A Reflection From A St. Michael Missionary
Abiding, Not Alone
Today marks the 22nd day of my time in self-isolation away from the Sisters and other Missionaries. I began eager to please Jesus (and I admit, eager for a challenge), so I imagined myself and others like me (in isolation around the world) all on an interior battlefield. Yet, day after day my little untrained heart struggled to trust and surrender (my personal battle strategy upon embarking on my journey of isolation).
After some time I finally heard the gentle voice my heart was longing to hear: “Have I been with you so long, yet you do not know me?” (Jn 14:9). My heart stopped, I was disarmed in every way. I thought I was finally getting to know Him; after all, isolation has meant just Jesus and me for weeks. This was not the epiphany I was expecting. Yet, as I looked into the eyes of Jesus in the little Divine Mercy picture I keep in my pocket, I began to understand what Jesus was trying to teach me. I was never truly “isolated.”
We’re not alone on this battlefield. We are united to our brothers and sisters in Christ, in His Mystical Body here: the Church. I saw that our Head, Jesus, like a warrior has conquered isolation, and He fights with us and for us. I looked into His eyes in my little Divine Mercy image and saw eyes that were born alone into poverty as an unknown child in a foreign city with “no place” for Him (Lk 2:7), eyes that saw Himself left alone by His friends in His moment of agony on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:45), eyes that gazed on us with love when He was abandoned on the cross (Jn 19:26), the eyes that waited, standing “at the door knocking” (Rev 3:20) while my weak heart attempted to battle isolation alone.
I opened the door to find that Jesus is no stranger to the isolation the world finds itself in. He Himself has suffered, and is suffering this isolation. Looking into the eyes that have gazed into my heart, I could finally invite Him in, only to hear His words of love: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” (Jn 15:9). How different these words sounded from what I was used to. Even in this time of trial, suffering, and isolation; the Friend of our heart is always with us, dwelling within us. He gives us the right to choose to abide rather than to be alone.
Molly (St. Michael Missionary)