Thought for the Day – 11 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Jesus is Condemned to Death
“Pilate was neither wicked nor cruel.
He was a weak opportunist who placed his position as Governor of Judea and his own personal interests above everything else in life.
He was prepared, moreover, to adopt the meanest of compromises.
He had acquitted Jesus, because, he believed Him to be innocent.
But he panicked as soon as he heard the crowd shouting and the Jewish priests accusing him of being no friend of the Emperor.
Then, he had recourse to an expedient.
When he saw Jesus covered with blood, crowned with thorns and clothed in purple rags, he showed Him to the crowd, in the hope, that their frenzied hearts would be touched with compassion.
He said only a few simple words.
“Behold the man!”
He wished them to see the condition to which this man had been reduced, who had been accused and mocked by them.
Looking like a trampled worm, He would stir up pity in every heart. In the crowd, there were people who had been enchanted by the glory of His heavenly teaching.
Some of them had listened to Him in Jerusalem only a few days previously, when He was greeted by tumults of applause.
Others had received favours and miracles from Him.
But the good folk remained silent, for they could not summon up the courage to express any sentiments of gratitude or of humanity, in that gathering.
A roar drowned the words of Pilate.
“Let Him be crucified!”
Sometimes, when we see what is good and just, a rebellious impulse suddenly rises up inside us.
Unfortunately, we may yield to it on occasion and stifle the higher inspirations, which we receive.
Let us resolve never to be guilty of weak or unworthy conduct towards Jesus and to obey at all costs, the dictates of a sound conscience.”