The Mission is a 1986 drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America. The mercenary and slave trader Rodrigo Mendoza makes his living kidnapping native Guarani people and selling them to nearby plantations. One of his adversaries is Jesuit Father Gabriel who founded the mission as a place of sanctuary and education for the Guaraní. Mendoza spirals into depression after he kills his brother in rage after finding his brother and his fiancée in bed. Fr. Gabriel later visits and challenges Mendoza to take on a suitable penance, which is to accompany him to the Guarani mission. Moved by the Guaraní’s acceptance, Mendoza wishes to help at the mission. Fr. Gabriel also gives Mendoza a Bible. In time, Mendoza takes vows and becomes a Jesuit.
In the scripture reading, people laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young Saul when they were stoning Stephen. Nevertheless, this event helps to change Saul into a tireless preacher and apostle, known as Paul. Let us pause for a moment and imagine that you were present and witnessing the stoning of Stephen. What would it be like to be at Stephen’s death? Can you recall people that have had an impact on you? Is there anyone who challenges you to undertake a penance or someone who has made Jesus a hero in your own life? Can you also recall any moment of conversion or turning point in your life that drew you closer to Jesus?