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Jesus in the Mysteries of the Rosary

Sorrowful Mysteries
  1. The Agony in the Garden

The Sorrowful Mysteries truly stirs the "sensitivity" of the heart of those who meditate them. They are shocking scenes: it is God who is there! At the same time, it must be said that those hours of the Lord contain much deeper mysteries than it seems at first sight. The prayer of Christ in the Garden of Olives is an "emblematic mystery". Saint John Paul II described the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries as the "mystery inside the mystery" ... (Introduction: Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane).

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1st) "Then going out He went, as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives. (...)and kneeling, He prayed" (Lk 22,39.41). Christ has just instituted the Eucharist, mysteriously anticipating the sacrifice he was going to make at Calvary: "My body given for you"; "My blood poured out for you." He gives us the sacrifice of His life in advance!

However, Jesus did not want to go directly from the Cenacle to Calvary; in the meantime, an emblematic chapter of his life takes place: Gethsemane! Everything comes together there: Christ knows everything (the effect of the sins of humanity); Christ assumes everything (the infinite grievance inflicted to God); Christ speaks everything with his Father (more than likely, the Devil did not miss that appointment). That weighs Jesus Christ, but he wants to do it, and do it with love, that is, with freedom and conscientiously (Read more: Christ "crucified freedom"). Consequently, Jesus meditates again all that He is doing: that is Gethsemane! (When you have to do something that you do not want to, the solution is talking to God ... and in the end you'll want to do it even if you don’t feel like doing it ...).

 

2nd) The disciples followed him.When he arrived at the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not undergo the test.” (Lk 22,40). Another mystery: God counts on us! The Lord wanted to pray for men and with men. It does not give us salvation just like that (He did not want to make a "cheap redemption"): God takes us seriously and implicates us in our own salvation: he wants our cooperation. However, he had to "pray for men without men" because another "mystery" ensued: the drowsiness of man. Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray” (Mk 14,37-38). How are we able to sleep having Jesus dying for us? When Jesus wanted to count on us, we almost gave him more pain than service! (Read more: The drowsiness of the disciples and the power of the Evil One).

The Virgin Mary would have performed better role than the Apostles: She did not sleep that night. But Jesus Christ wanted to take with him to Gethsemane to the first priests that He himself had consecrated shortly before. Probably, God wants us to trust more in the power of the consecration that He granted them than in the personal merits of His chosen ones ... (Read more: Always awake by his side, in his agony, till the end of time).

 

3rd) “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me” (Mc 14,36), “still, not my will but yours be done (Lk 22,42). All that suffering was not necessary to save us (although it was convenient to love us to the end). The Lord could let passed with less: we wouldn’t have even noticed it! In fact, if Jesus had asked for it, the Father would have immediately placed at his disposal more than twelve legions of angels (cf. Mt 26,53). The Father was willing to obey the Son, but the Son did not allow it: Jesus gives us an example of love for the Will of God (Read more: The "power" of Jesus: obedience to His Father).

In fact, it would be normal for our will to seek its full realization through the identification with the Will of our God-Creator (Read more: The will of the Father). But by an almost-mysterious pathology, we take God as a competitor and consider his Will as a threat against our freedom. In his perseverance, "Jesus draws the recalcitrant [human] nature towards his true essence [the identification with God]" (Benedict XVI).

 

4th) “He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground” (Lk 22,44). It is agony! What's going on there? While the Apostles "were acting" “sleeping from grief” (Lk 22,45), Jesus Christ with his Divine Knowledge knows the softness of human offenses and - with his Divine Love - suffers infinitely, because "Love is not loved " (St. Francis of Assisi). But all this infinite weight communicates with the human nature of Christ, which is finite. We could say consequently that the human nature of the Lord "bursts" (He almost can’t bear that) and sweats blood through the pores of the skin. We do not know how He could overcome that ... (Read more: The death of Christ, God stressed).

 

5th) “He made him to be sin” (2Cor 5:21). Jesus suffers the damage (pain, horror, self-destruction ...) of all sins! We find another mystery there (because the finitude of our nature does not allow us to commit and suffer the complete catalog of all sins) (Read more: Jesus, the "true Jonah"). St. John Paul II explained: "In order to bring man back to the Father's face, Jesus not only had to take on the face of man, but he had to burden himself with the "face" of sin. “For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2Cor 5:21). Here it is the great mystery: Christ suffers the pain -the sadness- of all the sins of the whole history of mankind ... He became sin!

In the words of Benedict XVI: "His death on the Cross is the culmination of that turning of God against himself." "God against God", said in quotes because human language falls short to explain this "love to the extreme" ..., to the point of putting ourselves where we were men: away from God! Yes, "God far from God": "The mystery within the mystery, before which we cannot but prostrate ourselves in adoration (...).We shall never exhaust the depths of this mystery»(Saint John Paul II).

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