The Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments.
After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots.
Like a lamb led to slaughter
or a sheep silent before shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
He was that immaculate Lamb who despised the riches and dignities of the world. He is humble and meek; he is not heard to cry out in complaint. It is overwhelming to see the sweet, kind Jesus, who rules over and provides for the whole world, and he himself in such misery and need that no one can be compared to him. Finally he dies naked upon the cross so as to clothe man once more and cover his nakedness. By committing sin [man] had been stripped, had lost the garment of grace. Hence, [Jesus] despoils himself of life and clothes us with it.
St. Catherine of Siena
Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by the story of Adam and Eve. I feel like one could spend a lifetime plumbing the depths of the riches of the story of our first parents. As I meditate on this Station, I think of two critical moments in the Genesis account:
The woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and the tree was desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Then God asked: Who told you that you were naked?
Gn 3:6-7, 11
And then, in verse 21 of the same chapter:
The Lord God made for the man and his wife garments of skin, with which he clothed them.
The image of nakedness being shameful as the result of sin only makes the stripping of Jesus that much more powerful. In this moment Jesus enters into the very depths of the human condition and takes on the shame of the whole world.
Dr. Brene Brown (self-professed “shame-ologist”) defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” And for humanity, this is more than just a feeling or belief — it’s a reality: we are unworthy and disconnected from God through our inclination to sin (concupiscence) and through the fault of our first parents (original sin).
In so emptying himself, Jesus identifies with our nakedness and shame, but he also puts off his last earthly possessions. He is completely selfless, completely unencumbered, completely available to God as the supreme Sacrifice.
He said, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!”
In exchange for his earthly garments and our shame, Jesus is clothed in the resplendent glory of the Father, and just as Adam and Eve were clothed by the skin of the animal, so now we are clothed with Christ (Gal 3:27).
For while we are in this tent we groan and are weighed down, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
2 Cor 5:4
Thanks be to God.
V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)
V: Consider how Jesus was violently stripped of His clothes by His executioners. The inner garments adhered to his lacerated flesh and the soldiers tore them off so roughly that the skin came with them. Have pity for your Savior so cruelly treated and tell Him: (Kneel)
R: My innocent Jesus,
by the torment You suffered in being stripped of Your garments,
help me to strip myself of all attachment for the things of earth
that I may place all my love in You who are so worthy of my love.
I love You, O Jesus, with all my heart;
I am sorry for ever having offended You.
Never let me offend You again.
Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)
Brene Brown “Shame v. Guilt” (see link)
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross
St. Catherine of Siena, Letter 29