Seven Alleluias

Happy Easter everybody.

Seven Alleluias. Now that’s some good news.
Not one but Seven. How ‘bout that?

Seven things to shout, Seven ways to pray,
Seven Gates into the City of God.

All Seven are good; all Seven are praise.
But where to begin? Where do we start?

The First Alleluia, Alleluia Number One:
God is Love, and He loves us much.

So it is we pray, “Thy Will be done.”
So it shall be Amen at the Gate

where Everything is Love, Love is Everything.
The Second (on a Circle of Seven)?

God became a flesh-and-blood mortal;
He lived with us some thirty-odd years.

So whatever we pray, be it good, be it bad,
we petition the One Who Understands

beneath the arch of the Gate with the word
HUMILITY burned into the oak above us.

Alleluia Three? Well, that’s the One that has God on a cross,
an Innocent dying, the Guiltless for the guilty.

So we pray, and the prayers we pray, the forgiveness we need
as we kneel at the Gate of the Forgiven.

An empty tomb, a Resurrection, and the Fourth Alleluia
celebrates that first Easter morning at each day’s dawn.

So we too can rise from a death that is lies
and follow the Savior-Son through the Gate called Promise.

When the Fifth Alleluia comes, it is with the Holy Spirit.
We sing “Hosanna,” the key that swings open the Pentecost Gate

into the Country of the Sixth Alleluia,
into the Land of the Gate of Belonging

where we People of God rejoice and pray,
and hope for the Day of the Seventh Alleluia

as we gather at the Maranatha Gate to wait
for the Seventh Stroke of the Clock and the Second Coming.

So it is we pray. So it shall be. Amen
and Alleluia times Seven. Now that’s some Good News.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Is a Mini-Series

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. From time to time, a reflection on the movie will appear below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is the mini-series, “Jesus of Nazareth” (1977)

Ever so often some Hollywood producer gets a wild hair. He just has to do Jesus. Again. Even though the life of Jesus has been done over and over again. And I’ve seen a good many of them.

I’ve seen “King of Kings”. I’ve seen “Son of God”. I’ve seen “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. I’ve seen “The Passion of the Christ”.  I’ve seen Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”. I’ve seen “Godspell”. I’ve seen “Jesus Christ Superstar”. I’ve even seen “The Last Temptation of Christ”. I never could figure out why so many made such a big deal out of “The Last Temptation”. After all, Willem Dafoe portrayed a whiney, complaining Jesus. Who would follow this guy?

And I’ve read the four Gospels. Several times.No movie but one has done justice to the life of Jesus. Only Franco Zeffirelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth”.

Yes, that Franco Zeffirelli. The director of the movies “Taming of the Shrew” (1967), “Romeo and Juliet” (1968), “Hamlet” (1990), “Tea With Mussolini” (1999)  and the best movie of the life of St. Francis “Brother Sun Sister Moon” (1972). “Jesus of Nazareth” is his masterpiece.

It was the heyday of the mini-series. The days of “Rich Man, Poor Man”, “Shogun”, “The Thorn Birds”, and “Roots”, of “Masterpiece Theater” just coming into its popularity. It was way before “John Adams”, “Game of Thrones” and “Orange is the new black”.

For over six hours, we watched “Jesus of Nazareth”. Some watched to see if Zeffirelli had been true to the script of the Gospels. He had. Others watched it and thought that this was great television. I belonged to that second group.

For the first time, I got all four Gospels in one film. Sure, there were some events missing, such as the Cana miracle. But that was to be expected for a six-hour dramatic presentation. I got a lot more than the films before and since have given me.

And I got to see all the usual suspects. Mary and Joseph, Herod and Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalen and Simon Peter, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, John the Baptist and the Magi, Judas Iscariot and Barabbas, and all the others I read about.in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And Robert Powell as Jesus knocked the ball out of the park as far as I am concerned. Unlike so many other portrayals of Jesus, his was a Jesus for whom I would give up everything and follow.

To all my Christian friends, may your Easter be a good one.