>> Thursday, February 26, 2009
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
We adore You, O Christ, and we 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 25:36-41
Lord Jesus, Your whole life has been
a perfect offering to the Father,
and here in the garden You will not
withdraw from Your mission of freeing all of Creation
by taking upon Yourself every fallenness and transforming it.
Yet we see You struggling with what is before You.
Your friends recently saw You
transfigured on the mountain
and then You demonstrated that love means service
by washing their feet,
but now they cannot reach beyond themselves
or be available to You in this profound sorrow;
a sorrow so deep Your sweat is mingled with blood.
You are alone with the Father.So often we feel overwhelmed
and want to ask that we might be relieved of our burdens.
You have shown us that these feelings are natural
and this cry is acceptable,
as long as we echo Your ultimate submission to the Father.
Lord, give us the strength to surrender our wills to You,
so that in all things we may know the wisdom of
letting go, and we might always say,
“Not my will, but Yours be done.”
Teach us to trust in the power of self-giving love
and to understand that we need not rely on our own strength,
because Your grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9).
Sometimes, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1)
means simply remaining where we are when we want to run.
May Your submission to the Father encourage us
to trust in Love.