Sunday, 16 March 2008

X. Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Precious things.....perhaps we do not understand what is truly precious in life until we have held it. Even then, once we have held what is truly precious several times it can seem like something 'normal'. I am not a mother, but perhaps the experience which has taught me most about the vulnerabilty of precious things is the birth of my nieces and nephews. I have held them as new born and they are the most delicate, beautiful, God given gifts. As they grow they remain just as precious and just as loved. As adults we forget that people are precious, and we have to remind ourselves not to take those that we love for granted.

'The vulnerability of precious things is beautiful because vulnerability is a mark of existence.' Simone Weil

When I hear this quote, and think about it in the context of the stations, I remember the celebration of the eucharist which is at the heart of the Catholic faith. Perhaps this is social conditioning, but perhaps it points towards the truth. Christianity is distinctly bodily. Liturgy is filled with bodily movements and it culminates in the reception of the body of Christ. Salvation is found within the body. All this was in contrast with other religions which developed alongside Christianity, many of which demanded that people needed to escape their mortal forms to reach salvation.

The body in Christianity is central. The eucharist, our reception of the precious body and blood of Christ is the most sacred moment of our worship.

All this being the case, to see Jesus, the Son of God stripped of his Garments is shocking. Perhaps it is because indignity is intended against his body. But, whose is the indignity? Jesus has done nothing wrong to deserve this shame. Perhaps the indignity that is suffered in this scene is upon those who stripped Jesus, forever remembered as immoral. Truth be told, our bodies are dignified;it is what is done to them which has the potential to be undignified.

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