We are entering the final moments of our pilgrimage. This evening we did a holy hour in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was an incredible experience to spend time with the Lord at the same spot where He experienced His agony. As a man having both a divine nature and a human nature, Jesus knew that He was going to die an extremely painful death for the salvation of humanity. But it was at the moment in Gethsemane when He seemed to come face to face to what He was going to undergo. He knew that his trial was upon Him, and He knew that He could not face this trial alone. So He went to the garden to pray.
As I reflected on the Jesus’ agony in the Garden today, I realized that this gospel passage teaches us the importance of prayer. We are reminded not only of the importance to take time out each day to be alone with God, but we are reminded that we should pray with a sense of urgency, of desperation. We live in a world that is filled with urgency for many things. We are desperate for instant gratification. We want instant e-mail. We want instant communication through cell phones. We seek fast food. Our prayer today at Gethsemane asks us to ponder whether we have the same urgency for God as we do for the things of the world. This place reminds us how necessary it is to put God first in our lives, to depend completely on him.
In his urgent plea to the Father, Christ reminds us of the intense battle between the flesh and the spirit. If we don’t pay attention to how God is working in our lives at every moment, we can easily become complacent. We can slip into the notion that we can do things on our own and, like the disciples at the Garden, we can get caught off guard and fall asleep. Therefore, now is the time for us to stay awake. Now is the time to cry out to God and seek his help. May we follow the example of Christ in his urgent plea to the Father so that we might constantly be aware of our own spiritual needs and the needs of others.