|Posted on November 19, 2018 at 6:35 AM|
What is your Gethsemane?
Do you know about the Garden of Gethsemane? Gethsemane is in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. It is the place where Jesus went after celebrating the Passover with His disciples, and where Jesus agonized deeply about what He would soon experience. Although Jesus took three of His closest friends along, they provided little in the way of moral support. Perhaps they were sleepy from the cups of wine, or maybe they were just tired from the full day they had experienced. Whatever the reason, they could not stay awake with Jesus.
Jesus knew what was going to happen. He even asked the Father if the suffering could be avoided, and there in the garden He anguished about it. But Jesus’ human friends were not able to help him. So Jesus prayed alone in the garden, a garden filled with olive trees.
I just returned from a trip to the Holy Land in Israel. While on this pilgrimage I walked in a portion of the land that made up the Garden of Gethsemane at the time of Jesus. Huge olive trees stood in the garden behind wrought iron fencing. Our guide explained that some of these trees are estimated to be over 2,500 years old. The photo on this post is one of those old trees. I stared at the trees. Did Jesus walk amidst these trees? Did he touch their trunks on the way to the rock where he spent his hour of agony?
At that moment, I wondered what would have happened if it had been me with Jesus in the garden that night. Could I have kept watch for one hour? Would I, like the disciples, have fallen asleep? I probably would have been just like Peter, James and John. I know that there have been many times when I failed to keep watch with friends who were anguishing.
With the others in my group, I walked into the church that now stands beside the garden. In the center of this church is a large rock, possibly the one where Jesus prayed. We were here for an hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I spent that one hour in prayer, watching and waiting with Jesus. Although hundreds of others were there in that church, I felt like I was alone with Jesus, just Him and I. In this short hour, I asked for forgiveness for the many times when I had fallen asleep. And I cried - a lot. When the hour was complete, I was drained but I also had a sense of peace. I had been able to be with Jesus, fully present for one hour.
I believe we all go through Gethsemane moments once in a while. Sometimes we are the disciples, and sometimes we may be in the place of Jesus. Are you experiencing a Gethsemane moment? If you have a friend who needs you to you keep watch with her, please do so if you can. Spend an hour with Jesus in Adoration, or even just sitting in a chapel. I pray you will be as blessed as I was in that my special hour in the Garden.
And if you are the one who needs her friends to keep watch, let me know and I will pray with you. Know that Jesus is there, and that He will always be beside you.
Have a blessed Monday!
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