May 25, 2020 – Monday 7th Week of Easter
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/052520.cfm)
You can be in a place where there is nobody present, but filled with confidence and contentment with what you have in life. However, one can also be in the midst of hundreds of people, surrounded by friends and family but feeling alone and lonely.
It must be a terrible feeling to feel alone and lonely. The insecurities and the anxieties that we would feel could overwhelm us. People who are severely ill, those who are haunted by their traumatic experiences, and those who suffer chronic depression would mostly agonize these feelings of being alone and lonely.
These kinds of feelings would make our day to be so dark. Thus, even when there are people around us physically, but these feelings detach us from their presence.
No wonder, such kinds of feelings disturb our mental state that also affect our whole being – emotionally, physically and spiritually. This anguish would cause people to be so sad and depressed. And how much more when our loved one would leave us alone, physically? When someone we love and so dear to us would just go away and leave us, then, we could face an awful feeling of loneliness and pain.
The separation from their families of those in the frontlines in fighting Covid-19 must have felt this kind of feeling. Those who have been sick but cannot be with their loved one, must have endured such worries, anxieties and disappointment of being not present during these trying times.
People who work away from their family would also feel being alone. They cannot help it but to work a far to give more opportunities for their family and children especially. Yet, as a consequence, they have to endure such loneliness for their sake.
With this kind of human experience, Jesus has something to remind us today. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminded us of his conviction of the presence of his Father. Jesus knew that his disciples would abandon him when he will undergo his passion and death. The disciples will retreat and hide because of fear even though that would mean that Jesus will be left alone to suffer and die.
However, Jesus was filled with confidence that his Father will never abandon him. The Father was there with Jesus even on the cross where Jesus felt being abandoned. In his humanity, Jesus expressed that deep anguish within him as he cried, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Moreover, it was there in that deep sorrow of human suffering where Jesus also found his Father and became more convinced of the presence of his Father. Jesus said with confidence, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.”
Today, Jesus also wants us to have that same conviction. We are never alone. The Lord is with us, always with us. This is the promise of Jesus to us today.
His words to his disciples are also his invitation to us today, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.”
Therefore, when we feel alone, let it be known that we are never alone. When a terrible sickness strikes us, when a traumatic experience haunts us, when depression bothers us, when anxiety and uncertainty disturb us, remember, God is with us.
Those of us who are away from home and away from our families, Jesus comforts us that he is always with us too. Those who feel alone and lonely for whatever reason you may have, those who feel uncertain of what is ahead of us, today, we tell ourselves, “I am never alone.”
Jesus promises us too that with him we shall have our peace. When we allow Jesus to come into our life, definitely, we will be at peace. We will never be lonely. We will be at peace because we will be assured, and we will be satisfied with Jesus. Jesus brings peace because he brings us confidence, courage and faith.
Today also, may I invite you to be more sensitive of people who feel alone who could just be your friend, sibling, or child, or parent or co-worker. Let them feel that Jesus is with them and you too are with them. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR