Monday, March 31, 2014

10th Station of the Cross

Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

  Jesus has come to the spot where He will lose His life. He is tired and beaten down. Now as He stands there before the masses He is stripped of His garments. He stands before them exposed and humiliated. 

   Before Jesus is nailed to the cross for forgiveness of our sins He is stripped down, almost naked. Almost fully exposed to the world. There are a few ways that come to mind about being stripped down and exposed. 

   The first is with confession/ reconciliation.  This is how we need to be when we are asking for forgiveness and God’s Love. We need to strip away those sins and expose who is under all those layers to Jesus so we may know and feel that sense of forgiveness and love. The idea of going to confession bothers some because they feel they are like Jesus and will be exposed. That the Priest will hold them to those sins that we are confessing. Yes, I must admit sometimes it is hard to expose my sins but after it is done there is that feeling of release. 

    The second is part of my retreat experience this past weekend. I was stripped of those outside connections to the world. Stripped of the noises and voices. I was stripped of , not only, my connections to the world but of a voice for the weekend. I am someone who’s phone is constantly checked, used to text, and check facebook. When I am home the TV is on, the phone is by my side and the computer is on. There is that constant chatter. Yet, this weekend, those things were silent. I needed those things to be stripped from me so I can focus and be disconnected to the world so I may reconnect with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and Mary. 

     If someone asked you “ Who are you? Tell me about yourself ? Explain to me what makes you, you?” What would you say? Would you list your occupation? Your Marital status? Children? Religion? Where you live? Would you say what you own and have? Each one of these are layers that we place on ourselves or allow them to be placed on us by others. If you now strip all of that away, who are you? What is at your core? It is only when we strip all of the titles or categories can we see that at the core we are all children of God. All of the titles and layers we add, shape how we are and viewed in the world. We have to be exposed and stripped so others see first and foremost that we belong to God. That we are not ashamed of being who we truly are meant to be in the world. 

      We do not want to be stripped and exposed because we do not want to see the mocking glances of others, hear their whispers or face rejection of who we really are inside. Jesus stood as He was stripped of the earthly garments to not expose Himself but the sins of the world. When we go before God we will be stripped of all those things that are of this secular world so we may hope to gain the Heavenly Kingdom. Really look at yourself and strip down all those things that bind you to this world so you can stand before God. Strip down so you may gain forgiveness and salvation.    

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may you expose your true self to not only others but to yourself as well.   

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 245
Reading 1
EZ 47:1-9, 12
The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water, 
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, “Have you seen this, son of man?”
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. 
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. 
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
JN 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
“Do you want to be well?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
“It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 
He answered them, “The man who made me well told me,
‘Take up your mat and walk.’“
They asked him,
“Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
“Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus

because he did this on a sabbath.

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