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Jonathan Roumie encouraged all to live like Christ at CUA

Jonathan Roumie, The Chosen

Instagram / @catholicuniversity

Jonathan Roumie à l'Université Catholique d'Amérique le 11 mai.

J-P Mauro - published on 05/16/24

'The Chosen' actor received an honorary doctorate from the Catholic University of America, where he gave a commencement speech for the class of '24.

The Catholic University of America recently held its 2024 commencement ceremony, for which The Chosen’s Jonathan Roumie gave the feature address. The actor gave an inspiring talk to the young men and women gathered for the graduation, which also saw Roumie receive an honorary doctorate. He assured the audience that he would flaunt the honorary title to his cousin, who is a medical doctor. 

Continuing to pepper in light-hearted remarks, he referenced the filming of the Feeding of 5,000, which required an enormous crowd of extras to complete: “Last time I spoke [to] a crowd this big, there were loaves and fish and baskets of them. So many leftovers.” When the chuckles died down, he dove right into his address, explaining the importance of emulating Christ.

He said that one does not need to portray Jesus on a show in order to “be Jesus to the world.” The emulation of Christ is an important aspect of Christian life, as we are all representatives of the Lord

“I’ve realized that just because I play Jesus on a TV show doesn’t mean I can or I should stop being Christ to everyone I know when the cameras turn off, and neither should you,” Roumie explained.

This emulation, Roumie continued, is part and parcel with our surrendering to God. He noted that prior to landing the role as Jesus on The Chosen, he was a down-and-out actor who was deep in financial hardship, which he acknowledged he could not overcome without the Lord’s help. He called his surrender “the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” but he expressed that it was also “the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”

“I would not be standing with you here today if God had not brought me to my knees in utter desperation to surrender my entire life and more specifically my career over to him — something I hadn’t even considered before.”

He also extolled the virtue of prayer to the assembled graduates, leaning on St. Paul’s instructions in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.” He explained how essential prayer, along with regular Confession and attending Mass, has been to his preparation to play the role of Jesus Christ. He encouraged those in attendance to invite the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels and saints to join them in prayer: 

“By this, I’m granted peace. I’m given wisdom in areas of my life experiencing conflict beyond my human understanding, and I’m strengthened to go forward and handle situations I’m otherwise overwhelmed by.”

Roumie said more worth hearing in his half-hour speech than we can cover in just one article. Give a listen to his remarks in the full-length video of his commencement speech at CUA in the video below.

CelebritiesEducationJonathan RoumiePrayer
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