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Day Nineteen of Lent – The Agony in the Garden

Day Nineteen of Lent
The Agony in the Garden

“My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:38-39

He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground. Luke 22:44

The agony that Jesus underwent while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane was only surpassed by the brutal treatment and Crucifixion He endured the following day. That Thursday night, after sharing the gift of His Body and Blood with the Apostles, He went out to pray. As He prayed, He fell prostrate before the Father in Heaven and accepted the “cup” that He was given to drink. Three times He prayed this profound prayer: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”

That night would have been a sleepless one for our Blessed Mother. She was awoken in the middle of the night by the frightening news that Jesus had been arrested. She went in haste to the place of Jesus’ interrogation before Caiaphas and the entire Sanhedrin, watching from a distance with the other holy women.

Jesus had agonized in the Garden and three times chosen the will of the Father. Saint Peter, during the commotion of the night, three times denied Jesus. Our Blessed Mother, during her silent presence throughout that night, united her mind and heart to the agony of her Son and to His free embrace of His Cross.

This was His Hour. This was The Hour in which Jesus was to give the greatest glory to the Father in Heaven. And it was also our Blessed Mother’s hour. She was invited to freely offer her Son to the hands of evil men. Saint Peter and the other Apostles lacked fidelity and commitment as this hour approached. But our Blessed Mother, her Son’s first and greatest disciple, joined Jesus in a complete surrender to the will of the Father.

On Good Friday, as Mother Mary stood before the Cross of her Son, she would have continued to pray in the way Jesus prayed in the Garden the night before. “Father…not as I will, but as you will.” This must also become the most central prayer in our own lives each and every day.

Reflect, today, upon the chaos and confusion that began that night with Jesus’ arrest. Reflect, also, upon moments of chaos and confusion in your own life. When you feel the burden of the various crosses in your life, there is but one way to properly embrace them. You must unite yourself with the prayer of Jesus in the Garden which was also the perfect prayer of our Blessed Mother. Join them in this prayer of perfect surrender.


Dearest Mother Mary, you watched in sorrow as your Son was arrested and treated with much cruelty. Yet your only prayer was the prayer your Son prayed in the Garden. “Father, not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus’ agony was your agony and His surrender was your surrender.

Pray for me, dear Mother, that I may join you and your Son in prayer as I agonize in this life. As I face the cruelty of the world, pray for me that I may also daily choose the will of the Father in all things, never giving in to despair and never wavering in my surrender.

My suffering Lord, I choose to stay awake with You and to remain faithful to You always. Give me the grace I need to live in complete surrender to the will of the Father and to Your most holy will.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Nineteen: False Presumptions

Like the first temptation, in the second, the devil commits another error of presumption. The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone’” (Matthew 4:6). In other words, the devil was saying to Jesus that if He threw Himself down from the top of the Temple, and if angels came to catch Him and keep Him from harm, then all the people who saw this would be amazed and would treat Jesus as the Son of God. Why is this a bad idea?

The devil presumes Jesus would want everyone to know Who He is by means of a stunt. First of all, the devil erred by believing that Jesus’ primary concern was with Himself. Jesus did not need to prove Who He was for His vanity. He did not need people to be amazed at Him for His sake and to praise Him because the angels saved Him. Instead, Jesus’ primary concern was that every person turn from sin, come to an authentic faith in God, and receive the gift of eternal life. Jesus wanted to change hearts. This is why He came—not to elevate Himself—but to raise His fallen children from their sins.

Recall that Jesus performed miracles only when faith was already present. He didn’t do miracles to show off or promote Himself. He did it as a divine act of love, given to those who had already come to faith in Him, in the depths of their hearts, or to spark that faith in the hearts of those open to receive it. The clear difference between the mind of Jesus and the mind of the devil is that the devil presumed Jesus was self-concerned, but Jesus was only concerned about others.

One lesson we can learn from this is that we must imitate the concern Jesus has for the interior conversion of every heart, not with our self-elevation in the eyes of others. When we do an act of charity, it must be done because we love those we are serving, not so that we look good. Or if we share the moral truths of the Gospel with others, it’s never to proclaim our self-righteousness but to help others to turn to God.

Ponder this second temptation of the devil and think about ways that he tries to manipulate you into elevating yourself in the eyes of others. The devil is a tricky and subtle liar. If we do not keep our focus on the glory of God and the salvation of souls, we can easily allow him to deceive us without even knowing it. Turn your eyes from yourself to others, and seek to love them with the Heart of Christ. Doing so is not only good for others, it’s best for your eternal soul.


My loving Lord, in Your perfect humility, Your only concern was the salvation of souls. You longed for all people to turn from sin and to receive the gift of eternal life You came to bestow. Please give me the grace I need to share in that longing. May I never seek to elevate myself in the eyes of others but only seek to share Your saving grace with all.

Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Source: mycatholiclife

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