Clothing the naked is mentioned in the Bible since the beginning of mankind. God clothed Adam and Eve after realizing they were naked (cf. Gen 3:21). The prophet Isaiah asks us: “When you see the naked, clothe them” (Is 58:7). Our Redeemer tells us that if a person has two coats, he should give one away (cf. Luke 3:11). St. James, in his Letter, teaches us: “What good is it if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-16). To clothe the naked, it is the one of the Corporal Works of Mercy.
Jesus calls us to do something for those who are shivering from cold, especially now, during the winter season. He calls us not to establish a committee to develop a plan for it, but to do it. To really and truly clothe the naked, because, this way, we are clothing Jesus Himself.
Five large bags of clothes were donated to this year Annual Flea Market of the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer. When we went through the bags we found them not to be in good condition. What to do with them? Throw them away? We had to decide.
My husband and I sorted, mended (replaced buttons, repaired seams), washed and dried them. It took us many days to do it, but everything was fresh and clean. We packed the bags and the Sisters delivered them to Intersection (a mission store) in McKeesport.
Clothing provides for two basic human needs: protection and dignity. Doing this, with the donated clothes, we not only clothed the naked, but we also gave them hope and pride in their appearance.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).
Louise K., SDR Associate Member