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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Ruminative Western drama set in rural Texas about a grizzled ranch foreman (Tommy Lee Jones) who makes good on his promise to bury an undocumented migrant (Julio Cedillo) -- with whom he had developed a deep friendship -- back in his native Mexico, forcing the dead man's murderer (Barry Pepper) to help in transporting the body over treacherous terrain and across the border. Set against a rugged Southwestern backdrop, the film's textured performances, contemplative, unhurried rhythm and confident direction by Jones result in an affecting, if at times macabre, study of loneliness and the human need for connection that ends on a quietly moral note. Some violence, including a pistol-whipping and gunshot gore, the surgical lancing of a venom-swollen foot, a crass but fully clothed sexual encounter between husband and wife, adultery, brief pornographic images, suggested masturbation, images of a corpse in various stages of decay, pervasive rough and crude language, and profanity. 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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Mary Magdalene: Except for the mother of Jesus, few women are more honored in the Bible than Mary Magdalene. Yet she could well be the patron of the slandered, since there has been a persistent legend in the Church that she is the unnamed sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 
<p>Most Scripture scholars today point out that there is no scriptural basis for confusing the two women. Mary Magdalene, that is, “of Magdala,” was the one from whom Christ cast out “seven demons” (Luke 8:2)—an indication, at the worst, of extreme demonic possession or, possibly, severe illness. </p><p>Father Wilfrid J. Harrington, O.P., writing in the <i>New Catholic Commentary</i>, says that “seven demons” “does not mean that Mary had lived an immoral life—a conclusion reached only by means of a mistaken identification with the anonymous woman of Luke 7:36.” Father Edward Mally, S.J., writing in the <i>Jerome Biblical Commentary,</i> agrees that she “is not...the same as the sinner of Luke 7:37, despite the later Western romantic tradition about her.” </p><p>Mary Magdalene was one of the many “who were assisting them [Jesus and the Twelve] out of their means.” She was one of those who stood by the cross of Jesus with his mother. And, of all the “official” witnesses that might have been chosen for the first awareness of the Resurrection, she was the one to whom that privilege was given. She is known as the "Apostle to the Apostles."</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus does not save us as individuals, but as members of His Body. We are not just people—unconnected and isolated arms and legs. We are a people—in fact, the People of God.

 
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