FOR TODAY Watch these video clips from the movie, The Mission (1986) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk_-jIncT5I https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYTRQAy2o4E Together, these clips show you the story of Rodrigo Mendoza, a mercenary and slave trader who becomes blinded by his own anger and unhappiness. This leads Rodrigo to kill his brother in a fit of jealousy. He then feels the weight of his actions and becomes despairing and utterly hopeless. That is until Fr. Gabriel visits him. Rodrigo says, “There is no redemption, no penance hard enough for me.” However, he comes to find redemption in carrying the literal and figurative “baggage” of his actions up the side of a steep mountain where he hopes to join the Jesuit priests in their mission to the Guarani tribes people. What he doesn’t imagine, however, is that his anguish and despair would, in fact, be redeemed in a miraculous way. The Guarani people, who have “just” reason to fear and even murder Rodrigo on sight, in a dramatic moment of forgiveness, choose to cut away his baggage and free him. They welcome him into their community where Rodrigo ultimately finds belonging and healing for his soul.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION Rodrigo experienced unmerited grace from the very people he hunted, hurt, and even killed. Have you experienced a moment of redemption that became a turning point in your life? How might our revival become a turning point for our diocese or for you personally?
Focusing on the word "just" may strike many as an odd theme in our journey to revival; but, this week and subsequent ones will move us more directly towards the theme of our revival: Just Mercy, Just Jesus. We have heard the prophets of old and of our current time speak of a longing for a "just" society. In that sense, we long for what is right and good and lawful. At other times, we use the word "just" to reduce something to the basics, to what is essential, or to be dismissive. As we move through this week, a key aspect of being prepared and moved by a revival is getting in touch of the essentials in our relationship with God and with others. Find all previous daily devotionals here