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Pope exhorts audience: be vigilant with Christ in Gethsemane

April 20, 2011

During the Easter Triduum, the faithful should make a special effort to "make ourselves available to welcome God's will into our lives," Pope Benedict XVI told his public audience on Wednesday, April 20.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus told his apostles to stay awake and be vigilant, that message is for all the faithful, and "covers the entire history of the Church," the Pope said. But the sleep that overcame the apostles also overcomes all of Christ's followers at times, he continued. That sleep--that lack of vigilance--is a sign of spiritual indifference, the Pope said. It represents “a certain callousness of the soul towards the power of evil, an insensitivity to all the evil in the world: we do not want to be disturbed by these things, we want to forget.”

This indifference is a special problem in our day, the Pope said, because there is prevalent in the world "the insensibility for God that makes us insensitive to evil."

In Gethsemane, Jesus took the opposite approach, the Holy Father pointed out: He recognized the evil in the world, and resolved to overcome it, regardless of the cost to Himself. "His His will was subordinated to the will of the Father, his natural will transformed into a 'Yes' to God's will."

Pope Benedict encouraged his audience to recognize that following Jesus, and embracing God's will, "is not slavery but an entry into truth, love, and the good."


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  • Posted by: tturner3998 - Apr. 20, 2011 12:23 PM ET USA

    I am in Rome. I attended this papal wednesday audience. I listened attentively to the homily in German and Italian. But I did NOT comprehend it. Not until I read about it in Catholic Culture!!! Viva il Papa.