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Matchstick Men

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Clever shell-game drama about an obsessive-compulsive small-time con artist (Nicolas Cage) whose neurotically routine life unravels when he learns he has a teen-age daughter (Alison Lohman) with a gift for the grift, complicating a potentially lucrative scheme to fleece a heavy-hitting millionaire. Full of triple-dealings and exploiting viewers' fascination for confidence games, the film, directed by Ridley Scott, while morally glossing over its protagonist's dishonest actions, ultimately imparts a message that crime burns you in the end. A benign attitude toward larceny, some violence, a scene in a strip club with partial nudity, an instance of fleeting rear nudity and rough language, as well as recurring crude language and profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
</p><p></p> American Catholic Blog Together with baptism, the other sacraments of initiation are Eucharist and confirmation. This trifecta makes us full members of the Church, like older children who can thoughtfully participate in all the elements of family life. But more than just milestones of belonging, these sacraments change our souls.

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