Let’s think about the motion picture Nacho Libre. The film is loosely based on the story of Fray Tormenta (“Friar Storm”, a.k.a. Rev. Sergio Gutiérrez Benítez), a real-life Mexican Catholic priest who had a 23-year career as a masked luchador and competed in order to support the orphanage he directed.
There are a few things about Nacho that we need to pay close attention to:
1. Nacho was vexed by automated and arrogant religiosity; and he insisted upon moving past superficiality and ‘appearances.” “Beneath the clothes, we find a man, and Beneath the Man we find his… nucleus.”
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”John 7:24 & 1 Samuel 16:7
2. Nacho refused to be consoled by corporeal pleasures when he had his sights set on something far bigger. “Get that corn outta my face!”
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”John 4:31-34
3. Nacho exposes lies! “Those eggs were a lie Steven. A LIE! They gave me no eagle powers! They gave me no nutrients!”
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. …For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.Ephesians 5:11, 8
4. And most importantly, central to Nacho’s identity is the fac that he is a wrestler! And that’s what God wants with us! God wants a real relationship (not perfunctory, superficial, automated, obligatory religiosity). God wants us to have a robust and rigorous relationship …simply put, God wants us to wrestle with Him. God insists that we forsake our delusions of self-sufficiency, and instead that we wrestle with the truth that we are radically reliant upon Him (Psalm 6; Psalm 13; Psalm 42:5, 11; Proverbs 3:5-6)
Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”Genesis 32:28
Now, in the words of Ignacio, “Go. Go away! Read some books.”