“My soul is sorrowful to the point of death.
Wait here and keep awake with Me.”
– Matthew 26:38
Lent has concluded and we have now entered into Holy Week. On this Maundy Thursday, we consider the institution of the Eucharist; and we pause and keep watch with the Lord in Gethsemane, knowing what is to follow shortly. It is a moment of pause, of stillness and of quiet. But not a moment of peace – that peace will come later, but not yet.
Speaking from a personal perspective, each year I look back over the period of Lent which has just ended, and I take stock. I see the very many graces I have been granted – and the very poor use I have made of them. I see all the lost opportunities, all the moments in which good could have been done – but was not. I see all the chances to move a step forward – but realise how I took two steps back. I see my desire to come closer to the Lord – and how instead, I moved further away. And then later, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, I will hear the words of the Apostles, so filled with fervour for now – soon to dissipate in fear. And I hear the Lord asking us all to remain awake with Him in Gethsemane – and yet we slumber, awakening only when the fearful moment is upon us. And I see my weaknesses and failings and sins and frailty reflected in every single one of those Apostles. And yet despite all these realisations, I know one thing – despite it all, He loves us. Even, as Saint Paul reminds us, while we are still sinners.
And so there is hope. There is always hope. Sinners though we most surely are, every one of us, and even though we will betray, deny and abandon Him – still, He loves us with an infinite love. That love will be poured out to it’s fullness and completion tomorrow, Good Friday, on the Cross.