Icon of the Prayer in Gethsemane – F18

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Movable Church Feast Day 1

Great & Holy Thursday Eve

Heritage

Greek

Style

Egg Tempera

Date

20th c.

Description

Christ enters the Olive Garden at Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives opposite Jerusalem on the very night that He will be betrayed by one of His Twelve Apostles.  Knowing all things, Christ first goes apart with His three closest Disciples, Peter, and James and John Zebedee, and then He goes further apart to pray.  Here He is seen standing at that prayer, with His outer cloak cast aside, looking up to His Father in supplication, while He sweats blood.   It is not easy for human nature to accept pain and suffering even when we know that God’s Will and Providence for us is always perfectly good.  Since Christ had a perfectly formed human nature when He assumed the flesh through His Incarnation, He too suffered as we do, but without sin.

Judas Isacariot shortly will come to this place, and by a betraying kiss of duplistic love and friendship, he will indicate Jesus to the soldiers who have come with him to bring Jesus by force to the High Priest Caiphas.  Instead of truly repenting later of his foul deed, Judas will despair and kill himself.  O Lord, help us pray as Thou did in Gethsemane instead of falling into despair!