Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he (Jesus) went in to stay with them.
Mary has been in a home for the elderly for a while. Today her children and grandchildren visited her. That brought some life and joy into her small room, and the love of her family did her good. But now it is the evening, and they have gone home. She surveys her room, glances at the numerous photos. But there is no-one left. . . . Then her eyes come to rest on the verse so prominent on her bedside table: “When they had looked around, they saw no-one any more, but only Jesus with themselves.” (Mark 9, 8). “Indeed,” Mary thought gratefully, “at least He doesn’t go back home in the evening. My dear Saviour stays, and I am not alone.”
No-one, but only Jesus was with them. Mary’s experience could be that of a student returning to his lonely room after a weekend at home; or of a prisoner in his cell far from his loved ones; or that of a widow thinking of her absent husband. It could be mine, too.
We all have moments of solitude that are sometimes very sad. But even in a crowd one can feel lonely. However, Jesus’ promise to His own is always unconditionally valid: “I am with you always” (Matthew 28, 20).
Jesus Himself knew moments of solitude; His example is an encouragement for us. When His disciples were all about to leave Him, we hear Him say to them, “Yet I am not alone, for the
Father is with me” (John 16, 32).