When Your Eyes Grow Heavy & Your Sight Grows Dim
It's Tuesday of Holy Week, and my daily readings are filled with the stories of Jesus' Passion, most notably his struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane right before Judas betrayed him and he was taken.
When he went to Gethsemane to pray that night, Jesus brought three of his disciples with him: Peter, James and John.
These same three were with Jesus on top of a mountain when the glory of God shone through him and he was transfigured in front of them. The disciples were astonished to see a transformed Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah, and hear God's voice exhorting them to listen to His Beloved Son.
At Gethsemane, when Jesus commanded the three to stand watch and pray, they failed to listen to him. Whatever zeal they experienced because of Jesus revealed glory gave way to weariness and frailty.
"Couldn't you keep watch with me for a single hour?" Jesus asks them when he found them asleep.
In that moment we get a glimpse of the pain Jesus felt in his time of solitary trial and struggle, and the grief he would soon experience as his followers let him down. One of them would betray him. The others would flee. The one Jesus called his "Rock" would deny him with curses.
This story reminds me of my own frailty when it comes to following Jesus. Even vivid memories of mountaintop moments when I experienced the full wonder of Jesus glory and Lordship can fade when I grow tired of going where he would have me go.
Author Kathleen Norris writes:
"Our gospel is a sad commentary on our tendency to follow Jesus only so far. We would like to believe in him but value other things more: our good name, our place in the status quo, the 'human glory' we can see rather than the divine glory that remains elusive."
Don't give in to the temptation to succumb to whatever weariness or frailty you feel as you come to the end of your Lenten journey. Jesus desires you to walk with him, to be vigilant, to draw near to him and take courage.
May you find the strength to be awake and filled with holy purpose as you stumble after Jesus toward the Cross. May you be sustained by visions of glory and the hope of Resurrection.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.