The Agony of Jesus Christ at Gethsemane is noteworthy for its intensity. I’ve always believed that the intensity of the terror was not driven primarily by thoughts of His impending Passion and death, for He certainly was no coward, but rather by the knowledge that His sacrifice would be wasted by a multitude through hatred and indifference. His desire for reciprocation of the deep personal love He has for each of us was/is so intense, that the sense of loss over His beloved but damned sons and daughters caused his earthly physical body to sweat blood (Luke 22:44). His spoken desire of “let this chalice pass” in Matt 26:39,42 could be referring to the Crucifixion, as tradition holds, but it seems to me there is something more. God willed for the world to be reconciled to himself through this very sacrifice, and Jesus IS God. The will of Jesus, in both His divine nature and His human nature, united in the Hypostatic Union, were never at odds with God the Father: For He and God are of the same Essence.
Just prior to this, upon entering the garden, He said, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death.” (Matt 26:38) Is He sorrowful because He is about to ransom humanity through His Cross and Resurrection? Or is He sorrowful because so many would choose to ignore it? His terror and pain, it seems to me, is out of His love for those who would be lost; lost loves, so to speak, in spite of His own unyielding love and sacrifice. I’m not a scripture scholar, but it seems worth meditating on, for the sake of our own soul.
Miss Barnhardt has her usual reflection posted today, and I highly recommend it, even if you’ve read it before HERE.
A great exercise on Good Friday is to pick a Gospel and read it all the way through. It really doesn’t take that long. I am going to leave you with the seventh chapter of Matthew, the third part of the Sermon on the Mount.
Remember that the Sermon on the Mount takes place at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. After the infancy narrative ends with chapter two, the introduction of John the Baptist and the baptism of the Lord in chapter three, and the temptation in the desert at the beginning of chapter four, He gets right down to business. Upon hearing of John’s death, Jesus immediately withdrew to Capernaum to begin the Galilean Ministry, as foretold in Isaiah. Preaching His message of repentance (4:17), He chose his first disciples (4:18-22), and then began drawing large crowds (4:23-25), primarily through working miracles.
Now that He had everyone’s attention, it was time for the big reveal. The Sermon on the Mount begins with chapters five and six forming a sort of catechism, and the central theme is something like, “You all think you know what’s what? Well, I’m here to take it up a notch.” He goes on to explain a litany of sinful behavior, and how we’re so much more wretched then we even knew. But then we get to chapter seven, where He offers hope, through repentance, prayer, obedience, and love. He wants to be loved.
Enter ye in at the narrow gate, my friends. Blessed Pascal Triduum to all.
The Holy Gospel of St. Mathew, Chapter 7: The third part of the Sermon on the Mount:
 Judge not, that you may not be judged,  For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?  Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye?  Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
 Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you.  Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone?  Or if he shall ask him a fish, will he reach him a serpent?
 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?  All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets.  Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.  How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.  Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock,  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.
 And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand,  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.  And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.