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Jesus is stripped of his garments

Jesus stands naked, that we may be robed in the garment of sons


V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel according to John 19:23-24

The soldiers […] took Jesus’ garments 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 casts 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.” So the soldiers did this.

* * *

Jesus stands naked. The image of Christ stripped of his garments is richly biblical: it brings us back to the innocent nudity of our origins and to the shame of the Fall.[1]
In original innocence, nudity was the robe of man’s glory: his transparent and beautiful friendship with God. With the Fall, the harmony of that relationship is broken, nudity becomes shameful and it contains the tragic memory of that loss.
Nakedness is another word for the truth of being.
Jesus, stripped of his garments, wove from the cross the new robe of our dignity as sons and daughters of God. His seamless tunic remains there, for us, in its integrity: the garment of his divine sonship was not torn, but was bestowed upon us from the height of the cross.

Jesus most humble,
in the sight of your nakedness
we come to see what is essential
in our lives and in our joy:
that in you we are sons and daughters of the Father.
But we also see our own unwillingness
to embrace poverty as dependence on the Father,
and to accept nakedness as our the garment of our sonship.

Come, Spirit of Truth,
help us to acknowledge and bless
in every despoliation that we endure
a confrontation with the truth of our being,
an encounter with the redemptive nakedness of the Saviour,
a springboard towards filial embrace with the Father!



Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

[1] Gen 2:25; 3:7.


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