Analyzing not just the passion, but the suffering of Christ.

Agony in the Garden – Meditations #2

Analyzing not just the passion, but the suffering of Christ.

Open Transcript

Agony in the Garden – Meditations #2

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Meditations Episode 2, recorded Friday, February 16th, in the Year of Our Lord, 2024. I am the Catholic Adventurer, and I thank you for joining me today. Today, we’re going to talk a little bit, or a lot a bit, about the agony in the Garden. My original plan was to talk about Losing and finding Jesus where we see that in the scriptures and why, um, and, and what, what it reveals.

Then I realized, you know, the next episode will be on the first Friday of Lent. I should do something Lent y. So here I am doing something Lent y. And I thank you again for joining me. So we’re going to talk about the agony in the garden. We’re going to talk about something that we see there. that ordinarily people overlook.

I’m going to roll back some layers of mystery for you, some theology and [00:01:00] history we’re seeing in there that you might not be aware of. I think you’re going to find it very interesting. At the top of the show, I’m going to go through a little tip on how you can meditate better. On episode one, I will do that every episode, by the way.

I’ll give you a little tip on how to meditate. Um, oh, and I have a special announcement, but I’ll get to that in a second. Uh, I forgot what I was just going to say, so let me get to the special announcement. This podcast is now available on iTunes and on Spotify. Yes, iTunes and Spotify. I’ll place links to the, uh, feed on iTunes and on Spotify in this episode’s Um, description, but also there’s another link I’m going to place down there that I really want you to know about, and I really want you to bookmark it l n k dot t o slash Catholic meditations.

So think of it as link to. without the I L N K dot T O slash Catholic meditations. You’ll also find that link in this episode’s description there. [00:02:00] You’ll find links to this show’s listing on iTunes and on Spotify. You’ll find, uh, additional resources, articles. or other resources related to that week’s meditations topic.

You’ll find links to where you can get the live stream. If you’re not doing, um, X spaces, if you’re not on X, but you want to listen to the live audio, there will be links there also. And this is big. I plan on doing at least once I plan on doing. a guided meditation on that week’s topic. And I will publish and upload that guided meditation to that portal site.

I may do it for this week’s episode. I may not. We’ll see, but at least once, maybe twice, I want to try this on for two separate one or two separate episodes. I want to upload a guided meditation that you’ll only be able to access. through that portal site and it’ll be free. Can’t get any better than that.

[00:03:00] LNK. to slash Catholic meditations. I’m also placing the link in this episode’s description. Just look around for it. You’ll see it there. Okay, now I hope you’re nice and cozy and comfortable. I hope I have thoroughly bored, I mean, tranquilized you, and that you’re ready to think and to reflect because we’re going to get into the subject of this episode now, and there’s a lot of rich depth to cover.

When we think of the passion of Jesus Christ, we usually focus on the pain of Jesus, the physical pain of Jesus. That’s what we think about when we hear the passion of the Christ, right? We think of the pain of the lash against his back. We think of the strain, the physical strain of him carrying the cross.

We think of the pain of the thorns pressed into his head during the crowning of thorns. And, of course, we think of the pain of the nails in his hands and his feet. And the pain of hanging there nailed to a cross until he was dead. We think of the physical pain. [00:04:00] But what we don’t usually think about is the suffering of Jesus.

Pains that are experienced, which are not seen. Pains that are not physical, but are painful nevertheless. The suffering of Jesus. We see signs of the suffering of Jesus in each of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. If you meditate on them, And think, really think, imagine each scene and think about what you’re seeing there.

You will see each one, each of those mysteries, there’s a sign that shows you what Jesus might have been suffering interiorly in his heart, in his mind. What he might have been suffering interiorly during that moment. But, with some of them it is hard to get at. I remember, um, like in particular, uh, the uh, scourging at the pillar.

It’s hard to see what is, what is Jesus suffering interiorly in that moment. It’s hard to see because he doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t do anything [00:05:00] but stand there and get lashed. There’s not a lot of detail going on there, but there are some signs you just have to reach for them. There are some signs that signify what he’s suffering interiorly.

The mystery where that’s most obvious is the, the agony in the Garden of Olives. We’ll talk about some of that suffering here today. Also, as I said, we’re gonna talk about some theology. I don’t like Theologizing meditations, but I wanna make this interesting for you and the Holy Spirit will can do a lot.

With Theologizing. , there’s gonna be some things in the theology that the holy that will provide the Holy Spirit. Or we’ll provide you with material, uh, that the Holy Spirit can use to deepen your meditation. And plus, I think you’ll just find it very interesting. Okay? Okay, let’s talk about a tip for meditation.

And I’m gonna make this simple because in the first episode of this series, I went really long on that first tip. So the second tip, the tip I’m gonna [00:06:00] talk about today, is basically this. Look around. Look around takes two forms. Okay, the second one, the second form of what it means to look around is going to take us into the topic today.

