Realizing Peace on Earth
A scene from Mary Magdalene about not waiting to live your best life
Mary Magdalene is a movie about the relationship between Jesus and his only female apostle, Mary.
In my favorite scene, Mary awakes and finds Jesus alive after death. He has realized the kingdom of heaven on earth. Mary tells the apostles what Jesus told her: that the kingdom of heaven is here, now, and that waiting for it is not the way. She tells them that the world will only change as they change and, as they change, the kingdom of heaven will appear. They dismiss her but she promises to spread the message about how peace can be realized in this lifetime, in physical form.
The scene starts at 1:45:02 in the movie. It’s not available on Movieclips but the trailer offers a taste of Mary’s fortitude in the scene.
INT. HIDEAWAY IN JERUSALEM - DAY MARY (to apostles) This whole time we've been looking for a change in the world but it's not what we thought. The kingdom is here, now. APOSTLE Mary, you saw him? Truly? But then...the kingdom? How can that be right? MARY Because it's not something we can see with our eyes. It's here, within us. All we have to do is let go of our anguish and our resentment and we become like children just as he said. PETER I believe that you saw him, that he came to you. And it was a sign: that he will return, and he will bring the kingdom. The true kingdom. The new world. MARY The world will only change as we change. EXT. SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE GALGOTHA - DAY Mary walks down the hill from Jesus's tomb to the Resurrected Jesus. He is seated. Tired and tranquil, he looks at her. She kneels, speechless. JESUS You do not lose heart, even now. (pause) Didn't you ask what it would be like? (pause) The kingdom? She grins. He grins. And they both sigh, almost laugh, with relief.
The meaning of Jesus’s smile at the end of this scene (shown in the beginning of the trailer) “says” more than words can about the joy and struggles of life, but Mary tries to articulate it in words to the apostles, which fall short. This shows the importance of silence for realizing deep truths — through being patient like Mary was for Jesus, and through surrendering fear to faith instead of shouting, protesting, and proselytizing like the apostles. Mary is born again with child-like eyes. The apostles remain trapped in a Matrix-like realm.
I watched Mary Magdalene shortly after experiencing an awakening that a restored and renewed faith in Jesus helped me move through. Before this, I watched Last Temptation of Christ, The Mission, The Case for Christ, and other movies based on Christian faith. While Willem Defoe’s version of Jesus in Last Temptation of Christ helped me deal with the inner chaos of the mind trying to acclimate to an open heart, Joaquin Phoenix’s version of Jesus in Mary Magdalene comforted me and helped me remember that peace on earth, here and now, is possible.
Is there anything in your way of realizing peace, here and now?