MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: And Presently In The Morning As Soon As It Was Day All The Chief Priests, And The Elders Of The People, And The Scribes Assembled Together Against Jesus
GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 33 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 17. Mocking of Christ (detail)
The 17 Meditation of the second condemnation of Christ in the house of Caiaphas
And presently in the morning as soon as it was day all the chief Priests, and the elders of the people, and the Scribes assembled together against Jesus, that they might put him to death: and they brought him into their council, saying: If thou art Christ, tell us.
Consider first that now the second time they assemble into council, both because more should consent to the condemnation of Christ (For perhaps in the night many were absent) & also that they might confirm in the day time, that which the had judges in the night. There assembled 3 sorts of people, the Priests, and Elders of the people, who had the civil government & the Scribes, in with sort the Pharisees also are understood, being the religious people of the Jews: that thou waist understand; 1. That all men gave cause of death of our Lord. 2. That Christ died for all. 3. That all men ought worthily to acknowledge themselves to be sinners, and to seek help by the death of Christ.
Consider secondly that this question (If thou be Christ) which was handled all night, was the question of the Devil tempting Christ, If thou art the Son of God, and also of them which mocked our Lord on the Cross, If thou be Christ save thy self, whereby is signified first that they which doubt of their faith, are the sons of the Devil, and live in darkness: Secondly that this is the fault of all sinners, not to know who Christ is: Some will have him rich, noble, &c. they will not have him spit upon, despised, & poor: Others think him austere and sower, and are ignorant how sweet our Lord is: Others contrary wise will have him so merciful, that he will not be offended with any sins, nor punish any offenders. Do thou acknowledge in Christ both mercy and justice, and learn, that herein consisteth the highest wisdom, that thou knowest the true God, & Jesus Christ whom he sent. Then enter into the counsaile of those wicked men: Behold thy Spouse solely and evilly used by the Jews: Admire first & inquire, art not thou Christ? Can it be, that thou Christ? Can it be, that thou, which art the Son of God, the Author all Creatures, the glory of saints, wilt suffer such things for me, poor and vile worm? By these questions stir up thyself, that whilst Christ suffereth and is full of confusion, thou in the mean time seek not after gain & worldly honor.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616