3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
A quiet moment of asking: “Jesus, give me an inner sense of your sorrow at what is about to unfold, so that I can be sorrowful with you”
We listen to the words of the Gospel of Luke, and imagine ourselves watching Jesus as he is paraded before this court in this show-trial. Ask the Holy Spirit to place us there, in the scene. When Jesus responds to his accusers, what is his manner? How does he look at them? At you?
When day broke there was a meeting of the elders of the people, the chief priests and scribes. He was brought before their council, and they said to him, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on, the Son of man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God.” They all said, “So you are the Son of God then?” He answered, “It is you who say I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any evidence? We have heard it for ourselves from his own lips.”
Luke 22:66-71; cf. Mt. 26:59-6
NOTICE – A silent contemplation moment
Stay in that place of interior quietness and stillness, as God still gazes on you. How did watching this trial of Jesus affect you? What did you notice about the scene and the people in it, such as the interrogators? How was Jesus during this? Can you tell, as you look at him? What feelings might it have caused in Jesus himself? Can you talk to him about these things?
Good and gracious God, Jesus was unjustly accused and unfairly tried in this mockery of justice. The verdict was decided long before this moment; his fate was already sealed and their minds completely closed to him. But here was a man who had done nothing wrong, who had committed no crime. An inner strength, which was about to be sorely tested, radiated from him.
We know of people in our neighbourhood, perhaps even in our church and our family, who are unjustly accused and stereotyped. We know how prejudice is always based in fear rather than facts. This court of the Sanhedrin tried to justify their actions by their crude attempt to turn Jesus’s own words back on himself. We can sometimes try to hide behind certain parts of church teaching, even of Holy Scripture, to try to justify our own opinions and prejudices, instead of letting ourselves be held by the life-giving power of the Gospel.
Give us the grace of the steadfast strength that Jesus showed here, especially if we are the ones who get treated like this. Forgive us, Lord, and give us the courage to do always what we really know is right and just. And if we fall into the temptation of treating others in a prejudiced way, finding them guilty without trial, prompt us to do better.
Together we pray; Lord, we want to walk beside you in your suffering. Forgive us; and help us to see you in the suffering of the poor.