Jesus would virtually stumble upon His disciples overcome by sleep, after wrestling in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Passion and agony He would undergo. His very own select chief followers would be found in the midst of spiritual torpor –– disconnected from Him.
And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
–– Matthew 26:40.
Here was Christ our Saviour, as He wrestled with the imminent self-sacrifice He would make for mankind, pouring out his love, and yet His main men would be preoccupied with other things –– chiefly sleep and self-comfort –– that they would not notice.
And it was not for lack of information. Previously, Jesus had advised His disciples:
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
–– Matthew 26:38.
Then the Master would have to admonish them:
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
–– Matthew 26:41.
Truth to be told, we are unfortunately often like those undiscerning disciples of Jesus: asleep spiritually in all the tensions around us, even if we have an iota of physical awareness. In the latter state we may settle for inertia, or if there be action, we become wayward, ignoring or dismissing reflection –– even in Holy Week.
We would even come to spurn Christ’s redemptive grace, blocking the love God has for us, and denying the Word became flesh and redeemed us by his holy life and holy death.
It has not gone unnoticed the growing disrespect and irreverence for Holy Week as demonstrated by the deeds of Barbadians. Have we not drifted from the endearing culture our foreparents bequeathed to us –– to revere Maundy Thursday, Good Friday –– the whole of this week, if need be? How have we as Christians failed to promote and maintain in society the holiness of this week?
Sadly today, the church, though proclaiming the Gospel like of old, has little influence on those who hold high positions in society in so far as setting that tenor is concerned. How else do we explain the impasse and stand-off between the powers that be and workers’ representatives? How can it come to be that, between them, air and sea travel –– in and out –– can be coldly disrupted and the unwary discomfited?
That circumstances can lead to this happening in Holy Week speaks deafeningly
to our spiritual slumber. We cannot now undo the past; the horse has already bolted the stable as far as reverence for this period of the church calendar is concerned. But there is nothing saying the horse cannot be caught and brought back to rest.
Holy Week is pretty much ended, leaving us with the high point of Good Friday tomorrow, and the celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday. Those of us who slumbered spiritually this week might resolve to make tomorrow holy by reading and meditating on The Holy Bible –– in church or out –– accepting Christ’s redemption by recollection of His very sacrifice of life, and moving towards reconciliation in His holy name.
We as a people need to be Christian not only by name, but by deed.
So often, we become caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily living, we fail to reserve time to be with Jesus and to seek his advice. Tomorrow, let us reflect.
Consider the Garden Of Suffering; watch in pain the Master’s trial before Pilate; look at the fickle people turning against Him; be there as Jesus is sentenced to Calvary, and mocked, spat upon, beaten and forced to carry the heavy cross on the way; hear the echo of the Roman soldiers’ hammers; feel the agony of torn flesh and strained muscles; share mother Mary’s anguish as Jesus hangs on the cross –– for all of us sinners.
As we reflect, let us take time this weekend to remember those who are not as fortunate as others of us may be; to pray for those who have come upon hard days, especially those owed back pay; and to be present for those who we know otherwise are suffering. Sharing the pain of our fellowman or neighbour will enliven The Word and help us enter into the holy mystery of the redemptive suffering of Christ.
It was Jesus Himself who declared:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
–– John 15:13.
What then the price of merely giving succour –– by man or Government? Let us remember always that everyone of us must take responsibility for what this country becomes.