Just One Hour

This is a transcription from my journal from tonight. 

As I sit outside in the Rosary Garden tonight, Holy Thursday, I am reminded of Christ's Agony. That is where His Passion started, not before Pilate. Full aware of the horrors about to come, He prayed. And he begged His dearest friends to pray with Him.

But they had just eaten a good meal, and they were tired and ready for bed So, they kept dozing off, and Jesus begged them to remain awake, not just for His sake, though I imagine He greatly desired their company and support. When they did not give it, an Angel came and ministered to Him, but it was not the same.

Today, tonight, Jesus sits on the eve of His passion in the garden. He will not die again tomorrow, but daily, He offers Himself to the Father on our behalf, and daily He offers Himself for us - to us. His agony is not that of being flayed to an inch of His life then beaten, bruised, crucified, and mocked. Instead, His agony is watching us commit the sins that brought the lash, that drove the nails, that pierced his side. His agony is not the re-shedding of his blood but watching people turn away from the grace freely flowing down his broken body.

Tomorrow and Saturday, until the vigil mass, the Eucharistic presence of Jesus is not available for adoration. Just as the Apostles did not then have the time to spend time with Him, to bathe His feet with their tears, to simply be with and adore Him, so too do we walk that road. We are invited to partake of His passion and death, not just in reception of the Holy Eucharist, but also in its absence. We can walk with Mary, Magdalene, and John, we can recall the times we have fled like Philip, Bartholomew, and the others, and we can cover our faces in shame as we recall how we have denied Him before others.

But tonight, tonight, on Holy Thursday, we can also sit in the garden with Him and spend time with Him. We can begin the journey here with Him and not scatter when the guards come. We can be the Angels that minister to Him. We can be the ones changed.

Christ doesn't ask us to understand. He remains, prays, and agonizes. He simply asks us to be. To be with Him. To pray that we will not fail when we are tested, that we will not run away, deny, or betray Him again. Every year, He offers us this chance most poignantly on Holy Thursday, but every year, He offers this chance daily. Many churches now have perpetual adoration daily mass, an open sanctuary with the physical reality of Jesus there, waiting for us. We can take advantage of the fact that He is always there.

St. Therese reminds us, that "Our Lord does not come from Heaven every day to stay in a golden ciborium; He comes to  find another heaven, the heaven of our soul in which He loves to dwell," and she begs us to remember that "Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone. He burns with the desire to come into your heart." He desires nothing more than to shed graces on us, but we must ask, we must pray, we must spend that one hour.


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