"...And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him: Thou sayest it.And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing.Then Pilate saith to him: Dost not thou hear how great testimonies they allege against thee?And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly." (Matt. 27:11~14)
I have been drawn to thinking, reading, and meditating on Christ's Passion. The various aspects of it seem to come to mind at different times. Typically my serious meditating on this time in Our Lord's life is done during Lent. However, I have looked to the many saints who had great devotion to meditating on Our Lord's Passion. Their words and example show that there is great spiritual benefit and many graces bestowed in meditating on the Passion. After all it is through Jesus' Passion and death that our salvation was won. What better way to please Him than to prayerfully meditate on His sufferings for us and reflecting on the ways we have contributed to His suffering through our sins, and then begging His mercy in humble repentance. The scene from Jesus' Passion that came to mind recently, and which I have chosen for my subject of meditation today, is recounted in the passage at the start of this post. When Jesus was brought before Pilate and accused. Through all the mockery and false accusations he never replied in His defense. It was His humility that allowed Him to do this. I think about the situations in my own life when I am falsely accused of something or picked on for something, or asked to do something I don't feel is "my job". Very often my first reaction is to lash out in my own defense, or at the very least complain to myself about what has been said or what I have been asked to do. This happened to me yesterday at work. I was thinking about how I have been feeling a bit taken advantage of lately, and this scene from Jesus' Passion suddenly came to mind with the words, "He opened not His mouth." As I thought about Our Lord enduring this horrible scene, for love of me, I felt very guilty about my own selfish self pity. I stopped, told Him I was sorry and thought about how if He, the Son of God could endure all He did for me, that I surely could repay His love with my own for Him and offer my little suffering for those who continue to persecute and accuse Him. Friday is typically the day devoted to Our Lord's Passion, and yes, the Church still teaches that we should offer some sacrifice on this day. The lifting of the meatless Friday, did not change the teaching, we are still to offer something. I invite you to follow the example of the saints in meditating on some aspect of Our Lord's Passion and offer it in reparation for your own sins and those of poor sinners.
Dear Jesus, Help me to follow Your example of love and humility when I am falsely accused or persecuted for something. Instead of lashing out in my own defense, let me allow my silence to speak my love for You and for those who persecute You still. Please accept this small sacrifice in reparation for the ways I have accused and persecuted You in the past; may I never do so again. Thank You, Jesus for all You suffered for love of me. May I return some of that love with my own through prayer and sacrifice.