March 2: The Agony in the Garden

Updated: Apr 1

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

March 2, 2021

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

In the first sorrowful mystery, we find Jesus in the garden at Gethsemane. He knows what is to come, knows of Judas’ betrayal, knows the hour of his Crucifixion is at hand. The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus tells his disciples, “My soul is sorrowful even to death” (Matthew 26:38). He asks his friends to keep watch as he goes to pray.

How many of us, in the last year, have felt sorrow in our very souls? As we approach the one-year anniversary of the arrival of COVID-19 in the US, the grief of over 500,000 lives lost weighs heavy on my heart, not to mention the social isolation, the economic turmoil, and the chronic unease that so many of us have experienced.

With the development and distribution of vaccines, there is reason for hope, just as Jesus knew of the Resurrection to come. But at this moment, Jesus weeps in the Garden. Luke tells us that He prays so fervently that his tears turn to blood. I don’t fully know why there is suffering. What I do know, what I believe in my very heart of hearts is that ours is a God who understands our suffering. Saint Oscar Romero once said, “There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.” Christ sees us. He is there with us when we find ourselves in agony.

My prayer today is for those who may feel alone in their suffering: those living in isolation due to the pandemic, those who struggle with their mental health, those in prison and solitary confinement, those who lack community and experience loneliness. May we draw near to Jesus in our suffering, and may we keep watch and pray for those who suffer in solitude.

These reflections are meant to challenge us on our journey through Lent. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments with us.

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