The first form goes like this. Look around in your imagination. There are two ways to meditate. One is basically intellectual, which is kind of what we’re doing here a little bit, where we’re digging deep into the Word of God, rolling it over and seeing what it reveals when we focus on it with the help of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God.

It’s kind of an intellectual meditation. We’re not doing that literally here. We’re not entering into a meditative state and thinking about the words and thinking about the words, but you get the idea. Another form of meditation is imaginative, where you’re imagining the scene prompted by the scripture.

The scriptures are telling you what’s going on in the scene and you build the scene in your imagination. And you even build things that aren’t in the script. For instance, [00:07:00] the agony in the garden. We get no description of what the garden looks like. We know that it’s night. We know there are olive trees.

That’s basically all we know. So you fill in the rest of it yourself. Right? The more work you put into imagining this scene, any scene in meditation, the more work you put into imagining the scene, And making it as real as possible, every detail you can think of, down to what the ground feels like beneath your feet.

The more effort you put into the meditation, the more God meets you there to draw you deeper into contemplation. You understand? So the work pays off. Spiritually, it pays off. So, do that. Build a scene that you can look around in. That you are, that you feel like in your imagination, you feel like you’re really there and really literally look around in your meditative imagination.

What do you see? What are they doing? What are people doing? Look around. In other [00:08:00]words, so when I say look around, what I’m really saying is build a good and detailed imaginative environment on whatever you’re meditating on. Look around. The second bit is look around at the whole picture, and that’s what we’re going to do today.

Sometimes when you’re meditating, the whole story, let’s say you’re meditating on a, on three verses in a particular chapter of a particular book, or let’s even say it’s one verse. Sometimes where the Holy Spirit wants to lead you, It’s not contained in that one verse. It’s not the whole of it anyway. It’s not all in that one verse.

It may not even be in that whole chapter. Where the, so if one verse strikes you as intriguing, and you feel like the Holy Spirit is, is leading you to meditate on that, You may come away feeling disappointed, [00:09:00] because you’re intrigued by it, but you’re not sure what to get out of it. And you could meditate on it 10 minutes, 15 minutes, an hour.

And you’re enjoying the meditation, but you’re not sure what you’re getting out of it. You’re not sure what you’re supposed to learn. What is it supposed to reveal? Well, that might be because the Holy Spirit’s only giving you a piece of a bigger picture. Sometimes you have to look around. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt that, you know, kind of consciously within you.

And sometimes you’ll stumble upon it. It’ll really be by grace, but you won’t, you won’t be cognizant of it. You won’t be aware of it. You’ll stumble on another scripture somewhere else. Next week, next month, might be next year. And now, and then you start to see a connection to something you meditated on a month ago, a year ago.

So sometimes the whole picture, the whole lesson isn’t going to be contained in one, uh, in one scripture quote. Or passage, or a word, or a phrase. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is going to build layers over time. Okay, let’s get [00:10:00] on with it. Have I bored you to death yet? Let me talk to you a little bit about the Garden of Gethsemane since that’s a central, I guess, figure and a central factor in today’s meditative, uh, discussion, meditation discussion.

The Garden of Gethsemane was a place of great importance to Jesus. He referred to it, or it is referred to, rather, in all four Gospels as a place where Jesus retreated into deep prayer and also, of course, a time of great agony before his arrest and crucifixion. The Mount of Olives is a place of significance.

King Solomon erected a high place, what the scripture called a high place, basically a monument. He erected a monument there for the worship of foreign gods. King David and his followers fled Jerusalem through the Kidron Valley, where the Mount of Olives is, and they went up the Mount of Olives, and King David was going up the Mount of Olives weeping and barefoot after his son Absalom [00:11:00] rebelled with an uprising, which was a very bloody uprising.

That was in, uh, I think the second book of Samuel, if you want to read up on that. The Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, prophesied that a day of the Lord, that’s how he phrased it, a day of the Lord, would be coming when the Lord would stand upon the Mount of Olives ready for battle and to be king over the whole earth.

So it’s an important place, scripturally and historically. It’s an important place. And now we find Jesus there. in his agony. So let’s go to it. I’m going to be reading from the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter 36 in the Gospel of Matthew. I need to set a stage here for you. Jesus and the Apostles go to the Garden of Gethsemane after their Passover meal.

Okay, that’s important. That’s very, very important. I’ll get to why that’s important in a second. But they arrive there to pray. After the pa, directly after the Passover meal. If you don’t know, the [00:12:00]Passover meal was what we call the last supper, but for them, the J for them who were Jews, it was the Passover meal.

Very important detail. I wanna read something that comes to bear here before they get to Gethsemane again. This is after the Passover meal. The first thing we are told in scripture that they did. After the Passover meal, it goes like this. And when they had sung a hymn, that’s important, I’ll get to it in a second.

And they had sung a hymn. After they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, You will all fall away because of me on this very night. For it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.

Peter declared to him, Though they all [00:13:00] will fall away because of you, I will never fall away. And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will betray me three times. And Peter said to him, Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you. And so said all the disciples, Now we get to Gethsemane.

