“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled” (Matthew 26:35-36).

Jesus is in a garden, not of delight, like the first Adam, who fell there and took with him all mankind, but of agony, where he has saved all mankind. He suffers this anguish and abandonment in the horror of the night. This may be the only occasion where Jesus complained. But then he complained as though he could no longer contain his overflowing grief, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death.” Jesus seeks companionship and solace from men, but he finds none, for his disciples are asleep. Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world. Jesus, totally abandoned, even by the friends he had chosen to watch with him, is vexed when he finds them asleep because of the dangers to which they are exposing themselves, and he warns them for their own safety and good, with warm affection in the face of their ingratitude. Jesus prays, uncertain of the will of the father, and is afraid of death. But once he knows what it is, he goes to meet it and offers himself up. Jesus brought about the salvation of his disciples while they slept. He has done this for each of the us while we slept, in nothingness before our birth and in our sin after birth. Jesus, seeing all his friends asleep and all his enemies watchful, commends himself utterly to the Father. There is no link between me and God or Jesus Christ, the righteous. But he was made sin for me. All my scourges fell upon him. And far from loathing me, he feels honored that I go to him.

Adapted from “The Mystery of Jesus” from “Bread and Wine” (Blaise Pascal).