Get Up and Pray

04-10-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Palm Sunday is here—and with it, the holiest week of the year. It is time. Everything Jesus said and did was building up to this. His passion, death, and resurrection.

But there was one final thing he did before it began. He prayed. In fact, “he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood.”

A condition called hematidrosis is a very rare medical condition that causes a person to sweat blood from the skin. Medical professionals have hypothesized it results from extreme “fight or flight” responses. And wouldn’t this make sense given what Jesus knew was waiting for him over the next several hours?

And what did he tell his disciples to do? “He said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray...’”

If we want to be like Jesus, we must understand we will all face our own “Holy Weeks.” We will all be asked to suffer a death and resurrection—and I’m not just referring to a physical death, followed by a miraculous resurrection and life eternal.

I am talking about the suffering this world will bring. Instead, it might be chronic pain, an insidious addiction, a death, or one million other tragic situations.

The vast majority of you know I lost my father to disease, I lost my first child to a reversed adoption, and I suffer from chronic back pain ever since I fractured two vertebrae almost 15 years ago. I know only a few of your struggles. But we journey together. We say we want to be like Jesus. And during this week, he will show us the way of suffering.

And in one week’s time, he will show us it isn’t in vain. Our suffering can serve others. It NEEDS to serve others. Or >it IS in vain. What do we do?

We lift our pain for the intentions of others. We to remain faithful—even when we don’t “feel” like it—being an example for others. We need to help others by accompanying those who walk a similar path behind us. And we need to remember Jesus didn’t die to disqualify us from any and all pain. Rather, he died so we could make it through the pain and eventually reside in heaven—where that pain cannot follow. But first, we must pray for the strength...

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