And they went to a place which was called Gethsem’ane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I pray.”
And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.
And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch.”
And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.”
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.
And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him.
And he came the third time, and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Mk 14: 32-42
How often do we say, “What can I do to help?” How often is there nothing we can do except stay with the person in their situation? The keeping vigil can be unbelievably hard, we itch to be doing something, anything, anything but ‘doing nothing’. We discount the value of moral support, a human presence in the silence, a hand to hold, arms to enfold in a reassuring hug. “You are not alone.”
Oh God, when all I can do for someone is to keep vigil with them, let me be up to the task. And when my times of suffering come, please don’t let me be alone.
Stay with me … watch and pray