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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Gospel, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Elevating if melodramatic redemption drama about a preacher's son (Boris Kodjoe) who returns home after 15 years -- putting his temptation-filled success as a chart-topping hip-hop artist on hold -- to mend fences with his estranged father (Clifton Powell), who is terminally ill, and his childhood friend (Idris Elba), who's been named his father's successor at the church, and to make peace with himself and his past. Despite an undernourished script padded with roof-raising gospel music numbers, director Rob Hardy's contemporary reimagining of the prodigal son parable movingly explores themes of family, faith, forgiveness, flawed humanity and God's unconditional love. An implied sexual encounter, mature themes, brief fisticuffs, a bump-and-grind dance sequence and some mildly crude language, making it better suited for older adolescents. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested.



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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
</p><p></p> American Catholic Blog Together with baptism, the other sacraments of initiation are Eucharist and confirmation. This trifecta makes us full members of the Church, like older children who can thoughtfully participate in all the elements of family life. But more than just milestones of belonging, these sacraments change our souls.

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