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