Grace: To suffer with Christ who suffers for my sins.
Text: Matthew 26:36-46
Reflection: “Do you trust me?”
That is the question the Father is asking of the Son. Jesus does not know why He must suffer, and so He asks His Father if there is any way He can be spared His Passion. His Father asks Him to trust Him. To undergo extreme physical and spiritual pain when one knows why one must is difficult; to do so when one does not know why is excruciating.
The life of Christ may seem desirable to imitiate when He is healing the infirm, forgiving the sinners, and feeding the multitudes, but what about when He is entering into His Passion? It can be easy to follow Christ when the way is pleasant and comfortable, but are we then loving the God of consolations or the consolations of God? The Father removes His consolations and asks His Son, “Do you still trust me, even though You do not understand why I am asking this of You? Do you trust me?”
Adding to His torment is the abandonment by His friends, who cannot even stay awake during this moment of profound vulnerability in which Jesus is shown as being sorrowful even to death. The negligence of Peter and the other apostles must surely give us consolation amid our infidelities great and small. During the one time in His life when we see Christ deeply troubled and in pain, His closest friends sleep and run away. And yet these men were the ones Christ would select to lead His Church, the men who would suffer martyrdom and carry the faith to the ends of the earth, the men He would greet just a few days later in the Upper Room with the words ‘Peace be with you.’ What an example of unmerited fidelity in the face of unmerited infidelity!
Questions: How is my heart affected when I see Jesus in agony?
What sort of response do I want to make in return?
How do I understand my own infidelity and Christ’s response to it?