Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 10th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 10 “Jesus is stripped of his garments”


And when they came to a place called Golgotha, they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
And when they had crucified him,
they divided his clothes among themselves
by casting lots;
then they sat down there and kept watch over him.
(Matthew 27:33-36)




The executioners pull Jesus upright
and, half propping him up so that he does not fall,
they seize the bleeding body with tough hands
in order, with the others, to pull off the garment that sticks to the wounds
and to keep it for themselves as desirable booty.
Later, when the work is done, they will cast lots for that garment.
Jesus suffers that contumely, that shame.
Their hands are already stained with blood.
They do not care about Jesus.
As a lamb that is being slaughtered, he does not open his mouth.
He shivers and trembles from helplessness and fever.
Deep in their sockets only the eyes mirror the tortured anguish,
now doubled through shame
at again standing stripped before the eyes of his enemies,
whose minds, at sight of that bloodied body,
are filled with new thirst for blood.
The fierce noonday sun directs its otherwise so beneficial light
on that naked body, and warmth causes all his wounds to smart more. —
My God, it is terrible.
Must everything work together to make you suffer?
Are human beings not cruel enough
that even the insects must come to drink your blood
and infect all your wounds?
Oh, had you at least been left your garments as a human person,
to hide your frightful mistreatment from the eyes of those who revel in it.
But ah, this is only the prelude.
Only the sight of you nailed to the cross
will begin to appease their cruel desire.


Rolf Willemsen, O. Carm.
Fr. Rolf "Nepi" Willemsen, O. Carm., is a Carmelite priest living in Joliet, IL.
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