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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The

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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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Martyrdom of John the Baptist: The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. But why? What possesses a man that he would give up his very life? 
<p>This great religious reformer was sent by God to prepare the people for the Messiah. His vocation was one of selfless giving. The only power that he claimed was the Spirit of Yahweh. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, perhaps in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus” (John 1:35-37). It is John the Baptist who has pointed the way to Christ. John’s life and death were a giving over of self for God and other people. His simple style of life was one of complete detachment from earthly possessions. His heart was centered on God and the call that he heard from the Spirit of God speaking to his heart. Confident of God’s grace, he had the courage to speak words of condemnation or repentance, of salvation.</p> American Catholic Blog Once you begin to neglect obedience, one by one everything goes. Obedience is difficult but that’s where love comes from. There are so many broken families because a woman will not obey a man and a man will not obey a woman. We belong to Jesus and obedience is our strength. You must do small acts of obedience with great love.

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