Friday, April 22, 2011

In the Tomb

Emptiness.  This was the emotion that struck me most during the Good Friday service today at our church, St. Cecilia on Annette St.  The altar, empty of God's presence.  Crucified - everything hoped for gone.  Jesus is in the tomb.

It is so easy to become empty in our search for a better world. So many forces aligned against life. 

"Over 50% of the population in Timor Leste are youth," says Sr. Clare Garcillano.  This, she explains, is because so many of the older generation are dead - killed during the Indonesian occupation and the struggle for independence.  Timor Leste was an occupied country for over 450 years. Four Hundred and Fifty.  Its current independence was achieved in 2002, making it one of the newest countries in the world.

Sr. Clare is a Filipina missionary in Timor Leste and the director of the Justice and Peace commission (JPC) in the diocese of Dili.  The JPC is supported by Development and Peace.   From April 1-11 I traveled with Sr. Clare through my Central Ontario territory, coordinating 18 different presentations she gave. Through the Triduum, I want to offer some reflections on my time with this very special woman.

"My dears, you cannot imagine." This phrase I heard from Sr. Clare so many times.  She used it when telling the story of when they tried to teach the children to wash their hands at home. " 'But Sister,' they said, 'we don't have any water.' "  She used it when relating the story of the 12 year old girl, raped by a family member, and taken for help by the local priest.  That priest sought to take action against the perpetrator, only to be rebuffed by authorities who told him, "that is normal here." My dears you cannot imagine.

Emptiness. Jesus is in the tomb.

"My Dears, You cannot imagine." - Sr. Clare Garcillano

 It is Day 6 of my Holy Week fast for Development and Peace.  To learn more and make a donation visit here:

No comments: