Good Friday Reflection Station 5: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

from Joan Chittister, OSB

station 5Fifth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments


When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And they divided his garments among them by casting lots. This was to fulfill the scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them; they cast lots for my clothing.”



This station confronts us with the inevitable in every life: Somewhere along the way, we each get stripped of what we have spent our lives acquiring, of things closest to our hearts, of possessions or positions that made us who we thought we were. Then, thrown back upon ourselves, we are left to discover who we have really become. It is a frightening moment, often an embarrassing one, always a difficult one. So much of life is spent attending to the show and glitter, the masks and trappings, the externals of our personal identities that we fail to notice what is missing inside of us. We don’t miss what we don’t have within us until we need it most. Then the lack of dignity, of self-containment, of simple joy, of deep serenity, of holy trust, of genuine humility become glaringly apparent. Then we are ready to become someone worthwhile.


What is underneath the garments of pomp, authority, dignity and wealth that we have so carefully cultivated around us? Anything at all?



Jesus, when I lose everything in life I depend on to give me status and give me security, help me to find myself in you, full to the brim with a sense of the fullness that comes with faith and purity of heart. Amen.


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