Holy Week will be here in no time and lots of families and individuals will be either heading out of town or "staycationing" to their heart's content. Not every person is inclined to take Holy Week into account during this time but there are some who do get involved, for example, in the act of doing the Stations of the Cross for inward reflection, which is popular among some families.
There is also the annual outdoor Church Simplified Christian "Walkway" exhibit (above) that honors the belief and faith found in the Stations of the Cross in Highstreet, BGC. It is visited by many people who pass by both Catholic and Christian alike, where people view varying installations that represent Christ's way to the Cross in artform and activity.
A lot of people will also be strictly "staycationing" whether to spend time together in a more quiet setting for less fatigue and maybe perhaps to make memories with their children at home. For the lot of you who will be choosing to rest instead, we've selected a couple of inspirational films for you to inspire reflection:
1. Miracles from Heaven. This movie, based on a true story, stars Jennifer Garner who plays Christy Beam, a young mother whose life was filled with joy until her daughter was suddenly diagnosed with an incurable disease. The movie recounts the miracle of a sudden incident that cured her and the story of her amazing spiritual encounter.
2. The Shack. The Shack is a movie based on the book by William P. Young about a father (played by Sam Worthington) who loses his little girl tragically. He then hardens his heart and begins to question both God's existence and even more, His goodness. In a seemingly far-fetched way, he receives a strange invitation in the mail and later on begins being challenged about what he believes and doesn't believe. Hillsong United NYC performed one of the songs from the soundtrack "Heaven Knows," and in the music video their performance is edited alternately with scenes from the movie trailer.
3. Ben-Hur (2016). The 2016 remake of inspirational film Ben-Hur, based on the 1880 novel by Lew Wallace, stars Jack Huston (HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Toby Kebbell (Rocknrolla) as Judah Ben-Hur and Messala, respectively. Judah, who is descended of Judaean noblility and a highly-respected family, is best friends with his adopted brother, Messala. Judah is as fulfilled as can be, unlike Messala who behaves insecurely and recklessly sometimes. Messala acts out of malcontent veiled with a desire for political change while often sounding like he has nothing to lose but everything to prove. Messala's rebellious desire will dramatically alter the lives of Judah and his family. In return, however, the family crisis will allow Judah to cross paths with a peculiar young man his age who he will never forget. Ben-Hur is ultimately a story about family, allegiance, faith, and forgiveness.
4. Joseph King of Dreams (with Joseph's speaking voice by Ben Affleck, another Dreamworks installment that followed Prince of Egypt). One of the most inspiring Bible stories that always tends to motivate people who are at their lowest is the story of Joseph. From being the favorite of his father, to being scorned by his brothers, and eventually sold as a slave to Egypt, Joseph's personal journey is one that turns as dark as the bleakest night can be, just before the dawn of a miracle. From the producers of Prince of Egypt comes the beloved story of Joseph told in animation. One of the songs from the film that has moved thousands of people to trust in God more is this one called "Better Than I."
5. The Nativity Story. It may be a Christmas story, but it is the origin of anything to do with the season of Lent. Christ's birth is told in a gentle narrative that begins with the relationship of his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, played by Keisha Castle-Hughes and now Hollywood star Oscar Isaac (who you may remember from Ex Machina and Star Wars: The Force Awakens as pilot, Poe Dameron). People may not have noticed that Joseph was played by Oscar Isaac back then.
6. The Passion of the Christ. The Passion of the Christ with lead actor Jim Caviezel, many years ago was surrounded by controversy and labeled by a huge number as "anti-semitic." Despite opposition, it was still affirmed by many Christian and Catholic churches and even Pope John Paul II himself who said after watching it, "It is as it was." Some who were not interested by the movie itself became interested when they learned about certain moments and challenges that really happened onset. There were noted behind-the-scene things like Jim Caviezel dislocating his shoulder after carrying the cross, his getting struck by lightning while hanging on the cross, and having a real portion of his shoulder muscle accidentally slashed during the whipping scene when the whip overshot the protective board on his back. Being a devout charismatic Roman Catholic, Jim truly believed in the project and was at first challenged by the role, and fellow Catholic actor and the film's director Mel Gibson even warned him over the phone that this movie could ruin his career if he did a hardworking job at portraying "Jesus."
"[Mel] said, 'You'll never work in this town again," but Jim told him, "We all have to embrace our crosses." He later teased Mel on the phone, "Oh my, I just realized, my initials are JC and I'm 33 years old," and hilariously Mel replied, "God, you're freaking me out," and hung up the phone on Jim (perhaps playfully), but it was set. Jim was going to play Jesus. Watch the film's trailer above as well as a special glimpse and message delivered by the man who played Jesus with real stories shared by him about what happened onset.
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Banner photograph from Pexels.com