God made the sinless one into sin, our sin, my sin, that in him we might become the goodness of God.  And yet since the beginning of creation we have been denying our sin, that sin for which He emptied himself of his divinity, became man and endured His passion and death. We have been covering our nakedness up, hiding our reality from God, from ourselves and from one another. We don’t wish to be seen for who we are .But until we know in every fibre of our being that we are sinners utterly in need of a Saviour, Jesus passion and death has been in vain. How can we look on the one we have pierced, the one we profess to love and not make it our life’s vocation to know and own our sinfulness, that we might know and own how deeply we are loved by God.

Fr Anselm once said the purpose of lent was to be able to make a good confession at the end of it. Somehow our Journey through lent should  strip us, right down to our nakedness before God.

There was a character in Dublin when I was growing up named Johnnie Forty Coats. He wandered the streets weighed down with layers of clothing. That is what we have been doing since the first moment in the garden when Adam and Eve realised that they were naked and sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.   We dress ourselves in all our finery, our gifts of nature and grace, our talents, our jobs, our achievements, our power, our self respect, even, god help us, our virtue. And we compare our finery with that of others and so envy and jealousy, hurt and anger, anxiety and restlessness dog our steps.

So maybe our lenten journey should be about allowing ourselves to be undressed, garment by garment.  What if I were just to spend Lent listening, paying attention to my reactions and responses to the events of life as they impact on me?  All my emotional reactions are saying something to me about me in relation to each situation, person ,happening that I encounter during the course of the day. Am I willing to see this as gift and to receive this as gift? To allow life  to strip me as Jesus was stripped of his garments until I stand in truth before him, naked. Jesus hung naked on the Cross so that we may see our naked in its true glory- the place the only place from where we may be clothed with the goodness of God.

Hanging naked on the Cross, divested of His glory Jesus creates Community. In his one body he broke down the wall diving them and keeping them enemies and made out of the two, one new people in union with himself thereby making peace. In the awareness of our sinfulness, our nakedness, our weakness we  become community. We are one in our need for God’s mercy. Of  ourselves we, each one of us are nothing, in Jesus may we become the goodness of God.