The prayer in the Garden (1)

 Gospel of St Luke 22: 39 – 46

Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”

Thank you for this evening’s time of contemplation, being with you in the Garden of Olives. There was nothing I could do for you. You were there to fulfil the Father’s will to save us poor sinners. You were in anguish, sweating blood and you were in great pain. Yet, you did not stop to look at your own situation. You had me in mind. You held me close to you as I reached out to touch you. You held me close to your heart and I listened to the beating of your heart. Pounding. Pounding. Every beat speaks of your love for me. You call me your friend. You lay down your life for me.

Lord, what can I do in return? What can I say?

I can only shed tears of gratitude that you love me so, a vile sinner. Lord, I pray that I will spend my life just loving you, returning you the love which you have poured into my soul. Lord, I know that my love for you is only but a shadow. Still I desire to love you as you have loved me with an everlasting love. I desire, Lord, to respond to that call to love you above all and to love my neighbour as myself. I feel it intensely, the need to heed your call to love. Grant me the grace to do so. Change my heart, dear Lord, and make this Easter a beautiful one. Grant me the gift of love. I thank and praise you. I thank and praise you.

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