“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.” - Lk 4:1
“Because he clings to me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him.” - Ps 91:14
We never talk about loneliness; yet, it is so prevalent. It visits us all. Yet, our culture frowns upon it. It is “bad” to feel lonely. However, loneliness affects all of us, so much that some of us are paralyzed into fear; and many of us throw ourselves into a maelstrom of activity, secretly hoping it will go away.
Jesus allowed the Spirit to lead him into the desert. He faced his suffocating loneliness and its temptations. Through it, he grew more radically dependent on God_Abba; he came to a deeper realization of who he was and who he was called to be – the Beloved. Like him, when we are open to our loneliness - our particular kind of suffering - something mysteriously creative happens. We can stand with others who suffer their particular loneliness. And even though ours and theirs are not the same loneliness, solidarity is born. Compassion grows. Moreover, we come to know and love Jesus more intimately. Mysteriously, we grow in greater intimacy with ourselves, others, and Jesus. On the way, our heart becomes more tender and more like the heart of God.
“Jesus, help us to enter our loneliness with you and cling to God.”