By Ivonne Hernandez
St Peter Julian Eymard's Words:
"The agony of the Garden of Olives was already upon Him. At Gethsemane, Jesus would be saddened unto death at the sight of the ignominies in store for Him in His Passion. …But now, at the Last Supper, what a struggle went on in the Heart of Jesus! What anguish! …The Heart of Jesus was certainly not wavering, nor did it hesitate; but it was tormented. He saw His Passion renewed every day in His Sacrament of love… What was He to do? He would give Himself. He would give Himself just the same.” 
“He knew beforehand the lukewarmness of His followers: He knew mine; He knew what little fruit we would derive from Holy Communion. But He wanted to love just the same, to love more than He was loved, more than man could make return for.” 
The first sorrowful mystery speaks to us of true contrition. When we meditate on the agony and suffering of Our Lord, our hearts open up to empathy. We see Jesus suffering deeply in His humanity, to the point of death, and upon realizing that we are the cause of such pain, we are moved to true contrition, a “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”(CCC, 1451) His grace keeps us from falling into despair and holds us up as we see the reality of our sin. With one word from His Sacred Heart, hidden in the Sacred Host, our hearts are pierced and mercy flows. Mourning is turned into dancing and with grateful hearts we praise and adore Him.
St Peter Julian tells us that the agony of Our Lord began at the Last Supper. It was at that moment, the one He had been eagerly awaiting, that He saw how He would be treated in the Blessed Sacrament and His heart was tormented. He saw how many hearts would not love Him. He saw how many Judases would betray Him, how many Peters would deny Him. “He knew beforehand the lukewarmness of His followers: He knew mine”. Jesus knew all He would suffer, but He chose to give Himself anyway. His love for us is greater than our sin. In the Blessed Sacrament, He waits patiently for us to come and weep at His feet. He wants us to go to Him with the simplicity of a child.
One time one my boys did something that made me really sad. He was feeling ashamed and disappointed at his behavior, but when he saw I was sad, he ran to me, hugged me, said he was sorry, that he wouldn’t do it again, and then he begged me to please not be sad anymore. The pain of hurting me was stronger than the shame of having broken the rules. Love was greater than his fear and he sought to console my heart. My heart was moved and we just hugged and wept. No more words were needed. Our hearts were speaking in the silence and in the tears. When we run to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament with a contrite heart, when we finally return love for His love, all the pain and suffering melts away, and only love remains.
When you meditate on the Agony in the Garden, console Our Lord's Sacred Heart by adoring Him in The Most Blessed Sacrament. Listen as He tells you: "Could you not spend one hour with me?" If you can't go to the chapel, think of Him wherever you are and adore him in your heart.
Next: 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.
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