Little Boy released April 24, 2015
directed by Alejandro Monteverde
Mustard Seed-Matthew 17:20
Childlike faith-Mark 10:15
No Spoilers! I promise :)
I would argue, for starters, Little Boy is definitely a family-friendly movie. However, it is suitable for anyone, as my husband and I watched part together. There aren’t many films made today that please us (especially only adults) with entertainment and morality. The town of O’Hare, California, in Little Boy, delivered, albeit through the eyes of an 8 year old named Pepper. Little Boy comes with church sacraments, love, family, war history, friends and foes all packaged together in an under 2 hour film (on Netflix to boot).
Pepper finds out quite quickly the Corporal Works of Mercy will get his father, James, back from fighting in the Philippines during World War II.
The Corporal Works of Mercy are:
Feed the hungry
Shelter the homeless
Visit those in prison
Clothe the naked
Visit the sick
Bury the dead
Be friends with the Japanese man*...or at least that is what Father informed him, between mass and spiritual direction. As we know it, if we believe, God will answer...if it is in God’s will. According to scripture, we need only a mustard-seed size of faith to be granted the kingdom of God, which Pepper took to heart. Pepper didn’t understand why God wouldn’t want his family together, therefore it must be part of His will. Viewers, Pepper’s priest and his Mary-like mother, all know God’s will tends to be much more than our human minds can process. Pepper innocently takes us on a journey through O’Hare, practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy in his community, most importantly befriending a local Japanese man recently released from an internment camp, all in the name of his father.
While watching, I experienced the emotions of joy, sadness, doubt, and confusion, but ultimately love for the Church for inspiring such a sweet story that can resonate with many different people. I challenge you to start this new year off with Pepper’s childlike faith. I
recommend watching Little Boy with your family and reflecting on the film and readings during your prayer time.
Reflect: Do you think it possible to let go of what we think life should be and have faith in what God has willed? How did the ending of the film ultimately differ between what Pepper wanted and what was willed?
Act: While shopping for groceries, look for the mustard seed seasoning in the baking section. What does one seed look like? “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” Mustard Seed-Matthew 17:20
Make your goal in 2017 to move forward with that mustard seed size of faith constantly inside of you. Remember each day“whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child* will not enter it.” Childlike faith-Mark 10:15