In this video entitled “Momentos,” directed by Nuno Rocha, there is no dialogue; however, the actions that take place speak louder than words, which led this video to awards such as the Cinematic Achievement Award at the International Short Film Festival in Greece and the Audience Award at a Film Festival in France.
This video is mysterious in the sense that the viewer doesn’t know why the family was originally separated, and there also seems to be a team effort whose objective was to reconnect this man back with his family. The viewer doesn’t know the purpose of this operation until the van that is parked drives away revealing the man’s wife and daughter.
This is brought to a climax when the daughter embraces her father – the ultimate act of acceptance and forgiveness.
Forgiveness is such a vital part of the Catholic faith. In this video, the daughter accepted her father at that moment, which is what Jesus intends for us to do. We must accept people we encounter for where they are at in life rather than looking at what happened in their pasts. Blessed Pope John Paul II gave us a beautiful example of this. Years after he had been shot, he went and visited his shooter in his prison cell, making it very clear that the blessed pope had forgiven his assassin. The pope, who is one of the most looked-to figures in the world, humbled himself and forgave a man who had attempted to end his life. It was not enough for Blessed John Paul II to just simply say that he had forgiven his shooter. He intentionally made the effort to visit the man in prison to show the world that he had truly forgiven. Just as in this video, it was the action of the daughter that made a difference, not anything that she had said. These actions are so powerful because they go against what society tells us is acceptable – “People should get what they deserve.” This ideology is the opposite of what the church teaches and distracts from the fact that we must love one another.
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We have the tendency to get wrapped up in being angry with someone or feeling ashamed of something we did. The result of this is exclusion from people just like the man in this video. He was on his own and chose not to interact with anyone because he had not made amends with his family. This kept him from moving on and becoming the best version of himself, which is what God intends for each of us. For example, when the two other homeless men were watching the movie with him, he did not speak with them and even encouraged them to leave. There is a sense that this man is broken and only when he and the daughter embrace at the end is there a feeling of relief and unity. We all must actively make a choice to forgive and take that step forward – to embrace one another and reach out in a loving gesture. We all strive for acceptance with one another and when we achieve this, we are able to become the best version of ourselves.
When Jesus tells his disciples the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Jesus tells Peter, “Not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Jesus makes it very clear that there are no limits to forgiveness- we must always be open to forgiving others and assist others to be open to forgiveness as well. Being gracious towards one another will speak louder than words. Without relying on speech to convey our beliefs, we are able to exemplify what it is to be Christian by our actions which will then lead others toward Christ, the ultimate redeemer.
Guest writer: Anna Carochi
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