After years of “exile” from the cinema, I got to watch in a movie house again thanks to some generous friends ;). I wouldn’t have guessed the first film I’d see would be John Wick 4 as I’m not fond of action movies, but I discovered it’s also quite enjoyable to watch the artistry and intelligence of fight scenes. Entertainment aside, what really surprised me in this movie is how simply human John Wick is.

Despite the incredible battles that make him seem super-human, staying alive regardless of all the bullets aimed at him or the many times he fell from the endless stairs of Sacre-Coeur, John Wick, in the end, proves to be as human as anyone of us when he asked for freedom instead of revenge.

Freedom from all guilt and punishment caused by our sins is one of the most desired kind of freedom of the human heart. To a generation such as ours, this is not really obvious. It’s not easy to see that sin is a hindrance to freedom since modern morality does not seem to have much opinion of the former and at the same time, has a narrow appreciation of what the latter truly means.

But if we look into our hearts, often, the wearies and hurts therein are caused by sin– ours and that of others. Because sin is an act that is contrary to our purpose and what is good for us, its consequences bring disorder and suffering to our humanity. Over the years, these pain and wounds accumulate, and we can find ourselves trapped under the weight of so heavy a burden, manifested, may it be, in our easily angry mood, complicated relationships, and deep-seated fears that haunt our hearts unbeknownst to us.

With already three other movies at his back, I could imagine how tiring it is by now for John Wick to continue such a chaotic lifestyle. I guess he got fed up, as would any of us with our many problems, and so desired, as his final reward, the freedom from all the consequences of his offenses against the High Table. Therefore, they could not hunt him down again, take revenge against him, nor make him pay for whatever he has done wrong heretofore.

For a “killer” such as him, what freedom! He is actually asking for redemption, reinstation– the kind that gives us again a clean slate in life, as if we never did something wrong (something naturally familiar for those who frequent the Sacrament of Confession.)

But what man can make a ransom for his life? Says Psalm 49. “No one can, by any means, redeem another or give God a ransom for him” The price of man’s freedom from sin is too costly; it costs his own life. No one can afford that and then still live. This forces us to confront man’s great dilemma– the problem of escaping sin alive.

For “the wage of sin is death.” (Romans 6, 23) This is the due that justice demands from our humanity. If we were to be just, which is good, we would be condemned to death, which is bad. Is there any other way, by which we could possibly be saved? Anyone could give up one’s life and die, like John Wick, but how can that make one free when one would be dead?

From this darkness dawns the Good News of our salvation. God, our Father, against whom we owe the payment for our sins, happily, is not only just but also merciful. He provides us another way, so we can be saved, and that is Jesus, His Son. However, mercy does not disqualify justice, and so death, the consequence of sin, still remains to be conquered. And that is exactly what Jesus does for us in his passion, death, and resurrection. This is what constitutes the story of our redemption.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that anyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Jesus comes into our humanity to be both the mercy and justice of God, giving His life as ransom for our sins. And the heart of this story is what we are entering into next week, Holy Week, wherein we commemorate the most important events of all history– Jesus, dying on the cross, paying for us the wages of sin, and then resurrecting from the dead, giving us the freedom to live anew!

What John Wick nor anyone of us could never do, God Himself does for us. This is what we celebrate for a whole week next week and for the coming Easter– the true freedom that our hearts so eagerly desire.

“If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” -John 8, 36

Photos from: