Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Youth News: The Passion of the Christ

By Colleen Curran, Christine Gryczan, Isabela Rzeznik, Loliana Sorrells, Tamara Huntley | Published April 22, 2004

Colleen Curran, Freshman

There are no words to describe it; there are no means of expression except through tears. There is a chilling feeling amongst all of the viewers, most crying, as the end credits roll and no one leaves the theater. It almost feels as if no air is circulating through the room; everything is just still and silent.

It is amazing how much the story of one man’s death that occurred over 2,000 years ago still brings us to find a deeper respect for our lives and freedoms that are now just taken for granted.

It was a main topic of discussion in my household whether or not to see “The Passion of the Christ.” It took us so long to decide that we finally saw it as a family on one of the most appropriate days, Good Friday. While I watched the movie, I had to look away from the screen every now and then, but more importantly, I felt like I was there. Whether I was in the crowd or feeling the same emotions as Simon of Cyrene, I was mentally there. The movie was produced in such a way that I knew Jesus was dying for the many sins that I have committed. That took awhile to sink in, that Jesus, the Son of God, died for me, nothing more than a lowly sinner.

It is unfortunate that it takes a movie to bring about a deeper realization of faith within Christians, but throughout the centuries all Christians have become somewhat sheltered, especially teenagers, and some tend to live a life of cheap grace, rather than costly grace. In the early church, Christians lived under constant threat of persecution, but yet they lived their lives to the fullest by laying down their lives for their beliefs, although nothing can still compare with Jesus’ sacrifice of His life for us.

Throughout the years, our church has faced heresies, corruption and schisms; but to me it is as if Christians today take their faith for granted, by acknowledging Jesus with their lips, but not showing the world His actions by their example.

However, this movie is now bringing the truth back into the theaters, and back into daily lives. I believe this movie is so powerful because, as humans, we tend to see, and then believe, quite like Thomas the Apostle. The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all contain the same effect of the movie; however, those Gospels have now been visualized in a film.

I have yet to see a movie based upon a book that is better than the book itself. Though Mel Gibson does portray the message of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection without the glamour of Hollywood tainting it, the Word of God still has a more powerful effect on me, though I will perhaps never look at a crucifix in the same manner again.

Christine Gryczan, Sophomore

When I saw “The Passion of the Christ,” the movie took me aback. I watched the whole movie and I wouldn’t let myself look away from any part.

I had seen previews on TV, and at XLT Northside I also saw the trailer that director Mel Gibson made of the movie. I remember meeting Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus, on the same night. He spoke about his faith life and making the movie, and it made me so interested in seeing the movie and seeing the things he was talking about.

I knew what the scourging would look like just from seeing the trailers. I forced myself not to cry during the scourging, although I was numb from all the feelings that were rushing through my head. When the crucifixion began, I couldn’t control the emotions. I was bawling, and I felt different things in my mind.

After the movie, I started looking at the crucifix differently. I wear a ring of a crucifix and I look at it every morning when I put it on. The movie makes me look at Mass so differently and appreciate the homilies the priests give.

The movie is moving to me as a Catholic and as a Christian.

Gibson portrayed the story of the Gospels very well. Everyone who knows the story should see the movie. In my opinion, people who don’t at least have an idea about the crucifixion would not understand the points of the movie and what it is all about.

Isabela Rzeznik, Sophomore

I thought “The Passion of the Christ” was cinematically beautiful and told the story of Jesus’ death very well.

The emotions of the characters were captured beautifully, especially the relationship between Jesus and his mother, Mary.

The only problem I had with the film was the way Pontius Pilate was portrayed. He was not a pleasant man, yet he was shown as one.

As for the way it made me feel, I looked at my friends and said, “We just all need to go to confession.”

It was amazing to see that and know that’s what our sins did to Jesus. He died for us, and a life for another is the greatest gift one could give.

Loliana Sorrells, Senior

The movie was very powerful! I cried at so many parts. I could not believe all of the torture that Jesus went through. No ordinary man could have survived all the pain and suffering that Jesus was put through.

As I watched, my stomach was in a knot, and my heart was heavy. Jesus allowed people to ridicule him, torture him, kick him, spit on him, hit him and crucify him for our sins. I kept asking for forgiveness throughout the movie.

Although, we know that “Jesus loved us so much that he died for our sins,” I don’t know that we ever think about the torture that he went through.

As I thought about the movie later, I realized that it was the last 12 hours of his life and it was squeezed into two hours. I can’t even imagine what the other 10 hours were like.

“And yet God loved us so that He gave His only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Tamara Huntley, Senior

My expectation of “The Passion of the Christ” was that it would change my life and encourage me to be a more devout Catholic. However, as I sat blankly staring at the scourging of Jesus Christ, it became clear to me that the pain he suffered hardly affected my feelings about the church. I just felt empty. I had heard the story about Jesus suffering so many times that actually seeing it did not put more emphasis on his gift to us.

One feeling that I felt at certain times during the movie was sadness, not because of Jesus’ suffering but because of Mary’s suffering. I never thought of Mary as a mother; she had always been some kind figure in the church and not really a “mother.” To watch her suffer when Jesus suffered made me appreciate her more. My devotion to her has grown enormously.