Viewing Posts from 02/2014

“Son of God” Movie Hits Theaters Feb. 28

Posted by Amy on February 24, 2014, 9:09 am

For the first time since Mel Gibson’s 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ,” Jesus will be back on the big screen. “Son of God,” directed by Christopher Spencer, will portray the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Building upon the hit History Channel miniseries “The Bible,” “Son of God” is based on John’s Gospel account. It stars Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus, and Roma Downey, of “Touched by an Angel,” as Mary.

So how are Christians responding to this movie? With wholehearted enthusiasm it seems. “Son of God” is being praised by church leaders such as Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles and mega-church pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. Some churches are even buying out theaters to watch screenings of the movie.

This is just the first in a lineup of biblical movies coming to theaters this year, such as “Noah” (release date: March 28), “Exodus” (December 12), and “Mary, Mother of Christ.”

It’s exciting to see faith being integrated into mainstream movies, and it will be even more exciting to see how youth respond to it.

Check out the official movie trailer for “Son of God” below:

Also, here’s a review of the movie by Cardinal Donald Wuerl:

So will you be watching “Son of God” when it comes to theaters on Feb. 28?

Love Is Not a Fairytale

Posted by Amy on February 13, 2014, 7:00 am

I admit it: I’m a hopeless romantic. Years ago, nothing delighted me more than watching romantic comedies, listening to sappy love songs, and sighing over cute guys, dreaming that maybe--just maybe--one day a gallant stranger would waltz into my life and sweep me off my feet the way it happens in Disney movies.

Older and wiser, I now know that’s not what happens.

Does that sound depressing? It’s actually the opposite! I’m here to tell you love is much more than what society often tells us. That’s encouraging news!

What Disney movies, rom coms, TV shows, and other media often perpetuate is harmful because it gives us unrealistic expectations of love, expectations including, but not limited to: it will be “love at first sight” and you’ll “just know”; it will be sheer bliss, without any problems; there’s “The One” out there who is meant for you (as if your love is predestined and completely out of your control!). They also tend to promote objectification of people, lack of commitment, and decisions based purely on emotion. That’s not love at all--that’s infatuation. What’s the difference? Love lasts; infatuation burns out. Love heals; infatuation hurts.

So where are we to look for an example of what love truly is and how we should handle relationships? We should look to God’s love for us. He loved us into being. He sent His Son to die for us and save us, even when we were unworthy. In light of this, I offer the following statements about love:

1. Love is sacrifice.
   “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Wait--sacrifice? That doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? But think about it. When you love someone, it’s not about you. You want what’s best for them. You are committed to doing what will
bring about their ultimate good. That often entails doing something that maybe isn’t so pleasant for you; it may even be dreadfully painful. But just look at the unfathomable beauty and gifts that can come from such a sacrifice.

2. Love is not a feeling.
Ah yes, the proverbial butterflies in your stomach. Let me tell you, they don’t last. Does that sound unromantic? It’s actually not. If love were purely an emotion, that would mean someone has no choice but to love you--they just couldn’t “help but feel that way.” But since love is not a feeling, it means someone is actively choosing to love you. I can’t think of anything more romantic than that.

3. Love is unconditional.
This means love is given freely, without expecting anything in return. You can’t earn it. True love looks upon you and sees your flaws, frailty, and wickedness and says, “I love you anyway.”

Alright, enough talk. Let’s see this sacrificial love in action in a real couple today. (You might want to have some tissues ready. It’s a tearjerker--in a good way!)

Love isn’t the handsome stranger on a white horse whose kiss will bring you back to life; it’s the one who consistently puts your needs above their own, especially when times get tough.

Love isn’t the surge of excitement or the butterflies in your stomach; it’s the daily choice to commit yourself to serving another long after those emotions have faded.

Love can’t be reduced to saccharine songs, syrupy words and candy hearts--it must be elevated to the One from whom it came.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Photo credit: Kumar Appaiah

Pope Francis Makes Cover of Rolling Stone Magazine

Posted by Amy on January 31, 2014, 5:27 pm

Pope Francis on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine (Courtesy of Stone magazine’s Feb. 13 issue hit the newsstands today with Pope Francis on the cover, marking the first time a pontiff has ever graced the cover of this music and pop culture magazine. Previous covers have featured Jimi Hendrix, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

While it’s highly unusual, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering the way Pope Francis has captivated the attention of the media and Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Plus, he’s no stranger to high-profile magazines. In December, he was named Time’s “Person of the Year” and an illustration of him making a snow angel was on the cover of The New Yorker.

The Rolling Stone’s Mark Binelli’s lead article, entitled “The Times They Are A-Changin,'” lauds Pope Francis for his “obvious humility, empathy and...devotion to the economically disenfranchised,” but is highly critical of his predecessor Pope Benedict. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said on Vatican Radio that the article “is a sign of the attention that the novelties of Pope Francis attract from many different quarters.” But he goes on to say:

“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which, in order to shed light on the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it needs to describe the pontificate of Pope Benedict in a negative way, and does so with a surprising crudeness.”

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