Pope Benedict XVI's Weekly General Audience, Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Despite it being a rainy Wednesday morning in Rome, thousands of pilgrims gathered in the Paul the VI hall for the Pope’s General Audience. Pope Benedict greeting the faithful said he wanted this week to focus on a significant event, that being Jesus in Gethsemane and his prayers in the Garden of Olives.

"In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now turn to the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane, the Garden of Olives, following the Last Supper. As the Lord prepares to face his death, he prays alone, as the eternal Son in communion with the Father. Yet he also desires the company of Peter, James and John; their presence is an invitation to every disciple to draw near to Jesus along the way of the Cross."

The Holy Father went on to note Jesus’ very human qualities as he nears his death and urged people to reflect on the Lord’s prayer in order to seek guidance. "Christ’s prayer reveals his human fear and anguish in the face of death, and at the same time shows his complete obedience to the will of the Father. His words, “not what I want, but what you want” , teach us that only in complete abandonment to God’s will do we attain the full measure of our humanity. In Christ’s “yes” to the Father, Adam’s sin is redeemed and humanity attains true freedom, the freedom of the children of God. May our contemplation of the Lord’s prayer in Gethsemane help us better to discern God’s will for us and for our lives, and sustain our daily petition that his will be done, “on earth as it is in heaven”.

Speaking in Italian the Pope stressed the importance of prayer in our lives, saying in prayer we can bring our problems to God and he in turn he shows us the light on our life’s journey.

Towards the end of the Audience the Holy Father had greetings for all the English speaking pilgrims gathered including a number of British Army Chaplains. He said: "I offer a warm welcome to the group of British Army Chaplains taking part in today’s Audience. My greeting also goes to the many student and parish groups present. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, including those from Hong Kong and the United States of America, I cordially invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!"

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