Abandoned by God and friends


Dear Friends.

It’s just a few minutes after 8 PM, Wednesday, April 8 and my Jewish brothers and sisters are sitting down with family and friends for the ancient Passover meal.  The Jewish celebration celebrates, renews and makes present the passage, the dleiverance of the Israelite community from the slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12).

Our Christian Passover — the passage of Jesus through suffering > death > risen life begins tomorrow night and contines through Good Friday to the Solemn Vigil of Easter Saturday night.

I had wanted to reflect on the abandonment of Jesus that appears in today’s Mass readings — the betrayal by Judas, one of his chosen and the denial by Peter, one of his intimates, and the lack of courage of the Twelve to support Jesus in his hour of need. On the Cross, Jesus even felt that his heavenly Father with whom he had such a loving relationship had abandoned him.

Today I was  in solidarity with so many of us who have such feelings.  As a person who has had the stigma of mental of illness and other things I know what abandonment and rejection feels like.  And I have a young friend who was shifted from foster home to foster home and now lives a tormented life,  distrustful of adults. I was in solidarity in prayer today for him and others who live and die alone without friend or love or comfort, especially children who have been emotionally abandoned by their parents..

But even a very loving women / friend of mine who confided in me that though she has a lovely husband and children and grandchildren she feels terribly alone at times.  Many people find a friend in a bottle or a line of coke to alleviate the pain of loneliness.

Let is pray for these folks as we enter Jesus’ passion tomorrow and Friday.

Lord Jesus,

on the Cross you cried out,

“My God, my God,

why have you forsaken me!”

You felt such deep human pain

that so many of us feel —

isolated and alone,

with a spouse in the same bed,

or a child who must fend for himself.

Forgive us, Lord, for abandoning our friends or lovers,

or spouses when the going gets rough.

Help us to be there for one another.

Let us get the strength we need to bear the pain of such aloneness

from You.

Bob Traupman

priest / writer

Here’s some info about the Jewish Passover celebration.

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