Holy Thursday

Brothers and Sisters,  Peace be with you this day !

 Today is Holy Thursday and the time of the Agony in the garden.  It was during this time that Jesus felt the true weight of the world on his shoulders, Jesus took some friends with him to pray, but in their own exaustion their human side failed and gave way to sleep.   Jesus prayed but did not get the response he was initially looking for.  Ending with the prayer and desire for the Fathers will to be done He moved forward.

 Can you see yourself in this scene ?    I remember thinking about this scene on a few occasions after my human side failed.     On one occasion in particular I was off working as the cook for one retreat I volunteered for.   I remember that  each of us was given one person to pray for, and the while that one person was giving his talk, I was supposed to be in the chapel praying for them.  I was supposed to be his prayer partner.   I had been workingi in the kitchen from before sunrise and had made both breakfast and lunch for the men who were on the retreat and working in the retreat.   It had gotten to be about 3 PM and I had finished helping to clean up the kitchen before we were to start making dinner.    I was exausted. I really wanted to lay down but it was my time to go to the chapel and pray for my partner.  I went to the chapel and it was nice and cool, and that lights were off except for the candles in the sacristy and at the altar.    I prayed, I meditated, As I prayed I started drifting off to sleep.   I caught myself, and I heard those words in the back of my head  ” You couldnt  stay alert and watch with me for even an hour”    I felt terrible,   I knew exactly how the disciples felt.   Guilty, anxious, and very aware of my human limiatations. 

 Or How about when you have finished a really long week at work and you have not gotten that much sleep and your spouse wants to talk after you get into bed and all you really want to do is sleep but you have to struggle to stay awake and talk. 

 Heroic sacrifice is the name of this story.   We all will find ourselves in the situation where we are called on to give of ourselves to some extreme and that is when we learn the extent of our love.  

 Who of us has not gotten to the point where we feel alone ?  Maybe with the same weight of the world on our shoulders ?  Maybe you have felt like your friends have also abandoned you , or were not really able to be with you.  Jesus gave us the perfect example in a few ways.  First he prayed, and when things still didnt look good he prayed some more.   In a moment of weeakness he didnt get the answer he was looking for, and neither do we always. 

 We know that even though his friends failed in thier task of staying awake and praying with him, he knew that they loved him and he kept going back.     

 Our friends might disaappoint us from time to time, but if you care about them you will go back and like the end of the story in the garden, they will fight for you. 

 May you all be blessed with good friends, a healthy prayer life and a life of love.


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