Before the Passion 2
Jesus had finished from the supper room and left with the eleven apostles, at this point He had just instituted the Adorable sacrament, meaning He had given the apostles and mankind all of Himself, His Soul and Divinity. He knew the time was drawing close, and He was deeply oppressed and His sorrow was on the increase at every passing minute.
He led the eleven by an unfrequented path to the garden of olives, as at this time the Lord was somewhat in hiding. And as He wandered with the disciples about the valley on his way to the garden, He said to them, ‘’all you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be raised again, I will go before you into Galilee” The apostles crowded round Him and expressed their love for Him in a thousand different ways, earnestly telling Him they would never abandon Him. Peter then exclaimed “Even if all are to be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized” and our Lord answered “Amen I say to thee, that in this night, before the cock crow, thou will deny me three times” And Peter insisted saying ‘’Yea though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee’’ and the others all said the same.
They walked along the paths, moving up to the mount of Olives and the sadness of our Divine Lord continued to increase, the apostles might have tried to console Him by human arguments, by assuring Him that what He foresaw would not come to pass.
It was about 9 O clock at night when Jesus and the eleven reached Gethsemane. The moon had risen and already gave light in the sky, although the earth was still dark. Jesus at this point was most sorrowful and told His disciples that danger was at hand. They felt very uneasy and He told 8 of them to remain in the garden whilst He went to pray. He took with Him, Peter, James and John and going a little further, entered the garden of Olives.
At this time, no words could describe the sorrow which had then oppressed His soul, for the time of his passion was near. “How was it that He who always consoled them would now be dejected in this manner’’ The disciples thought to themselves “ My soul is sorrowful unto death” was His reply. For He beheld sufferings and temptations surrounding Him on all sides and drawing nearer and nearer under all forms of frightful figures borne on the clouds. Then he told the 3 apostles with him, to stay back and pray while He went a few steps down a hill and concealed Himself behind a rock and at that point His sorrow and anguish of soul continued to increase and he was trembling all over, He cried out to His Father from His laden, stricken heart.
He fell on His face, overwhelmed with unspeakable sorrow and all the sins of the world displayed themselves before Him under countless forms and in all their real deformity. He took them all upon Himself and in His prayer offered his own adorable person to the justice of His Heavenly Father, in payment for so awful a debt. But satan filled with diabolical joy at the sight of the horrors Jesus was going through, let loose his fury against Jesus and displayed before the eyes of His soul other scaring awful visions at the same time addressing Him with words like “Takest thou even this sin upon thyself?” Art thou willing to bear its penalty”?
I imagined a long ray of light, like a luminous path in the air descended from heaven, which was like a procession of angels who came up to Jesus and strengthened and re-invigorated him.
The devil nonetheless tormented Jesus with countless abominable crimes, which passed over His soul, satan even brought forward innumerable temptations as he had formerly done in the desert and even daring labeling different accusations against Him. There was no limit to what the devil did to our Lord. He reproached Him with the sins and scandals of man, even with the faults of his own disciples, he reproached Jesus with having been the cause of the massacre of the Innocents during His birth, as well as the suffering of His parents in Egypt, with also not saving John the Baptist from death, with having brought disunity into families, protected men of despicable characters, refused to cure various sick persons. Satan did everything to cause Jesus to waver, these were the ways the devil torments mortals at their point of death , accusing, reproaching and putting the soul in great unrest. He permitted the evil spirit to tempt His sacred humanity as it would have tempted a man. There was not an action of our Lord that the devil did not contrive to frame some accusation and he reproached Jesus.
At first Jesus looked calm as he kneeled down and prayed but after a time His soul became terrified at the sight of the innumerable crimes of men and of their ingratitude towards God and His anguish was so great that He trembled and shuddered as He exclaimed: ‘’Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me”! Father all things are possible with thee, remove this chalice from me! But the next moment he added “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done’’. His will and that of His Father were one, but now that His love had ordained that He should be left to all the weakness of His human nature, He trembled at the prospect of death.
Suffering Jesus, a broken heart,a fount of tears i am sorry for all you had to bear for me, draw me ever near to your sacred heart Amen.
Copyright © Uc-Okonmah 2019