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Pope reflects on prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane for general audience

2012-02-01


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane, the Garden of Olives, following the Last Supper. As the Lord prepares to face his death, he prays alone, as the eternal Son in communion with the Father. 

Yet he also desires the company of Peter, James and John; their presence is an invitation to every disciple to draw near to Jesus along the way of the Cross.

Christ’s prayer reveals his human fear and anguish in the face of death, and at the same time shows his complete obedience to the will of the Father. 

His words, “not what I want, but what you want” (Mk 14:36), teach us that only in complete abandonment to God’s will do we attain the full measure of our humanity. In Christ’s “yes” to the Father, Adam’s sin is redeemed and humanity attains true freedom, the freedom of the children of God. May our contemplation of the Lord’s prayer in Gethsemane help us better to discern God’s will for us and for our lives, and sustain our daily petition that his will be done, “on earth as it is in heaven”.

I offer a warm welcome to the group of British Army Chaplains taking part in today’s Audience. My greeting also goes to the many student and parish groups present. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, including those from Hong Kong and the United States of America, I cordially invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!