ANONYMOUS XVI CENTURY
LIMOGES ENAMEL ON COPPER - Vatican Museum
Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world
From the Gospel according to Luke 22:66-71
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together,
both chief priests and scribes;
and they led him away to their council, and they said,
"If you are the Christ, tell us."
But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe;
and if I ask you, you will not answer.
But from now on the Son of man
shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God."
And they all said,
"Are you the Son of God, then?"
And he said to them, "You say that I am."
And they said, "What further testimony do we need?
We have heard it ourselves from his own lips."
Jesus is alone before the Sanhedrin.
His disciples have fled,
Confused by his arrest to which someone tried to react with violence.
Gone too is the one who just before had exclaimed:
"Let us also go, that we may die with him" (Jn 11:16).
Fear has defeated them.
The brutality of the event has prevailed over their fragile intentions.
They have surrendered, carried away by the current of cowardice.
They leave Jesus to face his fate alone.
And yet they were the circle of his intimate companions,
Jesus had called them "friends" (Jn 15:15).
Round him now there is only a hostile crowd,
of one mind in desiring his death.
There were other times that the shadow of death threatened Jesus,
when he alluded to his divine origin.
There were other times when his listeners tried to stone him.
"It is not for a good work," they say, "but for blasphemy;
because you, being a man, make yourself God" (Jn 10:33).
Now the high priest invites him
to declare before everyone whether he is the Son of God or not.
Jesus does not dissimilate: he affirms as much with the same solemnity.
He thus seals his death sentence.
Jesus, faithful witness (Rev 1:5),
facing death you serenely proclaimed your true divine identity
and announced your glorious return at the end of time
in order to bring to completion the work that the Father had entrusted to you.
We entrust to your mercy our doubts,
our continual wavering between bursts of generosity and moments of lethargy,
during which we allow "the cares of the world
and the delight in riches" (Mt 13:22) to smother the spark
that your glance or your word has ignited in our hardened hearts.
Encourage those who have begun to follow you,
lest they become frightened before the difficulties and sacrifices of which they catch sight.
Remind them that you are meek and humble of heart
and that your yoke is easy and your burden light.
Grant that they may experience the rest that only you can offer (Mt 11:28-30).
serene before your impending death,
the only just one before the injustice of the Sanhedrin.
R/. To you be praise and glory for ever.