The Spirit is Willing, But the Flesh is Weak…
Christ’s words continue to echo 2,000 years later:
Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.”
When he returned he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him. He returned a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?” -Mark 14:32-34, 37-38, 40-41, NAB
The end was drawing near, and Jesus only had one request for the Apostles: keep watch while He prays. Just before this, in Mark 14:27-31, the Apostles promised that their faith would never be shaken, but only a short time later, they were already failing (read more here).
I’m sure that Peter and the Apostles had the best intentions in mind when they said their faith would never be shaken, yet here they are – struggling just to stay awake. The best intentions mean very little without follow through. As Jesus said, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
How well do you follow through? Do you keep the promises you make to God? Do you intend to change your ways but always come up short? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.
I intend to go to Mass each morning, but I often oversleep. I intend to start working out and try to lose a few extra pounds, but I never find time. I intend to finish writing this book, but I always get sidetracked. Plenty of intentions with little follow through.
If each one of us followed through on just a handful of our best intentions, it would change our lives. If we were the disciples of Christ that we want to be, instead of who we fail to be, it would change the world.
Our flesh only has the power that we give it. Allow your flesh to control your thoughts and actions, and it will dominate you. Let Christ be the focus of your heart, mind, and spirit, and He will bring abundant grace to your life.
May God give you the strength of spirit to overcome the weakness of your flesh. With plenty of follow through, may your best intentions become your ultimate reality.