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Mark 14:35-36, 39-42
Thursday, August 23 2012

Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane...

We continue from yesterday's Daily Bible Verse, Mark 14:38, when Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane:

He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will." ...Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing. Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him. He returned a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand." -Mark 14:35-36, 39-42, NAB

In yesterday's verse, we learn that Jesus went with the Apostles to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.  As the Apostles struggled to stay awake, Jesus prayed - knowing that His time had come.  In a few moments, His betrayer would lead the authorities to Him.

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Jesus' prayer reflects prayers that we may have.  When faced with a difficult situation, we pray that God will deliver us from it.  We often pray because of difficulties in our career, relationships, and other aspects of life, but Jesus was praying about the torturous death that He was about to face.

Christ knew that He would be beaten, tortured, and crucified, and He asked God the Father to take it from Him.  But at the same time, Jesus freely accepted God's will.  He knew that the Father could deliver Him from His fate, but that it was His will to allow it to happen.  When faced with our own difficult situations, can we accept God's will over our own?

Why would God be so evil to send His Son to the cross?  Well first, we must realize that God is not the evil one; He is simply allowing the evil, wicked hearts of men to choose their actions.  He gives us the gift of free will, and unfortunately, there were those who used that free will to crucify His Son.

Despite the wicked choices of these few, God has an amazing way of using evil for good.  Through their actions, He will bring salvation to the world.  This same idea can apply to our own lives.  We may wonder why God would allow us to go through the trials and tribulations of life, but He always ultimately has a better purpose for it.  We may not see it at the time, but looking back, we can often see the good He has brought from it.

Some of the most inspirational stories ever told involve those who survived a desperate situation but were ultimately redeemed.  Stories of heroic faith inspire us to be better Catholics and people.  For instance, without evil, would we recognize the heroic actions of saints like St. Maximillian Kolbe?

Christ was facing the most difficult of situations, but He chose to follow God's will.  At any time, He could have been delivered from it.  He set an example for us to follow.  At all times, may we be like Christ and accept the Father's will - regardless of the challenges we may face because of it.  Even with the importance of Christ's other teachings, it would seem that this may have been the greatest lesson of all.


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