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Myanmar Cardinal: prays for healing of families, world

Cardinal Charles M. Bo (File photo: RVA News)

Myanmar Cardinal prayed for the healing of families, nations, and the world during the Easter Vigil on April 16.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and the Archbishop of Yangon delivered the Easter message at 6 in the evening. 

With the resurrection of Jesus, he asked for God’s healing by quoting prophet Isaiah’s words, saying, “Rejoice and be Glad, Jesus has risen. Alleluia. Let our healing start today. With Prophet Isaiah let us say ‘By His wounds, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

“May this Easter start the process of healing you; may the Lord of Last Supper continue to provide you with enough food, and may the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross wash away your wounds and make you whole,” the cardinal said.

The Risen Jesus appeared with his wounds, to heal his disciples. Let his wounded hands touch all, heal all spiritually and physically, and make all whole, he continued. 

The prelate mentioned the suffering of the nation under the Covid-19 pandemic and conflicts during the Lenten season in Myanmar and parts of the world.

He said that the Passover of the Red Sea serves as a model to enter into the promised land of peace and reconciliation.

Cardinal Bo invites all to hope for the ending of all miseries. “Sailing through the stormy seas of tears, blood, death, and brokenness, we hope to reach the shore of humanity this Easter. Exodus and the event of the Cross are real to us. We have suffered enough. Now we look towards the ending of all this.”

The prelate reassured, “Resurrection is the ultimate event of hope for humanity.”  

The cardinal figures out the situation of Myanmar with the Palm Sunday as a decade of peace and celebrations and the betrayal in the Garden as the pandemic stuck, losing livelihood, the closing of Church, a challenge of Communion, and moving online. 

“Agony started, and a Calvary experience ensued. A real Holy Week has been enacted for the last two years. Our status is an extended way of the Cross and Myanmar as the modern Calvary,” he said.

The cardinal added, “The Holy Week is not only the celebration of faith for the Myanmar people, but it is an existential lived experience.” 

He continued, “Not only our country, but the visceral agony of Ukraine has also wrenched the hearts of the world. Pope Francis whose heart was soaked in sorrow for the suffering of Myanmar is burdened with another global agony. Millions have fled that war; millions are starving and thousands were killed.”

The prelate expressed his feeling on this Easter, “This Easter gives mixed feelings: after two years of the pandemic, the suffocating lockdowns are relaxed, the virus seems to be merciful, and we can gather around the altar as a family to celebrate this communion as a family.”

The cardinal says that there is a need for the resurrection of a suffering nation into justice. 

“It is the resurrection of a nation, a people. When tyrants mistreat people, God intervenes” (Exodus 3), he said.

“The Liberation of a people is a divine initiative. In the Old Testament, Yahweh is a God of Justice. God takes them out through the great Pasch mystery. God leads them out of bondage. God takes the suffering people through the Red Sea into the promised land,” the prelate continued. 

“Myanmar is modern Israel in its Exodus. God gave us a promised land, a land flowing with so many resources. God wills its resurrection into a nation of justice, a nation where peace reigns among people,” he said. 

When God intervenes, even the Valley of Bones will turn into life by quoting the Prophet Ezekiel 37:1–14 where the prophet has this vision of the valley of dry bones becoming full of life.

“That is the hope of resurrection for this long-suffering nation. God will turn our great people from their valley of tears into a blessed nation. This is the hope of those who died dreaming of a great nation,” Bo said.

The prelate asked three questions for reflection for this Easter: “Can we move from the graves of hatred, graves of vengeance, graves of anger toward forgiveness and reconciliation? As Christians, can our words and deeds may not promote death and destruction but peace and reconciliation? We have suffered so much violence in this country. But can this suffering become redemptive rather than vengeance-seeking? 

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.