On Holy Thursday, after the procession, after we sing the Tantum Ergo, gathered around the altar of repose, I usually meditate on being in the garden with Jesus, keeping watch and praying as his friends didn’t, because they couldn’t stay awake.
This year, gazing through my screen at the tabernacle on the altar of repose, things were different.
Gazing through my screen at the physical changes in my church — which are beautiful, but have taken away something that was dear to me — and mourning that loss, it felt wrong. Foolish, and silly, and small.
I apologized to Jesus for being so distracted over such a small thing, but then I thought, “No… no, Jesus understands.” Surely, the losses he faced when he was in the garden￼ seemed foolish, and silly, and small, compared to the purpose for which he had come.￼ Scripture doesn’t give us much detail about his thoughts in the garden,￼ but we can imagine:
Did I tell my friends enough? Did they understand? Will they remember? Will they remember me?
How bad is it going to be?￼￼ As bad as I’m imagining? Worse?
When is it coming?
Oh, God, isn’t there any way out?
This year, it is we who are in the garden, alone and afraid of the suffering to come.
This year, Jesus keeps watch in the garden with us.￼￼￼
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin,
And protect us from all anxiety,
As we wait in joyful hope
For the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.￼
– Holy Thursday, 2020