Matthew 26: 39 – 46
Jesus went a little farther, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Let me say this is in no way a political post! This passage was on my list a while ago – although the title might just have been influenced a teensy weensy little bit by the semantic arguments of the last couple of days.
The then Cardinal Ratzinger in his address at Pope John Paul II’s funeral used this passage along with three others, where the message is to rise up for there is work to be done. At first, strange passages to have at a funeral, but what he was aiming at was John Paul’s desire that instead of mourning for him, the Christian community should get up and get on with the work in hand.
Here Jesus knows World changing events are about to happen. He knows his hour of suffering is nigh, but yet his friends cannot escape their human needs of sleep and rest. He wants his disciples to be alert, not to protect him, but to bear witness to the events unfolding. To be alert so they could take in what was happening and discover what they needed to do to take the message out into the wide world.
In this time of staying at home we too should also be alert, alert to the needs of others, alert to the chance to show God’s love in any way possible, alert to the fact that God presents daily with great opportunities, but that sometimes they are disguised as insurmountable obstacles!
It is always as Ratzinger reminded us, time to rise up and go, for there is work to be done.
Lord God, our loving Father in Heaven, let us rise up and follow you through lockdown, where we can show your love into the coming of less restrictive life as it becomes safer, that we may find ways to show your glory. In praising you may we help our fellow humans, and in helping our fellow humans praise you.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,