You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
The apples are maturing with full bright red fruit on my neighbours trees just over the fence. Now if I were about sixty years younger..... What is it about apples? Eve was seduced by an apple and I have to say that I do like a firm crisp juicy apple. Eve’s apple was of course a symbol for temptation and perhaps in a way my neighbour’s apples represent that same temptation.
But then life is like that there are so many temptations in our lives that it is hard to avoid their siren call. You see working, and indeed not working but just sitting in the garden is safe, secure as it is in our everyday life. Despite all the hustle and bustle we do feel that we have some sort of control over our busy lives. But all around us there are temptations. Perhaps it is better then to focus on what we are doing; keep our heads down, don’t rock the boat. After all in the garden we can read our bibles, repeat the familiar comfortable prayers, promise to do God’s will. Is that what we are called to do however? It is easier for us to sit back and do nothing since to do God’s Will is not an easy option. Jesus explained to the Apostles exactly what would happen to Him and then said “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 27-35) – truly a daunting prospect!
In another garden, Gethsemane this time, the Apostles felt safe enough to sleep whilst Our Blessed Lord and Saviour prayed. In human form He was terrified about what was to follow. Mark tells us
“Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba,f]" >[f] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14 :36 (NIV)
Now if Jesus was terrified about doing God’s Will how do we feel? But the important words are ‘not what I will, but what you will’
And that is the answer; we are not alone on this journey. He is with us; we need only call upon Him.
Let us pray the prayer attributed to St Ignatius:
Lord Jesus teach me to be generous
Teach me good Lord to serve thee as thou deservest
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labour and not to ask for any reward save that of knowing we do thy will
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years