Monday, 16 January 2012


As we came down to the foot of the Mount of Olives we entered the Garden of Gethsemane and went through the garden to the Church of All Nations.  This is believed to be the site where Jesus prayed just before he was arrested, though nobody can be sure of the exact location.  One of the fascinating things about this church for me is the deer scultplted on the roof by the cross.  As a deer longs for a stream of cool water .... 

This is a place that speaks of prayer, of suffering, of betrayal, of being overcome by sleep.  This is the place of that tremendous phrase - 'not my will, but yours be done'.  It is a very moving place - and the garden contains ancient olive trees.

Part of the story is of the young man who ran away naked.  That account is Mark, leading to speculation that the said young man was Mark himself.  We may also wonder whether Mark was the one who got things ready for the last supper.  Was he the man who, unusually, carried a water jar?  Tradition has it that Mark looked after Mary at her end.  If Mark did all this, he was certainly ready to do all that God asked of him.  Again, we may ask: are we?

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