Merry Christmas

 

From Bishop Barron Christmas Reflection:

The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

John 1:1-18

Friends, our Christmas day Gospel focuses on the Word made flesh. Ancient Jewish thought found all sorts of sophisticated ways to say that God was active in the world without ceasing to be transcendent over it. Above all, they spoke of God’s holy Word, a Word by which all things were made.

Now listen to the Prologue to John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word…” He’s writing a new Genesis—and he is drawing our attention to this word of God, this powerful, musical breath of God that makes and governs the universe and speaks through the prophets, this Word that is the same as God.

And this Word became flesh. The Greek term means “pitched his tent among us,” the very phrase used of God’s Wisdom inhabiting the Temple in Jerusalem. “And we saw his glory…and he was full of grace and truth.” Glory, for he is beautiful to look on; truth, for he is the new Law. All the ways that the Old Testament spoke of God’s involvement with the world come together in this description of Jesus Christ. He is the powerful Word that will not return without accomplishing his purpose.

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The Last Jedi…Falters (updated)

I am sad to say but The Last Jedi is an action packed sugar rush that crashes and burns after careful consideration.

Whereas I gave a pass at Force Awakens retelling of A New Hope given the respect that JJ gave to the source material I am afraid that I can’t do the same to The Last Jedi. In story telling there is an internal consistency rule that states that authors should always obey the self imposed rules that they established for their world. In many instances  The Last Jedi  is willfully  ignores those rules in order to serve the plot.  This is perhaps one of the main problems with Rian Johnson’s script.  It aims at creating dramatic tension at the cost of internal consistency.  Even some of the advancement in the Jedi mythology puts into question some of the main plot points of its own movie.  Furthermore,  some of the characters decisions are well out of character. This was something that JJ did very well in Force Awakens, Han Solo felt like Han Solo, but in Johnson script, Luke was unrecognizable. He idealism and optimism are long gone, left in the dust of post modernism. Old age, failure and cynicism transformed this character in something unappealing, something that is not Luke Skywalker. I can understand the change in character if the rational is well articulated, but Johnson script does not take the time to do so. The words of Robert McKee sounds very true on this point: in his book Dialogue he stresses the importance of writers writing from the point of view of their characters. The question is not what would I do if I were this character, but rather what would my character do…absent any explanation the character feels alien and the magic of disbelief is broken.

On the bright side, some of the scene are just beautiful to look at.  The concept design are in good Star Wars form and Mr. Willian score is adequate. However, the constant plot holes, fan service scene, check box for character diversity,  and over active editing damper your mood; not to mention  artistic decisions that impacted the course of Star Wars mythology.

What a missed opportunity and to think that Mr. Johnson is in charge of bringing a new trilogy…Star Wars is not in dextrous hands.

Best,

Caleb

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today Catholic around the world celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe “La Morena” to celebrate the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to  a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego in 1531.

What strikes me as extraordinary about these apparitions is that they occured while hundreds of thousands Europeans were abandoning the faith of their fathers.  Whereas in Europe protestantism was creating disunity and confusion amongst Christians, Our Lady of Guadalupe was pointing millions and millions indigenous people towards Christ.

Coincidence? I think not.

I loved today’s  Bishop Barron reflection about this feast day:

Friends, today we celebrate the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. What followed the apparition of Mary at Tepeyac is one of the most astounding chapters in the history of Christian evangelism.

Though Franciscan missionaries had been laboring in Mexico for twenty years, they had made little progress. But within ten years of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, practically the entire Mexican people, nine million strong, had converted to Christianity. La Morena had proved a more effective evangelist than St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Patrick, and St. Francis Xavier combined! And with that great national conversion, the Aztec practice of human sacrifice came to an end. She had done battle with fallen spirits and had won a culture-changing victory for the God of love.

The challenge for us who honor her today is to join the same fight. We must announce to our culture today the truth of the God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of nonviolence and forgiving love. And we ought, like La Morena, to be bearers of Jesus to a world that needs him more than ever.

Bishop Robert Baron

Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!