Pilate therefore said to Him, “You will not speak to me? Do You not know that I have power to release You, and power to crucify You?”
Pilate was a very big fish at the top of the food chain. There was nothing he did not know about Roman power politics and What It Takes to Make It in the World. He had a long resume of accomplishments in the Roman bureaucracy and had led a life of Distinguished Public Service. If Barbara Walters had shown up at his door to do a profile on him and asked him “What will you be remembered for?” he probably would have given a sober, thoughtful assessment of his economic policies, his achievements in the military, his grace under political pressure from Special Interests – the usual Blah Blah. It would have ended with the normal faux humility we expect from “public servants”: “I’m not saying I’m perfect. But I know I’ve tried to do the best darn job I know how.” His life stands as one huge cautionary tale. For he is remembered – every day, in every Mass and Rosary, in every language of the world: “Crucified under Pontius Pilate.” Our lives are destined to be remembered either for displaying the Power of the Powerless Virgin who said “Yes” to God, or for displaying the Powerlessness of the Powerful Pilate who used his power to crucify the Son of God. These are the only two mortals mentioned in the Creed. These image the only two destinies we mortals ultimately can choose.