And then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, Sit here while I go over there and pray. And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and those were Peter, James, and John. Or the sons of Zebedee were James and John. So he took Peter, James, and John. Do you remember the last time we hear of Jesus taking those three?

Apostles with him somewhere. It was the Transfiguration. There’s a hint. [00:14:00] There’s something to glean in the Transfiguration that shines a little light on, uh, the Garden of Gethsemane. Just saying. Hint, hint. Wink, wink. Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

Then he said to them, My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death. Folks, it’s not just rhetoric or poetry. When Jesus says, even unto death, that was, that was a thing. That phrase in Hebrew for the ancient Jews was a thing. It’s a very, very, very strong phrase. It’s not just poetry. It’s not just metaphor. It’s a very strong statement.

My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch with me. And going a little further, he fell on his knees. I’m sorry. He fell on his face. And began to pray. Let me pause there. Jesus [00:15:00] tells Peter, James, and John to keep watch with him. Not to keep watch for him. And not just, keep watch. He tells them, keep watch with me.

He wants accompaniment. He doesn’t want to feel alone. This is a sign that Jesus felt very, very alone. Right? Or at least it can be a sign that he felt very, very alone. Which, when you read the whole narrative, it’s apparent that he was He didn’t want to be alone. He didn’t want to feel alone. Keep watch with me.

And going a little further, he fell on his face and prayed. My father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but you will, but your will be done. Let me pause there. I don’t remember if it was here, in this translation, or if it was in one of the [00:16:00] other, um, Gospels. But there was something there that really struck me.

When Jesus says, and this might be how this translation in this Bible that I have, this might be how this renders it. But I remember the words being, Father, with you, everything is possible. If it is your will, let this cup pass from me. And that really struck me, because I thought, yeah, with God, everything is possible.

So why did Jesus have to die this way? Even Jesus acknowledges, with you, everything is possible. And yet God still had him die this way to save mankind. It didn’t derail my faith, but it was a big complication for me. Father, with you everything is possible, so why wouldn’t you have made it possible to save mankind without letting Jesus, your only begotten Son, suffer and die like this?[00:17:00]

Don’t you sometimes want to say, God, I don’t understand you. Why would you do that? Right? God, I don’t understand you. Why are you letting me go through this? Why would you do this to someone? Why would you let children suffer through this? Don’t you just want to say that every now and again? If you don’t, you’re a saint, because I say it.

Not often. Not often. But from time to time, I say that. God with you, everything is possible. Why are you allowing this to happen?

I’m going to unlock that mystery for you in a second. Let me just continue. My father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. Your will be done. And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, So you could not even watch with me for one hour?

Keep watch and pray that you may not enter [00:18:00] into temptation. In other translations it says, Keep watch and pray that you may not undergo the trial.

What’s he talking about there? That’s something that I had to meditate on for a while, myself. Um. What temptation is he talking about? What trial is he talking about in another gospel? Keep watch that. You may not undergo the trial. He says that to all 12 apostles. After they get to Gethsemane, he says to them, um, sit here while I go over there.

You stay here while I go over there to pray. And then he takes Peter, James, and John with them in other gospels. He says, sit here and pray that you not, that you may not undergo the trial. I think he even says the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He says it to Peter, James, and John also, but he first said it to the entire gathering of the apostles.

Well, this is important, obviously. What’s he talking about? So the temptation of the trial that Jesus is talking about is used one, that, that very word is [00:19:00] used one other time in Matthew and only one other time in the book of Matthew. You know what it is? And lead us not into temptation. Matthew uses the exact same word that for us, it’s just temptation or trial, but in Hebrew, and I think also in Greek, it’s a different word that means the ultimate final temptation.

You might also understand it as the temptation of all temptations that sets everything out. The temptation that decides The next move. The temptation that decides where this chapter, where this story goes next. A major, major temptation. A major moment. It’s not just any temptation. That’s why I wanted to talk about, when I opened this up, I didn’t go right to Gethsemane.

I started with Peter’s denial foretold in the gospel. When Jesus said, this very night you will all fall and be scattered because of me.[00:20:00]

So Jesus isn’t, now obviously the Apostles didn’t live until the end of time. Also, I should point out, even the Jews have in their tradition this awareness that at the end of time there will be a final trial. Right? We have that in Christianity. The Jews also had it even then in Jesus time. This comes from Jewish tradition where they believed there will, at the end of time, there will be a final Test.

And they use that word, it’s a word that I cannot pronounce so I will not try, but they use the word that in here is called temptation. Or, or the trial. Not a trial, but the trial. Well we know the apostles didn’t live until the end of time, so Jesus must have been talking about something else. Some other pivotal moment.

You know what I think that moment was? I’m just gonna drop it now because you can probably already guess. Probably that moment was when the apostles were scattered. Now, you might say, well, then they succumbed to the [00:21:00] temptation because they scattered. Aha! But they didn’t apostatize. Peter didn’t. John didn’t.

