FIRST WEEK OF LENT: SATURDAY
Jesus accused and examined at the Tribunal of Caiphas
1st Prelude. Imagine that you see Jesus standing with His hands bound, before iniquitous judges.
2nd Prelude. Ask to obtain solid virtue, and especially the grace of knowing when to be silent and when to speak.
POINT I. “And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death, and they found none.”
CONSIDERATION. So holy was Our Lord’s life that His sworn enemies, even though they brought a great many witnesses — and those false ones — against Him, could find nothing of which to accuse Him, nothing that was even the shadow of sin, or a single imperfection.
APPLICATION. The life of a religious ought to be so perfect that the wicked who watch him closely should not be able to find fault with him in word or deed, either in public or private life. Can this be truly said of you? What do others think and say of you, or are they too much afraid of wounding your pride and self-love to speak the truth? And, supposing that men have nothing with which to reproach you, are you innocent in the eyes of Him who sees our hearts, our motives, and intentions?
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT II. “And the high priest, rising up, said to Him: answerest Thou nothing to the things which these witness against Thee? But Jesus held His peace.”
CONSIDERATION. Wonderful indeed was this silence of Our Lord. His honour, reputation, and life were in peril, and it seemed as if He could so easily justify and defend Himself, and obtain a triumph. But He left His defence in the hands of His Father, and was silent.
APPLICATION. What a contrast there is between us and our Master! He is silent under false accusation, and we, who glory in being His disciples, cannot hear a reproof that we know we deserve, or a kind observation, without beginning to defend and excuse ourselves; sometimes even at the expense of truth. Have I not often had self reproach on this head?
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT III. “And the high priest said to Him: I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us if Thou be Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus said to him: Thou hast said it.”
CONSIDERATION. We learn a valuable lesson from this: as long as our Lord’s own Person was concerned, He kept silence; but when it was a question of His Father’s glory, or the salvation of souls, or a point of faith, He spoke, and confessed the truth; and He confessed it freely and unreservedly, though He knew it would cost Him His life.
APPLICATION. It is a matter of great difficulty to know when to speak and when to be silent; it requires thought, calmness of mind, and great firmness of character. We shall find that our indiscreet words have arisen from our deficiency in one or other of these qualities. Have we not sometimes also sacrificed truth by keeping silence, or being guilty of dissimulation, or keeping back the truth without a rightful cause?
COLLOQUY with our loving Saviour.