Last night, I was so engrossed in listening to Gregorian chants on YouTube (even at this time, today, on Good Friday, that I'm writing this blog post). And before I retreated to bed, I have had the opportunity to watch some video clips on YouTube about the Lord's Passion. I also watched one of the videos of EWTN's Life on the Rock program hosted, that time, by Fr. Francis Mary, MFVA, in which he interviewed Kerri Caveziel, wife of actor Jim Caveziel who portrayed Jesus in Mel Gibson's (2004) film, The Passion of the Christ. Kerri talked about her involvement with Crisis Pregnancy Center. No, she didn't talk about her actor-husband, Jim, nor the movie The Passion. After that, I did watch a couple of video clips in which Jim Caveziel was interviewed by mediamen about his thoughts and experiences portraying the role of Jesus in the said the movie. In between interviews, film clip (or trailer) of The Passion of the Christ was shown. (At that time, I did visit wikipedia to get some info about the actor. I learned that he and his wife are both Catholics, from Washington state where I had the privilege to be stationed there, in Seattle, and where our daughter was born, too. I love/miss that place, the Space Needle, etc! Lots of memories, though, unforgettable, especially on one particular incident/accident that started it all about the (physical or medical) condition I'm having now. But thanks to God that I'm still alive!)
With what I've seen or watched on those videos on YouTube, last night, I thought or recalled about the movie The Passion of the Christ which my family and I have watched eight years ago. I still remember the feeling or experience that time.
This morning, as we observe Good Friday, my thoughts are focused on the commemoration of Our Lord's Passion and the movie The Passion of the Christ. Now, this time, I remember a part of a lengthy article column (On Easter and Prayer) I wrote and was published in now-defunct La Fernandina Update Weekly News, Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines, March 10-16, 2005. Having a copy of the newspaper, here's an excerpt of what I have written in my column (as a volunteer/guest columnist). Please take note that this was written/published in March 2005:
"...Perhaps you, guys, have seen Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," a movie that has generated a lot of controversy, notwithstanding millions of dollars at the box office, even before it was released worldwide last year. (There is "The Passion: Recut" slated to be shown this year.) The film did not garner lots of nominations at the Oscar's or Academy Awards.
Anyway, my family and I have watched it last March 5, 2004. Here's what I wrote, on my journal, after viewing it: Mel Gibson's depiction of the last twelve hours of Jesus Christ's death on the Cross in "The Passion of the Christ" is quite frank and brutal, notwithstanding the gruesome, excessive violence in it. Truly, it was so raw and gory, shocking and terribly numbing and moving! The torturous violence was so graphic which made viewers cry and sob and weep. (My eyes were wet. I couldn't help it though!) The sacrifice and suffering of Jesus, our Saviour, was well-portrayed by the lead actor Jim Caveziel, himself a practicing Catholic like Gibson, the movie director-producer, who's also a well-known actor having appeared in movies like Mad Max, Lethal Weapon series, the Academy Award-winning Braveheart, Apocalypto, etc.
I remember, the initial viewing of the film was held by invited religious leaders, including our beloved Supreme Roman Catholic leader/pontiff, Pope John Paul II, who reportedly commented about the movie as "it is as it was." Pat Robertson, founder of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, hailed the movie and encouraged every 700 Club member to see it. Other local pastors and church leaders in Hampton Roads area, in Virginia, and elsewhere, also gave out their honest assessment of Gibson's opus.
I was intensely moved by the beating and suffering of Jesus in the movie. Like my family, I couldn't help but shed tears, as I've said. The beating, the torture, the dragging, and the nailing/crucifying Him, they're so numbing and real! According to Mal Vincent, a local movie critic/reviewer writing for The Virginian-Pilot, "The Passion of the Christ is one of the most violent films ever made." After the movie, I noticed that all the viewers/moviegoers in the cinema were silent, very quiet for minutes as we all walked out slowly. There was (absolutely) total silence after the movie! I believe we were all carried away by the intensity of Jesus Christ's passion."
Well, folks, this is all for now. Until next time around. Thank you for having time with me. Take care. And, have a Happy, Holy and Blessed Easter, everyone!-chris a. quilpa, 06March2012