Jesus is stripped of garments, the Tenth Station. This is the station that has stuck with me the most during this Lenten season. Have you had one that particularly strikes you?
Most of us don’t think past the soldiers stripping the Lord of his clothing and then casting lots for his seamless garment. It’s an important historical fact of crucifixion and worth pondering for its spiritual import as Christians. Those crucified by the Romans were stripped bare. Within the faith, we don’t have depictions of a fully naked Christ because the faith has always sought to show reverence and modestly towards the body of our Lord as he offers himself.
Shame is a result of sin. When Adam and Eve sin, they experience shame and cover themselves. It has always persisted then in fallen humanity that if one wants to shame someone, they’d strip them. One can think of the horrors of slavery and their awful treatments, a truly exemplary example of fallen humanity.
Jesus then, having been horribly beaten and bruised, now lay naked as he’s being affixed to the cross. Any of us would recoil at this thought if we were to place ourselves in the event. What if we were the ones being made bare before our friends and loved ones, before a community of those who sought our death? Our Lord, on the other hand, does not experience the shame of sin, but he allows us to see the shame of our sins on and in his body. That we cannot deny. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
This God-Man Jesus then, by taking upon himself our infirmities both bodily and spiritually, purifies the fallen human condition. This allows a way for each generation, each person to be renewed to live as God intends us. The Lord takes upon himself our sins. Sins wound the body spiritually whether or not we see them on our body. The Lord then lays bare the result and wages of our sins.
As we approach Good Friday, the shame of our sins should make us shudder. I beg you, ask forgiveness of our Merciful God. Pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet for yourself and others. May we be like the repentant thief and make amends before it’s too late.
Fr. Scott and Fr. Mark plan to trade months in offering a weekly reflection or catechesis in our future bulletins. Be sure to check out what they have to share!