FIRST WEEK OF LENT: FRIDAY
Jesus led from the House of Annas to the Tribunal of Caiphas
1st Prelude. To imagine I see Jesus in the midst of the soldiers, bound and led like a criminal, in the city of Jerusalem.
2nd Prelude. Beg for constancy and a continual increase of generosity in the service of God.
POINT I. “And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was father-in-law of Caiphas, who was high priest that year, and Annas sent Him bound to Caiphas, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled.”
CONSIDERATION. The series of humiliations for our loving Saviour has now commenced. All the streets, all the public places, all the tribunals of Jerusalem, have witnessed the helplessness to which His enemies gloried in having reduced Him. He was dragged in succession, in the midst of hooting, from Annas to Caiphas, from Caiphas to the Council, from the Council to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, from Herod back to Pilate, from thence to the praetorium to be scourged, then to the steps to be shown to the people; finally, He was led down into the public place, from whence He went forth, bearing His cross, to Calvary.
APPLICATION. Let us learn from the example of our Divine Master never to resist the orders of superiors, to pass from one house to the other, from one employment to another, as they judge proper. These changes will be sometimes frequent, and often painful to nature. They may cause temptations to impatience or weariness. Let us, then, cast our eyes on Jesus, and the difficulties will disappear.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT II. “The high priest, therefore, asked Jesus of His disciples, and of His doctrine. Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world; ask them who have heard what I have spoken to them.”
CONSIDERATION. The question of the high priest was twofold — on the disciples of Jesus and His doctrine. Our Divine Saviour passed over the first in silence. Alas, what good testimony could He bear of His disciples? At this very moment one was denying Him, and the others were hidden, for fear of sharing their Master’s fate. He loved them too much to blame them; He was silent. As to His doctrine, the questions put to Him were dictated by malice, by the secret desire of finding a pretext for blame and condemnation. Jesus contented Himself by appealing to public testimony, showing plainly that He knew their guilty intentions, and that He had nothing to fear from a severe but just examination of all that He had said and taught. Our Divine Master gives us an example of silence when we cannot speak well of our neighbour, unless our rule, or the law of charity, compels us to manifest some faults of our brethren. We may learn from Him, also, to be watchful over our words, to be reserved in conversation, and to make a careful preparation of what we have to say in public; so that if we are afterwards falsely accused, we may be able to appeal to the testimony of those who heard us.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT III. “And when He had said these things, one of the servants standing by gave Jesus a blow, saying: answerest Thou the high priest so? And Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikes thou Me?”
CONSIDERATION. It is almost impossible for us to understand the intensity of the outrage thus offered to our God and our loving Saviour. He received a blow, the greatest insult one man can give another, in the open court, from the hand of a servant; and it was given as a mark of correction from a brutal man, to Him who is Master of the creation and Infinite Wisdom. What revenge did He take for this cruel insolence? He returned a meek and prudent answer, and showed not the slightest resentment.
APPLICATION. Compare your conduct with that of your Lord. Are you gentle and patient under slight injuries, or even imaginary ones? And yet, who are you?
COLLOQUY with our Divine Lord.