Friday, April 6, 2012

Gethsemane of the Soul

Last night after communion instead of closing the mass, we had a ceremony that brought us back to the garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. Father Tim walked slowly in procession with the altar servers through the aisles of the sanctuary to the altar of repose. As he walked, incense lifted in the air and the room became alive with tension and anticipation. The church was filled with flowers, lilies, and variegated leaves. The golden ciborium glistened in the candle light as the smoke of our prayers surrounded and flowed towards heaven.

As the lights were turned out and the adoration began there was a hushed silent for a few moments as people settled into prayer. After around 5 minutes, the exodus began. People began to rise from their pews and walk out the door. My heart cried out, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?" I began to mourn as more and more left the room. I wanted more people to stay with Jesus in the garden, to stay alert and watch with him.

As the numbers continued to dwindle my mind was more and more occupied with how many where there. Then suddenly there where but three of us. I was startled into alertness as to what I had been doing. Instead of worshiping in truth and spirit, I had been worried about what others were doing. I was one of the three in the garden with Jesus, and I had been asleep. It was as if Jesus looked me in the eyes and said, "Could YOU not watch with me even one hour?"   As I buried my head in shame, I thanked God for what he had shown me and began to marvel at the forgiveness of our heavenly Father.

The garden became more real to me last night than ever before. All of those years that I have sat there in that ceremony, I had been preoccupied  with others things.. when Jesus just wanted me to be occupied with him. Lord may I never forget this lesson, and may I always come before you in Spirit and Truth.