We dedicated our evening prayer yesterday to remembering and praying for our two young men who died tragically in the accident near Boko, Assam - Fr. Rajesh Ekka and Cl. Vijay Toppo. The service presided over by Fr. George Maliekal, our Rector included some very poignant moments. The reading from the Book of Wisdom seemed to take on a life of its own when we listened to the words:
"The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect."There were also some touching testimonies of two brothers who had lived with Rajesh and Vijay. They noted Rajesh's deep commitment to his vocation and his determination to serve the Lord "come what may" and Vijay's "transparency" before God and man. Hymns like "Abide with me" and "God be with you till we meet again" were sung by our community as we recalled these two brothers, now resting in the Lord.
Truly we are shocked and now all that remains is to wait in silence on the Lord as he comforts us in our deep sorrow. He, who commended himself to the Father as he hung upon the cross, is challenging us to commend our brothers to his care. "Lord, help us surrender to you always, even when our reason tells us it is pointless. You are the true meaning of all our lives. In you alone we will find fulfillment and true joy."