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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Joyful Noise

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton play two church singers at odds with each other over who should lead the choir when the director, played by Kris Kristofferson, passes away. When the pastor, played by Courtney B. Vance, chooses Queen Latifa’s character Vi Rose instead of Dolly Parton’s GiGi, Christian charity becomes strained.
 
The story takes place in a small Georgia town that is economically stressed, but church members love to sing. Vi Rose, who is mom to Olivia (KiKi Palmer), talks to everyone in clichés, until she finally lets loose in a sermon to her daughter about maturity and responsibility. We discover that her husband Marcus (Jesse L. Martin) left the family to reenlist in the army because this was the only way he could support them.
 
To complicate matters further the choir’s finances are in bad shape and when they lose in a regional competition the pastor tells them they cannot continue. Then Randy (Jeremy Jordan), GiGi’s somewhat wayward grandson, shows up, and develops a crush on Olivia.
 
“Joyful Noise” is not a great film, but it is high energy and very entertaining.  It’s not especially good on moral theology either (one of the lady choir members sleeps with another one and when he dies during the night, she wonders if it is God’s punishment; the pastor assures her it isn’t but he is not particularly concerned that sex outside of marriage falls outside of Christian behavior.)
 
The plot is contrived to be a Christian version of “Glee”, or a throw back to the old “Our Gang” TV shows when a variety show or a concert would save the day.  If it weren’t for Queen Latifa and Dolly Parton, “Joyful Noise” wouldn’t work. KiKi Palmer and Jeremy Jordan have a nice chemistry.
 
The best part of the film for me was the hilarious catfight that Vi Rose and GiGI have in the local restaurant. The ending is quite moving; I had to get my Kleenex but I cannot tell you why or I will spoil it for you.




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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 Just as my children become members of my family when I bring them into the world, so too our baptism incorporates us into the family of the Church. This supernatural membership prevents us from being orphans who have to fend for themselves in the spiritual wilderness.

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