We often hear in the Old Testament of Joseph’s special coat (cf. Gn. 37.3) or of Jonathan’s mantle to David (1 Sam 18.4). These were external signs of God’s protection and we even hear of the prophet Isaiah’s words, “I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice ….” (61.10).
When we look to the New Testament, the hem of the cloak of Jesus’ garment is touched with faith for healing (Mk 25.5). So throughout scripture, we see examples of this external expression of faith. In today’s world, those who give us the example of this external expression of faith is the Carmelite family.
Here are two pictures from 2007 reminiscent of my time at Mount Angel when David and Mark made their Solemn Vows into the Carmelite family. Today, the Church focuses her attention once again on the Virgin Mary who gave us the Brown Scapular. We wear it for her protection, her intercession, and as an external expression of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Wearing the scapular is also a real expression of our faith in the Trinity. In referencing words of the Virgin Mother, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity stated: “I bring you a scapular as a sign of my blessing and my love and, at the same time, as a sign of the mystery, which will be accomplished in you. I come to fully clothe you in Jesus Christ so that you may be rooted in him, the royal way, in the depths of the abyss, with the Father and the Spirit of love.”
So in this midpoint of July, official members of the Carmelite family or not, how are we externally living out our faith which is rooted in our baptism into the mysterious life of the Trinity? Serve each other, feed the poor, visit those in prison. The scapular is that external reminder to walk the walk of Jesus with Mary at our side. After all, they will know we are Christians by our love.