Lord Jesus, you were stripped of your garments, exposed to shame, cast out of society. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam, and you healed it. You also take upon yourself the sufferings and the needs of the poor, the outcasts of our world. And in this very way you fulfil the words of the prophets. This is how you bring meaning into apparent meaninglessness. This is how you make us realize that your Father holds you, us, and the whole world in his hands. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence, and in all the situations in which we encounter him. Clothe us in the light of your grace.
Jesus is stripped of his garments
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
From the Gospel according to John 19:23
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom.
Jesus is at the soldiers’ mercy. As is the case with every condemned person, he is stripped to humiliate him, to reduce him to nothing. Indifference, contempt and disregard for the dignity of the human person here are joined to greed, covetousness and private interest: “They took his garments”.
Your robe, Jesus, was seamless.
This shows the care shown for you
by your mother and your followers.
Now you find yourself disrobed, Jesus,
and you experience the distress of those at the mercy
of people lacking respect for the human person.
How many people have suffered and continue to suffer because of this lack of respect for the human person, for their privacy. At times we too may not have shown the respect due to the personal dignity of our neighbors by being possessive of those closest to us, a child or a husband or a wife or a relative, someone we know or a stranger. In the name of our supposed freedom we impinge upon the freedom of others: how casual, how negligent we have been in our way of acting and treating one another!
Jesus, who let himself be exposed in this way to the eyes of the world of his time and to the eyes of mankind in every age, reminds us of the grandeur of the human person and the dignity which God gives to each man and woman; nothing and no one should violate this dignity, for we are made in the image of God. Ours is the task of promoting respect for the human person and for his or her body. In particular, the spouses among us have been given the task of uniting these two fundamental and inseparable realities: personal dignity and complete self-giving.