Scene 10

(Nazareth. Several years later. Joseph is extremely ill. Mary is nursing him.)

JOSEPH: Mary, did you inform Jesus about my illness?

MARY: Yes, I did. Two months ago when sickness was entering into your body I asked an India-bound caravan to inform Jesus about your sickness.

JOSEPH: How long does it take for a caravan to reach India?

MARY: At least three months.

JOSEPH: Alas, even if he has heard about my sickness and even if he has left India…

MARY: It goes without saying that if he had heard about your illness he would have immediately left for home.

JOSEPH: But, my dear, it will take him three long months to reach us. You know quite well that my days on earth are very few.

MARY: No, I do not agree with you. You must stay on earth until our beloved son comes back.

JOSEPH: Who does not want that? But my life-boat is sinking fast. Jesus, my beloved son, my boat is sinking, but your boat will soon ply between the shores of earth’s excruciating pangs and Heaven’s ever-increasing Delight. I shall watch from Heaven with my soul’s boundless pride as your white-red boat sails towards the shores of my ever-transcending Beyond. Jesus, my son!

(Joseph closes his eyes and dies.)

Sri Chinmoy, The Son, Sky Publishers, New York, 1973