The supper has finished, and the participants are gone. The jars of wine and water stand silent in the corner, and there are morsels of bread and fish on plates lying on the table. Outside the wind blows to disturb the silence of the night, and even the nearby garden is empty. What is now silent and empty still rings with the events, which have unfolded only moments before. The meal among friends, the cherished words and actions, the walk in the garden, the call of sleep, the tears of prayer, the acceptance of God's Will, have all just taken place in these now silent places.
What started with a betraying kiss has now moved into the night, as told by the clangs of distant swords and rude shouts by men of hate. Also in the distance are the so-called followers, whose boasts of eternal support and loyalty have turned to ashes of fear and cowardice under the flame of danger. There will be three denials by a trusted follower, slaps and spits by evil captors, and charades of evidence and justice parading as calls for unity. The steps toward the cross have begun, and the usual suspects have entered the stage for their respective roles with script in hand. No, this is not some grade school passion play. It is this world's 'The Passion of The Christ' play being played all over again in eerie re-enactment of the events two centuries gone.
Cowards, Betrayers, Judges and Mockers
Just as in the original Passion Play, this Passion play includes cowards who run when their Lord is being assailed, betrayers who kiss their Lord as His representatives on earth while handing Him over to be crucified by His enemies without protest or support, frauds and hypocrites who pretend to be worthy judges when their sins burst at the seams, and fools who mock God's masterpiece in their pathetic, arrogant ignorance. Instead of the fleeing apostles we have Catholics who flee from the defense of this masterful work, and instead of Judas and Peter we have clergy who either ignore this motion picture or worse attack it as controversial, divisive, or Anti-Semitic. Instead of Pharisees and jealous leaders we have media and political figures who plant or spread the seed of division and conflict for personal gains, agendas, and prejudices. Instead of mocking fools we have those who attack The Passion as being everything that other movies they support actually are. Just as two thousand years ago, we tie this entire shameful array of evil with a bow of hypocrisy for measure.
Those who cry division divide, and those who cry inaccuracy defraud. Those who cry sin are the greatest sinners, and those who criticize artistically have hailed trash in the past. Those who now cry censorship are the same ones who cried freedom of speech when that speech was convenient to them! In the end, just as long ago, this array of cowards, hypocrites, and fools will fade into their rightful oblivion!
Charges and Ironies
Just as was the case long ago, the charge is blasphemy against a religion and its people, only this time that religion is secularist modernism and the blasphemy is the truth, which contradicts the rubbish, which is at the core of that religion of this age.
Just as long ago, the purveyors of the message have seen one of their own turn around and use their art against their agenda. Christ, rightly called Rabbi and a Man well versed in Jewish Law and Scripture, turned on the Pharisees, the supposed leaders and protectors of that tradition and law, and showed them to be nothing more than hypocrites, fools, frauds, and abusers of the public. Mel Gibson, rightly called a movie maker and a man well versed in movie making and traditional Catholic beliefs - true Catholic beliefs, has turned on Hollywood and the media, the supposed purveyors of this society's message and religion of modernism and secularism, and showed them to be nothing more than hypocrites, fools, frauds, and abusers of the public.
Christ, innocent of all false charges, was tortured, mocked, whipped, struck, slandered, and abused, finally given a cross to bear and wear. Mel Gibson, innocent of all false charge, has been tortured, mocked, whipped, struck, slandered and abused, finally given the cross of various labels to bear and wear.
Crowds were encouraged to yell, "crucify Him!" and choose Barrabas over Christ at Pilate's palace. Our society has been encouraged to yell "Anti-Semitism!" and choose trash such as 'The DaVinci Code' over a masterpiece such as 'The Passion of The Christ'.
Even though there were many in the crowd who sided with Christ, few if any of them did something to show that support, fearing the rest of the crowd and letting their weak support be drowned by their powerful fear of popular opinion or reaction.
There are many so-called Catholics and Christians today who stand silently or ignore this movie as it is attacked by the liberal media, so-called religious organizations, and political groups.
We can choose to be the idle crowd, the reluctant Simon, or the brave Veronica in this new Passion play; the choice is up to us.
Just as long ago, the pain, suffering, tears, and blood spilled in this path to vindication will ultimately show that God's promise and Word are very real and true! Just as long ago, God will touch this society with His message in a unique, profound, and even unexpected way. Just as long ago, this masterpiece of God's plan will provide fertile soil for salvation. Just as long ago, it will be up to each of us to decide if we will plant on that soil or leave it barren.