Have You Ever Been Powerless?
Have You Ever Been Powerless … Stripped of Your Dignity …Your Rights …Your Possessions?

This month, as we continue journeying with Jesus on his “Way of the Cross’, we come to Station 10: Jesus is Stripped of his Garments. Here, we are invited to reflect back on both Mary MacKillop’s and our own experiences of being powerless and vulnerable.

Station 10: Jesus is Stripped of his Garments

A suggestion:

  • First: reflect upon what is happening to Jesus in this ninth Station
  • Next: ponder the Moments in the life of Mary MacKillop
  • Finally: reflect upon how this links with your own life
 They divided his garments among them by casting lots.
Matthew 27:35

The stripping of Jesus gives emphasis to his vulnerability. Jesus stands naked before those who would deride and mock him. Then a scarlet cloak is put around him. This cloak alerts us to the true nature of the one who is scorned as red represents the colour of royalty.  There is irony in the condemnation of Jesus as “King of the Jews” for in this stripping of garments Scripture is being fulfilled, the one who is now mocked, truly is the Messiah. In the end Jesus’ own poor rejected garments are given more value than he is, only they are worth casting lots for.

Moments in the Life of Mary MacKillop
When I could not see my way God kept my heart full of trust to make all come right.Mary MacKillop 1885

Mary MacKillop is no stranger to vulnerability she knows the reality of losing everything.  After her excommunication Mary becomes the ‘rejected one’.  She and her Sisters find themselves with no money, or place to live and with no sense of how they might continue their mission.  Yet her strong belief in the providence of God gives her strength.  She writes, “What matter if we have no convent.  Don’t you remember ‘The foxes have their holes and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head…..?  I have always loved that, but now more than ever.  Don’t you see the protecting and beautiful hand of God in all that is happening?”

Moments in My Life

  • What do I cling to in order to give life meaning?
  • When did I last share with God my own feelings of vulnerability?

Take a moment to reflect in silence upon these aspects of your life.  We can easily be caught up in consumerism and find meaning in our possessions, clinging to the safety of what we know.  When we insist in trying to control our lives we create a sort of inner darkness that  gets in the way of following Jesus.


Jesus, you challenged the rich young man to find meaning in following you, rather than in his wealth. As I stand before you in my own vulnerability may I be confident that everything I need is already at hand. Let my fears and anxieties fall away, awaken within me the desire to find a new, simpler way of living.

Transform my heart until it rests in you.

Forgive my need to be in control, free my mind from all that holds me captive.  Help me to refocus on what is really of value, what gives me life.  May I learn like Mary MacKillop to trust in your providence.

Download the print version of the reflection (PDF)

Stations of the Cross: A Journey with St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Valerie DeBrenni

© 2012 Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart

Available for purchase @ $7.95 from Mary MacKillop Place Bookshop, Mount Street, North Sydney, or online


Station 10, Mary MacKillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney. Used with permission.
“Jesus is Stripped’ – Mary Ryan rsj. Used with permission.