Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, March 30, 2015

John 12:1-11

The reading for today - John 12:1-11 - tells of Jesus and the disciples visiting his friends Mary, Martha, and the back-from-the-dead Lazarus, where his feet are anointed by Mary.

You can watch that scene in the movie The Gospel of John at YouTube ... start at 1:40:55. I liked the movie very much and wrote two posts about it - Henry Ian Cusick is Jesus and The Gospel of John: part 2 (see Amazon's 600+ reviews of the film). It was nice for a change too to look into the brown-eyed gaze of Henry Ian Cusick's Jesus ... eyes like mine ;).

Here's a bit from a 2003 review of the movie by Damian Thompson ... At last, a Jesus for all faiths ...

[...] Henry Ian Cusick is the British star of The Gospel of John, a film of the fourth gospel that has just gone on release in America and Canada. It was made for a fraction of the cost of Mel Gibson's forthcoming Passion of Christ, though, in the long run, it could attract bigger audiences. Visual Bible, a Toronto-based Christian company, commissioned this word-for-word dramatisation as an evangelistic tool. A similar exercise in the 1970s, a version of Luke's gospel known as the Jesus film, has been seen by more people than any movie in history.

But here's the remarkable part. While reports of Gibson's Passion have deeply alarmed the Jewish community, The Gospel of John has been given a clean bill of health by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. The film's Canadian producer, Garth Drabinsky, is Jewish, as are many of the executives working on the project. Two Jewish scholars sat on its advisory board.

That is quite a feat of inter-faith diplomacy, given that John's gospel - with its emphasis on the role of the religious authorities in Jesus's death - has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for anti-Semites. Moreover, Visual Bible's insistence on the full, uncorrupted text meant that there could be no excision of inconvenient verses ...


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