The First Temptation of Christ

Many of you, my dear readers, may be aware of the new “Christmas” film premiering on Netflix called “A Primeira Tentação de Cristo.” The description of the film writes, “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.” (IMBD)

You know that I never comment on movies or popular culture, but I think this certain thing needs to be addressed. The premise is that Our Lord is mocked, being portrayed as a homosexual bringing “Orlando,” his new boyfriend, home for his thirtieth birthday party. Not even before the debut, the three magi, Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar, are shown confused as to which star to follow leading to the birthday “party.”

Our Lady is shown as a closet smoker, having invited “Uncle Vittorio” to the party unbeknownst to St Joseph, who is portrayed as a fool and an incompetent craftsman at odds with Uncle Vittorio which is the portrayal of the first person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, whom Jesus is unaware is his own father. Amidst the collection of heresies and blasphemy, the Holy Ghost spared, Jesus is written as a moody youth unaware of his divinity or rather, having ‘assumed’ divinity upon the revelation of his father.

I watched this film on Netflix, thinking it was a proper biblical story (one of my favourite genres) but was sadly disappointed and appalled. Dear readers, Roman and Anglican, Eastern and Oriental, Protestant and even Mormon, stay away from this mockery of our shared faith. Can you imagine if such a production was cast around Mohammed? And this production didn’t spare just us Christians, it didn’t mock only the truth of God – it also mocked other faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism so not only do we deserve to stand in shock. The scene, the meeting of the other “gods,” equates Jesus to just a God amongst many: the ultimate heresy. Our Father is also portrayed as a vindictive and manipulative character of finite power. Jesus’s “lover” in this film turns out to be Lucifer. The forty-day-fast in the desert intends to be Jesus “finding himself.” Our Lord is also shown as a reluctant child, wanting to be a juggler and completely unaware of his destiny.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing more repulsive than a mockery of the Holy Family, the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, and the fatherhood of dear St Joseph, especially the glory and honour of Almighty God: the Blessed and Holy Trinity.

Happily, I have found a petition. Although it is a Brazilian one I doubt they would behove an English name to sign it. It has well over a million signatures and I URGE you to add your own. I have.

Click here to sign. http://chng.it/Z8zPmhwZmD I will provide an English translation of the main site text below.

Pela proibição da veiculação do filme de Natal do “Porta dos fundos”, que tem como título “A primeira tentação de Cristo”. Pela remoção do filme do catálogo da Netflix e para que o Porta dos fundos seja responsabilizado pelo crime de vilipêndio à fé. Também desejamos uma retratação pública, pois ofenderam gravemente os cristãos. 

-from the main page of the petition.

To ban the Christmas movie from the “Back Door,” (the production company) which is titled “The First Temptation of Christ.” For removing the film from the Netflix catalogue and for the Backdoor to be held responsible for this villainous crime of faith. We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.

an English translation.

In Akita, Japan, Our Lady revealed that “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father.” Let us pray. Oremus.

O Jesus, my Saviour and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine Immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: “If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you”, we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Spirit world without end. Amen. (Act of Reparation for Blasphemy)

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, who at this evening hour didst rest in the sepulchre, and didst thereby sanctify the grave to be a bed of hope to thy people: make us so to abound in sorrow for our sins, which were the cause of thy passion, that when our bodies lie in the dust, our souls may live with thee: who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, Order for Compline)

No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ. His prayer brought benefit to the multitude that raged against him. How much more does it bring to those who turn to him in repentance. – Pope St Leo the Great

Mildly, He Lays His Glory By

It’s amazing how University can take over your life. This first term has just come to an end, and with it, the beautiful season of Christmas and the culmination of another year

I haven’t had time to breathe, to sneeze, only time for a quick prayer and a visit with my friends. Then it was off to another class, practise, Mass, or service of some sort. Disposable words, once intended for good marks, have left the petrichor of an A average and a stronger desire to know this world of God’s creation.

University throws you into this state of oblivion. I am still confused by, and fail to understand the pretence that flows in the air at this school and because only a few friends followed me there, it saddens me to find it hard to meet someone who is half down to earth, with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Whether it be how one grew up, what one eats (or rather, smokes) for breakfast, or the books they read, there is no reason someone should be considered higher in the social hierarchy because they turn their sleeves up a certain way or flip the bottoms of their trousers up in a queer fold so as to look three sizes too small.

With that said, what would I learn if I wasn’t thrown into the unfamiliar? I’d be something like Plato’s cave dwellers. I don’t believe in some kind of ephemeral Catholicism, but (life) is ephemeral. Our chances are only as long as Heaven gives them time. So why waste what we have?

In the Church’s liturgy, the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated to us through the Eucharist, which is the sacrifice on the Cross shown again to us, the children of God. We are with the Blessed Mother there, as we behold the spotless Victim. He is not there only then, but forever in Divinity expressed. This isn’t temporary. If I cannot grow closer to God, the Rock of Ages, the very Child whose birth we have erected trees, showered love, and given gifts to celebrate, then where shall I fall?

There need not be this oblivion; the sense of uncertainty, when you have the veil of a Blessed Mother to lead you. Knowing what to do with my life, knowing what you want to do with your life, will not arrive at the senses in  a smack. That only happens when you hit the rock bottom floor of despair, something I hope we can avoid. If we rely on God, don’t you trust him to hold you up?

This is something I’ve come to realise this first university Christmas. We’ve been singing for quite some time at Mass, and at the service of Nine Lessons and Carols, at tree lightings, etc, these words:

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

The Prince of Peace does not leave us in anguish, the Son of Righteousness would not let us despair, for He indeed does bring light and life to all that ask Him, humility personified, and He came that we may more should die. The fiat of the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Winning supplication, glory unspeakable and remarkable. Here is Christmas. I pray that we keep this spirit every day, so that we can love and be loved as we truly are meant to do.