Listen to the Audio version of Station 1
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
As I prepared this meditation, my 4 year old daughter wanted me to tell her the story of Jesus in the Garden. I described how Jesus went to the garden to pray. He was suffering and wanted to talk to his Father.
My daughter asked, “What does suffering mean?” I explained that suffering means that someone is in a lot of pain.
Oh she said. “Like they feel really sad and want to run away?”
“Yes, that’s how Jesus felt but he didn’t run away.”
“Why not?” she asked.
Why not? I thought for a moment. “Because of love. Because he loves you so much.”
“Yes”, she said, “Jesus loves everyone so much.”
Jesus knew that Judas would come looking for him in the garden. There he suffered but did not run away. As you read this passage from the gospel of Luke, consider the long-suffering love of Jesus.
Christ on the Mount of Olives by Paul Gaugin
This painting of Christ on the Mount of Olives is a self-portrait depicting the artist's despair. Gaugin wanted to depict Christ's suffering as both divine and human. "Jesus deserted by all of disciples, and his surroundings are as sad as his soul."
Some call this sacred art because Christ enter's Gaugin's suffering. Others call it profane because Gaugin does not enter Christ's suffering but rather makes himself Christ.
How would you classify this painting? What difference will this perspective make as you journey through the next stations?
What do you notice?
What thoughts or feelings does it stir?
What does this reveal to you about the passion of Jesus?
How does this image connect to your own suffering or the suffering of others?
What does this passage reveal to you about the character and nature of Jesus and his relationship to his Father?
Meditate on these words from the gospel of John: “For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
Jesus was willing to suffer because of love. What is your gut response to this kind of self-denying, long-suffering love extended toward you?
Jesus is battling for his kingdom. He had taught you to pray: Our Father, your kingdom come, your will be done. Don’t lead us into temptation.
Jesus wakes you and calls you to pray. How do you respond? What kinds of temptations and sorrows lure you away from prayer?
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.