On this Easter holiday, we have to remember the real reason.
The real story of why, as Christians, we celebrate.
The amazing story of Jesus of Nazareth.
A humble preacher who rejected materialism, power, hate. Who travelled the desert in sandals, with no personal possessions except the clothes on his back to speak of love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness.
Who forgave even those that persecuted him.
Who submitted himself to an unjustified execution to make the point of what true forgiveness really means.
And even if you are not Christian, you can find truth in what he preached.
It's a very simple truth.
A beautiful story.
A tragic story.
I can remember the first time I really understood the message. It wasn't through church. It wasn't the 8 years of catechism.
It was a time in my life when I was living far from family and friends. Hubby and I had moved to a little adobe house miles from the nearest city in the middle of the desert. 2500 miles away from everyone we knew. I was expecting my first child. We felt lost and alone.
I decided to read the bible. From cover to cover. Not just certain passages. The whole thing. It took me a month. I started dreaming in biblical dialect. 'Thee' and 'Thou'.
I wasn't connecting. It was hard to understand. It seemed so archaic.
Until I got to the Parables.
And something just clicked.
These made so much sense.
And then the mini-series, 'Jesus of Nazareth' aired on television. Franco Zeffirelli's beautiful film.
Inspired by a conversation he had with Pope Paul VI, in which the Pope asked the director to make a film about the Life of Jesus.
To ensure the film's accuracy, producer Lord Lew Grade consulted experts from the Vatican, The Leo Baeck Rabbinical College of London, and the Koranic School at Meknes, Morocco.
Filmed in Tunisia, Morocco and Mexico, it presented Jesus more or less evenly divine and human with a naturalistic approach with minimal special effects.
This film brought the story to me in a way I could understand.
In this time in history, when life is filled with confusion, war, hate, and when money and power rule, when kindness, compassion, and mercy are forgotten in the hustle and bustle, it is more important than ever to stop and reflect.
To remember the real reason why we celebrate Easter.
To honor the most humble of entities. Who walked his talk. Who preached a simple truth.
The true meaning of Easter.