STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Station 10: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Location: Sidewalk of Capitol Square, at W. Mifflin St. and N. Carroll St., across from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
The soldiers divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ (Matthew 27:35b-37)
The Roman soldiers seem like villains in the Gospel story, cruel and callous. But they were like soldiers everywhere: a long way from home, doing their job, following orders. Like law enforcement officers everywhere, they were charged with keeping the peace, just or unjust, and enforcing the law, fair or unfair. And like soldiers and law enforcement everywhere, they were trying to stay alive, body and spirit.
A few moments ago we passed a memorial to Wisconsin law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Now we stand near the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum, which tells the stories of men and women who served in America’s wars from the Civil War to the present. The museum is an outreach of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which is dedicated to serving those who have served our nation in the armed forces, recognizing the lasting impact of military service on bodies, minds, and spirits.
Those soldiers gambling for Jesus’ clothing: what scars and stories did they carry home, when their service to the Roman Empire was ended?
A Prayer for Those in the Armed Forces
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces, and of all nations, at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy and mighty,
Holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.