"In thy sight are all they that afflict me; my heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me, and I found none." - Psalm 68 (69)
Often times when we read this passage, it breaks our hearts, and we immediately want to respond, "No, Lord! That isn't true! I am here! I am here to comfort you!" But such was the reality God the Father wished for His Son to experience at that moment. A profound emotion for Our Lord to endure as His bitter Passion began.
Yes; Peter, James, and John fell asleep, and failed to keep watch with their Beloved. But there was one person who kept watch from afar ... waiting, comforting, and loving Him. This, was Our Lady. And hers is the stance God asks us to take, in particular today on this Holy Thursday. While the Blessed Mother was not physically in the Garden of Gethseame at her Son's agony, she was spiritually present.
This Triduum, God asks us to dive into what being "spiritually" present really means. Most of us are mourning the loss of not being able to attend the beauty and glory of the Triduum liturgies (the high point of the liturgical year), and rather, must participate from afar. But God knows our hearts - our yearning and desire to be near Him as His Son shows us precisely how much He loves us. "Jesus, knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved His own who where in the world, He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)
How then can we translate this "spiritual presence" into reality? Through prayer and meditation with each scene of Our Lord's Passion and Death, even if for only a few moments. At the bottom of this post is an infographic outlaying the "Clock of the Passion" by St. Alphonsus Liguori, showing approximately what Our Lord suffered at each hour. This is just one method of how to unite with Christ in these most sacred moments, but there are many others, such as reading the Passion narratives in the Gospels.
As we embark on this sacred journey of the Holy Triduum, Our Lady beckons you, "Go ... and be with Him. Leave Him not alone." Let us then, with our Mother and His, go be with the Love of our hearts and Redeemer of our souls.