“Jesus was found alone.”

The Second Sunday of Lent gives us the scene of the Transfiguration (Lk 9:28b-36).  Jesus goes up the mountain with His three closest companions to pray.  While they doze off, Jesus’ face and closing change appearance and Moses and Elijah appear and converse with Jesus.  Now fully alert, Peter wants to make three tents for them but then a cloud overcomes them all, frightening the apostles.  A voice tells them to listen to Jesus the Son.  After this, all returns to normal.  The apostles do not share this experience with anyone for a time.  Very often in the gospels we find Jesus left alone because of betrayal (Judas), denial (Peter), fear (the disciples and other followers during the Passion and Jesus’ death, save a few), grief (these same three apostles during the Agony in the Garden), unbelief (the challenge of the Bread of Life discourse in John 6), His challenge (the rich young man), or simply when Jesus desired it (to pray to His Father and prepare for or aid His mission).  Now, of course, Jesus was never truly alone because, as part of the Holy Trinity, He can never be separated from the Father (cf. Jn 16:32) and the Spirit (although even this sensible perception could be taken away — cf. Mt 27:46).  God forbid that we would ever betray Jesus, giving Him up for worldly things (our own “thirty pieces of silver”); or deny Him when He becomes inconvenient to our own selfish desires or when belief in Him becomes inconvenient (or worse) for us in relation to others; or let fear overcome us when the “or worse” confronts us personally; or be so weighed down by grief that we don’t even think to turn to Him or somehow believe He can’t help — or won’t; or doubt Him or stop believing altogether when faith is challenged; or abandon Him because the challenge He presents is too great or does not fit into our plan.  An additional problem today, that we don’t hear of in the gospels, is apathy toward, or ignoring of, the Lord.  He certainly made His presence felt in His time.  It is different today as God more and more is pushed out of society increasing the danger that the same will happen in individual’s lives.  But it is precisely in these times that we need to embrace Him all the more and evangelize in a world that needs Him desperately.  This is where the positive lesson of Jesus reason for being alone comes: in recourse to prayer.  Jesus, alone today in many tabernacles, desires us to be with Him, to ask for anything, to pour out our hearts, to speak to us, to deepen or faith, hope, and love, to provide guidance, to bask in His presence, and to appreciate His goodness.  Just as Jesus was never truly alone, neither are we.  Whether by ourselves in our rooms, or ideally in adoration, let us spend much time alone with Jesus.

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