Which priest was right, Father Gabriel or Rodrigo? Explain your answer showing you have thought about it from more than one point of view. Include Christian teachings in your answer.

Essay by 215crazy215Junior High, 9th gradeB, May 2009

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Has anyone ever invaded your house before? Or have you ever been enslaved by people you don't know before? You're home may be a very sacred and comforting place for you and your family, but during the 1750's in South America, home to many Indian tribes called the Guarani, were subtle to enslavement by powers that were nearly beyond their control. In the movie, "The Mission", directed by Roland Joffe, it tells a story of Father Gabriel, a Jesuit priest, and Rodrigo Mendoza, a converted Jesuit, who join a fight to help protect Guarani Indians and their land, it is fairly subjective to consider who was more right as both of their actions were very Christian, I am going to explain both points of view in this essay.

Rodrigo was formerly a slave trader who murdered his own brother, converting to the Jesuits upon being laden with guilt.

You could think that Rodrigo was more right because he felt the guilt of killing his own brother, he discovered how much love he had, not only for his brother, but also for the slaves he had been trading, he wanted redemption which the Jesuits offered, he was dedicated to feeling the pain he had put his brother through, as well as his slaves, he felt agape, only after sinning. His dedication was important as, in 1 Corinthians 13, it says…"And though I give all my goods to feed the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, and have not love, I gain nothing."…meaning that every good deed you do is useless if you do not do them out of love, this is a very 'right' thing to do.

However, Gabriel is also following this passage from Corinthians, he is helping to convert the Indians out of love, a love for his God as well as a love for the people, he wants to protect them from being damned to hell. This follows the second of Jesus' two greatest commandments…"Love thy neighbour as thyself"…meaning that, should he be one of the Indians, he would want to a chance to go to heaven, this is also a very Christian action.

Rodrigo was willing to risk his life for the Guarani, he knew that the Spanish and the Portuguese were major countries during the time of the Treaty of Madrid in 1750 and the fact that they would not agree with the Mission and could fight in order to get the South Americans. This demonstrates a lot of love towards the Indians.

However, Father Gabriel was also willing to die for the Guarani, except he adopted a non-violent approach, whereas Rodrigo decided to use the iron plating etc that he brought up on the heavy sack he was carrying for redemption, this shows more self control as well as the Golden Rule of Christianity…"Do unto others as you would have then do unto you"…he also taught the other Guarani to use this method, most of which were martyred, but for a good cause.

Rodrigo managed to sacrifice everything he had for his God, he would probably have been very wealthy from dealing slaves, however, he was more than happy to adopt a simple life with the Guarani and Father Gabriel, this shows a lot of love for God. "You shall love your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might"…this passage shows what Rodrigo managed to adhere to, only after committing grave crimes.

However, you could argue that Father Gabriel had adhered to for most of his life, he had also gone one step further and helped others to enlightenment.

So, to conclude, I think that Father Gabriel was more 'right' as he managed to show agape towards God for most of his life, he had also followed Jesus' teachings of not using violence and to be peaceful, for these two reasons, I think Father Gabriel may have been more corrent, however, Rodrigo was never given a chance to do this, he was probably brought up in his situation, therefore, I do not think that either of them, in the end, is more spiritual, also, Jesus' has taught that everyone is equal, therefore, you cannot conclude who is more 'right'.

The Mission (Film) was written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffé.