All of us are dreamers but if I may add, all of us are broken dreamers. We have dreamt many dreams and we have seen many of our dreams shattered, destroyed, crushed. Over the passage of time, we know that the truth is always forcefully destroyed, beauty is being distorted, and goodness is always mixed with evil. Why is it such? There are many reasons. Some are envious, some are crazy, some are insane. Some merely want to be destructive, some people are always angry at the world; and when they see beauty, when they see goodness, when they hear the truth, they are restless and destructive.
All of us know how to dream and all of us also know about shattered dreams. You want to finish your studies but you lack money; your father died. You want to get married and have a happy married life but not long after, you were in tears and then separated. You want to grow old and fulfill your dreams but you can have an ailment that can cause death. Just as COVID is doing, the youth who dreamt of graduating cannot march, cannot have a photo, and cannot receive their diploma. Some graduates are supposed to defend their dissertation to be Master degree or PhD holders, but now they are on the brink of uncertainty. We are all dreamers; and we have all experienced brokenness, crushed dreams.
But that’s only half of the story of life because despite broken dreams, fallen dreams, dreams, like dust, cannot take shape. On the other side of the story, Jesus is resurrected, who removes the cover and the rot of the tomb and gives us hope. It is good for us to meditate, my dear brothers and sisters, that COVID-19—which destroyed many dreams and plans, and destroyed all that we wish for in the future—is happening during Holy Week and Easter because the other story of crushed dreams is Christ risen from the dead.
It is not always crushed dreams that we look at. There is Christ risen from the dead, victorious over death, victorious over destruction, that becomes our season, our reason for hoping. Although our dreams are crushed into dust, Jesus slowly pours water to produce mud and make a container for us. Although are dreams are shattered, Jesus is here to remove the cover of the tomb so that our rotting dreams can come alive again because the scent of Christians is not rotten, and the scent of the Christian is the scent of resurrection.
But the question is how do we piece together crushed dreams, how will the Risen Christ connect them? How will we bring our crushed dreams to the Risen Christ? How will the Risen Christ come close to our crushed dreams? Let’s look at the Gospel. Jesus uttered his first words to his disciples, “Go to Galilee. Do not stay in the tomb. Go to Galilee!” What is Galilee? The Galilee is where their dreams are born. The Galilee is the cradle of their dreams. This means that when your dreams are destroyed and crushed, go back to where the dream began. Go back to that and when you go back, you’ll find the Lord!
That is Easter, that is the Resurrection. Return to your Galilee where you started dreaming. Return to your Galilee, the cradle of your hopes—the cradle of your dreams and when you return to the cradle, you will see the simplicity of life. Didn’t you notice? When the lockdown was declared, we were in a hurry to buy things. What did we buy? Did we buy a house and lot? Did we buy a new car? Did we buy stocks? Did we buy gold bars? No! What did we buy? Toilet paper, vegetables, fruits, canned goods, sardines because in these hard times, we know that these are the only things we need. We don’t need to have more houses and lots. We don’t need to add cars and other vehicles.
We do not need to buy more stocks that may lose their value. We do not need more jewelry. We only need clean air. We only need food. We only need someone to love and someone who love us. COVID-19 and this quarantine have led us to our Galilee. It has led us to the cradle of our dreams, our simple dreams, our baby dreams, our childlike dreams that had been distorted by a corrupt world.
Now is the time to return to our Galilee. Is it Galilee only? The Gospel today is about two disciples who went to Emmaus. What is Emmaus? They were not from Emmaus. During the time of Jesus, Emmaus was like Clark, like Subic, like Disneyland. Emmaus during the time of Jesus was like a swimming pool, Tondaligan Beach, Lingayen Beach, Hundred Islands. This means that when they were so sad, they wanted to go to the spa! When they were so sad, they wanted an excursion only.
When they were very sad, they wanted to forget their sadness through recreation. But it seemed Jesus stopped them from going to a place that could replace their dreams. Do not solve your broken dreams by empty recreation. Do not heal your crushed dreams by fleeting pleasures, by an excursion, by a drink, by fun. No. He told them to look at their dreams again, look at the prophecies of old again. Remember what God has done in the past. Look back and fulfill your dreams. You will be able to rebuild your dreams in the future.
My dear brothers and sisters, here are crushed dreams. That is our story. Here is Christ Risen, that is the message of the season and here is the cradle of our dreams. When we return to the cradle of our dreams, the dreams will rise up again and our eyes will be opened and we will see Christ again. COVID-19 destroyed many dreams: weddings are postponed; graduation rites are hanging; those going abroad are stranded; we can’t buy things we need to buy. The pandemic destroyed and crushed many good things, but the other side of the story is Jesus saying, “I am walking with you but you hardly notice Me because you live for the moment, looking always at the grave, and you only want recreation. You will not be able to return to your dreams at your grave or in recreation. You will be able to return only if you look back at the start of your dreams, where you started in your Galilee. You will find it again and together we will rise up again; we will make your crushed dreams new again; we will make your broken hopes new again by the power of the Risen Lord.