Pope Francis made a historic first visit to the U.S. this week; head long into a political climate roiling with divisive issues. With Republicans and Democrats, alike, trying to spin their way with the populist pontiff, the pope brought forth, none-the-less, a message as broad as it was focused. With the unity and soul of a seamless garment.
From his missive to the American Bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D. C. Wednesday, the pope evoked the proverbial robe; representative of royalty and stature, mockingly placed around Jesus prior to his crucifixion. As a tool to frame his social teachings and addressing the “challenges of our time” as he referred to them, Pope Francis is bringing an integrated philosophy to his spiritual methodology. It is an enlightened approach weaving the traditional with the contemporary. The pope is extolling the inter-woven nature of all divine wisdom.
The metaphor of the seamless garment is a reminder of the integrity and dignity of all life; from birth to death. And from before birth to after death. The unity of everlasting and eternal life cannot be separated, re-posited or re-purposed. Nor can the universe’s seamless garment which wraps itself around all God’s creations be partitioned. The seamless garment transcends and integrates all matters.
“And they stripped him (Jesus), and put on him a scarlet robe... And after that, they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on…” Matthew 27:28/31 (KJV)
From the Book of John (Ch. 19, KJV) , scripture tells us that after Jesus’ other garments had been separated in four parts to four soldiers, he witnessed the casting of lots for his robe (the seamless garment).
“…now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They (soldiers) said therefore, among themselves, ‘Let us not rend it, …” Shortly after, “he (Jesus) said ‘It is finished’ and he bowed his head and he gave up the ghost.”
Thus, the world was born anew. That which cannot be torn shall not. That which cannot be destroyed shall not. The universe cannot be partitioned. The earth can, however. Environment matters, as man’s actions do.
“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks did rent.” Matthew 27:51 (KJV)
Jesus’ ascendancy affirmed the Creator’s tapestry of life; the unity of light and love.There is no space between the first stitch and the last in the soul of the seamless garment. They are one in the same. Our souls are the stitch, thread and fabric.
Clearly, the out-pouring of love and attention confirm the pope; himself the son of immigrants, as a wondrous human being. His acts of compassion and humility radiate light which shines holy upon humanity’s path. Acknowledging the Christian community and their charitable actions toward the poor and oppressed, he claimed “No nation does more…” and for all Americans “to be vigilant; to protect freedom and all that might compromise it...”
He deftly challenged the U.S. with his praise. He bears and shares the soul of the seamless garment for all; to take up and wear.