Father let this chalice pass from me


An interesting and thought provoking interpretation by St. Hilary drawn from St. Thomas Aquinas: lionandox.com/2016/03/20/father-let-this-chalice-pass-from-me/. It reinforces Jesus’ words:

Matt.5[10] "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[12] Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

John.15[20] Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

It lines up with St. Paul’s words:

2Cor.1[5] For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. [6] If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. [7] Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

Phil.3[10] that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Col.1[24] Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

2Tim.1[8] Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God,


St. Hilary’s comments are very interesting, in themselves, about the meaning of these words, and mysteriously interesting in that these words were spoken by Jesus. What do I mean? Well, if you read the gospel, the three disciples were sleeping nearby, so who was the witness who reported what Jesus did and said in the garden?

It’s not hard to imagine Jesus saying these words, there are things in the gospel, that aside from anything else, are too hard to make up – nobody but Jesus could have said such a thing, like this. but, still, where is the witness?


Your question has been answered in other threads. So, let’s not take this one off topic. Thank you. :slight_smile:


Very insightful.

Thank you Della.

God bless.



From the link you provided:

And here it is that among the wise and holy scripture exegetes that St Thomas “chains” together-is none other than the the cheerful Hillary of Poitiers!
…He says not, Let this cup pass away from Me, for that would be the speech of one who feared it; but He prays that it may pass not so as that He should be passed over, but that when it has passed from Him, it may go to another.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ words when He goes back the second time, definitely indicate that “pass from” meant the cup was something He was undergoing or about to undergo and was praying would cease or be removed ("…if I must…")

Mt. 26:41 Again the second time, he went and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice may not pass away,** but I must drink it**, thy will be done.

Another quote from the link:

Hillary continues,

His whole fear then is for those who were to suffer, and therefore He prays for those who were to suffer after Him, saying, Let this cup pass from me, i.e. as it is drunk by Me, so let it be drunk by these, without mistrust, without sense of pain, without fear of death.Let this chalice pass from me to those who love me. Let this chalice pass from me to all Christians and let them drink it as I drink it.

When I read these words and try to sort out the meaning, it all gets rather convoluted.

Eg. Just what does Jesus’ “chalice” consist of if it was not the torture (physical, spiritual, emotional) He was about to undergo?
If the chalice Jesus must drink refers only to His fear & agony for those others who will suffer for their faith, then it seems He would be asking the Father to pass that chalice of fear & agony on?

Jesus’ trust, lack of sense of pain, absence of *fear of death *are positive things and wouldn’t seem to me to constitute a chalice that Jesus would not wish to drink (Mt.26:41).

I agree with the most commonly held interpretation that the chalice refers to the physical, spiritual, and emotional agony Jesus would suffer. It may well have included foreseeing the suffering of future Christians - but Jesus was aware of that before He was in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt. 20:22-23). Why didn’t it cause a bloody sweat then?


I don’t think it’s a matter of either/or, but rather of both/and. He suffered both his personal agony as well as for that of those who would follow him. At least, that’s how I see it.

As for the chalice he “had to drink,” I’ve heard it interpreted that it was the wine offered him on the cross when he said, “I thirst,” which he took and then said, “It is finished.” I believe Scott Hahn has put forward this interpretation from the fact that at Passover they drank four cups, each one symbolizing a different thing. Jesus didn’t drink the 4th cup. Rather he said he would not drink it then but Lk.2[18] “for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” The interpretation being that Jesus ushered in the kingdom on the cross where he partook of the 4th cup, the consecration of his blood by his sacrifice on the cross for our salvation. It’s just a thought, not dogma. But I think it worth meditating on.


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