To never be satisfied. To always be seeking. Maybe that is what God has used as our greatest strength. Holes in our hearts so big that only He can fill them. —Full of Grace
Do you ever wonder, like I do, about what life was really like for the Holy Family in Nazareth? To be a fly on the wall of their home and to observe their interaction, their work ethic, their prayer life? Better yet, to be a guest in their home? The Passion of the Christ provided a bit of insight into the hidden life of the Holy Family, and while the meditation of Christ’s passion was the center of the movie, I truly loved those flashback scenes of the relationship between Jesus and Mary.
Similarly, what was life like for Mary, after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven? We see her in Sacred Scripture at the foot of the cross.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. —John 19:26-27
And then, for the last time, we see Mary with the apostles in the book of Acts, just before the coming of the Holy Spirit.
When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying … All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus … —Acts 1:13-14
But then what? Where did Mary go? What did she do? Are you just as curious as I am?
In the new movie, Full of Grace: The Story of Mary the Mother of Jesus, written and directed by Andrew Hyatt, we get a glimmer of a possible scenario. The film is set 10 years after the Resurrection. Mary (Bahia Haifi) is living alone, with a servant girl who she takes in and cares for like a daughter. It seems as if she knows that the end of her earthly life is near, and she sends for Peter.
Peter (Noam Jenkins) is trying to lead the Early Church, and in the film, he is depicted as faithful but doubtful of his leadership. When Mary sends for him, he goes to her in haste. In Mary’s company, he receives encouragement, conviction, and renewed faith. To the overwhelming weight that Peter feels as leader of the Church, Mary says, “You are following. He has already gone before you. Seek Him in all things and failure will be impossible.”
When the other apostles, including John, join Mary and Peter, she helps them to remember Jesus as He truly was. She reminds them that Christ’s message and mission are quite simple, but human hearts, fear, and insecurity complicate the truth. Mary’s spiritual motherhood shines through the darkened discouragement of their hearts, and her calm wisdom and loving gentleness refuel the apostles for their continued task of spreading the Gospel message. “Your eyes and ears have been removed and replaced with the sight and hearing of the Lord. That is the hope and life we have found in Christ.”
As in The Passion of the Christ, we are invited into Mary’s memories—of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity—in Full of Grace. She helps the apostles, and us, recall those personal encounters with Jesus, such as the time when “He first looked upon you, the moment your soul rejoiced.”
If you enjoy and appreciate Biblical movies, you will want to add Full of Grace to your to-watch list. It is a film that is beautiful, thoughtful, and meditative. It invites us into a deeper relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of us all.
For more information, visit the film’s website.
Copyright 2016 Sarah Damm