by Mary Koh
Malchus is left kneeling on the ground in the garden of Gethsemane, alone and very conscious of his newly healed ear. The garden is deathly silent, a stark contrast to just moments before, where chaos had erupted, with the soldiers fighting off the apostles and encountering bloodshed and a searing pain across the side of his face where Peter’s blade sliced through his ear. He recalls the Lord’s kind face, Jesus’ eyes looking deeply into his soul and immediately coming down to reach him. He thinks about how the immense pain he felt suddenly disappeared as the Lord pressed his ear back onto the side of his face. In the gospel of John, “Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”?” (John 18:11) and again in Luke, Jesus says “No more of this!” (Luke 22:51).
All these words Malchus takes in, and in the quiet of the garden, these words stir a kind of wonder at who the person of Jesus is. Something in Malchus clicks. He finally comes to his own enlightenment that Jesus is Lord and God through this very personal encounter. Knowing what he knows now, he can no longer follow the rest to take Jesus away to be persecuted, so he stays in the quiet of the garden, pondering how this man has saved him
He can no longer agree with the Pharisees’ scornful thoughts and plans to kill our blessed Lord. The hatred he had felt before turns into deep sorrow, and now his peers will take Jesus away to be accused and scorned by his masters. But now he knows the truth, and the truth has set him free. “but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light” (Ephesians 5:13).
More Holy Week reflections:
I remember a time where I was at odds with Jesus. I did not really know who He was and at the same time, did not fully understand why people would call Him Lord and God. I was content living my own life without acknowledging who the Lord was. But in hindsight, during that time when I was rejecting Jesus, life was a lot more meaningless without His love. I was often tired from working endlessly and getting burned by my friendships. I remember the first time I saw this look of tenderness from the Lord during my first retreat. It was really like nothing else: kneeling before the Lord during Eucharistic Adoration and pondering the ways I had been hurt, when suddenly a voice cut through the negativity of my thoughts and heartache, and suddenly I was confronted with Love itself. I remember the overwhelming feeling and mirror Malchus’ sentiments of awe and shock at how softly and sweetly the Lord was gazing down upon me and healing me of my pain. His love was like no other, and I remember realising at that moment that this love was what I was looking for, and it was in Jesus.
Maybe this look of tenderness from the Lord to Malchus resonates with the way the Lord looks at you, or perhaps not. Either way, Jesus is there gazing upon us and wanting to be close to our hearts. Especially today when too many people are at odds with Jesus and do not recognise Him as Lord and God, Jesus continues to gaze upon them lovingly and takes any chance to reach out and heal them. He wants to love them and set them free as He did with Malchus. Free from the bonds of hatred so that they can come into communion with the Lord, who knows us and loves us like no other. May we pray for more people to return the Lord’s gaze so that they can come face to face with Love itself, and see how much they are esteemed in the creator’s eyes. Today, I urge us all to invite Jesus into our hearts and ask Him to reveal the pains or struggles within us, for Him to bring to light and heal.
Today, we invite you to ponder how Jesus has healed you. What is going through your heart and mind as you ponder this? How did this healing change your life? Say a short prayer of thanksgiving for the healing work of Jesus in your life. take courage, and share it with a friend today!