Into the deep

“Sit here while I pray. Remain here and keep watch.” Sweat and blood and silence, trembling and grief. Is it possible? Can this pass? All things are possible. This cup is not the one I want—but more do I want what You want, Father. It is You I love above all, even my own life. The cup remains.

I return, and they are sleeping. I look upon the worried faces of my dear ones, of Peter and James and John. Once fishermen, now fishers of men. The rock, the sons of thunder. The one who will deny me again and again, who will weep bitterly. The one who will not leave my side, who will be a son to my Mother. Who will teach the world to take her as their own.

I look at Peter. You are the Messiah, he said, the Son of the living God. How I rejoiced at his anointed confession, his eyes fully opened to the truth. I will build my church on you, the rock. And the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. They shall never prevail.

“Simon,” I say, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” I look him in the eye, and I love him. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I’ve taken on your flesh. I know your weariness, and pain, and grief. Even now, I feel its weight. Watch and pray.

I go to my Father, and again find them asleep. I pray and plead, and once more they are taking their rest. My cries fill the silence. The sorrow hangs heavy in my soul. I ask my Father again and again, and still the cup remains. And now the hour has come.

I see my betrayer, off at a distance. I see the 30 pieces he clutches in his hand. I see the fear in his eyes. He approaches with the chief priests, scribes, elders. They are not a crowd to me. I know them each by name.

“Get up, let us go,” I say to the three. Peter and James and John move slowly, hesitatingly. We stand and watch as Judas comes. And with a kiss, his betrayal is complete.

And now I go, into the deep. I enter the depths of sorrow and pain and love, for the three, the twelve. For my very betrayer. For the chief priests and scribes and elders I know and I love. For those that scourge me, for Pilate. For you.

Come. Come, into the deep, with me.




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