Are you going to see the new Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” this weekend?
This movie franchise has been a phenomenal success over the past decade and will probably be tops at the box office this weekend and for several weeks to come.
But there’s more to “Harry Potter” than a fun night at the movies. Some of the major threads that the filmmakers have drawn from J.K. Rowling’s books are those of love, relationships, and community. These are the tools that Harry, Ron, and Hermione possess that the villain Voldemort and his Death Eaters do not – and therefore make the protagonists worth watching.
In past movies, Harry Potter has not vanquished evil on his own. Instead, he has his friends, classmates, and mentors to stand by his side and support him.
In our own worlds, we might think we can solve all our problems by ourselves, but in reality we need one another. Like Harry, we need good, solid relationships – especially those with a foundation of shared Catholic spirituality, morals, and outlook – to make it through the day.
In the scriptures, Jesus tells Simon Peter, “Satan has demanded to sift you all like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail. And once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers here” (Luke 22:31-32). Likewise, God knows that life will hand us our share of troubles, but we don’t have to do it alone. Our friends, our relationships and our mentors can strengthen and support us just as the students and teachers at Hogwarts are there for Harry.
In the end (although that technically won’t come until the second half of the movie is released next summer), the ultimate magic that Harry needs to combat Voldemort isn’t necessarily a summoning charm or a levitation incantation. The ultimate tool is the love shared among friends.
And the best part about that?
We Muggles don’t need to be enrolled at Hogwarts to achieve that magic. When we open ourselves to others and establish good, faith-filled relationships, we receive one of God’s greatest gifts, the love of Christ expressed through one another.