SEVENTEENTH DAY OF LENT
“Then the high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching. Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” When He had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” – John 18:19-24
In this encounter between Jesus and the High Priest the key is the question Christ asks …”Why do you strike me?” Was it for reason of justice? No, it was for the reason of the arrogance of power. And is so often the case … the arrogance of power turns the seat of justice into injustice.
Within the “Justice Christianus” there is the power of the Truth, but the truth is not determined by the power. The truth reveals; the truth informs; the truth discerns; the truth settles the case. But in this trial before supposedly fair-minded, justice-seeking, holy men … justice is set aside for the sake of pride, arrogance and power.
In the perpetual war of opinions, it is only the Truth that brings about the just peace. Entrenched opinions lead only to the stalemate of trench warfare, but the discernment of the Truth that is beyond the limits of mere opinion leads to Peace. But this discernment of the Truth requires the humility that does not come naturally to the proud.
Eventually Pilate would sadly confess to Christ … “What is Truth, Jesus of Nazareth? What does Truth have to do with this court of political power?”
Loved Ones, we are not people who enter into wars of opinion, but rather we are humble seekers of the Truth which so often seems beyond us.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz