me, but it was going to happen soon. The mourning during the week that followed not only helped me to get over his death but also started to dislodge and then wash away all sorts of anxieties, uncertainties and tensions from my mind, my body, my heart and my soul.
The long reflective trudge from Nazareth to Magdala with the warm autumn sun on my back was the final part of the process, and I now know exactly what I am doing and where I am going. I made peace with Mother, by brothers and sisters and their families before I left, but I said I might never see them again.
I may have preached about having to hate your family in order to serve God and be saved to enter his new kingdom, but I don’t mean hate in the sense of hating, say, a man who has insulted or robbed or falsely accused you. It’s more the case that compared to the burning passion you feel towards God and all those you want to save for God’s kingdom, the glow of love and loyalty you normally experience for your family is very dim in comparison. In fact, the love we must feel for God and for others means that we cannot even hate those who insult or rob or make false accusations against us. It sounds a hard teaching, but to me it makes perfect sense.
I am more certain than ever that those who will be first and have riches in the new Kingdom are those who are downtrodden and poor now. And I am certain that the more people do now to free themselves from wealth and property and to give it to those who desperately need it, will benefit themselves as much as the recipients of their giving.
I know where I am going. I intend to take all the apostles with me, including Tom, though he hasn’t agreed to come back yet. I know when the present age is going to end. I need to speak to Mary about my plans and the funds we will need, but tonight is not the time for such discussions.