On this Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, we are invited to go deeper into the mystery of the state of mind in which Jesus was on the eve of His Passion and death on the cross.

Jesus, knowing what was coming on the next day, took with him his three best friends and companions, away from the other disciples, so that they could pray with him before his arrest, judgment, trial, and condemnation. He withdrew, St. Mark tells us, about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down, and prayed, ”Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground…

Have you ever tried to understand how this could be? Jesus is the mighty Son of God…

Well, we have to first go to Isaiah 53. Jesus is seeing beforehand why he came to this moment, the eve of his passion. He is looking at what he is about to go through because he is carrying from Adam through the end of the world. He has to pay for all the transgressions of all generations. All this will be upon the cross on which he is to be nailed. So, we have to think of him envisioning all he will be enduring from his accusers, from the crowd, from all those who do not care at all about him. Having Isaiah in mind, he sees himself “crushed for our iniquities, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

He is seeing himself as wheat that has been crushed in the mill, reduced to flour for the nourishment of the faithful, the Church to be born from his death and resurrection. He is feeling the pain of being crushed by all he will have to go through. He is looking in advance at himself, as grapes in the press, being crushed to produce the new wine, that will become his blood in the sacrament of his body and blood, the Eucharist.

So, imagine how he feels, all by himself. His best friends are sleeping: they had such a good time at the Last Supper. One is coming to betray him with a friendship kiss. The other eight will flee in haste, as soon as the soldiers are there to apprehend the son of man in whom they don’t recognize the son of God…

There are, thank God, two exceptions. St. Luke says in his gospel: An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Lk 22,43) This angel could have been Mary. While the Apostles were sleeping, leaving Jesus all alone, Mary would not leave Jesus to bear all by himself.

Moreover, we know that John followed Jesus all along up to Calvary. He will be there to take Mary to his home after the crucifixion.

This is the time we all should try to relive all that Jesus endured for our sins, our transgressions, our infidelities, and do whatever we can to show some repentance, to pay him a visit during this Holy Week, to confess our sins and receive his forgiveness, to try our best to live holy lives, to remain as close to him as possible, in order to show our love and appreciation
to the one who gave his life as a ransom for all of us.

May we meditate on these words from the Letter to the Hebrews: “ Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became
the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”