Watch and Pray

Posted by David Neff, OblSB on

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane      Matthew 26:36-46 (NKJV)

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”

He went a little farther and fell on His face, 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.”Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

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.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 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. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

 

Gethsemane by Mary Oliver, Poet

 The grass never sleeps.

Or the roses.

Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.

 Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.

 

The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,

And it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,

And heaven knows if it ever sleeps.

 

Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did, maybe

the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t move,

   maybe

the lake far away, where once he walked as on a

    blue pavement,

lay still and waited, wild awake.

 

Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not

keep that vigil, how they must have wept,

So utterly human, knowing this too

must be a part of the story.

 

 

 

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