For Massimo Recalcati, Jesus’s reckoning in the Garden of Gethsemane is at once an instance of human weakness and an encounter with the Divine. It is the story where the Divine and the Human meet most forcefully, first in company, then in solitude, and where agony and doubt mingle with potential rebirth and revitalization.
As the Gospels recount, after the Last Supper, Jesus retreated to a small field just outside the city of Jerusalem: Gethsemane, the olive grove. His prayers are interrupted when Judas arrives with a group of armed men, and kisses him, betraying and abandoning him with a kiss. Jesus is forsaken by his friends and, it seems to him in this moment, by his father, his God. His sin, in Recalcati’s view, is like Prometheus to have drawn Divine closer to man.
The Night in Gethsemane is a revelatory, moving, and inspiring meditation by one of Italy’s most important thinkers.
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