“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
Reflection: I think loneliness is one of the worst ways to feel. Growing up in a big family and being involved in music, dance and drama, I rarely felt lonely. It wasn’t until after college, when I moved across the country as a volunteer that I really understood loneliness. I remember sitting alone in my room just after Christmas my second year on the West Coast, crying and writing in my prayer journal- “God, I don’t know why you sent me here, but if you want me to be here, you need to send me someone who will love me.” God has a sense of humor- the next day I went on my first date with the man who is now my husband.
Jesus’s anguished cry to his father, “why hast thou forsaken me?” can ring true for us in so many ways. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one, or faced a seemingly enormous obstacle to your happiness. Maybe in the middle of a day packed with school, friends, sports and more you still feel profoundly alone. It’s easy to think that no one understands this feeling, but that is completely untrue. Jesus has been there, and he knows.
He knows what it is to have a parent die. He knows what it is to feel and be completely different from everyone around you. He knows what it is to give and give and give and get nothing in return. He knows what it is to love and trust a friend, only to have them turn on you. He knows what it is to feel completely abandoned by God.
In prayer, turn to Jesus and know that he hears you and will never leave you to face anything alone.
Questions for prayer and reflection:
When have I felt lonely or abandoned? How did God show me his love and concern in that time?
Who is someone I know who struggles with loneliness? Write a prayer asking God to show this person his love.
When have my actions or words made someone else feel left out or alone? What can I do to avoid this in the future?
Visit someone who lives in a retirement community or who is homebound. Spend some time talking with them or playing games.
Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you or loved you in a time when you felt alone.