St. Mary's Reflection: David Crosson, Coordinator,
St. Mary's Stephen Ministries
If Jesus Asked for a Stephen Minister, So Can You
Photo: Garden of Gethsemane, 2017
Wait a minute! Jesus needed a Stephen Minister? Where is that in scripture?
Try Matthew (26: 36-46): Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he . . . said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed. . . . Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So could you not stay awake with me one hour?”
Perhaps nowhere in scripture is Jesus’ humanity more poignantly revealed. Yet, while we proclaim Jesus to be both fully human and fully divine, it is much easier to worship Christ, the incarnate God, than to accept the fully human Jesus. Perhaps that is because we assume that to be fully human is to be like us, when in fact it challenges us to become more fully like the man from Galilee.
The suffering, fully human Jesus prayed so earnestly that “in his anguish . . . his sweat became like great drops of blood on the ground.” (Luke, 22:44) All he asked was that his friends stay awake with him. Not to heal him. Not to fix things. Just to be there. Jesus sought a Stephen Minister.
Fortunately, St. Mary’s lay Stephen Ministers are here for you in your times of trial, suffering, anguish, and loss. Stephen Ministers have received 50 hours of intensive training in pastoral care to stay awake with you.
Often it is difficult to admit that we need another—someone to sit and walk with us through difficult times. We may be embarrassed or self-conscious. But here’s the point: If Jesus needed people to sit with him, then our need already has been confirmed in the person who called himself the son of man.
If you think that you could benefit from patient, loving, non-judgmental, Christ-centered care, tell your clergy. Reach out, just as Jesus did. A Stephen Minister is ready to stay awake with you.