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Gospel: Matthew 26:36-46

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."

He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,

and began to be grieved and agitated.

Then he said to them,

"I am deeply grieved, even to death;

remain here, and stay awake with me."

And 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."

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping;

and he said to Peter,

"So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?

Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial;

the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Again he went away for the second time and prayed,

"My Father,

if this cannot pass unless I drink it,

your will be done."

Again he came and found them sleeping,

for their eyes were heavy.

So leaving them again,

he went away and prayed for the third time,

saying the same words.

Then he came to the disciples and said to them,

"Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?

See, the hour is at hand,

and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Get up, let us be going.

See, my betrayer is at hand."

The Agony

How strange to hear such words from such a man;

A man so self-sufficient,

So strong of mind and soul!

“Could you not stay awake with me one hour?”

Once more he cries aloud his anguished plea that all that lies before him may not be his to bear.

But yet he takes the cup and drinks it willingly.

“Could you not stay awake with me one hour?”

The time has come and all his prayers are done.

He meets the task with courage,

but somehow he has changed.

Perhaps he has learned the loneliness of Saviorhood.

Let us pray: May we be so bold as to pray the prayer your Son prayed in the garden. Your will be done. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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