Note: Spoiler alert! References to Frozen II are scattered throughout this reflection.
After a successful Frozen movie five-years ago, its sequel Frozen II has been long awaited and honestly, I did not waste a minute to see the sequel and probably did many others. While I did expect a happy ending, as do most Disney films, I found that the amount of content and events that were embedded within the film was a little overwhelming, and difficult to keep track of everything
At first I thought that Elsa’s quest was to discover what happened to her parents, but later on in the film, I learned that Elsa went out to solve a more important issue – the uncovering of the sins of the past, so to restore justice, and peace between Northuldra and Arendelle. It became much more clearer after watching the film and reading this piece by Matt Goldberg.
So it seems that in the beginning, Arendelle had to pay the price for the “sins” of the past. To restore harmony, Elsa comes along, uncovers the truth and brings harmony to both Northundra and Arendelle. Elsa rules Northundra, and Anna becomes the Queen of Arendelle.
While this fictional story is a beautiful one, and its ending is typical of a Disney Princess story, as I watched the film, and read Matt Goldberg’s crtique, the theme of the Paschal Mystery and the History of Salvation in which the Church celebrates in the liturgy of the Paschal Triduum.
In the beginning, man committed the sin of disobedience (Genesis 3). Yet, even in such a dark state, God did not abandon man, but rather, promised a Saviour (see Genesis 3:15). However, that was not the end of the matter. Due to the sins of man, that created a “gap” between God and man, the gates of heaven were closed. A debt had to be paid and that ultimately meant that man had to die, and suffer eternal damnation. However, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God’s love for man was so great that he did not want man to die eternally, but paid that debt for us by giving us a Saviour, Jesus Christ. The debt was ultimately paid through the passion of Jesus on the cross and was brought to fulfillment in the Resurrection. The death of Jesus broke the “dam” that was blocking man and God and therefore, opened the gates of heaven.
Due to the sin of the past King of Arendelle towards Northundra, the people of Arendelle had to suffer the consequences of sin, and that was passed on from generation to generation. Similar to every person, we all inherited original sin, but through the Sacrament of Baptism, we take on Christ who paid for the price of sin.
I notice many parallelisms between Jesus and Elsa. Both were the Saviour of their own respective people, Jesus saved man while Elsa saved Arendelle. Yet, both had to go through much suffering, going through the “Passion” in order to liberate the people out of the bondage of sin. Even through that suffering, both resurrect and bring new life to their people and brings about a spirit of reconciliation and peace.
I am reminded of the Preface III of the Sundays of Ordinary Time, titled, “Salvation of man by man”:
“…you came to the aid of mortal beings with your divinity and even fashioned for us a remedy out of mortality itself, that the cause of our downfall might become the means of our salvation.”Roman Missal – Preface III of the Sundays of Ordinary Time
This prompts me to go back to “happy fault” that is mentioned in the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil. Man committed sin, and closed the gates of heaven. Yet, it was through that sin, that “downfall”, that Jesus Christ was sent to us as the Saviour of the world, bringing not only paying a debt, bringing us eternal salvation, but also a spirit of reconciliation and peace.
I think it is important for us to understand the meaning of the History of Salvation within the aspects of peace and reconciliation, because salvation is not something done for an individual. Rather, every time we look up to the Cross of Jesus, we should be reminded not only of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, but on our part, we should be called to promote a spirit of reconciliation and peace with one another. That process is certainly not easy – we see it even now in Canada as we strive to reconcile with First Nations, Indigenous Peoples of Canada, or as a Church as we reconcile with those who have faced harm from members of the hierarchies of the Church.
Like how the people of Arendelle and Northundra were able to reconcile with each other, bringing about a great sense of peace through the saving act of Elsa, I pray that people all around the world, through the salvation of Jesus, also reconcile with each other, therefore, bringing about peace and joy in this world. I know I am talking about this using a fiction story, but I believe it is possible – the only exception is that it is going to be a very long process, and cannot be achieved in 1.5 hours like Frozen II.