Sunday, March 29, 2015

Holy Week Viewing

As usual, there are a couple of TV specials timed for Holy Week (and beyond).

The first of these, Killing Jesus (trailer above), will be broadcast tonight (Palm Sunday) on the National Geographic Channel. (Listen to Sr Helena's breathless, 90-second "Movie Minute" review of Killing Jesus on Soundcloud.) As Sister Rose points out in her must-read review, the title is a bit deceptive, since the program covers the whole life of Christ. Whole, that is, if you ignore some really big gaps: anything in the life of Jesus that smacks of the supernatural, of the more-than-terrestrial, has been excised. That would make Killing Jesus less than complete for the Christian viewer, but it does show us how people of his own time would have looked at him--as well as how the leaders of his people (who heard about, but never witnessed, his miracles) could have handed him over to the Romans so easily. We will even hear as much in the reading from Isaiah on Good Friday: "There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him."

Next Sunday, oddly enough, we will get a broacast (on NBC) that could be more appropriately entitled "Killing Jesus" since it focuses exclusively on the events of Good Friday (and just barely into Sunday morning). This is A.D. The Bible Continues, by producers (and believing Christians) Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. I got a sneak preview last week, and found it very easy to pray with. (That's what I do with Bible movies; they aren't exactly entertainment.)

In coming weeks on
AD The Bible Continues,
we'll meet Saul of Tarsus.
I can hardly wait!
Maybe next year we will have it on DVD; that would make it easy to use for a Holy Week retreat or Good Friday day of prayer. It is a shame that this will be broadcast on Easter Sunday night, since it ends with the first dramatic hints of the resurrection (while in the upper room, Mary alone is holding on to her faith in Jesus' promise to rise on the third day). It is a promising start to a series on the first decades of the Church. I am looking forward to the series!

As Palm Sunday continues, here is a meditation on today's liturgy, and a slide show meditation to help you begin Holy Week.

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