BY THE REV. H. NOLDIN, S.J.
AUTHORISED TRANSLATION FROM THE GERMAN.
REVISED BY THE REV. W. H. KENT, O.S.C
But do we not see in this an admonition to all priests and candidates for the priesthood to honour and adore the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and pay Him homage in atonement for the affronts He received in the dwellings of priests, during His Passion more especially? If kings and princes owe Our Lord reparation because at the time of His Passion He was treated so shamefully in their palaces, can it be said that He was treated any better in the houses of the Jewish priests?
He was arraigned before four several tribunals, and by each one in succession He was condemned. The most prominent and influential personages in the land, both ecclesiastical and secular, concurred in rejecting and condemning Him, God permitting it to be so for the greater disgrace and humiliation of their innocent Victim. He was led first of all to Annas, the former high priest, then to Caiphas, who had succeeded him in that office, and at whose house the chief council, or, as the Evangelist states, the scribes and ancients, had assembled to hold counsel with the chief priests. There we behold Our Lord as an accused prisoner in the house of the Jewish priests, who were one and all His enemies, inflated with pride and conceit on account of their fancied learning. The heart of the Christian is filled with horror at the remembrance of all that occurred, as related in the Gospel. In Annas' dwelling one of the servants out of sheer hatred, but ostensibly because of Our Lord's supposed want of respect towards the aged high priest, struck Him a blow with his heavy hand on His sacred countenance. What cruel, shameful treatment! And when the chief council in Caiphas' house had sentenced the most guiltless and holiest of beings to death, a scene was enacted so brutal and scandalous, so revolting and impious, that the pen shrinks from recording what happened. "Then," the Evangelist tells us, "did they spit in His face and buffeted Him, and others struck Him with the palms of their hands." (Matt. xxvi. 67.) Can it be possible! The Lord's priests, transported with rage and anger, presume to lay sacrilegious hands on the most sacred person of their eternal High Priest! And would to God that it could be said with truth that He had never in later times suffered such usage from many of His own priests! Verily, priests owe no slight debt of reparation to their Lord and Redeemer. There is no doubt that we fulfil His desire and intention in a great measure by venerating His Sacred Heart ourselves, and doing all in our power to cause it to be loved and honoured.