April 7, 2014
Today, we are a region in mourning.
Just three days ago, we lost one hundred and forty-seven of our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, relatives, friends, acquaintances, fellow citizens, in a horrifying attack in Garissa University College.
And today, our East African Community sister country Rwanda commemorates the 21st anniversary of the beginning of the genocide of 1994, a horror that also washed over their country and claimed over 1 million lives in about 100 days.
Both these great losses occurred during the Easter season, when we remember the greatest sacrifice of all; that of our Lord who was innocent, but tortured, mocked, flogged and crucified by our sin.
Even in our grief, we are triumphant, because we know the Resurrection. We know that even as Jesus was whipped by the soldiers, mocked by the crowds, crucified on the cross and taunted by the thieves on Friday, Sunday was coming when the stone would be rolled away and the Lord would appear in the flesh.
However, it is still too soon, and the pain is still too fresh, for us to celebrate the Resurrection when Kenyan families still haven’t identified, let alone buried the victims of the Garissa tragedy. We do know, though, that our sister country Rwanda has emerged from the ashes of 1994 to build a new nation. But even in Rwanda, everything isn’t perfect. Some pain never heals, and like our Lord’s pierced hands and side, the scars will always remain. However, the power of the Resurrection is what keeps us believing two thousand years later. It is the same power that can propel Rwanda to greater heights, and that can help Kenya win the war over terror.
All the same, it’s important for us to remember that there’s no Resurrection without the story of great love, and later great trauma, of the people who loved the individuals who were so cruelly taken from the world. And today, I’d like us to reflect on one such story.
The story of Mary.