+IHS PASSION OF OUR LORD: The 21 Meditation Of The Second Accusation Before Pilate
The 21. Meditation of the second accusation before Pilate
Pilate went forth again unto the Jews, saying: I find no cause in this man: But the high Priests accused him in many things; and Jesus answered nothing: Then Pilate asked him, saying to him: Dost thou not hear how great testimonies they speak against thee? Dost thou not answer anything? Behold in how great things they accuse thee? But Jesus answered not him to any word, so as the President wondered greatly.
Consider first, that Pilate expecting no answer to this question (what is the truth) went forth, either because he thought that question appertained not to him, or else that it was not convenient at the time. To whome thou maiest know thyself to be like, so oft as thou shalt passest over lightly heavenly things; or as oft as thou shalt think, that those things which are spoken of everlasting life, of perfection, or as Christian life, appertain not unto thee; or as often as thou dost lightly leave that which before thy God thou hadst justly purposed. Think no time unfit for divine instructions.
Consider secondly that Pilate found no cause of death in Christ; the Jews a false cause; and God the Father a true cause, to wit, the purging of thy sins for the salvation of thy soul. Ponder earnestly with thyself upon this cause. For the reason why thou lovest not Christ so well as thou oughtest, nor art so thankful as thou shouldest be; nor art sufficiently moved with this his so great and bitter pain, is, because thous doest not earnestly acknowledge, nor revolve in thy mind, that thou wert the cause of these his bitter pains.
Consider thirdly the great and manifold crimes objected against thy Lord in the sight and hearing of all the people, who wondered exceedingly at such new and strange things. Do thou patiently suffer for thy Lords sake all slanders, injuries and reproaches.
Consider fourthly the deep silence of our Lord, wherein Pilate the Gentile admired the wisdom of Christ, and the Jews were made more audacious to add more and grievous accusations. Admire thou the patience of God, who being hitherto offended with so many and so grievous sins, both of thee, and of other men, doth not only still hold his peace, wink at them & pardon them, but also doth bestow many benefits upon thee; that thou being moved with his bountiful liberality, maist at last remember thyself.
IIBut they were more earnest, saying: He moved the people, teaching through all Jurie, beginning from Galilee even hither:
Consider first the clamors of the Jews, who having no hope to effect anything by truth, raised up troubles, tumults, and clamors, like those which defended an ill cause wherein they imitate the Devil, who when he can do nothing by his own suggestions, then he stirreth up friends, parents, and companions; he moveth the inward concupiscence; he hindereth and darkeneth the understanding. Do thou nothing impatiently, imitating our Lord, who was not provoked nor moved by any injuries, except to love the more dearly.
Consider 2. That Christ was here reputed captain of the seditious: Thou knowest (say they) O Pilate, the Galilaeans to be factious people, whose blood thou didst lately mingle with their sacrifice: behold he is the head and Ring-leader of all mischief, born to raise sedition among the people. Verily O Lord, thou doest move the people, but not to sedition, treason, robberies, and man-slaughters, which is the property of Heretics, which stir up such motions in their Sermons; but to the change of their life and manners, that forsaking their pleasures and sins; they may all give themselves to the exercise of virtue. Thou fillest the Monasteries with religious people; the Deserts with Anchorites, the Prisons with Confessors, and the gallows with Martyrs. Through thy motion Virgins cast away their brave attire, Rich men choose poverty, Noble men submit themselves to the wills of others, and young men by a vow of religion offer themselves as a Holocaust unto thee. Pray thou also that our Lord may move thee.
Consider thirdly whom he is said to teach, to wit, the Galileans, that is, Passengers; and Jews, that is, Confessors, and praisers of God. But he began from Galilee: For the beginning of Christian doctrine is, to pass from sin; the middle is, to confess our daily defects, with sorrow of heart, and purpose of amendment, and to praise God in true obedience; and the end is, to behold the face of God in Jerusalem in the vision of peace. Pray our Lord to bring thee to the perfection of this wisdom.
And Pilate hearing Galilee, asked if the man were a Galilaean, & as soon as he knew that he was under the jurisdiction of Herod, he sent him Herod, who also in those days was in Jerusalem. Galilaean, is here to be separated from the man, in this sense, whether this man be Galilaean.
Consider first, that either Pilate did not know the name of Jesus, or else that he disdained to name him. Wicked men know not Jesus, suffering, mocked and bound; they know the honors of the world, but no the ignominy of the Cross: Therefore they shall not be know of Jesus, that is, their Saviour, and they shall never reap the fruit of salvation, which reject the Passion, being the instrument of salvation.
Consider secondly, that Herod the Jew came to Jerusalem against the feast of Pasch. For sinners use to celebrate the Feasts of the Faithful with outward ceremonies only, in braver Apparel, with daintier Dishes &c. But they do not receive the inward fruit of the Feasts, neither do they labor so much for the inward ornament of their Soul, to the which they ought to be carried from the outward ceremonies.
Consider thirdly, thy Lord is said to be under the jurisdiction of Herod, a wicked man, Incestuous, Adulterous, and a Murderer: that thou mayest willingly obey thy Superiors, though they be not very good, having respect not to their vices, but to the virtue of obedience.
Consider fourthly, the four Judges of Christ, two Priests Annas & Caiphas, and two secular men Herod the Jew, and Pilate the Gentile. For Christ was adjudged to death by all states of men; he was slain for the sins of all men; he suffered and died for the salvation of all men. Therefore do thou confidently lay all thy sins upon him, that being freed from them, thou mayest receive eternal salvation prepared by him.
Fr. Francois Coster 1616