Thursday, January 26, 2017

Repent or Perish Luke 13:3

The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden

In the garden of Gethsemane, Our Lord experiences the weight of humanity's temptations and sins, yet in His agony He prays that God's will be done. Ask Our Lady to help you to pray this decade to experience the sorrow of the suffering Jesus and to "watch" with Him in His agony.

--from Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and & Mysteries by Michael Dubruiel and Amy Welborn.

Repent or Perish Luke 13:3
What does it mean to "watch"--why was that the injunction of Jesus to His disciples? Were they to "watch" Him in prayer? Or was He defining what prayer really is--watching?
Think of someone that you have known who you would consider a great pray-er. How do you remember them praying? Did they stare at something unseen as though they saw? Or were their eyes closed as though they saw something within?
The image used by Jesus of unbelief most frequently is blindness, "they have eyes but they do not see." Peter walked on water, until he took his eyes off of Jesus and noticed the storm.
St. Paul tells us to "pray always"--and many wonder how is this possible? "Watch."
Either you see or you do not.
The original sin involved the eyes of Eve taking her sight off of all she and Adam had in Paradise, all they had to be thankful to God for and focusing on the fruit of the forbidden tree. At the prompting of the serpent, "the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes" and she and Adam fell.
If we see the wisdom of this story as the fundamental "agony" that we are all engaged in during our lives we will "see" that the key to repentance is to "give thanks" to God in all circumstances and to "watch" lest we fall.
We are either looking for the coming of the Lord in our daily lives or looking for signs of his absence. Jesus prophesied as much to His disciples:
"But if that servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of the servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating." Luke 12:45-47.
Is not every scandal among the followers of Christ an example of the above? Reform will come when we once again arouse from our sleep and watch with Him in the Garden of agony and temptation.