I am pleased to be a part of the “MARY of NAZARETH” Blog Tour/Rosary Crawl, along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more, visit the Rosary Crawl itinerary here.
I remember the night I sat in a movie theater and participated as a sold out audience watched a premier of the film Mary of Nazareth. Seated next to me in the theater that night was the talented actress Alissa Jung, who portrays the Blessed Virgin Mary in the film. I had interviewed Alissa earlier in the day, asking her all about the experience of portraying Mary. I also vividly recall glancing to my side as we sat watching the movie together, interested in seeing how Alissa reacted there in the theater during the most excruciatingly challenging parts of the film. Alissa is obviously not Mary, but I can only imagine what it must be like for any woman — any mother — to so fully interact with the emotions of the Blessed Mother.
One of the times I most felt the emotion of a mother’s pure love and grief that night (and in the times I’ve watched the film since then) was during the scenes depicting the Way of the Cross. A few years ago, on my trip to Israel, I had prayed along the Via Dolorosa. To view Mary of Nazareth is to step back onto the Way and to again unite myself to Christ’s carrying of the cross, as we see depicted in this scene from the film:
If you watch this clip with a mother’s eyes and heart, you will sense Mary’s heart-wrenching grief as she (portrayed by Alissa) kneels to caress the blood of her beloved son, our beloved savior. We meditate upon this love as we pray together the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery:
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The carrying of the cross.
“And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull)” (Mk 15:21-22).
“By accepting in his human will that the Father’s will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for ‘he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree’ (1Pt 2:24)” (CCC, 612).
Our Father, 10 Hail Marys (contemplating the mystery), Glory be to the Father.
Most certainly, a tool such as Mary of Nazareth has the potential to draw us into a closer encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ through the love of his Blessed Mother if we pair our viewing of the film with a sincere posture and attitude of loving prayer.
Burdened by the weight of our sins — my sins — Christ carried his cross. Perfect in her love for both her son and us — her spiritual sons and daughters — Mary remained by his side.
Through her, we lift our prayers to a God who loves us beyond our wildest imagination.
Through him, with him, and in him, we experience the fullness of life, love and redemption.
I encourage you to check out tomorrow’s clip at Catholic Fire blog. Jean Heimann will bring us the “Miracle at Cana”.