I only just started listening to the audiobook of Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and have not seen the movie. But a funny thing happened on the way to my homily for this coming weekend. I saw that Hunger Games had the highest box office for the third week in a row. This is an increasingly rare occurrence due to the tremendous number of theaters in which big movies poem these days. Last Sunday Easter Egg Hunt were held throughout the world. On Easter Sunday, the disciples were hiding in the Upper Room because they were afraid that what happened to Jesus might well happen to them. This Sunday gospel picks up where last Sunday’s left off. The Apostle Thomas, absent on Easter Sunday, came to be forever known as “Doubting”
The Hunger Games is set in a depressing, repressive future America where the remnants od the United States has been reduced to 12 districts ruled from the Capital in the Rockies. A boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen from each the districts in a fight-to-the-death-winner-takes-all-made-for-TV extravaganza! The winner not only gets to live, but he or she becomes a hero and his or her district receives an easier life during a time of utter poverty for most folks.
So given the premis of the book, one can expect a lost of violence. But I am not sure if this movie can compare to the unbridled carnage and aftermath of an Easter Egg Hunt with too many kids, not enough chaperones, and just one area for the children of all ages to search. It was bad enough to see older children shove, push, and stomp on smaller children in the hopes of getting the most eggs and perhaps a grand prize. Even worse than that is when parents get involved in harvesting the eggs presumably for their children (but one never knows.)
One ought to expect violence in a book and movie like the Hunger Games. But at an Easter Egg Hunt? I am confidant that the purpose of Easter Egg Hunts is NOT to our children that the gift of Easter is chocolate bunnies and eggs, candies, plastic eggs filled wife jelly beans, small toys, or cash.
What Easter gifts did Jesus bring and continue to give today?
Above all, the Risen Lord gives the gift of himself.
We don’t have to fight, we just need to be where we know we can always find Jesus.
Come to Church this Sunday.
[Good news for my congregation, I do not preach every thought that comes into my head. Only the risen Lord, the Holy Spirit, Doubting Thomas, and I will be there!]
My Easter homily is posted here.