The gospel according to Jim Carrey
By Marvin Schrebe
Actor and comedian Jim Carrey made a special guest appearance at a job training agency for former prison inmates this past month and he took the opportunity to share about the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus Christ.
Speaking to former gang involved and previously incarcerated men and women, Carrey this past June shared suffering but that suffering in turn could lead to salvation at Homeboy Industries, an agency that provides job training, goal planning and GED services to former inmates.
“This room is filled with God and you are heroes to me,” stated Carey to the former inmates, both male and female.
When you decided to come through these doors, and become a part of this family (at Homeboy Industries) you made a decision to transcend and to leave darkness behind,” explained Carrey. “It takes a champion to make that decision.”
Homeboy Industries was founded by The Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., in Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. A native Angeleno, Father Boyle entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1984.
Carrey went on to say that he’s had challenges in the last couple of years. Though life often meant suffering, suffering in turn could lead to salvation. He said that we all face suffering on different levels at various times in our lives. The key was in how one responded to that suffering. Carrey said he has had some challenges in the last couple of years himself and ultimately suffering leads to salvation. He said “We have to accept and not deny (our suffering), feel our losses. Then we make one of two decisions: to go through the gate of resentment which leads to vengeance, which leads to self-harm, which leads to harm to others or we go through the gate of forgiveness which leads to grace.”
He said the presence of those in attendance was an indication that they had made that decision already and chose to walk through the gate of forgiveness and grace just as “Christ did on the cross. He suffered terribly and was broken with feelings of doubt and absolute abandonment. He said Christ then had a decision to make. That decision was to look upon the people who caused that suffering with compassion and forgiveness and that decision was what opened the gates of heaven.”
Carrey admitted to some of his own struggles and pain, though concluded many of those hearing him speak had suffered much more and he admired them for it. He said that we get up in the morning and open our eyes and the show begins, it’s a thriller. "Every action affects everything else and when we devote our energy to doing right, we are shining forth God’s love."