Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The faith of men.

I like the film "Risen", particularly because it enters into the reality of masculine faith. The encounter with the death and Resurrection of Jesus by the Tribune Clavius, played by Joseph Fiennes, presents a realistic and timely version of how men are called to become men of faith.
In the encounter with the Mystery of Christ, the film expresses really well those first uncertain steps when a man seek to rationalise and manage the situation, the struggle to respond in a mature and responsible way whilst not understanding, and the acceptance of a new way of living. Above all, it is the inner transformation of the man which "Risen" explores. We see the hard-working Clavius exercising his profession and authority diligently and prudently, with hopes of a more assured and peaceful future, only to see him achieving those hopes, not through blood and sweat but through the gift of another. His transformation becomes tangible in his personal contact with the Risen Christ. For me, the best scene is when he climbs to sit by Jesus who, at night time, is awake in prayer to his Father. Clavius readily acknowledges his faltering heart to Jesus; he doesn't know how to approach Jesus, nor what to say to him, and yet his joy and wonder at sitting beside Jesus confirms his inner conviction of faith.
This is a film about discipleship that should move most men in some way, as it traces the outlines of the same journey which all disciples of the Lord have made. Although the film ends with Clavius as a lone pilgrim setting out in his Christian life, I would have preferred to see him setting out with a group of disciples, as a part of the Church and sharing the same mission. Nonetheless, the film ends with us knowing that Clavius has been transformed, changed, in his whole person, and that that change was the work of Jesus, and that what matters most is what Jesus does, and not all the other stuff which human beings who are not connected with Jesus do. 
If you're a man - go and enjoy this film!

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