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Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
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Text of the Stations of the Cross for 2020, led by Pope Francis

POPE VIA CRUCIS

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Aleteia - published on 04/09/20

Tenth Station
Jesus is stripped of his garments

Walwyn | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

(Meditation by a prison teacher)

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots” (Jn 19:23-24).

As a teacher in a prison, I see people entering jail deprived of everything: stripped of all dignity because of the crimes they have committed, stripped of all respect for themselves and for others. Every day I see how they become more and more dependent behind bars: they need me even to help write a letter. These are the unsettled lives entrusted to my care: helpless, frustrated by their weakness, frequently deprived of even the ability to understand the wrong they have done. At times, however, they are like newborn babies who can still be formed. I sense that their lives can start over in another direction, definitively turning away from evil.

My strength, however, is fading day by day. Encountering daily all this anger, pain and hidden malice ends up wearing down even the most experienced of us. I chose this work after my mother was killed in a head-on collision by a young drug addict: I decided to respond immediately to that evil with good. But even though I love this job, I sometimes struggle to find the strength to carry on.

In so sensitive a service, we need to feel that we are not abandoned, in order to be able to support the many lives entrusted to us, lives that each day run the risk of ruin.

Lord Jesus, when we gaze at you stripped of your garments we feel embarrassed and ashamed. Beginning with the first man, in the face of the naked truth we started to run away. We hide behind masks of respectability and clothe ourselves with lies, frequently with the threadbare rags of the poor, exploited by our greedy thirst for money and power. May the Father have mercy on us and patiently help us to become more simple, more transparent, more authentic: ready to abandon definitively the weapons of hypocrisy.

Let us pray.

O God, you set us free by your truth. Strip us of our interior resistance and clothe us with your light, that we may be the reflection of your glory in the world. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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