We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Matthew 26: 36-41
Jesus had his last supper with His disciples. He had told Peter that he will deny Him three times, and Peter said in response, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” Now, Jesus, his soul “sorrowful even to death” asks Peter, James, and John to stay with Him and pray with Him.
How do they respond? They fall asleep. Even though they had witnessed the Transfiguration, they all fall asleep. As much as they loved Jesus, followed Jesus, worked miracles in His name, and believed in Him, these three closest friends could not overcome their human frailty.
Jesus, the Incarnate, in His human nature, facing an excruciating death, prays “not as I will, but as you will.” He accepts His Father’s will, and He “obeys, even unto death.”
What does this say for us? It tells us to be careful not to presume that our faith is strong. That it is strong enough to undergo the test. We are weak, frail, human beings. It tells us that Jesus knows how weak we are. We need to know it too. We need humility in our faith.
We need to recognize our weakness. We need to give up reliance on our own strength and learn to put our trust in God. We need to pray, with Jesus, for the humility to accept and obey the Father’s will in our lives.
Jesus shows us the way. We need to follow.
Lord, grant us your strength and wisdom, that we may seek to follow your will in all things. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father... Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you. May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By Barbara Flynn