Woman: Don’t tell me, neighbor!
Neighbor: I’m telling you: Tomorrow morning, Jesus of Nazareth
will appear on this hill. On this very site the miracle will take place,
never seen before by anyone: a dead man rising to life! They say he’s
been seen here and there for forty days, and now, he’s going to ascend
Woman: On my God, who’s going to prepare the food and take care
of the house?
Neighbor: Forget about it, young woman! I couldn’t care less, even
if they rob me, or the food gets burned! I wouldn’t miss this for anything,
not even for the entire wealth of Solomon! So, hurry and inform the
hunchbacked woman, old man Nemesio and my comadre Tilita... Inform
everyone! Everybody must come!
Woman: Don’t you worry, neighbor. The whole barrio will be here!
Even Martin, the mad man, shall be here tomorrow!
There was no need to announce to everyone. The news that Jesus was going
to appear by the lakeside of Tiberias on the hill of the Seven Fountains,
spread like wild fire, and before sunset everyone had already been informed.
That night, nobody slept in Capernaum…. When the cocks proclaimed the
new day, men and women, old and young, everyone left through the gate
of the Consolation and trekked through the hill where the miracle was
to take place.
Woman: I feel so excited…! Hey, feel my hand…. See?
Neighbor: My gosh, your heart is leaping…
Woman: This is
something I haven’t seen in my whole life, neighbor….
Neighbor: Neither have I, my child. Imagine, at this age of mine,
the greatest miracle I’ve seen so far was when my husband suddenly got
rid of those stomach cramps… other than that….
Woman: Many things
also happened before: the sea was split into two, the sun stopped in
the middle of the sky, people were swallowed up by whales, but now that
God has become more stingy…
Woman: Don’t say
that, woman of no faith!… God is great! And today we shall witness marvellous
things! They killed him in Jerusalem, but he appears alive in Galilee!
Blessed be God!
Neighbor: And blessed are they who see him! So you’d better clean
your face now, young woman, for today, you shall be a “witness” to something
incredible! Come, let’s go closer!
Like a swarm of ants in pursuit of sugar, the residents of Capernaum
walked through the green slopes of the hill where Jesus, many months
before, had announced that God was offering his Kingdom to us, the poor
and the hungry. Tiberias Lake, like a great blue eye, woke up with the
first rays of the sun… But today, there were no white sails of the fishermen
crossing the lake in sight…. The boats were moored in the wharf and
the nets were left hanging under the palm trees. Today, no one went
to work in the whole city.
Bartholomew: Where’s he coming from? The east or the west?
Neighbor: From above, compadre! Just like a ripe fig falling!
Bartholomew: Then it will fall with a big bang!
Neighbor: Don’t be silly, you dope! Remember how the angels went
up to heaven and down to earth in Jacob’s dream and yet, nothing
happened to them?
Man: But they used a ladder, my friend, and that made the
Neighbor: Well, Jesus will also use something to go down! Don’t
you think so?
Neighbor: Jesus doesn’t have to! Don’t you know that even the angels
and saints can fly like birds?
Man: Oh, yeah? Well, Elijah was a saint and yet, a carriage
was sent to him so he could go up!
Woman: Oh brother! Nothing of that sort! Do you know how Jesus
will appear? Up above the clouds! The prophecy says: “Every eye will
see and every ear will hear.”
All: Amen, amen!
Woman: “He will come in a cloud, and will disappear in another!”
All: Amen, amen!
Woman: Say, grandma, where is this cloud? For today the sky
is as clear as spring!
There was not a single cloud in the horizon. Blue as zapphire, the sky
of Galilee merged with the waters of the lake… The sun, rising from
the valleys Gilead was shining radiantly…
Clete: Tell me somethin’ Bartholomew, do you really buy the
story that Jesus of Nazareth was nailed on the cross and then rose from
Bartholomew: Look, compadre, I know they killed him because
my uncle Micah was in the capital during the holidays, and he saw it
with his own eyes… But I’m not sure about the other one…
Clete: A lizard whose tail is cut off still continues to wiggle
its way… But for one whose head has been cut off, or one who has been
nailed on the cross, that’s the end for him.
Neighbor: But Peter, Andrew and Zebedee’s sons have seen him alive.
It’s like God getting so furious with Pontius Pilate’s sentence that
he said: “No way!” Then he took action and brought him back to life
to embarrass those scoundrels who had him killed, do you understand?
Clete: Don’t you think Peter and his friends made up the story,
Neighbor: Well, I dunno, this is what they say, but… by the way,
where are these rascals? Aren’t they here yet?
Bartholomew: Yeah, I’ve seen Philip and the red head, James… they’re
We were all there, mingling with everyone. We never knew who spread
the news that Jesus was going to appear in the mountain. Just in case,
the eleven of us went, as well as the women…
John: What do you think of all this hassle, Peter?
Peter: I dunno, neither do I know what to tell you, John… There’s
something strange here.
John: People keep on saying that Jesus is coming this time
to say goodbye, since we’ll never see him again. Do you think this is
Peter: All I can say is there’s something odd here. Know why?
The other times that we saw the Moreno, how shall I tell you… he was
Vendor: Candies, candies! Buy my candies with honey and cheese!
Want to try some, countryman?
John: Not now, old man, later…
Peter: I dunno, John…. He was different… At least there were
no candies for sale then…
The vendors, carrying their baskets on their heads, pushing their carts,
shouted out a thousand wares, as the crowd multiplied all the time…
Then a thin white cloud formed in the middle of the sky...
