Breaking Open to New Life, New Seeing and New Love

In all circumstances of our life, I believe that God journeys with us accompanies us, and listens to us just like Jesus was with Cleopas and the other companion on the way to Emmaus

Breaking open to New Life, New Seeing and New Love’

by a Student

A couple of days ago, I spoke with my sister and a friend in Myanmar. My sister told me that she is deeply depressed and disappointed due to the current situation in our country. My sister is one of the many teachers who joined the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). In fact, the lives of these teachers are at risk because the military is arresting some who have joined the moment. There is so much confusion and anxiety at this time. If my sister continues to engage in the CDM, her future is not certain, yet the education offices are calling her to come and work again. Yet she is doing civil disobedience for truth and for the restoration of democracy. She also told me that she wants to go to another country, to keep away from all these unwanted happenings. She wants to start a new career. I heard the same feeling from my friend who is a new lawyer in Mandalay. He told me that he would go to China and live there for the rest of his life because his future in his own country is not sure. He also said that Myanmar is a country of sorrow, pain, and darkness. That was what I heard from my sister and my close friend, and it was indeed very sad to hear. I suppose many young people are going through the same emotion at this moment in Myanmar.

I am talking about the feelings of my sister and my friend, because I feel that in a recent Gospel passage at Mass (from Luke 24: 13-35), I see a similar story reflected. In this Gospel passage we see two disciples leaving Jerusalem for Emmaus. Why did they want to go away from the Holy City? It is because Jerusalem became a place of pain, sorrow, and loss for them. From the time their Master Jesus was crucified, there was no more hope and their dreams were now dead. When they were on the way to Emmaus, they talked about Jesus’ arrest, torture, crucifixion, and death. They were very disappointed and sad because of the death of Jesus, who they expected to be the one to liberate their country. They were in a helpless and hopeless situation in Jerusalem. That’s why they wanted to go away from Jerusalem.

Perhaps they wanted to start a new life in a new place. Or they just did not want to associate with the people of Jerusalem anymore, as they had seen how heartless many among them were. Thus, they were leaving for Emmaus. I think Emmaus is like a place of new hope, new life for them. They might have the intention to leave everything which disturbs them and make them worried. They even leave Jesus. However, what they did not know is that Jesus never left them. He walked with them on their journey and He listened to them. The realization came to them that Jesus was alive when they saw Him break the bread at their table in Emmaus and share it with them. I believe that Jesus was not just giving them bread, He was giving them back themselves. This was their moment of restoration. When Jesus broke the bread, something in them broke open. It is a breaking open to new life, to new seeing, to new recognition and new love. Hence, they immediately went back to Jerusalem and witnessed to the other disciples what had happened to them.

Now Jerusalem is not only the place of death, it is also the place of life. It is not only the place of sorrow, it is a place of joy. It is not only a place of shattering, it is a place of restoration. I pray that my sister, my friend, and all Myanmar people will also experience Jesus’ breaking open to new life and to new seeing in our beloved country. I am positive that my country will be a place of hope, a place of a greater future, and a place of love and peace. God will definitely restore what we have lost and what we have been longing for.

Dear friends, in my reflection, all our experiences of loss, disappointments, hardship,  hopelessness and helplessness are breaking open to new life and new seeing, new welcome, and the new love of life. I am sure, you and I, we all have experienced moments when we are deeply disappointed, when we felt totally hopeless. We wanted to give up life, as we felt it is too much for us to handle. We experienced losing loved ones. These are our real brokenness. But, remember our brokenness is not an ending. It is the beginning of new life. We enjoy light by experiencing darkness. We enjoy happiness by experiencing sadness. In all circumstances of our life, I believe that God journeys with us accompanies us, and listens to us just like Jesus was with Cleopas and the other companion on the way to Emmaus. Amen

Prayer service

Prayer for Peace in Myanmar