Kung Fu Panda 3 – 3 Catholic Lessons

Although there are definitely some suspect themes & ideas in the movie (click here to see a critique of it), there are also some good Catholic lessons:

1. Evil is real.

The evil villian in Kung Fu Panda 3 is Kai. He was originally an ally of Oogway, the tortoise who invented kung fu, but misused his life force known as Ch’i and turned into an evil aggressor, who’s now spirit warrior in a mad quest to steal all of the kung fu master’s powers.

In a similar way, the devil was originally a good angel, an “ally” of God, but misused his free will – choose life apart from God – and thereby turned into a fallen angel.

Just as Po had to admit the truth that Kai was real & was coming to destroy him & the panda village, we too need to admit the truth that the devil is real, that he wants to destroy us and our loved ones. By admitting the truth, we can find liberation & real courage in the face of evil.

“Through the devil’s envy death entered the world” (Wisdom 2:24)

“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

2. Teamwork

In preparing the pandas to face the villain Kai, Po had to learn the art of teamwork.

Rather than try to make all of the pandas like himself, Po decided to teach his students to apply their unique talents to the field of kung fu.

This change of perspective, focusing on teamwork, allowed the entire village to come together in the fight against evil.

When Po was in the grip of Kai’s power in the spirit realm, the pandas – in a true spirit of teamwork – were able to say that Po helped them become who they were meant to be, and this united them all in giving Po his power to overcome Kai.

Catholics – we need to work together as a team. Help others achieve their God-given potential. Like Po, we need to stop thinking only about ourselves, stop trying to make others like ourselves, & start focusing on helping others maximize their talents for the kingdom.

“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)

3. Self-sacrificial love.

In the secret panda village, Po learned that his mother hid him in a wagon full of food and supplies and then she then lured the soldiers away from her crying son and sacrificed her life for his.

Later in the movie, Po imitates his mother by sacrificing himself to bring Kai in the spirit world through the Wuxi finger hold.

Catholics – we know that Jesus is the supreme model of self-sacrificial love.

Through Christ’s death on the Cross, Jesus was able to enter into the spirit world (the realm of the dead) and it was there that he destroyed the powers of Satan & broke the bonds of death.

Just as Po took away Kai’s power in the spirit world by filling him with his Ch’i, Christ destroyed the devil’s power by giving the devil the full force of his own self-sacrificial love.

And by Christ self-sacrificing himself for us, we are given a model of love that we must imitate.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

“But now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).

Catholics – let us imitate our Saviour by laying down our lives for others.

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