A beautiful way to meditate on the Lord's Passion is to watch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Consider making it an annual part of your lenten journey.
- Viewing the movie will help to put you into the scene where you can experience Our Lord's Passion in a spiritual way. It can become an encounter with God.
- Put aside objections you may have regarding Mel Gibson's personal issues. What's important is that the film is true to the story of the Passion. God uses broken instuments for His good purposes, as He uses us all. Note that Caravaggio, the great artist known for illustrating stories from the Bible, was a scoundrel and possibly a murderer. Yet his works are great inspirations.
- Dan recalls interviewing Mel Gibson about The Passion of the Christ. They discussed the use of flashbacks in the film. The flashbacks are intended to provide some relief from the pain and agony that dominate the film. Some flashbacks are of lighter, more tender moments between Jesus and Mary that reveal His humanity and the love between mother and son. Other flashbacks are of the Last Supper and the love Jesus had for the Apostles.
- Some people may have an aversion to watching the movie due to the brutal reality of it. It may be difficult, but it's just a movie! It ends! Dan's first inclination on seeing the movie was to be angry at the Roman soldiers for what they did to Jesus. Then he became aware of his (and everyones) participation in Christ's suffering through sin.
- The movie shows us the truth in the prediction for Mary that "a sword will pierce through your own heart also". Melissa tells of the experience of having a child in distress and how she can relate, although in a small way, to Mary's suffering. She is reminded of the experience of her husband's suffering during the difficult birth of her second child. This being only a fraction of Mary's suffering, as she was perfectly united with Jesus.
- There is a scene in the movie where Mary and Jesus are physically separated, Mary on one floor and Jesus on the floor below. Through their supernatural bond she knows where He is and how He is suffering. The movie helps us to look a Jesus through the eyes of Mary, which is what praying the Rosary is really all about.
- A story from a book on the filming of the movie by Fr. Bartunek is about shooting the Veronica scene. It was a very difficult scene to shoot and required several takes. The actress who played Veronica had done so many takes and retakes, each time looking on the face of Jesus. She entered into her own meditation, actually entering into the scene while acting, breaking down crying. There are several miraculous stories from the people involved in making the movie.
- A recommendation: Watch The Passion of the Christ on Good Friday evening. Watch as a family, begin with a prayer. Watch with no distractions, no breaks. Afterwords - no discussion. Just go to bed, as the Apostles did. Let God work in your heart.