He found them sleeping from grief

Luke 22:45

When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, he found them sleeping from grief.

This was an excerpt from Palm Sunday’s Passion narrative from the Gospel of Luke. Jesus was praying on the Mount of Olives and His disciples did not have the strength to stay up with Him. They were in grief. They comprehended to some degree what was to occur, and were probably in what we today might call “anticipatory grief”. You grieve over a loss that is to come. Despite it all, anticipatory grief does not necessarily prepare you for the real thing.

Grief, nevertheless, does have a physical component to it. It affects your mind and body. Despite some people’s assertions that you “should get over it”, or wonder why one month or six months or a year later you are still distressed over the loss of a loved one, grief takes its own time with each individual. You grieve in your own time, not someone else’s.

It affects people in different ways. One of the things I learned in my own griefwork since the death of my Mom in November 2005 was that most people lose sleep. Not me. I was like the disciples on the Mount of Olives with Jesus. I slept more. This is why this passage jumped out at me during Mass on Palm Sunday. Their grief caused them to sleep. Perhaps their way of coping. Not to excuse it at all, as Jesus had desired their attention and companionship, but through my own personal perspective on the issue, I have an empathy for their actions.

Perhaps not a traditional take on that particular verse, but it touched me in a personally relevant way.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"