As Holy Week gradually progresses toward Easter Sunday, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of the Archdiocese of Yangon shares an Easter message, bringing the hope of the resurrection of Christ to the citizens of Myanmar who are experiencing difficult times.
Mass protests have been taking place in the Southeast Asian country since the military seized control of Myanmar on February 1. The Junta took over following a general election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party won. The armed forces had backed the opposition who were demanding an election rerun, claiming widespread fraud during the voting.
Several hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing protests and many other injured. The army has also declared a national state of emergency for one year.
The Cardinal highlighted that the Easter celebration comes during “the saddest days in Myanmar’s history.”
“For the last two months, our people have walked through a real way of the Cross. They continue to be on the mount Calvary. Hundreds have been killed. A blood bath has flown on our sacred land. Young and old and even the children have been mercilessly killed. Thousands are arrested and thrown into jail. Thousands are on the run escaping arrests. Millions are starving.”
In the face of this situation, Cardinal Bo notes that it is normal for many to question like the Biblical Job, “where is God? Why has our God who promised not to forget us, even if the mother forgets us, seemed to have abandoned us?”
These, he said, “are the questions of the wounded people.”
In spite of the difficult moments, Cardinal Bo insists that “Easter must start the process of healing this nation” as a wounded nation can find solace in Christ who underwent all that Myanmar is undergoing.
“He was tortured, he was abused and he was killed on the Cross by arrogant powers. He felt the same sense of abandonment by God, felt by so many of our Youth, as he cried out from the Cross: Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me.”
However, noted the Cardinal, God in his glory has given Jesus the victory through resurrection. The message of the Cross ends in the glory of resurrection…So with courage, we proclaim the battle cry of the oppressed: Jesus is risen, Hallelujah!