None of the other apostles apostatized. They fled. Yes, they did. They ran and hid. Yes, they did. I always say there’s only one, there’s only one unanimous ecclesial act in church history where all of the bishops decided the same thing at once. You know when that was? When the apostles fled Gethsemane.

Yes, they fled, but they didn’t apostatize. Boy, did they not apostatize. They came back on fire after Pentecost. Right? I don’t think Jesus was saying, I don’t think Jesus was praying that they didn’t get subjected to temptation, because subjection to temptation is normal for fallen human beings. What I think Jesus is really hoping for, praying for, telling them to pray for, is that they don’t succumb to it.

And if that’s what he’s talking about. The trial [00:22:00] of, of the dispersion of the Apostles, just as the, the tribes of Israel were dispersed, if that’s what he’s talking about, then their, their prayer was answered. Because they fled, but they didn’t apostatize. And had, had they done that, had they apostatized, there would be no church, there would be no Christianity, there might be no salvation.

I mean, the cross probably still would have happened, but would anyone today have known about it? To, to be able to profess faith in Jesus Christ? For Probably not. Anyway, so there’s that. Now I’m gonna back up. We’re hearing, well, let me continue forward. I think that would be better. So you could not watch with me even one hour.

Jesus is not talking about a little literal hour here. And it’s funny, the three apostles are there, but he points out Peter specifically. He specifically names Peter. Why? I think for two reasons. [00:23:00]One, because Peter, I don’t believe he was Pope yet. Um, or he might have. Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, I think that happened, yes, yes, yes, that happened before this.

So, technically he’s already the Pope, but I don’t think he knows that. He’s just one of the twelve. Right? At this point. But he is, he is, I don’t want to say he’s the head of the church, but he’s basically the pope. He speaks and acts for his brothers, the other bishops, the other apostles. Even if he doesn’t know that yet.

He has a special responsibility. More is expected of him. I think, do not interpret that as church teaching. That is my thought. Okay? So I think that’s one thing. That Peter represents the whole church. But I think also, also what’s happening here is what happened just a few moments ago. Even if they should all fall [00:24:00] away, Lord, I will never deny you.

Even if I have to die with you, Lord, I will never deny you. And what does Jesus say now? You couldn’t even stay awake for an hour. You won’t deny me? You would die with me? You couldn’t even stay awake for an hour. You would

I think that’s what Jesus meant, and I’ll bet you that cut Peter to the bone.

We hear a lot in this period in the reading, keep watch and pray. Keep watch and pray. But the apostles were sleeping because the scripture says, for they could not keep their eyes open. We can relate to that, right? As sinful people. We’re supposed to be keeping watch, being spiritually alert, even mentally alert.

Stay sober and alert. Your enemy the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. That’s in the book of Peter. We need to stay alert, keep [00:25:00] watch, and be prayerful. But sometimes, we just cannot keep our eyes open. Right? No matter how hard we try, we just cannot keep our eyes open. We cannot walk the straight and narrow path.

And spiritually, we fall asleep. And sometimes Jesus wakes us up, but sometimes He surrenders us to the paths that we choose. He lets us sleep for a little while.

So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Again, I don’t think he was talking about a literal hour, an hour or at that hour often meant at that very significant moment. I don’t, in fact, they were likely there for more than an hour. So very significant moment. We can understand that as couldn’t keep watch with me for an hour.

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. We already talked [00:26:00] about that. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. It stands to reason then, my friends, and it’s true, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The way to sub So, let me rephrase this a little bit.

The mind knows better, but the will is weak. That’s not, that’s not exactly what Jesus is saying. It’s an analog to what he’s saying. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In your mind you know right from wrong, but often the will doesn’t want to obey the mind, which is why you sin. God’s sanctifying grace strengthens our will and illuminates our intellects.

That’s what God’s grace does. It takes time and effort for the will to be in subjection to the intellect. For the will to do what the mind knows is [00:27:00] right, and for the will to reject what the mind knows is wrong. It takes time. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. What’s the Lord’s prescription for that?

Keep watch and pray. I would also add to that sacrifice and penance, but definitely pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. If you are not praying, you will die. If you are not praying, you will die. Your soul will die. Your intellect will wither. Possibly, your body will die. Sin leads to death. Now, death will happen anyway, but sin tends to speed it along.

If you are not praying, you will die. Certainly, even if you don’t die mortally, your spirit begins to die. Your soul [00:28:00] begins to die.

So, be prayerful. Remain prayerful. It’s a discipline. It’s like lifting weights. It’s a discipline. But the way you, you master it is you do it. Keep watch and pray. Again for the second time, he went away and prayed, my father, if this cannot pass unless I drink of it, your will be done.

Your will be done. And again, he came back and you guessed it. He found the apostles sleeping for they could not keep their eyes open. So, leaving them, see here he leaves them asleep. Leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time. Saying the same words. I want to point this out to Protestants, who are always saying, vain repetition, vain repetition, vain repetition, you can’t say rosary, that’s vain repetition.

Oh really? Here’s Jesus saying the exact same words three separate [00:29:00] times. Hey, what do I know? Isn’t that vain repetition? I guess, I don’t know. I guess I’ll leave it to you guys, to figure, to decide that one. Then he came to the disciples, and he said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?

Sleeping and taking your rest. They were not only sleeping, they were relaxing, reclining. Right? Which is worse than just having fallen asleep. Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up. Let’s go. My betrayer is here.

The last time we heard, before this, the time before this that we heard Jesus saying get up and let’s go, it was at the conclusion of the transfiguration. And he said it to Peter. Don’t be afraid. Get up. Let’s go. Hmm. Hint, hint. Wink, wink. You’re going to have to [00:30:00] meditate on that on your own. I won’t spoon feed you.

I won’t spoon feed you. Get up. Let’s go. My betrayer is at hand.

I’m going to talk in a second about this cup that we keep hearing about. And I’ll make that the last thing I talk about. The cup. What is it with this cup? Get to that in a second. Quick announcement, if you’re not signed up for my newsletter, please do that. Go to catholicadventurer. com catholicadventurer.

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For some reason, though scripture says he fell on his face, he fell prostrate and he was praying. I always imagine, I used to have an image of the agony of the garden over my bed when I was a boy. Um, I think I might have got it from my first communion. Now, Jesus doesn’t look like he’s in anguish and suffering.

I think it was appropriate [00:33:00] for a child, you know, the, the, the illustration. But I knew what was happening there. I knew it was the agony in the garden, you know? And so, in there, he’s kneeling, um, at a rock and he has his hands folded and they’re, they’re on top of the rock and he’s looking up to heaven and, and I, I always loved that image.

So, whenever I meditate on this, no matter what I do, no matter what I try, in my imagination Jesus is always praying at that rock. So, focus your attention within yourself, in your imagination, and I want you to picture Jesus, and I want you to really do this, really do this now. And if you can’t, you can’t, but come, but do it later.

But I want you to really do this. Close your eyes, and focus on, on this scene in the agony of the garden. It’s better to take some time to build the scene and make it real, with all the details you can, but we’re not going to go through all that right now. So, picture Jesus, in the garden, and he’s at prayer, [00:34:00] and you see the anguish on his face, and you see the blood pouring out of his head like sweat.

Right? The blood pouring out of his head is a sign of great anxiety and stress. That’s the sign of his suffering that we see here. That’s a sign of his suffering. The blood pouring from his, his head like sweat. You can, and science has shown this, that that is actually possible. That under tremendous strain, In periods of tremendous anxiety, the capillaries under the skin in your head can burst and leak blood out into the pores and then comes out of your pores like sweat.

But that only happens under real, true, tremendous periods of anxiety. And that’s a sign of the gravity of Jesus [00:35:00] anxiety in this moment. Partly, He’s so anxious. And so stressed because, uh, he knows what’s going to happen next, he knows how he’s going to die, and he’s, and he’s afraid. Fear is not a vice, fear is human.

Cowardice probably is a vice. Cowardice is what you do with fear. Right? And heroism is also what you do with fear. You act in spite of it.

Also, tradition and the saints I will say, suggest, some of them flat out say it, that Jesus had in his mind the, the sins of all mankind that he was about to die for. Can you imagine having this in your, in your mind? Now the mind is not the brain. The brain is how the mind, the intellect manifests in [00:36:00]temporal reality.

But the mind is not the brain. The mind is broader than the brain, especially the mind of Jesus, right? Because even Jesus, as God, has a mind. He has a mind, he has a human mind, and he has a divine mind. How those two meet in the middle, I’m not going to get into. That’s very, very complicated. But you can imagine, then, that Jesus has in his mind the sins of all mankind.

My sins, he knows all of them already. Your sins. He knows them. He knows them deeply. And everybody else’s sins of every person who ever lived or will live. And he’s carrying the weight of this in his mind. And imagine a good and pure and holy God carrying the sins of all humanity with a human heart. Now the human heart is is limited compared to a divine [00:37:00] heart.

Don’t get me wrong. But he feels as a human. What he knows as God. Imagine the weight of that. That’s like putting an elephant on a tricycle. He feels as a human what he knows as God. Can you imagine? And there’s, is, the cause, or in large part the cause of this, probably, because it’s not scriptural, but it’s probably accurate.

Um, and again, saints, plural, have said this. You can imagine Um. How heavy a weight of grief and anxiety and agony that was. Not just on the mind of Jesus, but on the heart of Jesus. The agony in the garden. Now we’re going to go back in time, and I want to talk about this cup business we keep hearing about.

Really, if you want to [00:38:00] stop the podcast now, you will have gotten spiritual benefit from it. If you’re in a rush, you don’t want to listen anymore, this would be a safe time. To, uh, to, to end it. I’ll give you a little secret. I did this podcast a day ago, but I did not like how it came out, so this is a re recording.