Woman: Look up, look up!! He’s coming!!
Several: He’s coming!! He’s coming!!
Little Boy: Who’s coming, Mama?
up, snotty-nose, just look above!
Neighbor: Hey, little lady, don’t push. I came here first!
Everyone had his eyes on the thin cloud that was slowly forming in the
Bartholomew: Yes, now is the beginning of the Kingdom of Israel!
Neighbor: My goodness,
that was long overdue! Ever since Abraham set foot on this earth, the
poor like us had been waiting for justice, in vain!
Clete: And the story ended up there, since Jesus is now high
above anyone else! See how he comes leaning on the cloud!
Girl: Now he’ll sit on the throne to reign, so they say!
Neighbor: And we’ll be by his side, don’t forget…
The thin cloud, pushed by a gentle breeze from the lake, was getting
closer to the sun… then it disappeared like foam…
Clete: What now, old woman?
Woman: Don’t be impatient, my goodness! That was just the start
of it!… The king is following from behind!
One hour passed, and another and another… The scorching sun, suspended
in the middle of the sky, was burning our heads… But we stayed on, without
budging, and waiting… Suddenly…
Woman: Look up, everybody look up! He’s coming!
Old Tilita once again raised her long and rugged arm like a branch of
olive pointing at another cloud that was crossing the sky toward our
Neighbor: Tighten your underwear, buddies, this thing about the
Kingdom of God is really getting serious!
Some of the old folks began to pray… The excited women held their children
closer to them, in anticipation of the great moment… Looking above,
with their mouths agape, that sea of heads swayed from one side to the
other, following the direction of the wind blown cloud…
But the second cloud had the same fate as the first. The blazing sun
of Galilee had burned it and the blue mantle of the sky once again became
completely cloudless and clear…
Woman: Don’t lose heart, my children. Noah had to wait longer
inside his Ark for the floods to subside!
Clete: Well, a drop of water will do us some good!… How hot
it is!! Look, my flesh is becoming flabby…. like melted wax!
Bartholomew: I’m taking a dip in the lake… I’ll be right back!
Woman: Don’t stray too far! Have faith, my brothers and sisters,
don’t be discouraged! Jesus is coming soon, and this won’t be long!
Martin: Look up, look up!! Ho, ho, ho!
Neighbor: What’s got into him, huh?
Woman: He’s the crazy man, Martin…
Neighbor: Hey, you idiot, what’re you looking for? Get away from
here, this is only for sane people…! How dare you make fun of Jesus,
Martin: I’m Jesus, I’m Jesus!!
Woman: Shut up, insolent one!… Your kind pisses me off, do you
Some time had passed… The men, who were dripping with sweat, started
to tell jokes in order to kill time…. The women covered their heads
with palm leaves as they fanned themselves with their scarves….
Clete: Damn this heat!
Vendor: Candies, candies! These are good candies, with honey
and cheese, with cheese and honey!
Boy: Mama, I’m hungry, I want some candies!
Woman: Do you want me to wring your neck, little imp?
Boy: I want some candies!
scare your son, woman!… You know something? Children like him shall
be the first to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, as Jesus clearly said that…
Bartholomew: What’s happening to her now?
Man: Can’t you see? She’s fainted!
Woman: Get hold of her, get hold of her…!
Clete: She was saying something about the Messiah and… that’s
it…. The poor woman is pregnant….
Woman: Give her some air…
Neighbor: Why does she have to be in this mess, knowing that she’s
having a baby? How irresponsible…!
Woman: No, she’s not! She did right, because even the baby in
the mother’s womb is crying out to see the miracle!
Clete: The only miracle here is that we haven’t melted until
now!… Look how my head is burning hot.
you know that I skipped breakfast just to come here? I’m so hungry,
my legs are trembling…. it beats David’s shaking while dancing before
the Ark of Covenant…
Bartholomew: C’mon, folks, let’s go! No one’s coming up nor going
Woman: Please don’t go away! Good things are worth some sacrifices,
my goodness! Jesus said he was coming, and he’ll come!
Bartholomew: And I said I was leaving, and I am!
Woman: There he is!!! See where he’s heading for!
The old woman raised her arm again, pointing at a cloud, thick and round
as cotton, appearing suddenly above our heads…
Neighbor: That’s right! This time around, he’s coming!
about an applause, my friends! For the Messiah who’s coming to rule
All: Long live the Messiah! Long live the Messiah!!!
Bartholomew: No, no….
Man: Hey, go kid somebody else, will you? I’m not in the mood
for jokes now….
Neighbor: I’m breaking my neck looking up and down!… Goodbye to
Woman: I don’t understand what’s taking him so long…
Martin: There’s no one coming up nor down here! And nobody’s
gone to work either!
Woman: Will you silence this idiot?
Clete: Leave him alone, he’s simply telling the truth… Imagine,
we’ve been wasting our time looking up at the sky, for nothing….
Bartholomew: Do you know what time it is now?… It’s almost sunset
already…. C’mon, let’s go….
Tired and weary, and with bowed heads, the people started dispersing
down the hill of the Seven Fountains, toward the direction of the fishermen’s
barrio and the marketplace, filling up the streets of Capernaum, on
their way back home, as the sun buried itself once again in the Great
Sea, by the end of the Carmel…. How long had it taken us to understand
and make our countrymen understand that there was no need to look above
us, but to our brother who was right beside us!