“Abba, Father! For you everything is possible. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it” (Mk 14:36).

These words of Jesus have deeply marked all those who have accepted suffering at the hands of the Father. It is not easy to recognise His fatherly love in them, even less so when it is a question of suffering that we have not brought on ourselves through our own fault. A person can find himself in deep darkness and only naked faith helps him to get through that situation: faith in the Father’s love.

Jesus Himself experienced that hour, when He prayed to the Father asking Him that – if possible – the cup would pass without His having to drink it.

However, the Father did not exempt Him from this suffering; this suffering that would offer all of humanity reconciliation with Him. He Himself suffered it in His Son; He suffered it willingly; He suffered it out of love for us.

Here the deepest meaning of inescapable suffering is revealed to us.

If there had been a different and better way, God would have chosen it. But this Passion of the Lord was the way of redemption and atonement. By walking and taking on the path of suffering, God showed us the extent of His love, seeking to save us.

The disciples were not able to bear with the Lord the hours in Gethsemane, not even one hour. It was too dark for them to accompany their Lord and Messiah in that hour. Thus, there was no human support for the Lord. But an angel came down from heaven and strengthened Him (Lk 22:43).

In our suffering, we will often have no human support. But we will always receive a consolation: it is the Lord Himself, who helps us to pray like Him. Therefore, we can ask the Father – like Jesus – to relieve us from suffering. But if He does not do so, we have to repeat, with the power of the Holy Spirit, His very words: “Let it be as you, not I, would have it.” Thus we unite our suffering to that of the Lord, and then it will be He Himself who suffers with and in us.

Our Father will accept it, just as He accepted the suffering of His beloved Son. In this way, we will be able to realise the words of St. Paul: “In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24).

Then, in the midst of the darkness, a light will shine.