I look up to see the Comforting Angel who is close to Jesus, and who guides Jesus’ lips to a cup which the angel has brought from Heaven. Jesus drinks and His parched lips give thanks to His Father Who, at this moment, strengthens His Son.
I, too, behold this heavenly being who has come as comfort and I wonder what heavenly drink has been given to Jesus. Now, the angel has departed, but Jesus is still kneeling, His hands folded in prayer. His eyes are clearer and He gazes intently to a point just beyond and slightly above the rock.
Once more I gaze in the same direction. And I understand more clearly that the cup contained a countless multitude of souls who would forever share eternal joy because of His sacrifice.
Unlike satan’s nightmare of souls like dying embers, this is truly a glorious vision which Jesus is given. Before His loving gaze passes every soul that, having accepted Him and followed Him, has been purified by its sufferings and enjoys the Beatific Vision. These souls are not faceless, as were those which I saw as dying embers. These souls are reunited to the body, and, thus passes a veritable parade of every saint who shall be with God forever.
Jesus’ lips move. I can hear no words but I understand He is calling each one by name. And from this glorious vision comes a continual cry of joy and praise: "Glory to God in the Highest! Glory to the Son Who has wrought our salvation! Glory to the Spirit, the Love so pure. Endless praise to God, One in Three!
Jesus’ face is serene, composed. The vision fades, but it is sufficient. Jesus rises from His knees. He does not rise easily, but painfully. It is evident that this silent, secret agony has already done much physical damage to His Sacred Body. He leans upon the rock till his legs are steady. He looks down the hill and sadness deepens the circles around His eyes. With some difficulty He reaches for His mantle which lies upon the ground, and He wipes the excesses of blood from His face, hands and arms. He then carefully folds the mantle and leaves it upon the rock, to be watched over by the lone olive tree.
Then, testing His footsteps, He leaves His place of silent agony and makes His way down a twisting path. I follow behind until Jesus has come to a small clearing. He looks so sadly upon Peter, James and John who have not kept watch with Him, but have succumbed to sleep—a sleep of such depth that I am given to understand it was imposed upon their weak flesh by the evil one himself.
Jesus calls out their names. His voice is weaker than I have ever heard It. But He calls again, more loudly and He penetrates the sleep. The three apostles scramble to their feet, tying mantles about their shoulders, trying to find words to ask forgiveness for their laxity. They do not notice Jesus’ blood-stained garments, for the moon has gone behind the hill and their own small fire is but a tiny burning ember.
Jesus looks at the embers of their fire and sees again in them all the souls who will reject His sacrifice.
"Come. It is time. Let us go!"
It is an order, but not unkind. Jesus is fully in control of all His humanity and He now goes forward, heart already bursting with infinite love to fulfill the Divine Will. Somewhat dumbfounded, the three apostles trail behind.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Three of Lesson 6: Our Lady's meditation on IN THE GARDEN AT GETHSEMANE