Day 2 (January 10) - Launching Among the New Members of the Community
All the 16 members were present during the Community launching with these objectives: (1) To welcome and celebrate the birth of a new community, and (2) to receive the blessings of this birth.
We started the launching by blessing each member with water and the ‘aung da byay pan’ leaves. In Myanmar culture, the leaves are used to welcome each family member after a long journey. These are also used to welcome and bless one another during the New Year and other special occasions.
We reflected on the Gospel of Mark 1:9-11. "It was this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. And at once as he was coming out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved, my favor rests on you.’"
Many of us found that this bible text was very significant to the birth of the new community. Christ was baptized before he started his public ministry. The launching was a moment of blessing from the Bishops. One reflection was God telling us that we are His beloved children. We smiled, because we are aware that the ‘beloved sons’ in the bible were always offered as sacrifices. After the baptism of the newborn community, we expect that there will be more challenges to come.
We had our launching in a quiet upper place in an eleven-storey building, a place which was witness to many events in our lives. During the sharing, I felt that we were gathered in the ‘upper room’, and suddenly remembered the birth of the first Christian community during Pentecost.
We ended our launching with a ritual of passing the Fondacio candle that Ben (Raj) received from Ignacio (Rosselot) during the International Congress. The group of businessmen celebrated with us, as we partook of our first meal together as a community, remembering also the birthday celebrants for the month.