MEDITATION ON THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING THE GOSPEL JN 18:33-37 WEDNESDAY MEDITATION ~ FR. FRANCIS COSTERUS S.J. 1616
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Pilate's First Interrogation of Christ (scene 13)
GOSPEL JN 18:33-37
At that time: Pilate said to Jesus: Art Thou King of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of Me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee up to me: what hast Thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a King. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.
Meditation of the examination of Pilate
I was born in this, and to this I came into the world, that I may give testimony unto the truth: And every one which is of the truth, heareth my voice: Pilate saith unto him, what is the truth?
Consider first for what cause Christ came into the world, to wit first that he might free the world from the falseness of Idolatry, and of divers errors, and of sin. Secondly that he might declare the vanity and folly of those things which the world admireth, & set before our eyes those things as they are indeed, and not as they seem to be. Thirdly that by this truth he might rule the minds of men. Thou maist learn hereby, First, what thou oughtest chiefly to seek for in the kingdom of Christ, to wit to be delivered & made free from all vanity, falsehood, and sin. 2. That they are the chief servants & enlargers of the Kingdom of Christ, which labor in teaching the truth. 3. That appertaineth especially to the charge of Christian princes, and superiors to keep & increase their subjects in the faith of Christ. For they are not superiors like Gentiles, to maintain their people only in a civil & peaceable government, but they are also Christian Princes over Christians, that they may enlarge the Kingdom of Christ,
Consider secondly: I was born in this and to this I came into the world. A high sentence, which Pilate might have understood, if he had persisted in simplicity. I am not born (saith he) like other men, for I was now, before I was born of my mother; I was born, not thorough the necessity of nature, but of mine own will, and for certain causes which moved me to take human nature upon me, to wit that I might teach men the truth. If therefore thou wilt listen unto heavenly Doctrine, and deal sincerely with God, Christ will reveal unto thee the secrets of Heaven.
Consider thirdly (I was born) and (I came) For by his birth he is our Christ, and also hath done all his actions for our profit; that thou again shouldest refer all thy time, thy studies, and thy labors, to his glory.
Consider fourthly that Christ did answer secretly to the question propounded by Pilate , What hast thou done? For I have taught the truth, I have reproved vice: For this was the only cause that moved the Jews to put him to death. Do thou seek out the truth, and pray unto God to lighten thin eyes, that thou sleep not in death, & consider earnestly with thyself, whether thou be of the truth, that is, whether thou be moved with the truth, or with pride, lust, avarice, and other passions of the mind: For he which is of truth, he is of God, but he which followeth lies is of the Devil his Father, whose will he fulfilleth.
Fr. Francis Costerus S.J. 1616