Who are you wearing?
The oddly phrased question was obligatory for anyone interviewing celebrities on the red carpet Sunday evening at the Oscars: “Who are you wearing?”
In other words, who designed your dress? Who gave you that necklace?
Jessica Chastain was wearing Armani. Halle Berry was decked out in Versace. Charlize Theron wore Dior. And surprise best picture presenter Michelle Obama was glam in Naeem Khan.
But how cool would it have been in this Year of Faith if one celebrity — by the way, males were also asked “Who are you wearing?” — would have answered to the global audience, “Why, I’m wearing . . . Jesus.”
In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul urges believers to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” as we “cast off the deeds of darkness.” On Feb. 20, a busload of diocesan participants to the “Defend Marriage” lobby day prayed the rosary in order to “put on the mind of Christ” before they arrived at the State Capitol.
As we continue through Lent, the church is asking us to put on Jesus through increased prayer, fasting, almsgiving, Scripture reading, etc. And in this Year of Faith, there is a special emphasis on the perfect “changing room” to clothe ourselves in Christ: the confessional for the sacrament of reconciliation.
There all of us, celebrity status not required, can meet and wear the Grand Designer. What we receive and experience — God’s unfathomable mercy, forgiveness, a clear conscience, salvation — is worth far more than any statuette handed out or gown worn on Sunday night. And the standing invitation to come is of greater significance than being welcomed at an A-list Hollywood party.
Let’s not miss the opportunity. We promise there will be no paparazzi. But we will get noticed if we show with our lives just Who we are wearing. — Thomas J. Dermody