Relevant ReadingsThe primary readings for this chapter are Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42, and Luke 22:39-46.
|Matthew 26:36-46||Mark 14:32-42||Luke 22:39-46|
|36||Jesus goes to Gethsemane||32||Jesus goes to Gethsemane||39||Jesus goes to Gethsemane|
|37||Jesus brings Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and begins to feel sorrow and distress||33||Jesus brings Peter, James, and John, and begins to be troubled and distressed|
|38||Jesus says "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me."||34||Jesus says "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch."||40||Jesus says "Pray that you may not undergo the test."|
|39||Jesus advances and prays the first time, saying "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."||35-36||Jesus advances and prays the first time, saying "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will."||41-42||Jesus advances and prays, saying "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done."|
|43-44||An angel appears from heaven to strengthen Jesus; his agony was so great his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground|
|40-41||Jesus returns and finds his disciples sleeping; he says to Peter "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."||37-38||Jesus returns and finds his disciples sleeping; he says "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."||45-46||Jesus returns and finds his disciples sleeping; he says "Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test."|
|42-43||Jesus prays a second time, saying "My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!", and returns to see his disciples sleeping again for they could not keep their eyes open||39-40||Jesus prays a second time saying the same thing and returns to see his disciples sleeping again for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him|
|44-45||Jesus prays a third time saying the same thing and sees them sleeping again, and says "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners."||41||Jesus prays a third time and sees them sleeping again, and says "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners."|
|46||Jesus sees Judas arriving, and says "Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand."||42||Jesus sees Judas arriving, and says "Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand."|
Eloi, eloi: Psalm 42In Psalm 42 (the Scriptural base of the hymn "As the Deer Longs"), we read a man's plea to God: as the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. The man cries out that his adversaries mock him daily, asking "Where is your God?". This psalm, and the one after it, repeat the mantra Why are you downcast, my soul, why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.
But also in this psalm is a reflection of Christ's anguished cry on the cross. Psalm 42:10 reads: I say to God, "My rock, why do you forget me? Why must I go about mourning with the enemy oppressing me?" This is found also in Psalm 22:2. Mark and Matthew have Christ saying Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? on the cross, which translated means "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?"
- How did Jesus prepare for his impending death in Matthew 26:36-39?
Jesus took three disciples (Peter and the two sons of Zebedee (James and John)) with him to Gethsemane to pray. Jesus fell prostrate in prayer to God, asking that, if possible, the cup pass from himself -- but not that his will be done, but God's.
- Who did Jesus take with him, according to Mark 14:32-34?
Peter, James, and John -- Matthew identifies the latter two as the "two sons of Zebedee".
- Describe the events in Luke 22:39-46.
See the summary.
- Compare Matthew 26:38 with Psalm 42:6-12.
In Matthew, Jesus says to his disciples before he prays, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." The Psalm asks Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God. (Psalm 42:6,12).
- In Luke 22:43, who came from where to help Jesus, and what was the help?
An angel from heaven appears to strengthen Jesus.
- According to Mark 14:41-42, how did Jesus know he was going to die?
Jesus says the hour has come when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Clearly, anyone of that time (or any time!) was a sinner. Jesus did not mean that he was about to be arrested, but that he was about to placed in the hands of sinners as their sacrifice.
- What can you learn from the following verses: Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:35-36, Luke 22:41-42, and Philippians 2:5-8?
In the Gospels, Jesus asks that God take the "cup" -- the sacrifice required of him -- away from him; but in the end, Jesus consents that God's will should be done, not his own. Paul writes that Jesus, who was in the form of God, took human likeness and humbled himself, becoming obedient to death. Paul means that Jesus, although truly divine and truly God, in his human form bent his human will to God's will, and obeyed God's demands, even unto death.
- What do we learn about Jesus from Hebrews 5:7-10; 10:9-10?
The first passage tells us that Jesus prayed to God to save him from death, and though he suffered, God made him perfect due to his supreme obedience to God's will. The second tells us that, in Jesus' submission to God's will, he became our last sacrifice to God.
- Jesus faced a battle and a victory through prayer. What does he urge of us?
CCC 2849 says that Jesus urges us to be vigilant in our hearts, as we are in communion with his. We are united to Christ's battle with temptation and to his ultimate victory over it.
- If you knew you only had a few days to live, what example of Jesus would you embrace?
I suppose I would spend some of my time in contemplative prayer, asking God for strength and the courage to accept His will before mine.
- Why did Jesus consent to die for our sins?
CCC 536 says that, out of his (and God's) love for humanity, Christ accepted his mission to die for our sins to bring about our redemption. It also states, as in Matthew 26:39, that Christ accepted it because it was God's will.
- In John 3:16-17, why did God the Father let Jesus endure such agony and suffering?
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
- Did Jesus have to die?
CCC 612 says that it was the act of taking up the yoke of our sins (for the wages of sin is death) that made Jesus' death necessary. Paul writes, in Hebrews 4:14-16, that Jesus has been tested in the same ways we are, but was without sin; therefore, it is only natural that Jesus was tested by death as well.
- What manner and duration of prayer did Jesus request?
In Matthew 26:40, it is written that he was praying for an hour. CCC 2719 identifies this as "contemplative prayer".
- Describe three traditional types of prayer.
- What are some difficulties desciples encountered in prayer?
In Luke 22:45, we read that the disciples were sleeping in grief; rather than focus their efforts on prayer, they succombed to grief and tried to "sleep it off". CCC 2729 identifies simple distraction as a major difficulty in our attempts at prayer. CCC 2731 identifies "dryness", when we just cannot think of anything to say to God. Jesus says to his disciples in Luke 22:40 "Pray that you may not undergo the test". CCC 2733 identifies "acedia", depression due to decreasing vigilance, carelessness of heart.
- How does Paul suggest in Ephesians 6:18 to persevere in prayer?
To pray at every opportunity in the Spirit.
- How and why does Paul write you should pray in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18?
Find every opportunity to pray, pray joyfully, and give thanks to God.
- What are your obstacles in prayer?
In my life, I find it hard to pray unless I set aside time specifically for prayer. I rarely "get around" to having spontaneous conversations with God through prayer. I'm fairly busy, with my new apartment, new job, wedding arrangments, etc. And yet, with all the time I spend driving in my car, I should be able to find some time there to pray (while still minding the road).