Spiritual Takeaways from the ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

Wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

Grace

For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9

Grace in Christian theology is given by God freely. We cannot do anything to deserve it. It is a product of the love of God. Although in our humanity we constantly sin and makes mistakes; It is still given to us so that we may continue to respond to our call to discipleship and to reconcile ourselves with God.

In the movie, Diana states, “It’s not about what they deserve.” Later on in the film, she states,  “It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.” This ideology directly contrasts that of Aries who through his own calculations has determined we do not deserve assistance and that we should be destroyed. Diana, having spent time with humans witness the beauty as well as the madness of humanity and saw that many would take the opportunity to go what is right if given the chance.

Unity in Diversity

The movie cast was intentionally diverse in makeup. Diana is played by the Hollywood newcomer, Gal Gadot (of Israeli heritage), Eugene Black Rock who played The Chief (Blackfoot from the Blood Tribe of the First Nations in Canada) and Said Taghmaoui who played Sameer (of Moroccan descent).

There is a universality that is evident in many religions. As a Roman Catholic, I often fall back on the fact that the word catholic means universal and diverse. The mass is the same even if the music, language, and type of dress of the individuals praying in the community are different.

Unity in diversity also means that my unique gifts combined with others can come together to serve the greater good. In the movie, we see that played out clearly when a group of ‘outcasts’ comes together on a mission. The skills of each member in the group help them continue their mission. Chief’s smoke signal and Steve’s pilot skills create turning points in the film. Their different agendas are merged together. Diana can seek out Arias and Steve can try and stop the evil Doctor Poison.

This message is important in today’s tense climate where we are reminded that the other should be feared and shut away. I reflect on the many times that I have experienced the fullness of my gifts when I allow myself to encounter the other intentionally and embrace our diversity with purpose.

Mercy/Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a countercultural concept. Action movies are almost always filled with revenge and seeking out the bad guy and destroying them. Doctor Poison represents the worst of humanity-evil, self-serving, and so far from God that redemption seems impossible.

Doctor Poison facing Wonder Woman

There is a scene near the end of the movie where Diana is given the opportunity to kill Doctor Evil. Instead, she allows her to leave. This can be interpreted as weakness on Wonder Woman’s part, but I see it as an example of mercy. In most superhero movies the villains are destroyed and we root for their demise. In this scenario, Doctor Evil is what humanity becomes when they allow temptation and sin overcome them.

This act of mercy is often a turning point for many people. But realistically, she will fall back into her evil ways. How many times have I repented my wrongdoings only to be lured back into those same bad habits that threaten the health of my soul and relationship with God and others?

Reflection

Spiritual lessons can be found anywhere if we open our hearts and minds to them. We do not walk this journey in a vacuum and grace, unity and mercy allow us to walk this journey on earth all the better.