Looking Solemn

For many people today is just another Friday with the added benefit that they have the day off work. For me I have the good fortune to have the day off but my day is not one of carefree leisure activities. I will be attending Mass at noon. It is a day of fasting and abstinence from meat. Today for many Christians is the prelude to Easter. If the events commemorated today hadn’t happened then Easter wouldn’t have any meaning. It is Good Friday. As a Catholic Christian I remember all the suffering on my behalf that Jesus endured. Everyone focuses on the physical abuse – the scourging, the carrying of the cross, the pain of the crown of thorns, and the actual Crucifixion. But there was the psychological pain. He knew clearly and in detail what was going to happen before it occurred. People forget the hematohidrosis that Jesus exhibited as he prayed in the garden, prayed that if possible the cup would pass from him. Hematohidrosis is an extremely rare condition in which you sweat blood. It’s so rare that many people don’t know it exists or if it’s real. But sweating blood has been seen throughout history and is a medically documented condition. It occurs when a person is under extreme physical or mental distress. So there you have it. Jesus sweated blood as he prayed in the garden. He was distressed. He knew they were coming for him. He understood the torture he would experience. For me it is often the anticipation that gets to me – waiting for the needle to draw blood, being called to the office, letting my mind rehash a conversation that went poorly… My anticipated events are nothing yet I have sleepless nights and acid reflux. Imagine for a moment that you knew with a certainty the exact circumstances of your death. Sweating blood doesn’t convey the enormity of the angst. The magnitude of the sacrifice overwhelms me. So that’s what I’m focused on today.

14 thoughts on “Looking Solemn

  1. It is a sad day for me and services I use to go to made it real. Now like many seniors I do not drive at night but the memories are there.

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  2. Hematohidrosis- I have never heard the word.
    Or even thought about the psychological pain Jesus went through.
    I remember having sleepless nights in high school just because I felt I’ll be punished by my seniors and having high blood pressure due to the constant worry at just age 13.
    So I can imagine how Jesus felt knowing what would happen in such DETAIL.
    Well, I thankGod for Jesus cus I would surely have bailed out.

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    1. The Bible has the account in Luke 22:44. I learned about hemato (blood)/ hidrosis (from the Greek hidros – sweat)/ sis – action, process, condition, state, or result of) when in college in my medical terminology course. It was many years later when in a religion class that the instructor started talking about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane having “hemorosa”. I really was puzzled until I figured out that she was talking about hematohidrosis! (She didn’t have a medical background or studied Latin/Greek)!

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      1. I know about the account in Luke, but I never knew there was a medical explanation for it and that people today can actually suffer from it.

        LOLed at your instructor😄.
        Thank you very much for sharing.

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  3. I hadn’t known that he sweated blood, but it makes sense now that you’ve explained it.
    Yes. Despite the fact that I haven’t gone to service today, I do feel the enormity of his sacrifice.
    On the other hand, a friend posted “he is risen” today. I really wanted to say, “not yet.”

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  4. Good Friday is always a somber time for Christians. I tend not to dwell on the physical aspect of Jesus’ death, but I can’t escape from the reality of his sacrifice, both emotionally and physically. I think the impact is different for each of us, but for me what stands out is that the world did it’s worst to him, and yet he still prevailed. And that shows me that I really don’t have to be afraid anymore, and for that I am grateful. It makes the Easter celebration that much sweeter. Happy Easter, one day late!

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    1. Thanks! I’ve been “off-line” for several days due to a dead modem… New modem and I’m back! The Easter sacrifice was real but the part that matters most is that He is Risen!!

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