36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’
37He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ 39And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ 40Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;* the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
Some Background to the Scripture
Gethsemane means ‘oil press’ and is in the Kedron Valley. This story is framed by the word ‘with’ [26:36 and 26:40] which is a word that takes the reader to the nature of Emmanuel, “God With Us”. This God who made the Covenant promise, “I will be your God and you will be my people”.
Verse 39 presents us with Jesus as the model of prayer. Jesus knows from personal experience that the spirit and the flesh (v. 41) are the embodiment of the constant struggle in the life of every human.
Jesus’ friendship with us, his faithfulness and his mercy, are a priceless gift which encourages us to follow him trustingly, notwithstanding our failures, our mistakes, also our betrayals. (Pope Francis, 25 May 2014, Church of Gethsemane: Meeting with Priests, Religious and Seminarians)
Am I able to really trust in that God loves me as I am?
Help me, Jesus, to love others as you love me. Help me to give my energies to support those who are in need.