The Passionists - Compassion

Mel Gibson's "The Passion of Christ"

Magazine Cover
cover photo at left, courtesy Icon Productions

From the Editor:

SpaceWhy remember his death?

Fr Victor SpaceVisiting a 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.

SpaceI 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.

SpaceWhy 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)

SpaceThis issue 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.

SpaceNo, 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 Eastern Province
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