Friday, October 16, 2020 –
The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
Christ suffers in the garden at Gethsemane
AS A KIND PERSON in the face of pain seeks to relieve the sufferings of his friend, so does moral kindness in the face of evil take on the punishment which evil deserves. Every mother would willingly, if she could, bear the aches of her child. A father will pay the debts of his wayward son as if they were his own. Our Lord, though guilty of no sin, nevertheless in His agony in the garden permitted Himself to feel the inner effects of sin, as on the cross He experienced also the external effects of sin. These internal effects were sadness, fear, and a sense of loneliness. “I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, and I found none.”
He permits His head to feel blasphemies as if His lips had pronounced them; His hands to feel the sins of theft, as if He had stolen; His body to sense the guilt of defilement, as if it were the cause. Innocence knows sin better than the guilty, because the guilty are already part of it.
Sin is in the blood. The drunkard, the libertine, the tyrant have registered sin not only in their souls, but in their brains, the cells of their body, and the very expressions of their faces. If, therefore, sin is in the blood, to atone for it, blood must be poured out. Our Lord never intended that any other blood than His own should be shed in expiation for sins. Because men have not invoked the blood of Christ for their sins, they are now at war shedding one another’s blood.
The agony in the garden is not a triumph of the plans and the schemes of betrayers and enemies, but is permitted by divine decree. “This is your hour,” our Lord said to His enemies. Evil has its hour, but God has His day!
For each bead (1-10) in the decade, meditate (think) on the list below:
- Jesus comes with his disciples to Gethsemani: “Stay here, while I go yonder and pray.”
- Entering the garden with Peter, James, and John, Jesus prays, “My soul is sorrowful unto death.”
- Jesus sees the sins of all mankind, whose guilt He has taken upon Himself.
- He sees the wrath of the Father which His sufferings must appease.
- So great is his anguish that His sweat becomes as drops of blood falling to the ground.
- An angel appears to Him from heaven to strengthen Him.
- “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done.”
- Finding the disciples asleep: “Could you not watch one hour with me?”
- Jesus is betrayed by Judas, cruelly bound and led away.
- Father, by the merits of the agony of Jesus in the Garden, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Spiritual Fruit of the Mystery: Sorrow for Sin
Help of Christians, pray for us!
NOTE: These meditations are a compilation of several different sources that I have found helpful over the years:
- Meditations on the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary by Fulton Sheen
- Praying the Rosary without Distractions from The Rosary Center and Confraternity
- Pray the Rosary Daily from Marian Press
- Quick Meditations on Every Mystery of the Rosary by Ascension Press