Easter is here.
Seven years ago, I decided to follow Christ. Before doing that, I had to reflect for a year, went through a few rites and that includes denouncing my previous belief (a rojak of Buddhism with Taoism with kepercayaan karut), proclaim I will follow Christ and all His teachings, get myself ‘exorcise’ off the human needs like money and power and being accepted into the Catholic church.
Easter Vigil is the most significant, meaningful and important mass of all masses. It is the mass on Saturday night, after Good Friday (when Jesus died) and before Easter Sunday.
I was torn between going to church and not today. I only intend to film how Christians celebrate Easter. Catholic Christians celebrate Easter with a lot of rituals that including huge jar of water (which will be the holy water), huge candle, incense and then, a candlelight vigil.
Then, there is the baptism of new converts. I want to video but I dislike the awkwardness I feel every time. Though the Bishop and my church priest (and including other churches pastors who gave me encouraging words and complimented me) welcome me as a video journalist, I still cannot get over the freakish thought of ‘what others may think’.
So, as usual, I let my instinct guide me. It rained and rained and rained. I also have a meeting with Mkini’s boss, trainer and journalist. And it rained even heavier.
Therefore, I didn’t go. I suppose I am not inspired enough to tell the story of how one goes from a non-believer (of Jesus Christ) to a Christian. Give me a few more years. I am still trying to understand all the meaning of the rites. I had a good explanation by Martin Jalleh last year. This year, I forgot half of them already.
Anyway….during Good Friday, I reflected on things. My house got a break-in and I praise the Lord that nothing bad happened to us. It makes me think how (un)important my earthly things are and how important our safety is. Earthly things are nothing. I am not rich, I have no treasure worth dying for. All of us slept through it and woke up amused by it. I guess it is God’s protection and God’s grace that we were not shaken.
Then, during Good Friday mass, (which I had the longest lector reading in my history *sweats*) I saw one of the Kampung Buah Pala old man. The sight of him, old, frail, beaten (as in spirit) and yet, slowly approaching the altar to receive the Body of Christ made me broke into huge tears. He was one of the reason why I spent so much tears over KBP.
From the beginning when I saw the patron saint on his shop’s front, I had to convince myself that I cannot follow the crowd and dislike his side of the villagers. (they didn’t get any compensation, being the ‘notti’ group) It is not easy because everyone (who are in power) dislike them. I force myself to stay in the middle ground because the naive me said, “He is a Catholic just like me, so Jesus said he is my brother (grandpa lah) and I have to help him (in whatever insignificant way I can manage).
I am still praying for forgiveness on both sides. When I find the courage (and the thick skin), I am going to shoot another ‘Please help them’ email which I had shot a few times. It is a matter of faith. In a person. In God that He will give the grace to them to forgive and at least give the old man a sense of security that he is not forgotten. He was born there, grown up there and had his house torn away in front of his eyes. We cannot expect an 80+ years old man to understand or accept that fate.
That episode had made me lost faith not only in my state leaders, I also lost faith in (some) of my church leaders. But…being a 7 years old Catholic, I still have the naivety that we can at least try, with the wisdom from God. I also need courage and perseverance.
So, what’s so special about being a Christian compared to my previous faith? There is an internal fountain of endless blessings from God.
Jesus Christ is Risen. He is indeed Risen. Alleluia!