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America StaffMarch 03, 2018
Gethsemane Garden, Mount of Olives

Today we entered into the beginning of Jesus’ Passion. It began with Mass at the church of Gethsemane overlooking Jerusalem. It is difficult to describe my emotion as we gathered in solemn celebration around the rock where Jesus collapsed in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He brought his three close friends with him to the spot but sleep overtook them and he was clearly alone on his own. There was no one who would share this moment of strife with him.

I look back after just a couple of events in my life when I have felt truly alone, and those moments were terrifying. It is hard for me to comprehend what Jesus must have felt like—alone, and facing imminent death.

After Mass we gathered in the ancient garden outside the church, where we spent a good 40 minutes on our own to pray and reflect. I feel like I belonged to Jesus and he to me. Finally, we were privileged to spend reflection time in the very passion pit where Jesus spent the night alone, housed in total darkness.

He endured all of this alone so that we don’t ever have to be.

—Wally Rodier



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