Scripture

Matthew 26: 36-39images

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated.  38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”

39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.”

 

Reflection

This is one of those rare scenes where Jesus seems to wrestle with his mission to go to the cross.  Is it a reflection of the fully human/fully divine nature of Christ?  Is this his human side coming out — a reprise of Moses’ role before the burning bush in which Moses offered up repeated excuses of why he wasn’t up to freeing the Israelites from Pharaoh, culminating in the plea “O my Lord, please send someone else.”

Whatever the reason for these words by our Lord, I think they’re grace-filled.  They are an acknowledgement of the challenges of faith.  And while most of us aren’t facing the prospect of the cross, there may be circumstances in our personal lives, at school or work, at church, or in our communities where we’d just assume let the cup pass.  But just as Jesus shares with us, for a moment, our human weakness, may we be drawn forward to share in the conviction and obedience of Christ — “yet not what I want but what you want.”

 

Prayer

Dear Lord,

This entire walk in Lent is an experience in making choices.   We could choose at multiple points every day to step off this path and stop following you.   Actually, we acknowledge that we have stepped off the path many times over the recent weeks.  But by the grace of your love and forgiveness, you continue to call us.  And with a faith which is either strong or just budding, with your help, we  pick ourselves up, look for your footsteps, and turn again to the cross.

Amen

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