There are times when it feels good to be alive. You are reminded of this during the moments you stroll outside and the cool air brushes gently against your face. Today I think of a man who walked outside thinking not of his life, but of his death. I imagine the pain he must have felt, the physical and emotional agony he experienced as he walked down the streets literally bearing his cross. At that moment in his lfe, he would not have lifted his face to see the sun, or breathed in deeply to smell the scent of nature. Instead his thoughts would have turned inward, he would have wished for the moment to end, for the pain and humiliation to be over. And yet even though he experienced pain and physical death, his spirituality remained alive. He still called out to God with his last breath.
Centuries later, this man’s experience is remembered and kept alive in the hearts of many who believe that his death was a sacrifice for their spititual closeness with God. Unlike his birth, this man’s physical death was the event that shaped the lives of many who lived after him. For the Church, and the many Catholics who follow its doctrines, the Crucifiction is the event which shapes their lives, their beliefs, and often their actions. Today we reflect on what Jesus did for us: the sacrifices he made, the pain he experienced. He was a man who stayed true to what he believed even though he knew his actions would end in death.
To all those of you who believe as I do in the Crucifiction of Jesus Chist, I wish you a positive day of reflection.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: alive)
I am always surprised when an obviously Christian film comes out on the cinema circuit. The films that one expects to see on circuit these days are filled with plenty of action, vampires, and societies which may exist in the future. In other words, one expects to see films that will draw crowds and make plenty of money.
When I heard of the film Son of God, I knew the story would be about Jesus and a part of his life. I had a look at the trailer to decide whether or not I should pay to see it and saw that the film focused on the last years of Jesus’ life. The video clip suggested a film containing beautiful panoramic shots, and a link to the events as described in the Bible.
I went to the cinema to watch the film knowing the story. However the way in which the story was filmed touched an emotional chord in my heart: there were many times in the movie when I had to reach for my tissue to wipe the tears from my eyes. Many of Jesus’ words came from the Gospels in the Bible. However, they were sown seamlessly into the story.
The story is told through the voice of John, the disciple of Jesus who lived the longest. He tells of the time when he became a follower of Jesus until the time of the Crucifixion. The film fills in many blanks that are left out in the Bible: the political manoeuvres made by the Sanhedrin, for example. We are given a glimpse into the personalities of Pontius Pilate as well as Thomas and Judas. The way in which the people during the biblical times lived under Roman rule is also suggested by the way the many are treated under the authority of the Roman prefect.
I enjoyed the scenes laid out before me as I watched the film. The cinematography and the way in which the characters were portrayed literally brought tears to my eyes. The machinations of the Temple’s high priest and the coldness of Pontius Pilate is well played. When my children are old enough, this is one film I will introduce them to. (The age restriction for the film is 14).
Do you enjoy watching Biblical films?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Mercy is not often a word we hear in our everyday discussions. It seems to be an old-fashioned term that has been replaced by tolerance and politically correct expressions. Open the newspaper and there are no stories that encapsulate the meaning of mercy. Instead stories of intolerance abound in which one group insists that they are the ones representing sanity.
For me the word mercy is closely intertwined with the word forgiveness. If one shows mercy, one is often able to forgive the shortcomings of others and their surroundings – including their religious and cultural beliefs. The merciful heart is already open to humanity and is not as judgemental as those hearts that are hardened and show no mercy. The merciful heart is also open to love – love for one’s fellow human being whether the person is a family member, friend or a stranger.
A perfect example comes to mind when I think of mercy: Jesus and the way in which he treated those in society that were often rejected because of their social standing. Think of Mary Magdalene, a prostitute, and the tax collectors he came across. He showed mercy to these people: he opened his heart to them and loved them for the human beings that they were. His actions towards them were not coloured with intolerance, misunderstanding and prejudice.
If we could be merciful towards one another on a daily basis, maybe we could work towards moving to a society that is more merciful. Maybe, once again, the word mercy can become a part of our everyday vocabulary.
What is your understanding of mercy?
(This post was inspired by this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt)