Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

"They can kill the mind and body, but they cannot kill the spirit." Matt. 10:28

In the The Bourne Ultimatum, we finally figure out who Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) really is. After three movies of suspense, mystery, action, and adventure, it seems that Jason Bourne is a man of faith.

Near the end of this movie, Bourne has a flashback of his first day on the job as a CIA operative and we get a quick glimpse of his military dogtags. Clear as day, under the name "David Webb" (his original name) is the word "Catholic."

I think it's that one glimpse that answers so much about the Bourne movies.

Here's my theory: As a young adult, Jason Bourne was a Catholic who fell away from his faith and instead put his trust in a secret government agency to bring about justice. But the lessons of his Catholic faith wouldn't subside - and found himself remembering "thou shall not kill" and "what did you do to the least of my brothers and sisters?" in the midst of his covert ops. When Bourne had a chance at a new life in The Bourne Identity (when he lost his memory), he resorted to the ethics and principles that had remained lodged in his subconscience. He may not have been able to remember his CIA training and kills, but he could never forget his morals.

I imagine that Jason Bourne had a Catholicity like many young adults today. The rituals and requirements, pomp and circumstance of the Roman Catholic faith did not connect with his everyday life, so he abandoned it for the ways of the world. However, what did connect was the Church's teachings on social justice, ethics, the dignity of life, forgiveness, compassion, and repentance. Those basic gospel values rang out loud and clear.

Jesus told his disciples this warning when he sent them out into the world, "They can kill the mind and body, but they cannot kill the spirit." (Matt. 10:28) As long as deep within us resides a spirit of justice and gospel values, those values will find us once again.

I wonder how many other people out there have fallen from the practice of their religion, but still hold true to the core of their faith?

How many other people are stuck in jobs and lives that lead us away from gospel values?

How many other people have sought out justice from the world, but found it lacking?

How many other people are trying to find out their core identity and their purpose in life?

At the core of Jason Bourne there wasn't just a guy named David Webb who once applied for covert operations at the CIA headquarters. At the core of Jason Bourne was a man of faith, with strong convictions, moral priciples and ethics, and a longing for redemption.

At the core of who we are, what will we find? And who can we encourage out there to search deep within for those values that truly define them in this world and the next?