In the original, in the original airing of it, when I did this first, Um, that part that you just heard, I spoke about that last. I’m not gonna get into why I’m flip flopping it now, but I wanted to get that part sooner. And the part that yesterday was in the middle, I’m now doing in the end. Trust me. It’s better this way.

Let’s talk about the cup. Okay? If it’s possible for this cup or chalice to pass for me, you know, let, let this cup or chalice pass for me, but not as I will it. But your, your will be done, God with you. Everything is possible. So if it is your will, let this cup pass for me and yet God didn’t let him let it pass from him.

Why? [00:39:00] The answer actually is in history. What is this cup? What’s this an allusion to? So the cup, traditionally for Jews, the taking of the cup, the accepting of the cup, represented accepting God’s will for you. That’s what that meant, right? Like, be cool doesn’t mean to lower your temperature. Be cool means take it easy, calm down, relax.

I forget, what is that called, an idiom? I forget what that’s called. I don’t remember if it’s called an idiom or not, but anyway, they had things like that in, in, in Scripture too. One of them was You know, accepting the cup. We see that in I forget where it is, I’m so sorry. But Two of the apostles said, Let us sit one at your left and one at your right.

And Jesus said, Do you think you can take the cup that I will drink from, and accept the baptism with which I will be baptized? Again, we see taking the cup there. So this is scripturally [00:40:00] based. So it’s a thing, accepting the will of God. Well, and in that, in that scripture, Jesus is talking about, do you think you can suffer as I’m suffering?

Do you think you’ll be able to, because following me means you have to suffer for me and suffer with me. Do you think you can do that? And they said, yes, we can do that. And Jesus said, well, to sit on my left and at my right, those are not places that I can give. But, dot dot dot dot dot. If you want to inherit my glory, you have to suffer with me.

Is basically what he was saying. But to sit at my left and sit at my right, that’s not for mine. Those spaces aren’t mine to give. So where does this cup thing come from? It comes from the Old Testament. It comes from the exodus of the Jews. It comes from the Passover meal. Listen tight. Listen tight.

Because this is pretty involved. It’s not confusing, but it’s pretty involved. In the Passover meal, there are traditionally four cups of wine. The way it works is the father of the house, I believe he either prays over it or [00:41:00] blesses the cup of wine, or as the wine mingles it with water. Sound familiar?

Prays, says a prayer, and then he passes it to the person next to him, who drinks of it, and then they pass it to the person next to them, who drinks of it, and et cetera down on the line. The only, let’s say you’re at the other end of the table. Let’s say you’re the, the father’s at one end of the table, the mother’s at the other end of the table, and in between them are a number of guests.

The only way for the mother to not drink the wine, because it’s part of the ritual, you kind of have to do it, I think. You have to do it. The only way to not do it is for there to be no Passover meal. But you have to do the Passover meal. The only way to not do the Passover meal is if there is no Passover, if there is no Exodus.

And if there is no Exodus, then the Jews are still in bondage in Israel, in, in, in, in bondage of slavery [00:42:00] in Egypt. So it’s kind of a chain reaction. The only way to not drink the wine, which you’re supposed to drink, is for there to be no, for there to be no occasion for which to drink the wine. The Passover meal.

But you have to do the Passover meal. Well, for there to be no occasion to have a Passover meal, there can be no Passover event. And the Passover event happened because the exodus happened. For the Passover not to happen, the exodus can’t have happened, and then the Jews would still be in bondage in Egypt.

Or, by today, they might have been extinct. Who knows? With you, everything is possible. If it’s your will, let this cup pass from me. Well, the only way for this cup to pass from Jesus is for there to be no salvation for man at all. Because for So, in other words, what I take from that is God can do anything, but he can only do everything that makes sense.

With you, everything is possible. Yes, but [00:43:00] only things that make sense. Can God blah, blah, blue, blah? No, because that doesn’t make sense. God can only do what makes sense. For God to allow Jesus to not accept this cup, God would have to not have a plan or will not to, he would have to will not to rescue humanity.

God But in his divine heart, it is his will, his, it is the desire of his heart, it is the will and desire of his heart to rescue humanity. To negate that would require that humanity was never created. Let me take you through, down through this chain, but in the other direction. God created us because he loved us.

Now, boom, there we are. Man fell. Boom, there’s the fall. God sent his son to redeem us. Boom, there’s the incarnation. Jesus grew up, suffered, and died for our sins. Boom, there’s salvation of man. [00:44:00] Right? For the crucifix not to be necessary, humanity could not have been created. So for Jesus, for this cup to pass, Jesus, without him having to take of it, there would have to be no humanity.

Because this is just part of the chain. This is just how it all works. For more UN videos visit www. un. org You understand? And of course Jesus knows this. I don’t think Jesus is being literal when he says you can do everything if it’s possible. I don’t think he means that literally because Jesus knows.

Jesus knows what he’s there for and he knows why. You know, I think if anything Jesus was praying for, I mean he prayed three times for this, right? I don’t think he was praying to be saved, to be, I don’t know, let loose of this Sacrifice he was about to [00:45:00] make. I don’t think he was literally praying for that.

