The Garden of Gethsemane and the Rock of Agony
Every year, the Franciscans, together with faithful from all over the world, commemorate the prayers and agony of Our Lord when he prayed in the garden with his disciples. The liturgies and holy hour are broadcast live so those who cannot travel to the Holy Land can still participate spiritually from home. Those who can participate often return year after year, to pray with Our Lord and remember His sacrifice for us.
Then going out he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling, he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.” And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him. He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.
Rose petals are sprinkled on the very rock where Jesus prayed – housed in the Basilica of Gethsemane – also known as the Church of All Nations. These rose petals symbolize the blood sweat by Jesus during the prayer of His agony.
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief. He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”
While he was still speaking, a crowd approached and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas. He went up to Jesus to kiss him. Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a Kiss?” And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards and elders who had come for him, “Have you come our as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Day after day I was with you in the temple area, and you did not seize me; but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”
-Luke 22:45-48, 52-53
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