March 13, 2014
Mercy comes to life on the big screen in 'Noah'
By Raymond L. Flynn *

By Raymond L. Flynn *

The movie adaption of Noah had my wife Kathy saying while leaving the theater, "I am going home to read the Bible." A pretty inspiring reaction to a movie, I thought. Wouldn't it be nice if Hollywood made more movies like "Noah," which will have people leaving theaters saying things like that? 

When people watch this movie, I am convinced that it will lead to a broader discussion about the Bible among believers and non-believers alike. The last time a movie was made about a big and famous boat, people throughout the world wanted to learn more about the Titanic. When people want to learn more about Noah, as I am sure they will after seeing Academy award nominated director Darren Aronofsky's film, they will probably end up with the Bible in their hands.

Another compelling thought about the movie, which came to mind was about our role as stewards of the earth, and our duty to take good care of all that God has created. Noah had such an intense and devoted relationship with God, but we see first hand the spiritual challenges and journey he is on. Many of these same moral challenges that Noah faced, we continue to face today. God chose Noah for a reason, but we witness a torturous struggle in Noah’s mind as he tries to navigate the task he has been assigned. Noah, like all of us, is given free will and chooses mercy and love over selfishness and hate.

Watching the movie, I was reminded of my several personal observations with Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her spiritual journey in helping poor and suffering people throughout the world. Mother Teresa was chosen by God to do big things. Her burden, like Noah’s, was not light. She once said, "I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much." Her example brought out the best in us. She gave meaning to another Biblical phrase, "yes we are our brother’s keeper." So many great stories and things people do are rooted in the Bible, which can be turned into a blockbuster movie like "Noah."

Yes, God's mercy comes to life on the big screen in "Noah." And, yes, we all face difficult challenges in our own life.  Maybe Noah is teaching us how to face them. The values and lessons of the Bible didn't seem ancient to me after watching "Noah." That’s because the Bible is still the "Greatest Book Ever Written and the Greatest Story Ever Told."

Raymond L. Flynn is the former U.S Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston.
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July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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