Happy Easter everyone! Now I know the Easter season is about celebrating the resurrection of our Lord, however I want to slip back to the agony in the garden for a second. Let’s set the scene. Just moments earlier Jesus and His disciples just celebrated the last supper, and Jesus had basically told them the worst possible news. They were probably anxious, distraught, upset, wondering who the betrayer was, where Judas had gone, and how life could get any worse. Jesus pulls aside Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and goes out to the garden to pray. And instead of keeping watch over Jesus and praying, what do they do? They fall asleep. Jesus wakes them up three times, urging them to pray, pray that they might not undergo the test. But yet they fall asleep again and again.
Putting it into context, they are not falling asleep because they are lazy, or worn out no. Think about this, they are stressed, the Lord is only a stone throws length away from them in complete agony, and instead of responding to his cries with prayer, they close their eyes. They want his pain to go away, they don’t want this to be real, so they fall asleep hoping it’s just a dream. And I think we can all relate to this in some way. Now that’s all my own interpretation based on the context of the agony in the garden, but it’s relatable and speaks to our hearts.
Back in the first week of March, at the beginning of my quarantine I remember my friend who had been staying with me looked at me and said “I’m just going to sleep in as late as possible, that way I don’t have to spend more time remembering that I’m stuck here.” To which I replied “Girl, no, you are gonna wake up and live in this moment”. And together we lived out our first two weeks of quarantine to the fullest, but now I’m 4 weeks in and I’m not living it to the fullest. I’m not going to mass everyday online, I’m not spending the evenings playing games, I’m not seeking joy. No, I’m tired. I want to be with my friends, I want to be hugged and not be cooped up with a bunch of introverts (who I love dearly) that hate physical touch. And the way I feel is okay, but there’s a proper way to respond to them, and it does not involve numbing myself.
Dealing with these emotions does not mean I should sleep more, or scroll through facebook longer, or do homework till I fall asleep. It means stopping and praying, and experiencing the agony with him. Look at Jesus right now, He’s not laughing at us mocking our distress, He is not telling us to get over it, NO. He’s loving us, mourning for us, holding us. To be honest every night I tell Jesus “Please let this be done tomorrow” To which he replies “Not yet, but I will carry you through tomorrow.” And then I tell Him that I’m tired, but that I still love Him and trust in his goodness. Then I close my eyes and drift off to sleep, appropriately because it’s usually around 11pm and then I wake up at 7. There’s a difference between numbing sleep and healthy sleep. However, I do find myself numbing myself in other ways. Like shutting myself in my room for hours, and just working on school non-stop.I worked on school from sun up to sun down, taking breaks to pray a rosary, and scroll through the internet. Then yesterday it was like I hit a wall. I broke down and realized that I needed to stop trying to pretend I was okay.I needed to let Jesus in, and let my roommates in and let them be like Christ to me. I was depriving myself of the chance to just let go, to just let myself be loved.
I was like the disciples falling asleep, rather than inclining my ear to Jesus’ plea for mercy for his people, and praying alongside him for not only my own sorrows, but those of the whole world. I refused to let him console me in any way.It all hit me when I decided to get out of my room and take a break. I sat and did a puzzle and the missionary who’s here in quarantine with me, sat down and started doing the puzzle with me. She did not say anything, she just did the puzzle. Interiorally I started to cry, because I heard a voice inside say, stay here with me and let me love you in the silence. Take a break from your school work, and just be here with me. That little moment right there was the best part of my day. Jesus called me awake from my “slumber” of school work, and let me enjoy a moment of simple leisure in good quiet company. And I know Jesus is doing the same thing for you. He’s calling your name, asking that you stop sleeping through the day, or doing homework non-stop, or scrolling through facebook and just be with him. Tell him what’s on your heart. Tell him how tired your soul is, and let him carry you to the heart of the Father. Do not fall asleep, stay awake with Him. Because the Father never sleeps when his child is crying. Actually the Father never sleeps, because he cannot take his eyes off his beloved. You are his beloved. And I want you to know that every single week I go into the chapel and say Jesus what should I tell my readers this week. And everytime He says tell them I love them. And I hope you hear that in your heart today, and just let it sink in because it is so true.
Anyways, if you are catching yourself numbing yourself in some way, then I encourage you to wake up and pray.
“Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”J.R.R. Tolkien
P.S. I’m sorry you have to hear about how big of a cry baby I am, but I really think it shows the joy and peace I find in Christ. 🙂
“Love consumes us only in the measure of our self-surrender.”St. Therese of Lisieux
“We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to bear the greatest trials.”St. Teresa of Avila