June - To clothe the naked
"You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness." (Psalm 30:12)
Today, man is often found naked. He is naked in front of his own weaknesses and sins; and therefore, he is naked before God. But he also finds himself naked in front of others, the society that judges him. There, naked is he who often has lost his dignity as a person, because of poverty or the lack of work has stripped him of his essence. This is especially evident in the war-affected populations, due to which they have had to leave everything, their homes, their families, their work, to escape from conflicts and persecutions. Today, this nakedness affects thousands of migrants from (and in) the Middle East who run away to find a new hope of life, but who may plan to seek in the future their way back home. In Jordan, there are more than 1.5 million who have been forced by the crisis in Syria and Iraq to leave their homes: the Holy Father wanted to give them a new dignity, “clothing them” with the possibility of starting a new job in order to help themselves and above all, their families. This is the “Garden of Mercy” project, which will be implemented by Caritas Jordan at the Center of Our Lady of Peace in Amman.
Man’s path from birth to death is marked with nakedness. Life begins with nakedness and ends with nakedness. In the Old Testament, nakedness usually refers to the loss of human dignity and therefore, the recognition of man’s own existential limits. But, the Lord, a God merciful and full of grace, takes care of the creature made in His image, provides for man and woman leather garments and clothes them. God helps them to cover their fragility, reminding with this gesture that He is a Father who always takes care of his children. The leather garments are image of promise for a future return to the true dignity of the children of God. Clothed with the tunic of God’s children, we are also called to clothe the naked, not giving to the poor clothes that are left over or out of fashion, but giving them what we hold most beautiful, clothing them with the same love with which Christ has clothed us. Therefore, to clothe the naked is to promote the person in his wholeness.
“How often I have seen Jesus in the poor! We must treat them as our patrons” St. Luigi Orione