At around 5:00 in the morning, we started with the reading of the passage in Luke 24: 13-35. This is about the two disciples of Jesus walking towards Emmaus on the day of the resurrection and Jesus appeared to them but they did not recognize Him.
The passage became our guide. And at around 5:45, we walked towards Banat-I Hill, two by two, meditating on how our very own lives are also a reflection of the disciplesâ€™ journey.
Wanting to make the walk more adventurous, we did not follow the usual path. We climbed the steep mountain and did reflective writing on stopovers. Going uphill was strenuous, but downhill was more challenging. It was bushy, slippery, and dangerous.
But we all made it intact although exhausted. Everybody said the walk was worth it. But the processing session after breakfast was more revealing and healing. I reminded them of the disciples hike from Jerusalem to Emmaus. In Jerusalem, they witnessed how Jesus was scourged and crucified. They walked out from Jerusalem because their hope for redemption from Roman Empire is crushed.
They expected a warrior who will free them. They did not understand and they were frustrated of Jesus. But along the way to Emmaus, Jesus taught them again. That the Messiah should suffer and be risen. However, they did not recognize Him. But as soon as He broke the bread during their supper, their eyes were opened and they understood.
And immediately, they walked back to Jerusalem, the very place of Jesusâ€™ death and the death of their dreams as well. But with Jesusâ€™ resurrection, their hopes are back.
And then I asked my staff, â€œWhat is your Jerusalem?â€ I was not prepared of their disclosure. There was just so much pain, anguish, loss, guilt, and anger.
One lost his two younger brothers and the other one is given 5 months to live. Another oneâ€™s father committed suicide. Another is physically abused by his father and brother who are both drug users. One is left by her husband, another has her mom suffering cancer, and another never experienced a meal together with family. And the revelation went on.
After our sharing, I did not know what to say. I felt so inadequate. What can I say and do to assuage their agony and suffering? In the end, I just said, Jesus knows. He went through what you are going through and even more.
And we began to make meaning out of the sufferings. One by one, the Spirit of Jesus opened our eyes to understand that we cannot escape our Jerusalem, our crosses, and until we embrace them they remain as crosses, burdensome and painful.
But the moment we embrace the cross and accept its reality in our lives, we are able to endure because we look at suffering in the eyes of love, obedience, and service, and not anymore as a punishment. And Jerusalem ceases to be just a place of death but of life as well.
Indeed, life is a journey to our Jerusalem. But Jesus has been there and nailed it, hence, we need not be afraid. We just trust Him. He knows. Happy Easter! Â (By Kit Nemenzo Balane)
P.S. Bohol Child Head Start is now accepting enrollees for Summer 2016 (Therapeutic Play, Creative Arts, and Tutorial) and S.Y. 2016-2017. We offer complete Preschool and Grades 1-6. You may contact 416-1248/09295571136 or visit our website at www.boholchild.com.