MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: The 36. Meditation of the division of his Garments

JACOPO del CASENTINO 
Crucifixion 
1340-45

The 36. Meditation of the division of his Garments.
Then the Soldiers, when they had crucified him, took his garments, ( and made four parts, to every Solider a part) and to his coat. And the coat was without seam woven all over.
Consider first the poverty of Christ thy Lord: he had not change or many suits of apparel, nor the same of silk and other costly matter, but his garments were few and poor, to defend him only from the cold, and to cover his nakedness. And by tradition it is delivered ( as Euthemius witnesseth) that his coat without seam was the work of the mother of God, which she did weave with her own hands for her son, when he was a little infant: which grew miraculously as our Lord grew, and was not worn nor torn out in all that long time: the like whereof is rehearsed in holy Scripture to have happened to the children of Israel” that thou mayest learn by the example of thy Lord to forsake all curiosity  and superfluity, as well in apparel as in other things.

Consider secondly, the liberality of the spouse : he had already given his body, shed his blood, and spent his youthful years for thee: and now he giveth a few poor garments, leaving nothing for himself, but nails, thorns, spitings, and blood, clouded on his body. Behold the riches of thy spouse, who hath no place to rest his head, but on the thorny pillows of his crown. Do thou ask him, where he feted, where he will rest at noon, in this heat of his charity? and esteeming this ignominious poverty of the Cross, to be the greatest riches, run naked to him, that is naked. 

Consider thirdly the scoffing of the Soldiers in this division of his garments, and casting of lots, when every one catches a piece for himself, as of the attire of the King of the Jews. Do thou also sun and gather up at least the hem of his garment, that is to say, esteem highly of all those things, which any way appertain to the passion of Christ, as,his Sacraments, his words, his Church, and his justifications. 

Consider fourthly, that the four executioners of Christ cut his vestment into four parts; that the four Evangelists should sow up our Lords coat in the four corners of the world: to whom be the also an aid and helper, and by thy holy life and doctrine join together the Church of Christ, which is just and divided by many Heresies. Cover the poor of Christ with thy garment, and pray our Lord, that he being now clothed with light, as with a garment, will by the light of his grace clothe thy nakedness, and with mercy adorn thy soul.

~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J.

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