MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: The First Condemnation Of Christ And Of His Mocking

GIOTTO di Bondone
No. 32 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 16. Christ before Caiaphas
The 16 Meditation of the first condemnation of Christ and of his mocking.

Then the chief priest rent his garments; saying: He hath blasphemed, what need we witnesses any further? behold ye have now heard the blasphemy, what think ye? they answering said, he is guilty of death.

If in any great matter there happened any grievous evil, as without doubt blasphemy is, then the Jews did cut or tear their garments, and by that sign did show the grievousness of the matter, which should cut the heart with grief, and be revenged even with the lose of honor and good. But the high Priest was forbidden to cut his garments by this Law, The high Priest shalt not uncover his head, he, shall not cut his garments. Nevertheless this unlearned priest being ignorant of the Law, did cut his garment, and by cutting it made an end of the priesthood of the Jews. Learn thou to be moved with the injuries offered unto God, though it be to thine own lose & hindrance. 

Consider first what opinion the Jews had of thy Lord. he was first accounted an Impostor or Enchanter, whereupon Judas said, (carry him warily least in wrapping your eyes with his juggling he slip from you) Secondly injurious unto men: doest thou so, saith he, answer the high Priest? Thirdly obsessed by a Devil, in the exorcism and conjuration of the high Priest. Fourthly blasphemous against God. Fifthly a false Prophet, in the Officers scoffing and mocking him. Behold with what Titles thy Lord was honored in this his passion.

Consider secondly with what mind Christ heard this general voice of the people, (he is guilty of death,) and even of that people, whose dead he had raised, whose sick he had healed, and whose profit he had procured. Admire the malice of wicked men, and the gentleness of Christ, who being nothing movie with this sentence of death, offered himself ready to die for them, which killed him. Pray therefore that by this sentence of his death, thou mayst be delivered from the sentence of eternal death.

Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616


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