45. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
As Christ foresees his inevitable execution, His disciples show their lack of foresight. The account of the sleeping disciples is also found in Matthew 26:40-45 and Mark 14:37-41. It seems the gospel writers considered this an important cautionary lesson. Clergy over the centuries have no doubt berated the disciples for their spiritual weakness in succumbing to sleep. Yet, I see immaturity, not weakness, as the disciple’s issue. The disciple’s spiritual fault was not sleep itself, rather their fault was lack of awareness that they would soon lose their teacher and friend. Such awareness can be gained only by ongoing spiritual experience. Experience can only be gained through commitment. Commitment, in turn, requires maturity.
You, O Providence, are source of all my strength! When anxious thoughts, my hatreds, fears, and strains Tear up my inner being — let me place this battle in your hands. May all the praise For victory and gain be yours, not mine! May I give my heart to your light each day So brothers, friends, and sisters likewise shine.