I just finished The Chosen (season 2 and 3) after viewing Season 1 on Netflix. For those of you who haven’t seen season 1, it is available on Netflix, but for Season 2 and 3, I had to search for it on YouTube (or download the App: https://www.angel.com/watch/the-chosen).
I haven’t tried the app, and a little search on YouTube found many streamers who have it on their channel.
The show is not a visual or audible Bible. It is the telling of Jesus’ life and ministry from a very humanistic standpoint. It adapts many parables, stories and characters from the life of Jesus and blends it into the religious, cultural and historical nuances of Israel under Roman occupation. The telling of the story is poignant and historically accurate. All characters are well developed and gives deeper insights into the lives and signs of the time. I particularly love the glimpse into the lives of Jesus’ disciples. They were indeed a motley crew.
As a modern woman reading the Bible and drawing into it visually and drawing from my own subjective insights (with the Holy Spirits help), watching The Chosen has given me a deeper holistic understanding of Jesus and his world. At another level, I have also realized that our world today is a mirror image of that same world (with more dangerous technological weaponization of power). Racism, prejudice, the disenfranchised, et al are just as evident in our world today as it was during Jesus’ time.
What does it mean to be a Christian or Catholic today? That was a question that echoed in my mind. Jesus came into the world as the new Adam and the perfect role model for each of us to strive to be like and amplify. As I watched the sometimes conflicting relationships among all his disciples, it was Jesus at the core to keep the peace. It was Jesus to taught those around him to love, give and care. Through him, the light of his perfect humanity is what touched and transformed his followers – patience and love for all those around him.
It is for each of us to not only follow Jesus, and keep him centred in the core of our being – but to change ourselves to be more like him.
By focusing on Jesus, Peter (Simon) was able to take a few steps towards him before fear pulled him into the water – Jesus reminds Peter that he is ever present. Just as Jesus’ hand pulled Peter (Simon) out of the water, his hands pulls us out of the depth and points us to the Father.
I had not watched The Chosen (Season 1) until this weekend. My parish priest had raved about this series and recommended it as a beautiful portrayer of Jesus.
Wrapping our heads around the hypostatic union of Jesus as one person with two nature – divine and human – can be grappling to understand.
From a personal perspective, I really appreciate how the Holy Spirit moves me time and time again to have a deeper understanding of Jesus’ human side. Between my daughter passing me tissues to wipe my eyes, not out of sadness, but with an inner joy, “Mom, why are you crying? You’ve read all this in the Bible and you know Jesus’ story.”
Reading and picturing the scene in my head is one thing, but to see it enacted adds to a holistic understanding of Jesus – the man, the son who was in constant communication with the Father, and his interaction and love for all the people around him. I also gained deeper insights into each of Jesus’ disciples. Just as I felt the pain Nicodemus the Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin was going through – the difficulty of giving up all to follow Jesus.
I am so often wrought by my own subjective reason and intellectualization that I miss the most basic teachings in the Bible. It is not through reason we come to Christ. Yes, for some it is, but for myself, it is to work beyond my own head space into faith – that means letting go of the mind and moving towards the “mysteries of God, and “Mysteries are not easy for a scholar”
I recommend taking the time to watch the first season of The Chosen now on Netflix. For myself, watching this was the Holy Spirit showing me that there is a bit of me in each of the people around Jesus.
SIN has permeated each of us, and Jesus points us to the Father:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
I have to say that sometimes (ok, most of the time) it’s a struggle between my will (me) and God’s will. My path seems easy and mapped out. God’s route takes time and effort, nor do I know where the Holy Spirit will take me:
8 The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:8 NRSVCE
The spiritual road travelled is littered with life challenges – it is through them that we can grow in leaps and bound. A part of that growth process is learning to discern between consolation and desolation. That is distinguishing if it’s from God or Satan. I have to admit this is a life long process of being mindfully alert and Jesus centred.
So often I do something thinking it’s God’s will only to realize the evil one has slid in and before I know it, I’m feeling stressed, overloaded and burdened. I piled upon myself all these to do activities thinking it will develop my spirituality only to realize they end up distracting me from focusing on Jesus. Satan has inadvertently slithered in. Yup, my lack of discernment.
These past few weeks, I have learnt exactly that – Trust God, keep my focus on Jesus, and silent time to hear the Holy Spirit. It is easy to fall on the wayside without realizing it. That’s when I find it necessary to shift my focus back to Jesus.
The day before his death, I had gone to St. Michaels Cathedral in Toronto and prayed the Joyful Mystery for Pope Benedict. As I prayed for his healing, an inner voice told me to pray for the grace of God to embrace his body and lift him into heaven. The next day, on the Solemnity of Our Blessed Mother, he died.
His death represents for me an ending of an era, and much prayer is needed today for the will and love of God to bless the church today, and to walk in the path of His holy will and no other.
We now enter a new era in the church.
I share with you a teaching today by Father Chris Alar. I watched this with tears, and a heaviness in my heart.
Please take the time to watch this video made by Father Chris Alar on Pope Benedict XVI – it is broadcast on the 1 Saturday of the Month, just after 2023:
God is love. It is his love which created and sustains our universe. God is truth.
Wishing all a Happy New Year! A new beginning for all of us to celebrate the love of our God and rejoice in Jesus. As we approach a new year and strive to walk closer to God, we are blessed with the knowledge that yes, we may muck up, but are thankful that the Jesus in us will lift us up.
January 1 is the Octave Day of Christmas
The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
New Year To Do:
An idea for the start of the new year is listening to the Catechism in a Yearwith Father Mike
I have been spending the pass few days with my family in Toronto with whom I haven’t seen since the onset of Covid – yup 3 years. Praise be to God for the opportunity to share, rejoice and share in God’s love.
It’s been a blessing to spend time with each of my siblings and their families. Although 3 years of Covid restrictions were at times challenging – in afterthought the time pass quickly – in a blink of an eye – all the kids have grown up. Thank you to the triune, all the angels and saints for their cloak of protection.
May God’s Blessings follow each of you in your daily walk 🙏💕
May the Holy Family embrace his soul and lift him up before the Father. RIP 🙏💕
I also ask in the name of Jesus, for blessings upon the Catholic Church, all Catholics and Christians as we enter into a New Year, and as we close an era. As we enter into a new age within the Catholic Church, I pray the the Holy Spirit to stir the hearts of lost sheep, and, to move the hearts of those coming to faith. Amen.
On this Christmas Eve, I would like to share this quote by Pope Benedict XVI:
“God has done everything; he has done the impossible: he was made flesh. His all-powerful love has accomplished something which surpasses all human understanding: the Infinite has become a child, has entered the human family. And yet, this same God cannot enter my heart unless I open the door to him.”
–Pope Benedict XVI
Let us open the door to him, and share this story to all those around us. Let us pray that Jesus will enter the hearts of those who don’t know him.