Mel’s Passion, the New Evangelization and You

On Monday night, America watched as Mel Gibson defended his movie, his motives and his faith to Diane Sawyer on PrimeTime Live, unabashedly giving the reason for his hope and ours. In an extraordinarily rare moment, a major Hollywood star gave viewers a Catechism lesson on the Catholic faith and shared the gospel in clear and unequivocal terms with millions watching.

A God-Given Opportunity for Evangelization

Through his words, we witnessed Gibson’s personal descent into the abyss, his conversion of heart, and his resulting call to share the story of salvation by Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

Gibson’s interview may very well succeed in delivering hundreds of thousands of fence-sitters to theaters over the next few weeks to experience his heart-changing, painful, and beautiful epic film The Passion of The Christ. This interview has very likely opened the movie up to a whole new audience — the very people Catholic evangelists are trying to reach.

The Passion of The Christ and the teaching moment it presents is a God-given opportunity for evangelization, and we Catholics must rise to that challenge. At Catholic Exchange, we take this responsibility seriously and are always looking for ways to reach out to our brothers and sisters, Catholic and non-Catholic.

Most of us don’t have the talent or personal fortune to make a full-length film, much less the ability to give eloquent, theologically sound answers when our family, friends and neighbors ask us tough questions about Jesus Christ and the gospel. But still, we are all called to share the good news of what Christ has done for us. That’s why we have written a new book, A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ. We want to give you a tool so that you can fortify your own faith and knowledge, and provide answers and guidance to those who are wrestling with important theological questions after they view Gibson’s film.

Arm Yourself with the Truth

You need to prepare yourself to answer questions they’ll ask, such as:

• Are the Gospels historically accurate?

• How do we know that Jesus even existed?

• In the Garden of Gethsemane, did Jesus know He was going to die?

• Why didn’t Jesus use His power to save Himself?

• Why did God require such a bloody sacrifice?

The conversations about the movie are going to increase dramatically the day it opens (on Ash Wednesday, February 25). Think about how beneficial and opportune it would be if you had an excellent resource to pass on to others. Give A Guide to the Passion to family members, co-workers, and parishioners — in fact, get a book for all of your parishioners. Consider your donation of books as part of your tithe to the Church. Two of the seven spiritual works of mercy involve sharing the teachings of Christ with those who do not know the Faith or have doubts.

Unlike a Christian “tract” that someone may hand out at work or outside a theater, this 96-page book is intellectually satisfying. It honors the intellect by offering deep, compelling answers to some of life’s most challenging questions.

A Guide to the Passion answers the questions people will have about the film — and about the events that inspired it. It features a scene-by-scene commentary on some of the movie’s key elements. It is rich in catechesis yet also a quick and enjoyable read — its provocative questions and brief, thorough answers keep readers turning the pages.

The book is laid out in four parts: 100 questions and answers about the content and scenes of the movie; the case for Christ; the case for the Church; and an invitation for the reader to take some practical steps toward a deeper life with God.

Everyone who has read the new book has raved about it; they attest to its value in evangelizing those viewers whose first exposure to the Catholic faith may be their encounter with this powerful film. A Guide to the Passion makes for great personal spiritual reading as well. It not only unpacks the artistic and theological aspects of the movie, but it helps you relive your experience of watching The Passion of The Christ.

Now is the Time to Act

I know that you’re committed to your faith. But are you pro-active in sharing it? Do you evangelize? Do you take the initiative to engage people? Do you use your knowledge to pass on the Faith? This is your duty as a Catholic. It’s part of the commitment you made when you were confirmed. So, be a soldier for Christ and take a step toward heroically witnessing for Him at this crucial moment in history.

Now is the time to act. This film is a gift from God. Others have done the hard work of making it. It is up to us to promote the truth of the Catholic faith to those who will be touched by it.

We hope to distribute millions of copies of this book, but we can accomplish this goal only with your help — we need you to get the word out. We want you and everyone you know to have one of the most practical evangelization tools ever, and we’ve made that easier with prices that cover only our basic costs: the lowest bulk quantity is only 90 cents per copy!

We just got word that many of the books will now ship Monday, February 23. This means that you can have them in time for the release of the movie if you need them (express shipping is available for an extra charge). Simply review our generous bulk discounts and order by calling 800-376-0520 or visiting www.Evangelization.com (gotta love that web address!). Please place your order now so that we can rush these books out to you.

Thanks for helping maximize this historic Catholic cultural moment!

In JMJ,

Tom Allen

Editor & President

Catholic Exchange

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  • Grace Bonnette

    I am trying to get the resources to A Guide to the Passion.  I just acquire the book and I would love to share it with my faithsharing group.  Could you assist me in this matter.  Thank you so much, in advance.

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