MAUNDY THURSDAY – ‘Garden of Gethsemane’
Calm your head, heart, and hands as you slowly breathe in . . . and out.
Collect for the day
God our Father, your Son revealed his love in washing the feet of his disciples and by giving us this supper; nourish us by Christs presence and unite us in Christ’s love; who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Read: Mark 14: 32-52
What does it feel like when friends betray you or reject your guidance?
What does it feel like when friends abandon you: compromising their convictions or hiding their allegiances?
How can you be with others in their moment of darkness – of loneliness and anxiety?
In what ways do you lack courage to follow where God calls?
we remember how in the darkness of Gethsemane,
you were there, strengthening your son in his time of need,
assuring him that, through drinking the cup of suffering,
he would bring blessing to all.
Teach us when life is hard and days are demanding,
to keep faith, trusting that you are able to see us through.
(adapted from Nick Fawcett)
Lachrimae Amantis (Tears of the Lover)
by Geoffrey Hill 1978
What is there in my heart that you should sue so fiercely for its love? What kind of care
brings you as though a stranger to my door through the long night and in the icy dew
seeking the heart that will not harbour you, that keeps itself religiously secure?
At this dark solstice filled with frost and fire your passion’s ancient wounds must bleed anew.
So many nights the angel of my house has fed such urgent comfort through a dream,
whispered “your lord is coming, he is close” that I have drowsed half-faithful for a time
bathed in pure tones of promise and remorse: “tomorrow I shall wake to welcome him.”
“We must get ready then. Our journey requires a rejuvenated faith. We must set high standards. We must rely on the gospel to guide us. It will help us to follow Christ and grow better acquainted with him so we are prepared to live with Jesus in his heavenly kingdom.” from The Rule of St. Benedict
Where does our faith need rejuvenation today? How will we let the gospel guide us?
Imagine Jesus in the Gethsemane. Sit with him in the Father’s presence. Ponder God’s tender and infinite love for you, doing all of this before you even knew its significance.
Something else to do:
After the Passover meal, Jesus and his friends went to a quiet garden filled with olive trees to pray. This garden was old and tough, having been planted along the rocky slopes of a mountain. Jesus was hurting inside because he knew he must die soon. He knew that the next few days were going to be really hard for him and he had a mixture of feelings about it. He also knew that one of his closest friends had made a deal to get him captured. So Jesus prayed to God about it all and God gave him strength. He asked his friends to keep watch and to also pray, but they kept falling asleep. (For more of the story, check out Mark 14:32-43)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp sugar
60g cheap biscuits
60g desiccated coconut
Optional extras: mini marshmallows/ raisins/ nuts
Line a tin with baking paper.
- Melt the butter, golden syrup, cocoa powder and sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat to make a chocolate sauce. Are you tempted to try it? Watch out, it’s hot! I wonder if you know of any good ways to deal with temptation?
- Crush up the biscuits into chunky pieces. As you bash, can you think of anything that you feel angry about or upset about or annoyed at?
- Add the biscuit crumbs and the desiccated coconut into the chocolate sauce, along with any other optional extras.
- Stir the mixture together to make a thick, stiff paste. Add more dry ingredients if too wet.
- Pour it into the tin and smooth it out into the corners. Jesus was pouring out all his mixed feelings to God. Is there anything you would like to pray to God about right now?
- Refrigerate for a few hours to set.
Jesus took time to listen to God, to wait, and to pray again. Do you find listening and waiting easy or hard? Why?