"Remove This Cup"

Jesus withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. 
LUKE 22:41-45

Not long before this sorrowful night, Jesus had declared to His apostles: "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour?' No, for this purpose I have come to this hour" (John 12:27). 
How startling it is, then, to hear His outcry in the Garden: "Remove this cup from Me!" Is any prayer of Our Lord more unsettling than this? Hearing it, we are tempted to think that in this terrible moment, Jesus lost His courage, faltered in His resolve, shrank from His mission.
Yet Anne Catherine reminds us-as did the ancient fathers of the Church in commenting on this passage-that Jesus was not stumbling spiritually when He spoke this prayer. Rather, He was displaying clear and stunning evidence of His full humanity. 
To be sure, He did not sin: He never chose nor even desired anything other than the Father's perfect will. Even now, He fortified this anguished petition, before and after, with firm declarations that He was submitting Himself completely to the divine plan. But in this dreadful hour, Jesus drank to the dregs that utterly human terror, wrenching the gut, no doubt familiar to every man or woman who has ever faced the grisly prospect of prolonged, excruciating pain.
"Remove this cup" was thus the natural groan of human flesh as it recoiled from the sight of its own bloody holocaust-even as the human soul of Jesus reached up to embrace the Father's will. 


Jesus' anguish was so great that He trembled and shuddered as He exclaimed: "Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me!" But the next moment He added: "Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done." His will and that of His Father were one, but now that His love had ordained that He should be left to all the weakness of His human nature, He trembled at the prospect of death. 
Angels came and showed him, in a series of visions, all the sufferings that He was to endure in order to atone for sin; how great was the beauty of man, the image of God, before the Fall, and how that beauty was changed and obliterated when sin entered the world. They showed Him the satisfaction that He would have to offer to Divine Justice, and how it would consist of a degree of suffering in His soul and body that would gather together all the sufferings due to the sinful tendencies of all humanity, since the debt of the whole human race had to be paid by that humanity which alone was sinless-the humanity of the Son of God. 
No tongue can describe what anguish and what horror overwhelmed the soul of Jesus at the sight of so terrible an atonement-His sufferings were so great, indeed, that a bloody sweat issued forth from all the pores of His sacred body. Our Redeemer, on Mount Olivet, was pleased to experience and overcome that violent repugnance of human nature to suffering and death which constitutes a portion of all sufferings. 

Give me grace, Father, to drink whatever cup You have poured for me.
"Remove This Cup" "Remove This Cup" Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 03:24 Rating: 5

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