Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fig leaves and nakedness

The proliferation of news and social media outlets around the world in recent years has manifested in an even greater awareness of the sins and failings of humanity. Scandal and shame are splashed across our screens and pages at every moment through the day and night.

We feed and are duly fed constantly on a varied diet of the sins of others. Nakedness is news. It’s demanded, provided and consumed. It’s our sustenance. It has become our daily bread. And so we become what we eat.

When Jesus reached Golgotha, his place of execution, he was stripped of his garments and exposed to the crowd. They jeered and taunted him. The soldiers gambled for his clothes, something of far more value to them than a person judged a criminal who would soon be put to death.

Our first parents went without garments in the Garden but as soon as they sinned, ate the forbidden fruit, they realised their nakedness and covered themselves with fig-leaves. In their nakedness, their sinfulness, they became fearful and attempted to hide from God.

When Jesus was stripped of his garments, it wasn’t his own nakedness that was revealed, but the sins of the world he had come to redeem. Redemption is the Good News.

The world can be quick to condemn but The Way of the Cross is an example of how condemnation and wrong judgement leads to death. The first station is: Jesus is CONDEMNED to DEATH, and station by station we witness how condemnation finally leads to death by those who choose to reveal our nakedness.

Does Jesus condemn, or do we condemn ourselves?

Jesus became the condemned for all mankind, allowing himself to be wrapped in our nakedness so that soldiers and sinners can be covered in holiness, the garments of Christ. We are never naked when clothed in Christ.

“All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ...” Galatians 3 : 27

Dear children! Today I want to wrap you all in my mantle and lead you all along the way of conversion. Dear children, I beseech you, surrender to the Lord your entire past, all the evil that has accumulated in your hearts. I want each one of you to be happy, but in sin nobody can be happy. Therefore, dear children, pray, and in prayer you shall realise a new way of joy. Joy will manifest in your hearts and thus you shall be joyful witnesses of that which I and my Son want from each one of you. I am blessing you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
Medjugorje message, February 25, 1987

Illustration by William Blake: Soldiers casting lots for Christ’s garments