Lent Day 18: Saturday after the Second Sunday in Lent— In the House of Annas.
In the House of Annas.
Read St. John xviii. 19-24.
 The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.  Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing.
 Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them: behold they know what things I have said.  And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so?  Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?  And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest.
1. Try to picture the scene; watch the persons, listen to their words, observe their actions. Annas, a cunning, bitter, cynical old man, delighted to find his enemy in his power; the Pharisees’ crowding round in eager excitement, the false witnesses trying to concoct a plausible story, and in the midst Jesus, sorrowful, bleeding, exhausted, yet calm and full of dignity. Hear the insulting questions of Annas, the derisive jeers of the Pharisees, the shouts of the mob, the firm, quiet, gentle words of Jesus. See the angry, eager gestures of the enemies of Christ, the assumed indignation, of the judge, the cruel blow struck by the mailed hand of the soldier on the face of Jesus, causing the blood to flow from His sacred mouth.
2. Christ received this blow upon His face to atone for our sins of the tongue, for the wicked words, the censorious words, the uncharitable words, the impure words that too often proceed from our mouth. Grant, O Lord, that I may remember Thee suffering this cruel blow, and so may learn to hate my sins of the tongue, that inflicted it upon Thee.
3. Our Lord desired to teach us another lesson, viz., to bear with patience and gentleness all outrage and unkindness, all reproaches and ill-usage, and especially such as we endure for His sake. “Blessed are ye,” He says, “when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you untruly, for My sake.” But we must take care to bear it for Christ’s sake, and for love of Him, if we would earn the blessing.
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