MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD: Doest Thou Answer Nothing To Those Things? Which These Men Object Against Thee, And Whereof They Bear Witness, Against Thee? But Jesus Held His Peace; And Answered Nothing.
Christ before Caiaphas (No. 4)
And the high Priest rising up in the middest of them, asked Jesus saying: Doest thou answer nothing to those things? which these men object against thee, and whereof they bear witness, against thee? but Jesus held his peace; and answered nothing. Again the high Priest said: I admire thee by the living God that thou dost tell us, if thou art Christ the Son of our blessed God?
Consider first, when nothing was found worthy of accusation, which might seem as a fault to be objected before Pilate the Gentile President, the high Priest being angry, invented certain questions, to the end that he might gather some things from his answers. His own conscience informed him, that nothing of any moment was alleged: Yet he urged those things which he knew to be false.
Consider secondly that Christ held his peace, both because he knew, that his conscience did answer all those things, and also because he would not avoid death by his eloquence. He teacheth the first to contemn all injuries and lies, & to suffer them patiently, partly because, though perhaps thou art not guilty of those things, which are objected against thee, yet thou hast offended God in many things, whereof no man accosted thee; and partly because thou art never the worse, because other men think thee to be evil, For every one is such as he appeareth to be in the sight of our Lord. Secondly not to think them worthy of an answer, which do offer wrong; because their own conscience doth reprove them.
Consider thirdy what our Lord did when he held his peace. For this (saith he) That they should love me, they did detract from me: but I did pray. He prayed then that the fruit of his Passion might pass unto thee: Therefore in every trouble of thy mind convert thyself unto Christ; For it cannot be that he remembering this unjust accusation, can be unmerciful unto thee in thy troubles, & false accusations.
Consider fourthly, that the high Priest evil interpreting this silence of our Lord, did use adjuration in these words (I adjure thee) or as the Greek test is (I conjure thee) which word is used in the conjuration of Devils. Mark here whom thy Lord is accounted to be, to wit, one obsessed of a devil.And the high Priest by his conjuration demanded two things. First whether he be Christ, that is to say, the Messias promise in the Law? Secondly, whether he be the Son of God? For therefore was he put to death because he was Christ: and therefore he redeemed mankind by his death, because he was the Son of God, that is to say, of equal Majesty with God the Father.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616