We as Christians are very familiar with the story of Christ sweating blood in the garden of Gesthemane. Wikipedia describes hematidrosis as ‘a very rare condition in which a human sweats blood,’ for example under the extreme stress of facing his or her own death.
Not only did Christ know that His torture and death were imminent, but He was fully aware of what he would go through. Being God, He had intimate knowledge of what He was about to endure.
We can well understand that Christ seated blood over His impending physical suffering.
Another Kind of Agony
But there was another powerful reason for His anguish.
Many souls would be saved through His Passion and death: this He knew. But what about the agony caused Him by the many others who would reject His incredible sacrifice, and refuse to be saved?
Christ sweated drops of blood thanks also to these ingrates, the 'great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins.'* Their stubborn pride would prevent them from seeing their sinfulness and need of a Savior.
Rather than be grateful to Christ for enduring a horrible death to save their souls, ‘those hopeless, lost and unfortunate sinners’ would throw His sacrifice back in His face.
*Taken from the Fifth Prayer of the St. Bridget Prayers. http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Filius/StBrigid.html
Heroism & Rejection
It’s hard enough to do something heroic when you know it'll be appreciated.
But how about undergoing torture for people who will laugh at what you’ve done for them? Who are too hard-hearted and self-absorbed to realize that you are offering them the supreme gift of a permanent place in Heaven?
Try enduring horrific suffering for souls who will exercise their free will to reject you, refuse everlasting life and instead choose eternal damnation!
Maybe knowing this was the hardest part of the Christ’s Agony in the Garden?
He was concerned with much more than physical torture.
Don’t let us be among the ‘lost and unfortunate sinners’ who increase Our Savior’s agony. Instead, let's gratefully accept the precious gift of mercy and forgiveness He offers us.