I. Pilate was at first inclined to look with contempt on the charge brought against Christ of setting Himself up as King of the Jews. But he soon changed his tone. He was astonished at Our Lord's silence and reserve. His calm dignity made a deep impression on him. How few there are who imitate Christ in this ! Our babbling tongues pour forth so many foolish and ill-considered words. Learn of Jesus the dignity of timely silence.
2. Yet Jesus spoke when occasion required. He said enough to Pilate to convince him not only of His innocence, but of His claim to be king. Pilate was half-inclined to listen. He could not help recognizing in some degree the divine beauty of the Son of God amid all His humiliations. So the Catholic Church manifests herself to the world in a way that is sufficient to attract men of good will. There are few who have not the chance of recognizing her claims. Her beauty even in her humiliations and amid the sins of men shines forth as did the beauty of her Divine Spouse.
3. Pilate's long experience tells him plainly enough that the Jews are all wrong and Christ is right. His practiced eye detects the malice of the Jews, their hatred of their Victim, their selfishness and unscrupulous cruelty. He longs to release Christ; he knows he ought to do so, but he fears the Jews, lest he be reported as favoring revolt. Human respect overcomes his convictions, and he has not the courage to set Jesus free. How fatal is cowardice in things divine!
Source: The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ - Short Meditations for Everyday in Lent, by Richard F. Clarke, S.J. Imprimatur 1889