Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Tenth Station

Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

When our Lord arrives at Calvary, he is given some wine to drink mixed with gall, as a narcotic to lessen in some way the pain of the crucifixion.  But Jesus, after tasting it to show his gratitude for that kind service, he has not wanted to drink (cf. Mt 27:34).  He gives himself up to death with the full freedom of love.

Then the soldiers strip Christ of his garments.

From the soles of his feet to the top of his head, there is nothing healthy in him:  wounds and bruises and swelling sores.  They are not bound up, nor dressed, nor anointed with oils (Is 1:6).

The executioners take his garments and divide them into four parts.  But the cloak is without seam, so they say:  It would be better not to tear it, but let us cast lots for it to see whose it shall be (Jn 19:24).

Thus Scripture is again fulfilled:  They divided my garments among them, and upon my vesture they cast lots (Ps 21:19).

Despoiled, stripped, left in the most absolute poverty, our Lord is left with nothing, save the wood of the cross.  For us to reach God, Christ is the way; but Christ is on the cross, and to climb up to the cross we must have our heart free, not tied to earthly things.