local hospital recently, the subject of the up-coming movie The Passion,
produced and directed by the movie star Mel Gibson, came up. "Why
would anyone want to make a movie about that?" a doctor asked.
I don't know
what the doctor's religious beliefs are, but I'm sure others ask the
question too. Why make a film about dying and death, especially the
dying and death that Jesus endured, so controversial and so cruel? Why
not film other moments of his extraordinary life: his birth, his miracles,
the beautiful words of hope that he spoke? When he died on Good Friday
there were no miracles and he hardly spoke at all.
Why look at
suffering and pain? By a strange paradox these final moments draw us
closer to Jesus than any others. "When I am lifted from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself," he said, speaking of the kind
of death he would suffer. (John 12:32)
of Compassion reviews the controversy swirling around Gibson's
film and offers some commentaries on the Passion of Jesus in the gospels
and in the writings of the mystics that may be helpful to those who
go to see it.
No, we haven't
seen the movie yet. But we'll let you know our thoughts when we do.
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Copyright 2003 - all rights reserved - Passionist
Missionaries of Union City, NJ, USA
Publisher: Terence Kristofak, C.P., Provincial
Editor: Victor Hoagland, C.P. Coeditors: Mary Ann Strain, C.P.
and Kevin Dance, C.P.
Art Director: Sr. Mary Clement CSAC Circulation: James Fitzgerald