MEDITATION ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Requiring Of Barabbas II

MEMLING, Hans 
Scenes from the Passion of Christ (left side) 
1470-71
And as he was sitting in place of judgment, his wife sent unto him, saying: have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in my sleep for him.
Consider first when the people were sent away to deliberate whom they would choose, Pilate sat in judgment, and received this message from his wife, admonished either by her good Angel according to the opinion of Hilarius, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Origen; or else by a wicked spirit, who perceiving his own power by little and little to be weakened, and that his judgment was at hand, and that the holy Fathers in Limbo did exult for their speedy deliverance, endeavored to hinder the death of Christ, according to the doctrine of Ignatius, Cyprian, Gregory, Rabanus, and Bernard. Thou learnest here the innocency of Christ, witnessed by the very Angels, either good or bad. And if this vision come by the help of the devil, thou maist see the malice of men; whom when the Devil hath once incited to evil, he cannot call back from sin: For the malice of concupiscence, and the force of sin is so great, that it cannot be taken away, but by the help of God alone. Therefore the Priests which were provoked by envy, were not warned; bu Pilate, whom the disease of concupiscence had not yet stirred up Labor thou with all thy strength to subdue the force of thy concupiscence.

Consider secondly the Epithet of Christ (that just man) for he is truly our Justice, perfectly just in himself, without sin, & always doing most just works, by which he satisfied his Fathers wrath for us, and left an example for us to imitate.

Consider thirdly (have thou nothing to do with that just man) that is, meddle not with his business, let there be no dealings between thee and that just man. Learn, that this just man doth not appertain to wicked men, and that only good men are partakers of his justice. Do thou pray this just man to vouchsafe to admit thee into his commerce and society, that thy wares from his wares, that is, thy good works from his merits may bring much profit to the salvation of thy soul.

Fr. Coster


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