As I was reflecting on these Scripture lessons during this past week, I was reminded of a book that I had read quite a long time ago that had left a great impact on me. It's called Jesus Before Christianity. In other words, before there was a structured, organized, institutional church, in the very beginning -- Jesus before all that organization took place. It's written by a Dominican theologian priest, Fr. Albert Nolan.
In our first lesson today, we have an incident that shows how the first disciples of Jesus were beginning to carry out the work of Jesus. If you think about it, you can really imagine how distressed those officials in that courtroom must have been, how upset. They thought they had killed Jesus. What's this? Now people are going out now and in his name -- that is, with his power -- acting as he did. They're continuing to do the same thing he did.
Making a Difference: The secular world's view of peace is often referred to as "peace through strength" -- military strength.
"A.D. The Bible Continues" features a decidedly more multicultural cast, the result of honest conversations between black church leaders and the filmmakers.
Faith and Justice: I know I should get more out of Holy Week, but I find myself daydreaming during the services. My resolution this year? Go with the flow.
The readings have been long, but of course since this is the beginning of the most sacred and holy week of the year, it's important for us to spend just a few moments at least in reflecting on the deep message that God is proclaiming to us through these readings, through the events that are described. And perhaps we can catch the deepest meaning of all of this if we listen very carefully again to the words of St. Paul addressed to the Christian community at Philippi.
For a "good Easter," Christians must do more than simply recall the passion of Jesus during Holy Week; they must "enter into the mystery" of the Easter Triduum and make Jesus' feelings and attitudes their own, Pope Francis said.
Need proof that biblical entertainment is Hollywood's holiest trend? Then look no further than Morocco, where three TV projects -- National Geographic Channel's "Killing Jesus," NBC's "A.D. The Bible Continues" and CNN's "Finding Jesus" -- were filmed on neighboring sets last year.
Simply Spirit: Jesus' female disciples are all but invisible to most Christians, often no more painfully so than during Holy Week.
"Bless you for playing Jesus, peace be upon him."
This was the reaction of Lebanese-born actor Haaz Sleiman's mother after she learned that her son had been cast as Jesus in National Geographic Channel's "Killing Jesus." The three Abrahamic religions will collide on Palm Sunday, when the television special premieres with a 24-year-old Muslim actor playing Jesus.