In the Garden…

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

Before reading further, please take a moment to read Fr. Ralph’s post from earlier today.  Click here.  Thanks.

Today was rather remarkable.  We quite literally walked our way from Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday.

We began our morning at Bethpage Catholic Church near the top of the Mount of Olives and saw the stone on which it is believed that Jesus stood onto in order to get onto the donkey he rode into Jerusalem. (see Luke 19:28-35)

We then walked down the Mount of Olives, using the very same road (it’s been repaved) that Jesus would have used on his way into Jerusalem.

We made a brief stop in order to have a teaching and reflection on Luke 19:41-44 when Jesus sees the city of Jerusalem for the first time and weeps over it.  The view point from this spot was stunning to say the least!

From that point we walked, in silence, to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus most acutely displayed the tension between his humanity and his divinity.  Here are several pictures from the Garden where Jesus prayed just hours before his arrest.

Now, keep up with us here and PLEASE don’t miss this . . . The conversation Jesus has in prayer with God could be summed up like this….

“God, I don’t want to do this.  At all.  Is there another way?”  But then, in a stunning display of trust, Jesus later prays, “God, if this is your will, then let’s move forward together.”  (these are obviously not direct quotes but simply a summarization of Matthew 26:36-42)

Fr. Kamal, center

Our professor, Fr. Kamal Farah, shared with us a quote from a 1st century pilgrim to the Holy Land (20 centuries before we have done the same thing) that was shared throughout the years.  The pilgrim prayed:

“God, I don’t understand you. But I trust you.”

There are so many times when Jesus moves us past our expectations or “knowledge” of what we believe God is doing (or ought to do).  Christians are famous for saying things like, “Oh no, this isn’t of God!” or “God could never go ‘there’!” But what if it IS of God and God DID go there and we just haven’t figured out what God is doing yet?!?  Is it possible that in our rush to judge the actions of others, or the church, or the nations, or other faiths, that are we denying God’s activity?

Perhaps the places where we say God is not, are the exact places that God is.

peace to you

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