During Easter season I have made it a point to watch Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ. As always I continue to be haunted by the way this award-winning director drew our attention to the temple guard who lost his ear in an altercation with Peter; or Pilate's wife whose kindness was extended to the victim’s mother; and Simon of Cyrene the reluctant "volunteer" who ended up defending the Savior. I will forever remember the Roman soldier whose expression confirmed that he just executed the Son of God. And who will forget the condemned thief who pleaded, "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

After seeing the film the first time I couldn’t help but wonder how many "prodigal" sons and daughters would be affected by the experience. Was there a Catholic politician whose pro-abortion position fell apart when Mary stared into the camera holding her crucified Son? And did any parents suddenly recognize that their children were a gift from God? Were judges present who realized that civil union perversions come at the expense of the sanctity of marriage? One can only assume that Hollywood producers didn’t attend because they were busy filming their next pornographic movie. And I wonder if there was a CEO who was uncomfortable with the corruption between Jerusalem’s elite. Perhaps a newspaper critic assigned to cover the "event" struggled with the words, "What is truth?" Surely she wasn’t alone as more than one lawyer must have squirmed at the same scene. And did anyone notice a member of the clergy whose discomfort may have had more to do with what he failed to do? Could one draw a parallel with sports celebrities and their agents to the 30 pieces of silver? And let’s not forget the intellectuals and scholars whose pride and arrogance were magnified in the role of the Pharisees. Were prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, and abortion mill nurses present? Did they see themselves in the movie? And how many "fallen-away" Catholics will we see at Mass this Easter?

I suppose they were all there, just like I was: I who complain when asked to carry a cross the weight of a "toothpick;" or who fail to recognize the cross that others carry; or worse yet, condemn what others have done while forgetting what I have failed to do. Perhaps that’s why the words, "remember me" represent not only what I ask of Jesus: but what the Son of God asks of me.

Copyright - David Paul Eich