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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Kingdom of Heaven

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Source: Catholic News Service

Sweeping, if bloody and somewhat revisionist, historical drama set in the time of the Crusades about a disillusioned blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) elevated to knighthood who journeys to Jerusalem in search of redemption and becomes embroiled in the power struggle between the tolerance-advocating Latin king and a war-mongering would-be usurper, who threatens to disrupt the tenuous truce between the Christian and Muslim forces. Spectacularly directed by Ridley Scott and full of grand-scale battle scenes and period detail, the epic film takes license with the facts, but overall portrays both sides as a mix of vice and virtue (though in its skewed telling of the events Christians come off as the prime villains) and imparts a timely message of peaceful coexistence, as well as a strong condemnation of violence, ideological hatred and war. Recurring intense battlefield violence and associated gore, including decapitations, hacked limbs and flaming bodies, as well as a brief adulterous sexual encounter. 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.



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Bartholomew: In the New Testament, Bartholomew is mentioned only in the lists of the apostles. Some scholars identify him with Nathanael, a man of Cana in Galilee who was summoned to Jesus by Philip. Jesus paid him a great compliment: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him” (John 1:47b). When Nathanael asked how Jesus knew him, Jesus said, “I saw you under the fig tree” (John 1:48b). Whatever amazing revelation this involved, it brought Nathanael to exclaim, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49b). But Jesus countered with, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (John 1:50b). 
<p>Nathanael did see greater things. He was one of those to whom Jesus appeared on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias after his resurrection (see John 21:1-14). They had been fishing all night without success. In the morning, they saw someone standing on the shore though no one knew it was Jesus. He told them to cast their net again, and they made so great a catch that they could not haul the net in. Then John cried out to Peter, “It is the Lord.” </p><p>When they brought the boat to shore, they found a fire burning, with some fish laid on it and some bread. Jesus asked them to bring some of the fish they had caught, and invited them to come and eat their meal. John relates that although they knew it was Jesus, none of the apostles presumed to inquire who he was. This, John notes, was the third time Jesus appeared to the apostles.</p> American Catholic Blog While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.<br /> –St. Francis of Assisi

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