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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

This Christmas

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Spirited but somewhat pat family drama in which a well heeled African-American clan gathers for the holidays at the Los Angeles home of their mother (Loretta Devine) and her companion (Delroy Lindo) who then try to help the oldest daughter (Regina King) cope with her domineering husband (Laz Alonso) -- as well as with the tension between him and her younger sister (Sharon Leal) -- ignore the amorous antics of a third sister (Lauren London) and her visiting boyfriend (Keith Robinson), and attempt to convince the eldest son (Idris Elba) to quit his wandering ways, while two younger sons (Columbus Short and Chris Brown) struggle to find the courage to reveal their closely held secrets. Writer-director-producer Preston A. Whitmore II deftly interweaves the various elements of the plot while adding welcome strands of humor and music to produce, overall, a very pleasant tapestry. A scene of domestic violence, some sexual references and humor, some crude and crass language, implied nonmarital sex and cohabitation, themes of divorce and skimpy costuming. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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Martha: Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death. 
<p>No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner. </p><p>Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a). </p><p>Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).</p> American Catholic Blog Anger and inconsistency feed each other. Anger in a parent can lead to erratic discipline, and erratic discipline promotes anger and frustration. Good parents work hard to discipline with a level head. The best parents though, even after many years or many kids, are still working on the level-headed part.

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