1 Corinthians 4:9-13
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, as though sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to mortals. We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in ‘disrepute. To the present hour, we are hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clothed and beaten and homeless, and we grow weary from the work of our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly. We have become like the rubbish of the world, the dregs of all
things, to this very day.
2 Corinthians 5:1-7
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Please take time to reflect on the image below.
Meditations from our Preachers.
From Adeela Msomi
Part of the indignity is to be crucified naked. Jesus is completely stripped of any pride. The wounds on his back are torn open again. He experiences the ultimate vulnerability of the defenseless. No shield or security protects him. As they stare at him, his eyes turn to heaven.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
I pause to watch the stripping. I contemplate all that is taken from him and how he faces his death with such nakedness. I reflect upon how much of himself he has revealed to me holding nothing back.
As I look at him in his humility, I know that this is for me, and I share my feelings of gratitude.
From Revd Dr Canon Delysia Timm
Peoples stripped of their culture
1st Reader: it was high noon, and the sun shone brightly through the trees, casting lacy shadows on the earth. Few noticed the dark clouds forming on the distant horizon as Jesus, weak and exhausted, approached the top of the hill of Golgotha. A soldier grabbed his clothes and ripped open the wounds that had already congealed. Others took his seamless cloak and cast lots as to whom it should belong. Jesus was left naked in the presence of the bystanders, his body caked with blood.
“Father, my Father, I feel so empty, so alone! Where did they all go? Have mercy on those who have forsaken me in this darkness! Peter, why did you leave me? You should not have gone. Judas what happened between us? Father, I feel so cold. How can I be cold in the burning sun? Will home be warm? I’m scared! It hurts! Father, don’t leave me! All have left me: I have been stripped naked: I am totally despoiled of everything; I feel preyed upon, a scapegoat, humiliated! I am a nobody: an object of derision!
Were you there when they stripped Him of His clothes? (x2)
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they stripped Him of His clothes.
2nd Reader: How many of our brothers and sisters the world over have been stripped of their cultures, their values, their traditions, their way of life! That has happened in their social life, and unfortunately also in their religious life. In the name of religion they have been deprived of meaningful ways of prayer, celebration, relationship with God! These people feel deprived of their most sacred heritage, made naked of all that was meaningful in their lives, despoiled of all that had been developed through centuries under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and with the co-operation of the people themselves.
And, what is even worse, they have been made to feel ashamed of their culture, their past legacy, their sacred heritage! They, like Jesus stripped of all that was his, feel naked, ashamed of themselves, their past, the ineffable and the most sacred patrimony of religious beliefs and practices.
Lord Jesus, you became like us to remind us that all that is human is good, all that is developed by people contains many elements of goodness and should be respected and venerated. And yet we, in the name of a Western version of Christianity, have deprived people of that goodness, and made them ashamed of it!
Even if this was done without malice, nevertheless we feel the need to ask for your forgiveness, and that of the people whom we have deprived of their most precious heritage.
Were you there when they looted people’s past? (x2)
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they looted people’s past?
too often we mouth well-meaning but hazy words of concern for our brothers and sisters in Third World Countries, who have been deprived of their culture and religious past, and left naked of their own identity. Many times we don’t even make an effort to ask for their forgiveness, and to make amends for our past arrogance, by not promoting a more indigenous church, a better inculturated style of relationship, of theology, of liturgy and moral behavior. Forgive us, Lord, and help us to change our mindset, so that all peoples may find their home in the Church.
Lord Jesus Christ crucified,
have mercy on our insensitivity to cultures and lack of respect for them.
Our Father…. Hail Mary…. Glory be…
When Jesus reaches Golgatha, he had already suffered many indignities: betrayal, denial, judgment, scourging, mockery, and ridicule. Then, in the moments before crucifixion, Jesus is stripped. The meager dignity, protection, and comfort from his clothing is stolen from him before he is to suffer and die – naked, in front of a crowd. Out of love for us, Jesus is made even more vulnerable and dehumanized.
Much like Jesus, when people are convicted of a crime, they suffer indignities. They become inmates. Their clothes and personal belongings are taken away, chipping away at their sense of self. Some are even condemned to death. Whether justly or wrongfully convicted, they are dehumanized.
Lord Jesus Christ, you were made human like us and suffered many indignities. Help us to recognize the innate dignity from your Father, our Creator, in all those around us, and guide us as we seek to restore lost dignity in those who are incarcerated or have been recently released. Amen
Lord Jesus Christ, Lamb of God,
inspire in us the courage to offer ourselves
completely to you.
Give us the grace to offer ourselves
completely to each other.
Let your example of endless love direct
all our choices and actions.
We pray this through Christ, our Lord.