Sunday, February 29, 2004

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST

I have just seen The Passion of the Christ. What a powerful movie! Never in my life (of 50+ years) have I witnessed a film that had such a powerful impact on me! And, I already knew the story line, the plot, and the outcome before I went in to see it. The Passion of the Christ has the power to open hearts to abundant grace and to convert souls. It will draw each of us closer to Jesus Christ and to His Holy Mother, if we permit it.

The movie is violent -- even more so than I expected it to be --but I believe that it is still probably not as violent as the real crucifixion was. It is that violence that makes us commiserate with Jesus Christ in His agony and motivates us even more to fully unite our pain with His. We are so spoiled in our society today that if we cut our finger or get a headache, then we're complaining about our pain and immediately have to take something to relieve of us of the discomfort. If you watch this film, you get a taste of what His pain and His agony were all about and realize just how much He loved us that He would endure so much suffering for our sake, when we have nailed Him to the cross with our sins.

I was most impressed by the symbolism in the movie and the flashbacks into Christ's life and how well they correlated with the present events that were taking place on the screen. For example, Satan comes in the form of a somewhat attractive woman sans eyebrows who quickly becomes transformed into a hideous creature. During another sequence in the film, Satan or evil comes in the form of an annoying, large, ugly blackbird pecking away at its victim. The most significant flashback occurs when the Beloved is dying on the cross shedding His Body and Blood (which is dripping out from His wounds directly upon the earth) for us and we see Jesus sharing the bread and the wine at the Last Supper with the twelve apostles.

I also appreciated the stark contrast between the behavior of a loving, peaceful Jesus who was the Good Shepherd, the Friend who gave up His life for His friends, the one who forgave His enemies, the Healer and the people in the movie who chose to follow the Evil one rather than the True Savior, who, as friends, betrayed Him or denied even knowing Him, who cursed their enemies, who wounded, hurt, and destroyed.

I must comment on the Blessed Mother Mary in the film who was so authentic. She was everything I expected Our Holy Mother to be. First of all, she was Jewish as the real Mary was, a mother -- pregnant at the time of filming, beautiful -- even when covered with dirt and mud, humble and accepting of the suffering her Son had to endure for our sake, and yet so human and maternal -- wanting to protect and care for Her Son, while at the same time, realizing that there was nothing she could do other than to accept the will of the Father, to be there for Him, and to endure the sorrows of "the flesh of her flesh".

Jim Caviezel was magnificent in the film. There just aren't words to describe his performance. I have never seen anyone portray Jesus as He did. There is definitely an "otherly-worldness" about Him. Not only is He the same age as Jesus was when He died on the cross, but I am convinced, after viewing the film that He endured some of the same suffering Jesus did at the time of His Passion and death.

Superb movie, Mel! It captured my heart.

~ Jean M. Heimann


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