What if I told you God tells us how to get dressed in the morning
How many of us woke up this morning, and without giving it much thought, got dressed? How many of us woke up this morning, and with great care, went through our wardrobe to pick out a matching pair of clothes, or outfit that was our “Sunday best?” How many of us go shopping, and when we pick out our clothes, make a point to be sure that they fit just right? How many of us go out of our way to pick out color combinations that accent the color of our skin, or the color of our eyes?
Whether or not we invest a lot of money and time, in the clothes we buy and wear, what we all have in common, is that dressing ourselves in the morning is just what we do. Saint Paul had this in mind when describing what our relationship with Jesus Christ ought to look like. What do I mean?
Among other things, the Christian vision of prayer is a daily courtship with God, where we are called to invest ourselves with the cloth of Christ each and everyday. In the light of this, it should come to no surprise that Saint Paul is very intentional in his use of “put on the new man” (Col 3:10). The Greek for “put on” is enduo, which literally translates “to put on as in clothing”, or “to sink into clothing; array yourself in cloth.”
Historically speaking, Saint Paul describes the early liturgical practice where the neophytes “put on” a white cloth symbolizing their new purity in Christ. Spiritually speaking, Saint Paul challenges us to “put on” the pure garment of the new man in virtue, and put away the dark cloth of the old man in sin (cf. CCC, 1227, 1243, 1425, 1473, 2348, 2475). In other words, like you would as if you were getting dressed each day, dress yourself with the cloth of Christ, the garment of virtue.
Collectively, ‘put on the new man’ (Christ) was an important phrase for Saint Paul when challenging the early Christian faithful to live out their baptismal call to purity and holiness in Christ. We see Paul draw this out in his treatment of law and relationship. Saint Paul points out that the Old Covenant law of circumcision is transformed by Christ in the New Covenant law of Baptism (cf. Col 2:11-12). This new law is the genesis of a new way of life. Consequently, the new man, created in the image and likeness of God, has the very specific call to “put on the armor of light…in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:12-14) with a sense of urgency as Satan tries to lure us with the enticements of the flesh (cf. Eph 4:24; Gal 3:27; Col 3:10-12). In this sense, when you wear Christ, wherever you go, you “put on” incorruption (cf. 1 Cor 15:53-54).
That being said, imagine the day when you wake up, and dressing yourselves with prayer and invocation to God is the first thing you do. Saint Paul is exhorting us to see that we have this call to dress ourselves in Christ with great care; mindful that our “Sunday best” is everyday in the Christian journey of faith. So let us live a life of virtue, choosing to dress ourselves with the cloths of purity and holiness; the garments that bring out not just the color of our eyes, but the interior light of life within.