from the Companion Directors Team
“So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)
These words of Jesus pierce our hearts. It is easy to fault the apostles for failing to remain attentive as Jesus’ darkest hours begin. Perhaps if they understood what was to come, they would have been more vigilant – more sensitive to the One they loved. It is interesting to note that Jesus is not asking them to recite a prescription of set prayers. He is asking for their presence.
As we walk with Jesus through Scripture, we see him routinely seeking solitude and silence to just be with the Divine Spirit. It would appear that this is where he found his strength to then go out with his community of disciples and bring the Good News to those near and far.
Is Jesus saying something to us today about prayer in these words of old? Is he perhaps expressing that his desire is to just be with us? Is he asking us to put aside our own packed agendas and racing thoughts to just rest in his presence? This is what I hear: “Be with me awhile.” I sense that he is calling us to solitude and silence to connect with the indwelling Spirit of the One who loves us beyond measure. He is calling us to communion – a mutual sharing of love.
In the words of Thomas Keating, “The desire to go to God, to open to His presence within us, does not come from our initiative. We do not have to go anywhere to find God because He is already drawing us in every conceivable way into union with Himself. It is rather a questions of opening to an action that is already happening in us.” Surrendering to this force that calls us by name provides us with all we need for the journey ahead. His love, peace, and gentleness will mesh with the fiber of our being propelling us to bring these gifts into a world desperate for his grace.