Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Two Gardens

Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.” He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” - Mark 14:32-33, 35-36

This account from St. Mark's gospel is what we Catholics call "The Agony in the Garden". Christ has just celebrated the institution of the Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders at the Last Supper, and he and the disciples have left the Upper Room and gone to the foot of the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemene. It is appropriate that this scene plays out in a garden, and this is why.

Adam was the Son of God. So is Jesus. Adam was tempted by Satan in the Garden of Eden. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the Garden of Gethsemene. It is at this point that the similarities end. Through his choice in the Garden of Eden, Adam rebelled against God and embraced his own will and brought suffering into the world. On the other hand, Jesus rebelled against his own natural tendency to flee suffering and embraced the will of the Father and thus brought redemption through the suffering brought about by Adam's rebellion. In this manner, God has made right Adam's wrong and brought strayed humanity back to himself.

We must suffer and die because of Adam's choice, but through faith in Christ, that same suffering and death is not in vain. It brings us life. The paradox of the cross. The Father has shown us The Way. The Way home. Thanks be to Him.


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