We are shattered, numb with shock. The spectre of hate and war has raised its head again in my land and on this holy of holy days. Easter Sunday, when thousands were gathered in churches to worship the Risen Lord, bombs exploded in three of the most visited Shrines – and in three hotels celebrating Easter brunch.
The death toll in the first 3 hours has risen to 180 and hundreds more injured.
The day started off as a day of peace and promise as we had a simple traditional meal around the breakfast table. We had participated in a beautiful vigil service last night. Since we do all seven readings in our church, it is a long service but we did not even feel the passing of time so absorbed and elevated were we in the history and wondrous mystery of our salvation.
We had fellowship after service and then quite spontaneously, invited Clifford and Anne who were celebrating their wedding anniversary for Pizza. Cliffy’s brother had just retired from the Sri Lankan army. As a General in the front line, he had been the target of many attacks and was seriously wounded by shrapnel and mortar on four occasions. And so very very uncannily- after ten years of peace – we found ourselves discussing the repercussions of the war and our deliverance from the 30 year ethnic conflict that had ravaged our land and our people.
We also heard how Cliff’s family had found the 91st Psalm inside his mother’s pillow when clearing up her belongings on her demise. She had unfailingly and unwavering prayed Psalm 91 for close on 26 years on behalf of her son, inscribing his name on all the prayers. We were reminded of the Psalmists words .. “though many fall all around me no evil shall touch me” … a mother’s plea that had saved her son. And we thanked God that the horrible war that claimed so many sons and daughters of our soil was behind us.
And then today the shattering news.
And the questions. Is it the LTTE again? …We thought they had been defeated ??
More questions. This does not tie in with an ethnic hate attack. Easter Sunday ??? It seems from all indications at present to be targeted towards Catholics and Christians?
I surprised myself by being relieved when I heard that. Yes … relief !! for we Catholics and Christians are in the minority. It cannot – and with the Christian spirit of forbearance – will not, be a massive blood shed. We won’t retaliate or be drawn in like the general population was in the ethnic conflict. Even if all Christians in our land have to die … the general populace of around 20 m will be spared.
Am I a masochist seeking persecution? Of course not. But you cannot help breathing a sigh of relief that the ugly spectre of LTTE terrorism may not be behind this. Our earnest prayer for our country is that God will not take us down that road again 🙏.
It is also timely that this happened on Easter Sunday when we are filled with the Resurrection hope and can hang onto the words of our Lord :
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. …
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…”
God give us the strength, the wisdom and the discernment to act as you did and to follow your lead and the example of love you set in your life and in your death. Amen.