MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The Priests Said To Pilate: Do Not Write, King Of The Jews But That He Said, I Am King Of The Jews: Pilate Answered: What I Have Written, I Have Written.

LORENZO Monaco 
Crucifixion 
1405-10

Therefore many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the City. Therefore the Priests said to Pilate: do not write, King of the Jews but that he said, I am King of the Jews: Pilate answered: what I have written, I have written.
Consider first, that many Jews did see and read these holy words: but they understood them not. and therefore scorned them: that thou maist learn, that none scoff at divine things, the holy Ceremonies of the Church, the Doctrine & life of Saints, but only they which understand them not. Therefore because it is written; He shall mock the mockers; and , I will laugh in your destruction: do thou take heed, and refrain from these blasphemous scoffing. Secondly, because the name of Jesus was to be highly honored, and this title to be celebrated over the whole world, and the Cross itself to be imprinted in kings foreheads; therefore it was convenient to have it first laughed at and scorned. For even as a brazen vessel doth shine brightest, after it hath been fouled, and rubbed 3with dirt and clay; so he shall be most glorious, which hath suffered most shame, and vexation for Christ. Yield not then to thy afflictions, nor be dismayed, since there is so great glory provided for thee.

Consider secondly, that Christ was crucified not far from the City: for though he be thrown ut by the inhabitant of the City. and of this world; yet because it is proper always to him to spare and to be merciful, he goeth not far, but stayeth hard by, knocking continually at the gates of our heart, to ry, if he may be let in.

Consider thirdly, that the wicked cannot endure the very name of the kingdom of Christ: because the cross of Christ is distasteful to sinners, who choose rather to have a delicate king, the one nailed to the Cross. This was the cause (as St. Damascene testifieth) why the Jews crucified Christ with his face turned from the City looking towards the gentiles; because neither they nor their children should ever receive him for they Messias. Give thou thanks unto Christ, that he would behold the gentile from his Cross, think upon thee, and bring thee to the knowledge of him. Pray him never to turn his eyes from thee.

Consider fourthly, Pilate’s answer. He indeed set on this title, but moved thereunto by the instinct of Gd. Therefore that ought not tone undone, which by God had been done: for the glory of the Cross, and the kingdom of Christ, which os his Church, will stand & continue, through thou shouldest forsake it. For if thou wilt refuse this King and his kingdom, another shall be called and receive the Crown. Remember the holy Ointment and consecrated Oil in thy baptism, and conformation; by which was imprinted in thee the title and sign of the Cross, that the mark and badge of Christ might remain in thee (as oil doth penetrate, is not easily washed off) and that the writing made upon thee by the finger of God, might always be imprinted in thy soul. Pray then our Lord to engrave in thee his new name, and the name of his holy City, and write thee also in the book of everlasting life.

~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J. 


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