What I think he was doing was, I think he was saying give me the strength to manifest your will in the salvation of man. With you everything is possible if it’s if it’s your will let this cup pass for me but if it’s not then let your will be done. I think that second part of that prayer is what he was praying.

I think he was really praying for strength to continue. I don’t think he was really praying to be set free from the duty. I think he was praying for the strength to continue. The second half of that prayer, which he prayed three times, I think that’s really what he was praying. And the first half was just the setup.

That’s what I think. Part of the reason why, I mean, I believe that for a number of reasons, but part of the reason is every time he comes back to the Apostles, he’s a little bit more resolute, and he seems a little less distraught. I don’t know. By the third time, when he comes back to the [00:46:00] Apostles, he’s pretty stern, and he’s resolute, and everything that transpires after that, the arrest of Jesus, Jesus before this, the, uh, the, the, uh, elders and all this stuff, he doesn’t seem defeated or sad.

He seems resolved and strong. God gave him the grace to continue. Okay, we’re supposed to be talking about a cup over here and I’m going everywhere else. I’m so sorry and I apologize. So there are four cups in the Passover meal. That’s actually where all this started, right? There are four cups of wine that are passed, okay, and they’re part, and they’re part of the ceremony.

They’re part of the ritual and it is from Jewish history because of the Passover and the Seder meal. It’s from Jewish history that that, that accepting of the cup represents accepting God’s will. Okay? But there’s more to this cup than meets the eye. Jesus and the Apostles, now you remember at the beginning of this episode, I said they have just [00:47:00] finished the Passover meal, right?

They’ve just finished the Passover meal. Or did they? Because in the Passover meal there are four cups, as I just said. In the Last Supper, it’s not explicit in the scriptures, but there are signs in the scriptures that pretty strongly suggest that there were three cups of wine. Pretty strong, it’s not explicit, theologians have combed through this, and there are signs that I cannot enumerate, but I’ve, I’ve studied them.

There are signs, I’m, I’m really a lot dumber than I, than, than you think, believe me. There are things that I’ve studied and read that I internalize, but I can’t enumerate because I, my mind just doesn’t hold on to them. They were pretty sure that they had three cups of wine, but not the fourth, not the fourth.

The four cups of wine at a traditional Passover meal is, the first is, [00:48:00] um, shoot, it accompanies the Kiddush, right, which is the sanctification of time, right, imbuing time with holiness, I guess you could put it. The second cup is drunk after the mitzvah, and it tells the story of the exodus of the Jewish people.

It literally tells a story. And it tells the story in the present tense, as if it’s happening again right now. The Jews called that a remembrance. A remembrance. To do it as if it’s happening now. Again. For the first time. Hmm. Where have we heard that before? Do this in remembrance of me. Aha. So the second cup, is the cup.

Drunk after the mitzvah, telling the story of the exodus of the Jewish people. The third cup is the cup of blessing. Now according to Jewish tradition, this portion is focused on the future. And it asks [00:49:00] God to redeem Israel and to redeem all humanity in general. So that’s the third cup. Now again, in theology it is strongly believed that the three cups were, the three cups of wine happened at the Last Supper, but not the fourth.

Why? Because immediately after the Last Supper, what did they do? Scripture says, and they sang a hymn. Well, in a Seder, you do sing a hymn of praise to God after the third cup. And then a fourth cup is to be drunk. After the hymn, listen, there is no reason to write in scripture, and when they sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

If the hymn is not important, why would you even say that? Who cares that they sang a hymn? Just say that they went out to the Garden of Olives. But the gospel writer is pointing this out for a reason. I’m sure, and this was Matthew, he was one of the apostles, right? And I’m [00:50:00] sure, For the apostles, it was very peculiar that they sang a hymn, but there was no fourth cup.

I wonder if that’s why he was intentionally pointing it out there, and when they had sung a hymn. Traditionally, after the third cup, you sing a hymn of praise to God. And then you drink a fourth cup. And then, then, the Passover meal is finished. They’re done with the Passover meal after the fourth cup, but there was no fourth cup.

Where’s the fourth cup? In, in the Last Supper. If it’s not at the Last Supper, where was it? It’s in John chapter 19. At the, at the cross. Goes a little something like this. There was a, now Jesus is on the cross, and now let’s continue. There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge, soaked in wine, on a spring of hyssop, and put it to the, and put it to Jesus mouth.

When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, It is [00:51:00] finished. And bowing his head, he handed over his spirit. There’s the fourth cup. That is not doctrine. That is theology. Might the theologians be getting a little inventive and, you know, creative? Maybe. It happens in theology. It does happen. But probably they’re spot on.

Probably they’re spot on. Many theologians believe this. Very, very few take issue with it, but they don’t say, mm, they don’t say, eh, I don’t think so. They don’t say that. They’re just not as convinced. But pretty widely this is held in theology, that there is the fourth cup. And after he drinks, he says, it is finished.

It is finished.

It’s interesting, the, in Greek. The Greek word, the word that they [00:52:00] use for it is finished is an accounting term. I don’t know, I don’t remember what it is. And even when I knew it, I wouldn’t know how to say it. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a word. It means finished, but it’s an accounting term. In other words, the debt is paid.

The debt is paid. Ah, I would like to go to the Vulgate and see how Jerome translated that. I’m going to look that up right now and I’m going to edit out this pause and moment of silence as I find it. Okay, and we’re back. You don’t know it, but I was, it took me a little time to research this. So, in the Douay Rheims, which, folks, just because you have a Douay Rheims doesn’t mean you’re a biblical scholar.

I want to point that out. Jesus, therefore, When he had taken, uh, the, it says vinegar, but it was wine. Uh, that it is, it is consummated. Instead of it is finished. In the Latin, it says consumatum. Consumatum est. It is consummated. Now I have to explain what consummated is. I know I’m going to screw this up. I know [00:53:00] someone’s going to message me about this, about about my imprecision, about the imprecision in my language, but I’m gonna try my best consummation is when the, the body, um, I guess a sense to a promise of the words when a body ascends to a promise of the words, when your body does what your words promise.

When your body does what your words promise, consummatum est. If you are a real theologian, and I have that wrong, for God’s sake, would you please message me? Please message me so I can clarify, but I, I don’t think, in fact, I know it’s not wrong. I might be lacking precision. I know it’s not incorrect. It’s when the body does what the mouth and words promise, like when a marriage is consummated, Right?

Your, the [00:54:00] bodies of, of the man and the wife are doing, they’re, they’re, they’re uniting, right? They’re, they’re coming into union, which is what is happening sacramentally, which happens sacramentally because they ascent to it with their, their vows. Consumatum est. So, Jesus does not say, it is finished, the debt is paid.

I think the Greek writers put it that way to kind of emphasize a point. Okay? What Jesus said in Aramaic, I don’t know. How this was written, if it was written in Hebrew, how it was written, I don’t know. But Jerome knew, and the way Jerome rendered that was, Kansumatum est. He does with his body what is happening on a plane that is unseen.

Um, in accord with, with, I guess, um, maybe we wouldn’t say vow. Maybe we would say covenant there in accord with a covenant. Wow. That sounded pretty good. [00:55:00] I’m going to listen back to that and I’m going to pat myself on the back and I’m going to say, man, that sounded great. Now it’s not, it has nothing to do with me because I really am an idiot.

If that’s, if that is as good as it sounded, I’m going to listen back later and find out. Um, if it, if it is as good as it sounded, thank you, Holy Spirit, because, boy, you know, whenever I do these, these types of shows, I always pray to the Holy Spirit to, to, to enable me beyond my natural limitations.

Because the Holy Spirit knows I’m a moron, and I know I’m a moron. So there, if that was as good as it sounded, and I think it was, the Holy Spirit answered my prayer. Thank you, Holy, and I mean it. Thank you, Holy Spirit. Thank you. Was that enough meditation for you? Did that give you enough material to go back and meditate on this on your own?

I hope so, because that’s the end of the episode. I’m the Catholic Adventurer and this is episode, this has been episode two of [00:56:00] Meditations for Saints in the Making. Remember to check out the epi, or the show portal. At LNK. 2, T O, LNK. 2 slash Catholic Meditations. Okay, so that’s going to be a handy place to go to.

Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this, please spread it around. Tell people about it. And please say Hail Mary for me and my family. Honestly, once, once this show’s over, don’t forget. Just right away, say Hail Mary for me and my family because we’re in need. I really appreciate it. God bless you. God be with you all.

This has been Meditations. I am the Catholic. Catholic Adventurer. Follow me on X, at ForTheQueenBVM, at Catholic Adventurer on Facebook. God bless you. Bye bye.

Talking about a pivotal moment in the passion of Jesus, the “suffering of the Christ,” and the significance of “the cup”

There’s a lot more going on in the agony in the garden than meets the eye. In this episode I take you through the richness of this moment and peel back some theological layers to shed light on some of the mysteries we encounter in the scriptural narrative. At the bottom of the episode I explain the significance of “the cup” that Jesus asks the father to let pass from him, what it means, and why it has a deep significance beneath the surface of the statement.

Link to the show’s portal site mentioned in the episode:

Time Codes

  • Announcements: 4:55
  • Meditation Tip #2 – 5:50
  • There’s a bigger picture: 8:20
  • About the Garden: 9:58
  • Setting the Stage for the Agony: 11:32
  • 13:25 “Now we get to Gethsemane”
  • The Significance of “The Cup”: 37:51
  • Latin Vulgate, “Finished” vs “Consumatum”: 52:20


Matthew 26:30, Peter’s Denial, and the fall of the apostles foretold
Matthew 26:36 Jesus Prays in Gethsemane, and the agony in the garden.

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