Flashbacks (in no particular order).
It’s Christmas Eve and my family and I are celebrating in a small cottage house in the middle of Tai Wai in Hong Kong. We’re with my brother’s Catholic community — Opus Dei for teenage boys, and there’s a mad man on the piano next to the Christmas tree! He pulls me to sing along to “Just the way you are, and his energy is contagious, like some crazy uncle by the Christmas tree! I don’t sing, I shout it! The rest of the room shouts along with me. Joy consumes me!
It’s late night in Fanling when I arrive home from a long day at work. I jimmy my keys in the front door key lock, and I hear a commotion inside. I open the door, and my little sister has her arms wide open running towards me. She pounces on me with a huge hug saying “I miss you!!” I squeeze her tight, and Joy consumes me!
I’m at the airport, at my university or at any random meet up place, and it’s been a long time since I haven’t seen or talked to my friend — ate Yeng, maybe, Mavic, or Candy… Chino, or Jed… Matt even… And when I see them again after a long time for that first giant hug… Joy consumes me!
It’s summer vacation again and I am still in University. I am on my way to Shenzhen to visit my family after not seeing them for months. And as I walk through the garden and look up to our apartment, I see them (even from a distance) waiting at the window and screaming my name. Joy consumes me!
It’s a Sunday during summer last year, and I’m talking to my dad. I tell him about my second promotion and my growth in faith in the Lord. A tear falls from his face and he tells me, “You’re really my daughter.” He’s laughing and crying at the same time. Joy consumes me.
I see smiles, from every place, on all of the faces of those I hold dear to my heart. This bliss… Joy consumes me!
I am blessed. The Lord has saved me! The Lord has risen!! Joy consumes me!
This is the first time I’ve ever taken the season of Lent this seriously. From my 40 day sacrifice (beef and coffee), to trying and sometimes failing weekly confession, to reflecting on the readings more vigorously, and to being more active in my faith applying it more actively in my life. The walk towards Jesus’ Passion. The tears, the realizations. It’s indescribable.
It happened many times during my journey, that when I reflected on the loss and the fall of Jesus during his suffering, reading it in scripture, watching it on Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of Christ”, I was overwhelmed with sadness and guilt for my sinfulness… But I was always quickly reminded to reflect on these words, “How much are you worth?” … and look up, on the Cross. Jesus with His arms stretched out for you. “You have been bought. You have been paid for. You’re worth so much that Jesus, a sinless man, an innocent man, died for you.”
“It is finished.” John 19:30
He has risen!! His love for me… consumes me! His love for me, is in me! and His love for me is overflowing, and never ending… and nothing can separate me from His Love. Love consumes me!
This… is my feeble attempt to express the inexpressible joy and love I am feeling right now. I guess, I could only share so much, and the rest is for the Lord to know. But nevertheless, Happy Easter everyone!!!! May the Lord illuminate His Spirit, His Love, His Light into your lives!! May you be consumed and never forget, that you are worth more than you can ever imagine, to the Father, to His Son, to the Holy Spirit… It is the greatest Love story ever told. Be consumed by it!!