“Kingdom of Heaven? Eleven dollars.” That was what I heard over the counter for the movie tickets for two. Does that not sound familiar regarding the sale of indulgences for passport to Heaven? Martin Luther challenged the Roman Catholic Church regarding indulgences, and now the Roman Catholic Church acknowledges that Luther was right!!!
“Kingdom of Heaven.” Enamoured by this title, Holly and I went to see this movie last Saturday. What saw the struggle to fight for the Holy Land — the Crusaders and the Muslims at odds. Lives were lost and blood was shed all in God’s holy name. The film was a wonderful rendition of the sad saga of our history and is definitely a must-see.
Ridley Scott’s KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is an epic adventure about a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war. A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic and forbidden queen, and rises to knighthood. Ultimately, he must protect the people of Jerusalem from overwhelming forces while striving to keep a fragile peace. The film is a great portrayal of what would have happened during the times of the Holy Crusades.
Coincidentally (Coincidence does not work with me: I call it Providence, because nothing ever happens to us without God’s willing it. Therefore, it is Providence and not Coincidence), Providentially, last Sunday’s gospel reflected on Jesus words: “yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” Think of the terrorism, fundamentalism and politics within the religious system, all of them in God’s name. The gospel concluded with Jesus’ words: “But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.”
“Kingdom of Heaven” exhibits a predilection for the lives of the people versus fighting over a piece of land. This certainly echoes the words of Jesus that the kingdom of God is within you. Understanding this within our own selves, we can understand the words of Fr. Henry M. Nouwen, “when you stand before another person, remember you stand on a holy ground, just as Moses did when he stood before the burning bush.”
One of the things that any book or movie on the end times does is to cause fear and anxiety in people. When Christ comes, will I be caught up in a rapture or will I left behind? A faithful walk in God’s ways will allay all such fears, for God is always faithful. St. Catherine of Sienna reflected on this beautifully: Heaven is not at the end of the road. The road all the way is heaven. If this is so, then why not make Heaven on Earth and stop the insanity of terrorism and massacre in God’s name?
Don’t miss this wonderful film. It is worth reliving those moments of our past in order to derive sanity for our present.