Mark 14, 32-42 no. 43 Dec. 8

Mark chose just three moments from the lengthy liturgical meal we call the Last Supper. These moments are a contrast as betrayer and denier are foretold and Jesus self-giving, preserved in the Eucharist, is announced and explained. Now it is time for Gethsemane. The garden of Gethsemane is at the foot of the western slope of the Mount on Olives, almost parallel with the Temple on Mount Sion. To this garden Jesus brings his disciples, first going southward out of the City, then eastward and finally northward to Gethsemane. Mark first offers us two intertwined moments, each of great importance to his overall story: the agony of Jesus and the lesson for the disciples. In his agony, Jesus reveals what his soul detests and his heart desires. It is a choice of obedience over disobedience, thereby, in Pauline terms, reversing the choice of Adam and all his descendants, the choice that brought us death. For once, an Evangelist makes clear the sorrow and grief Jesus anticipates as he contemplates his death by crucifixion. It is by no accident that Jesus three times affirms his intentions to his Father; "three" is a biblical number used to show sober, unchanging intent. The particular value of this Marcan account lies in two directions, past and future: it explains what motivated Jesus throughout his public life and his conduct throughout the imminent description of his suffering to death. Forever will Jesus be known for his unflinching obedience to his Father – an obedience which underlies his Messiahship and his divine Sonship, and fills out the full meaning of Jesus. His sorrow is real and deep; he calls Abba, i.e., my dearest Father. But equally deep is his love for his Father, his trust in Him and therefore his obedience to Him. Jesus had brought his eleven disciples to the garden, but brought still further Peter, James and John. Luke best explains this choice, for these three are those who witnessed Jesus’ Transfiguration and will be chief witnesses to and from Jesus in Luke’s Acts of the Apostles. They are to learn a lesson now. It is a lesson that stresses watchfulness and prayer. Jesus urges watchfulness and prayer so that the disciples can avoid or survive ’the test’. This ’test’ has more than one meaning. It first refers to the challenge any disciple must soon face who wants to declare his friendship with Jesus as Jesus is captured in the garden; who will stand by him? Second, it refers to persecution which many disciples must undergo for belief in Jesus, particularly those of Mark’s readers in Rome where Christianity is despised and punished. Third, there is that ’final test’, the test at the end of time, about which Jesus had already strongly cautioned: Be watchful! The clear implication that to ’survive the test’ one needs prayer and watchfulness. Indeed, has not Jesus just now been at prayer? It is clear that Mark chooses these garden moments for the benefit of his reader. By his choice, he makes clear the fuller, more complete meaning of Messiah and divine Son of God and, as well, the meaning of discipleship. For all else that Jesus is, he is obedient to the will of his Father, and the disciple is to be obedient, too, as Jesus’ follower. Obedience, in good times and bad, is what characterizes Jesus and the disciple. With this in mind, Mark is ready to show how Jesus died. Jesus will describe himself again as Son of Man, the one to be glorified and judge of the world, but only after suffering. His suffering will be not only painful; it will be humiliating as he is handed over to sinners. "Learn, disciple, learn", says Mark. Have the love and trust in you that will make you obedient to your Father in a world where, indeed, the flesh is weak. John Kilgallen, SJ
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8 years 10 months ago
Cut off The one thing He did The one that surpasses all When He died for me From the Father, He was cut off; A fellowship from eternity past And one that remains for eternity ever On that single moment Cut off for you and me. It was of this that He spoke When He had prayed "Father is there any other way!? Yet not My will but Thine." There when He bore my sin There before a righteous and Holy God, There the righteousness of God met And the wrath of God satisfied There on that gory spot Where sin and death was dealt with Even love and mercy unsurpassed met There when He was cut off Pierced for my sin There my salvation flowed out There I was grafted in. I would like to share a link that I trust will encourage the one who truly seeks to know God and how much He loves us. this is on the "The Will Of God" God bless


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