Meditations and prayers prepared by sister Minke and presented to Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross in the Colloseum, Rome, Italy, on Good Friday, 14 April 1995.
From the Introduction
We are here so that together we may follow Jesus on his way of love, his way of the Cross. We are going to follow him step by step through his Passion, as the Gospel of St. Mark describes it to us, beginning at Gethsemane.
JESUS IN THE GARDEN ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray. ”
He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.”
And going a little further, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want. “
After having eaten the Passover
with your disciples, O Jesus,
and instituted with them the Holy Supper
you go down with them, as was your custom
into the valley of the Kidron,
and climb the Mount of Olives.
This time you stop at Gethsemane, the place known as “the oil press”.
Your disciples are afraid.
What has happened to that glow of intimacy,
that communion which they have just experienced with you
in the Upper Room,
when you were praying for them and for their unity?
Bewildered, they fall asleep,
weighed down by their sadness.
But you, Jesus, tonight you know
that your hour has come;
this hour you have longed for so ardently;
now it fills you with dread
to the very depths of your human heart.
You want to go all the way to the extremity of Love …
but you are submerged by tremendous anguish
at the idea of being utterly handed over to evil,
to be torn to pieces
like a lamb, prostrate beneath the sin of the world …
All your being has become supplication:
“Abba, Father, if you are willing,
remove this cup from me!”
But your heart is still the heart of a Son:
“Yes, not what I want
but what you want!”
After beseeching God three times, you stand up again.
Now your yes mobilises your whole being,
your human being incorporating
your Father’s will to love to the very end.
may your Holy Spirit open our wills to yours,
that we may have the strength to watch and pray
with Jesus in his struggle with evil.
And, having shared in his suffering,
may we be enabled to know
the power of his Resurrection.