That great homily of our priest on Maundy Thursday has never escaped my mind. There was so much depth and how I wished I recorded it. I saw there was a link to a message in the Book of Truth and the role we play (that in a minute).
‘The hour has come’ denoting something ominous was soon to happen. That hour where Judas was to betray Jesus that Thursday night, the night before His Crucifixion.
As the evening began, after Jesus and His disciples had celebrated the Passover, they came to the garden. At some point, Jesus took three of them—Peter, James and John— to a place separated from the rest. He asked them to stay with Him. “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me” (Matthew 26:38). He then went a little farther, fell to His face, and, in agony, asked God to find another way. His sweat fell like drops of blood; God sent an angel to comfort Him. We cannot know the depths of Jesus’ sorrow at this time. While Jesus wept in anguish, Peter, James, and John fell asleep. Jesus returned to the three and woke them up. “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41). But perhaps filled with good food and wearied from an emotional night the disciples fell asleep again. This was especially poignant because Peter did indeed fall into temptation later that very night when three times he denied even knowing Jesus.
Two things I would like to point out here:
- The Hour – to mean something horrible was to happen, Jesus asked His three close disciples to spend an hour that they may not enter into temptation. To spend an hour in prayer is to fortify us. It is also to avert or mitigate evil or destruction. That is why we spend an hour in Eucharistic Adoration. This reminds me of a press release in 2017 where an increase in Adoration chapels in Mexico are reportedly leading to a stunning decline in crime rates.
In the Book of Truth, message 1213 , Jesus says “Spend at least one hour a day in prayer so that the impact of such trials may be reduced and, in some cases, eradicated.” Message 892 “those of you who pray My Crusade Prayers diligently, know that I bring relief to the world from the snares of the devil. The old serpent falls and stumbles losing much power when you strive to say My Crusade Prayers, daily. And while the times of great trials continue, your prayers will create many setbacks in the plans created by Masonic powers in the world, which are designed to create havoc in order to control the weak and vulnerable. Just one Crusade Prayer, said from the heart, is enough for Me to destroy the power of arrogant political leaders, who do not have a conscience.”
- The second point I would like to draw your attention to is the angel who provides comfort to Jesus as he agonises and sweats blood (caused by extreme anguish that pores burst).
The 19th Century nun and mystic Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich describes Jesus’ grief in harrowing detail in the book The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In her visions we see Jesus overwhelmed by visions of humanity’s sins (2,000+ years worth of sins and all kinds of it till the end), as well by as the ingratitude of so many of those for whom He would be crucified! According to Sister Emmerich “angels presented to him all the bands of saints of future ages, who, joining their labors to the merits of his Passion, were, through him, to be united to his Heavenly Father. Most beautiful and consoling was this vision, in which he beheld the salvation and sanctification flowing forth in ceaseless streams from the fountain of redemption opened by his death… The army of the future saints passed before the soul of our Lord… This most affecting and consoling spectacle bestowed a degree of strength and comfort upon the soul of Jesus.”
I surely would like to believe that the ‘army of future saints’ not only included the past saints, martyrs, popes and other holy people but also include all the faithful and the Remnant Army in the end times that brought consolation to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
We are an Easter people, we fight, we hope and we pray. Happy Easter!