You will be reading this on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 22nd. Tomor- row, 42 of us will be on our way to India. As I look forward to the trip, I am sure that one of the highlights will be to Fr. Rojin’s home parish. Next Sunday, I will get to meet Fr Rojin’s family, including a newborn niece. I will also meet his former and present Archbishops’. I will tell them what they already know, Fr. Rojin is an exceptional, wonderful priest who in a very short time has captured our hearts.
Meanwhile, let me recommend a movie to you. First, however .a warning. It is not for everyone. To appreciate it you should be deeply religious, someone who loves serious movies, and is not afraid of violence and mind-numbing theological questions. The movie is SILENCE by the award winning director Martin Scorsese based on the book by Shusaku Endo. It is the story of two Jesuits who sneak into 16th century Japan to look for their Jesuit teacher who has reportedly denied his Faith to avoid persecution.
The scenery is stunning, the picture is long (two hours and forty one minutes) but by the end I could say it needed to be that long to set up the dramatic ending. I am still process- ing the film but let me give you two reasons why it is an important film. First it deals with the Biblical issue that sometimes God seems silent as His children suffer. That, of course, is the main issue in the book of JOB.
Secondly, the suffering of the two Jesuits gives you a sense of what suffering must have been like for Jesus. The movie puts before you, to quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Cost of Discipleship.” Equally impressive is the deep Faith of the Japanese villagers who are so desperate to receive the Sacraments. It made me think of my own Irish ancestors who were desperate to receive the Eucharist in the Irish fields, when the Faith and its’ priests were persecuted by the British rulers. You cannot watch this film and not understand the gift that is our Sacraments.
So, if you are strong of heart, mind, and faith I recommend SILENCE to you. If enough people go to see it, we will even have a night devoted to discussing it.