MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD: The Blow In The House Of Chaiphas

GIOTTO di Bondone 
No. 32 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 16. Christ before Caiaphas (detail) 
1304-06

The the high Priest asked Jesus of his Disciples and of his Doctrine? Jesus said to him: I have spoken openly to the world, I always taught in the Synagogue and in the Temple, whether all the Jews assemble, and in secret I have spoken nothing: Why ask you me?Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them, behold these know, what I have spoken.
Consider that when hitherto they had observed nothing in all the life of Christ worthy of death, nor yet of bonds, the high Priest began with certain fraudulent interrogations to draw something out of his answers, which might be objected as a crime unto him. For the offense of Christ was not the cause of these bonds, but the envy of the Jews, of which envy the Scripture in the book of Wisdom numbereth fourteen causes: Because he is unprofitable for us, & c.

Secondly he asked him of his Doctrine, whether it differed not from Moses,and of his Disciples, with what mind he had chosen them, what Doctrine he had taught them, and what minds they carries to the Law. Here inquire thou the Doctrine of Christ, that thou mayest imitate their manners.

Thirdly Christ answered boldly, nothing fearing the high Priest, nor that assembly of Noble-men; that thou shouldest not be afraid in Gods cause. But he held his peace concerning his Disciples, both because he could not commend them ,(and cause them he would not) that thou shouldest never hurt any mans fame; praise,if thou canst, but if thou canst not, yet detract not; and also because the question of his Disciples was mixed with the question of his doctrine, the answer whereunto satisfied the High Priest.

Consider fourthly the purity of the doctrine of Christ, which our Lord propounded to be examined by his enemies. (I have spoken openly) Which is a sign of the purity of his Doctrine: (To the world) no man is barred from the hearing thereof: (Nothing in secret) nothing impure, which need to hate or fly the light;For those things which I said in private: I would have published to all men, & preached in all places.

Consider fifthly that it was accounted a fault in the high Priest to be ignorant of those things, which Christ had taught so openly. In the same manner many great and learned men will not go to Sermons, either be accuse they will not he pricked in conscience, or else because they are so overwhelmed with world cares, that they esteem all things concerning their souls unnecessary. Do this meditate continually upon the words of our Lord, and pray him that he will always put thee in mind of his words.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616


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