Depending on the Bible translation you read, the above words are sometimes given as: "...watch and pray that you do not fall into temptation." Jesus spoke these words to His sleepy Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of His Passion and Death. Last night as I was reading a few blog posts that dealt with the coming tribulations this world will not escape, I heard these words, for the first time, as if Jesus were in front of me speaking them right to me.
Somehow, I think Our Lord wanted me to hear/remember the words He spoke to His Apostles, but He wanted me to hear them in relation to our times today.
Jesus knew everything, even as He lived His earthly life. Part of the reason His suffering was so intense in Gethsemane was because He saw and "became" every sin mankind would commit until the end of time. He knew then what is going on in our day and age now.
My friends, we are living in a state of vigil. During any vigil, we are keeping watch and praying. We need to be awake to do that. Yes we can pray that the things Jesus warned would happen won't, but I dare say that may not be the best prayer to pray. We need to pray as Jesus told His Apostles that night, and us now: "Pray and watch that you do not fall into temptation." What is the test or temptation He speaks of? Here is Jesus' Exhortation to Watchfulness from Luke's Gospel:
"Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."
(Luke 21:34~36)Each of us is living in this particular day and time for a very good and specific reason. The coming days may not be pretty, and they can be scary, but as a fellow blogger reminded me, sin is scarier! So we here in this time, who love and strive to follow Our Lord, need to be vigilant in our prayer and watchfulness. God will give us the grace we need just as He did to the countless saints before us. He doesn't plant us on this earth and then just say: there you go, you're on your own. He wants us to depend on Him and trust Him. Yes, He will give the grace, but it is up to us to cooperate with it.
Here is where Our Lady is a great example. In her fears and doubts during the Annunciation, she put her trust in the Father and gave Him her "Yes". We are called to do the same~different circumstances, same principle.
We are living in the time of Christ's Divine Mercy. That is where we find the hope we so desperately need. St Faustina cooperated with the grace God gave her in spreading the word about Jesus' Divine Mercy:
"My Daughter. Speak to the world about My Mercy; let all mankind recognize my unfathomable Mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (Diary 848, p.333)So let us be like the ten wise virgins with our oil lamps filled, and wait in prayerful vigil for the Bridegroom.