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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Hamlet 2

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Comic free-for-all in which a quirky failed actor turned high school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) works with two favorite students (Skylar Astin and Phoebe Strole) and a gifted newcomer (Joseph Julian Soria) to mount the titular sequel -- a cathartic extravaganza of his own creation -- in an effort to halt the shutdown of his program, despite growing community controversy and the indifference of his caustic wife (Catherine Keener). Director and co-writer Andrew Fleming's provocative, sometimes overreaching satire, which takes on everything from racial attitudes to child abuse to the gulf between Christian spirituality and celebrity culture, may strike many as wayward, but its underlying values are humane. Fleeting frontal male and brief rear nudity, much sexual and some irreverent humor, frequent rough and crude language, a few uses of profanity, child molestation, adultery and fertility themes, and drug references. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Matthew: Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. 
<p>Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important. </p><p>No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.</p> American Catholic Blog The most appealing invitation to embrace the religious life is the witness of our own lives, the spirit in which we react to our divine calling, the completeness of our dedication, the generosity and cheerfulness of our service to God, the love we have for one another, the apostolic zeal with which we witness to Christ’s love for the poorest of the poor.

 
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