“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Matthew 26:36-46
We can see life, from the cradle to the grave, as a journey. There is nothing straightforward about this journey as we experience good times and bad. Think of ourselves as holding a cup, the contents of which conveying the point we have reached on our journey.
Giving and receiving is all part of life. Which cup do we hold at this present time? Are we eaten up with jealousy, bitterness, envy, anger and frustration or do we offer a cup of generosity, kindness, understanding, helpfulness and mercy?
Our cup could be one of pain and suffering. We could be stricken with grief as was the case with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There are times when we need to be alone and times to have someone with us. Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, needed two things – time with his Father and the company of his closest friends. He knew that the appointed time of his suffering and death would soon be upon him. Sadly, his friends let him down. Their reason for doing so was understandable. It had been a traumatic week and they feared for their lives – they fell asleep. We could easily identify with Jesus’ words to them, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
These men who so desperately wanted to be good friends failed Jesus and in doing so did not witness his agony and distress or see the spiritual battle that took place that night. Jesus drew the time to a close by saying, “The hour has come”. What do we do with the cup we are holding? Do we share the cup of plenty, discard the cups of jealousy, bitterness, envy, anger and frustration and replace them with generosity, kindness, understanding, helpfulness and mercy? Are we prepared to go the extra mile?