While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day. (Matthew 28: 11-15)
It seems almost incredible, doesn't it? Even in the face of what might be a miraculous action of the God that they serve, the chief priests are willing to perjure themselves in order to protect their--their what? Well, we can't really know. Perhaps they were just afraid. Perhaps they felt their own faith to be threatened. Some of them may have been concerned about their status or their authority. Some may have had noble motives, and some ignoble. We can't really know, but what we can clearly see is that they were willing to do something that they knew was objectively wrong to achieve their ends.
We know that this is business as usual. It could almost be a Netflix drama. These are the enemies of the Truth, and sometimes it seems as though those who have given their lives to the Truth are at a great disadvantage. They can't use any of the weapons that seem to be effective in this world: lies, hatred, vituperation. They can only stand firm and insist on speaking and living the Truth. In the eyes of the world, they seem to be weak, and they seem to be losing, but Our Lord has showed us that there is only one way to triumph in this life, and that is to be willing to lose it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I'm not quite through with Giotto yet. I plan to post a couple of things about the history of the Arena Chapel sometime this week.