February 24, 2018

Saint Matthias the Apostle

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” Mark 14:32-34


Jesus is moving closer to the hour. In these few words we can feel his emotions, his human emotions, as the full impact of submitting to God’s will hits him. While he invites the companionship of his disciples, he also seems to be distancing himself from them at each step. First, he leaves most of the disciples to just sit – no other command or thought was given. He takes a few disciples further along the path and the command to them is to stay in that place and keep awake as he moves into a solitary place – literally and figuratively. But at the same time, he knows that the disciples need to prepare themselves. What was going through the minds of the disciples? I’m sure they had no comprehension of the brutality that was about to happen. Jesus did not ask them to pray, just to sit and keep awake. If I put myself in this space, I would like to think I’d be concerned about Jesus’ words “I am deeply grieved,” words uttered by the man I had come to believe was the Messiah. Would I have gone after him? Would I have stayed awake in prayer? Would I not have sensed anything wrong – to the point of being able to quickly fall asleep? I don’t know what I would have done, but I can engage in this deep need for prayer for Jesus as he comes to realize the full impact of submitting to God’s will; and for each of us as we experience (and accept) God’s will in our lives. Lent allows us the opportunity to do both.


The Rev. Karen Kaminskas
Saint Mary’s, Ardmore


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This is the official website of the Merion Deanery, a group of 13 Episcopal churches and communities located just outside of Philadelphia.

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