V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
From the Gospel according to John 19: 23–24
The soldiers took the garments of Jesus and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
Jesus is stripped of his garments. We have reached the final act of the tragedy, begun with the arrest in the Garden of Olives, in which Jesus is stripped of his dignity as a human being, much less than as God’s Son.
Jesus appears naked before the eyes of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the eyes of all humanity. In a profound way it is right that this should be so. For he divested his very self in order to sacrifice himself for our sake. So the gesture of being stripped of his garments is is also the fulfilment of a prophecy of Holy Scripture.
As we look upon Jesus naked on the cross, we feel deep within us a compelling need to look upon our own nakedness, to stand spiritually naked before ourselves, but first of all before God and before our brothers and sisters in humanity. We need to be stripped of the pretence of appearing better than we are, and to seek to be sincere and transparent.
The way of acting that, perhaps more than any other, provoked Jesus’s disdain was hypocrisy. How often did he tell his disciples not to act “as the hypocrites do” (Mt 6:2, 5, 16). Or say to those who impugned his good deeds: “Woe to you, hypocrites” (Mt 23:13, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29).
Lord Jesus, hanging naked on the cross, grant that I too may stand naked before you.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Sancta mater, istud agas,
© Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana