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June 28 , 2007

Come Again


When Ray Cass, a successful advertising executive and lapsed Catholic, begs God to save his dying teenage daughter, Melissa, his prayer is so persuasive, God answers it under one condition: Ray must promote the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Thus begins a taut, twisted thrill ride taking Ray from his high-octane world of crafting slick messages selling glamorous products to creating a communications package that will form the foundation of the most important marketing campaign in history. Ray faces the intense challenges and dangers being God’s messenger have always evoked. A timeless, yet contemporary, Jesus, opens a surprising window into His life, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection. As the project unfolds, Ray must sell his ad agency and work alone to maintain his secret. Assisted only by Melissa and his assistant, Gina Spizzo, Ray assembles the campaign elements. From the images they help create, photographers, filmmakers, and designers Ray enlists to work with him come to realize they are involved in the Second Coming. Some accept this revelation, others dismiss it as ridiculous fantasy. As gossip and media coverage increase, Ray must discuss and defend his work. As he does, he begins to rekindle his moribund faith, which he tossed aside the night his wife, Jamie, was killed by a hit-and-run driver five years earlier. After massive media exposure, Ray is harassed and threatened by religious zealots, who accuse him of blasphemy and heresy. Both protesters and supporters demonstrate across the street from his house, where he works on the campaign. Fr. Ted Cavanaugh, a slick assistant to Cardinal Gonzaga, the Archbishop of Chicago, badgers Ray for a meeting between Gonzaga and the supposed Jesus. Jesus won’t comply, so Ray refuses. Feeling slighted by the rejection, Gonzaga labels Jesus a minion of Satan. Gonzaga becomes Ray’s implacable enemy. Ray and Gina become lovers. Cavanaugh and Fr. Scott Darrow, a priest who ministers to the poor, support Ray. Unknown stalkers threaten Melissa. Gina’s brother, Joey, who heads a small crime family, dissuades them. Televangelist fanatics kill Gina and nearly kill Ray. Against Jesus’ wishes, Ray, who recognizes the killers’ leader, gives Joey his name. Joey kills him. RAY is devastated and shamed by his refusal to obey Jesus’ request to say nothing. Ray learns Gonzaga is the anti-Christ in a posthumous letter he receives from Cavanaugh, murdered by the Cardinal while Ray is out of town. Gonzaga is elected Pope, setting the stage for the End of Days confrontation. Joey thwarts Gonzaga’s multiple attempts to kill Ray, including a set-up by a sexy female assassin in Rome who lures Ray into a trap. Jesus must bring Ray back from the dead to complete the Second Coming campaign’s mission.
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