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A Meditation on Jesus in the Garden

Lord,

I read passages about the last days of your life. You foretold everything that would happen to you and to your loved ones, who spent most of their time with You, though they watched You in disbelief.

They saw Your miracles with their own eyes, recognized God in You, and began to trust that You were truly the Savior promised to them. Yet, they were not prepared for the events that followed.

You had been telling the truth among people for a long time. You had done well, but one of them decided to betray You and made a special deal at the cost of Your life.

Lord, it was some of those closest to You who betrayed God, told untruths and lies about You, shunned the responsibility for Your condemnation and passed it on to one another, and, finally, participated in Your murder. No one would believe that You could really rise again, even though you promised them so.

And there You were, among them, in peace, with dignity. You spoke the truth, and nothing shook You. You accepted the Father’s challenge of giving Your life so everyone would have a second chance. Your goal was to allow them to accept Your unconditional love and freedom.

Lord, in Gethsemane, You trembled as You looked to Your future and realized what awaited You. It was then that You finally realized that fulfilling the Father’s will meant going uncompromisingly through cruel, painful suffering, abandonment, and death.

Lord, I know from Your disciples that we are so very human. I am like them in many ways and see so much of my behavior in them.

I used to think that the disciples who accompanied Jesus in the garden of suffering were indifferent. Today, I look at them with compassion because they could not bear this weight, this sorrow that surrounded You, Jesus. They were asleep to all the pain and suffering You were radiating because they couldn’t take it anymore.

Although the words with which You awakened them sound like reproaches, I understand them quite differently today. I see them as a reminder to observe You in this last struggle, that they can endure the weight of their struggles as they go through the trials of faith, the suffering of persecution, and martyrdom in the mission to which You have called them.

Lord, you invite me to look to you, to your struggle, so that I may find in my struggles your merciful gaze and your guidance. I am not meant to succumb to pain, but through Your eyes, I can accept my weaknesses and the weaknesses of others that surround me and hurt me just as they hurt You.

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