Meeting Jesus in the Garden

04-03-2016Encountering Christ

The Young Adult group of St. Magdalen's encountered the Lord in a very particular way on Holy Thursday, this past year: in both adoration and in the traditions of the Church.

The Holy Thursday Mass commemorates two great gifts in the Church: The Eucharist and the Priesthood. At the end of Mass the altar is stripped bare and the tabernacle is left empty—signifying the fact that Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer, and to begin the Passion. The empty tabernacle, is like the tomb, it tells how God handed over His Sprit and died for us. The Blessed Sacrament is placed in a side chapel—called a repository. It is a custom in many cultures to visit seven churches, praying in those side chapels—heeding Jesus' request to "stay awake and watch" with Him. The side chapels are decorated with beautiful flowers and plants to signify the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Young Adult group attended the Holy Thursday mass together and then carpooled from there to several Churches, beginning with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. At each Church they prayed in the side chapel, seeking to meditate upon how Jesus must have felt hours before He was to suffer. Amy Bishop, a member of the group, commented that when people saw their group of young people coming into the chapels, it brought life and hope, an assurance that the traditions of the Church are not only being maintained but also honored. The group ended their pilgrimage with Immaculate Conception Church in Somerville.

The Lord , invites each of us to stay with Him, not only on Holy Thursday, but daily. May we recognize His presence in the Eucharist, in others, and in our own souls.