“Change”: This movie will mess you up . . . in a very good way

Watching this short film will be 10 minutes of your busy life  well-spent. One of my Facebook friends reacted this way: “If you do not have the time to make a three day retreat this advent, why not make it a ten minute retreat right here and now?” Personally, I couldn’t help but think of the reality that Jesus Christ is truly present to us in our neighbor, both when we serve Him (Matt. 25:31-46) and when He serves us (Luke 24:13-52). I would love to know your reactions to “Change.” Please watch. Please share.


  1. Paul Sanderson

    One of the finest videos on the net. I will certainly be sharing this. It was the best ten minute retreat I have ever made.

  2. Christopher

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Patrick. I started tearing up ay 2:10, and then completely lost it at 2:45. And then again at 4:30.

    You never know how God will use even the smallest of acts of charity. I pray that this moving film will move those who view it to seek Jesus in everyone they meet and to always be prepared to do whatever charitable deed the Holy Spirit prompts them to do.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Yes, indeed. I wonder how many people would be able to watch it without tearing up.

  3. Shaun Kenney

    Probably the best 10 minutes you’ll spend to day… what’s the old church sign, again? “You may be the only Jesus someone will see today.”

    Great find, great share.

  4. Judy

    Words can not say what is in my heart…this film is SO powerful, and honestly could be used as a daily meditation, for years to come. No words; just actions. Not looking to be the center, but to help. Magnificent !!

  5. Nikita Phillips

    Thank you so much Patrick for posting this video.

    I began crying once he entered the grocery store and the clerk looked at him. How often do we look at those who are homeless or poor (I would include myself in this because I have done this one time in my life since I am a cashier at a grocery store) and look at them in disgust (misspelled I believe) when we should instead pray for them.

    This is one of the best videos I have seen in awhile, hopefully more like this pop up on youtube.com. I will be sharing this video.

    Plus, you were right it was a great ten minutes from our busy lives.

    God Bless,

  6. Brenda

    …did anyone else realize that the poor man was really Jesus?

    1. Lynn

      You hit the nail on the head. It’s unfortunate that was so rarely “see” Christ, we’re too wrapped up in our own baggage to “see”.

      1. Deo volente

        It struck me that this man “knew” the needs of people before he even encountered them in certain cases. The scene in front of the laundromat, for example. Also, he gave away all that he was given; he kept nothing. My grandmom once said that Christ visits us in all kinds of disguises. I think you’ve nailed this perfectly. We must seek to find Christ in all we encounter.

    2. Rachel

      Excatly! Ok i hear the argument about finding appropriate ways to help the poor, but that wasnt this movies message! The poor guy did for others, he begged for others, he loved, cared for, watched over, counciled, was other person centred! Instead of getting cought up in the problems of giving cash to the poor ask yourself am i as giving in my own relationships as that man!!!! How Christ like am I?? Thanks for the reminder! Ive got alot of work to do!!

  7. Terry Fenwick

    So beautiful to see at Christmas. So beautiful to see the other 364 days . . . through tears, of course. Have you ever noticed how much more clearly you can see through tears?

  8. “Change” « The Deacon's Bench

    […] the brokenhearted being healed, in a moving and inspiring way you might not expect.  Thank you, Patrick Madrid! […]

  9. Ginger Rose

    Truely we are our brothers keeper.In the smallest actions the greatest rewards are reaped.

  10. Ryan Ellis

    This is a sentimental fraud of a movie.

    Homeless people don’t take the money gullible people give them and do acts of kindness that magnify themselves.

    They buy drugs and alcohol.

    This movie is a left-wing conspiracy to get people to give money to homeless people. If you subsidize something, you get more of it.

    Take off the rose-colored glasses, folks, even if it is near Gaudete Sunday.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Ryan, someone’s gotta say it, so it may as well be me.

      You are a dolt.

      1. Ryan Ellis

        Better than being a sentimentalist with his brain checked at the door.

      2. Patrick Madrid

        Ryan, given your disdain for “a left-wing conspiracy to get people to give money to homeless people,” you must really get amped up with indignation every time you read Christ’s teaching on that very issue:

        “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

        for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

        I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

        Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?

        And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?

        And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’

        And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'” (Matt. 25:34-40).

        When your time comes to meet the Lord face-to-face and you have to explain yourself, I sure hope you’ll have something more intelligent to say than that He is a “sentimentalist with his brain checked at the door.”

      3. Brother Rolf

        I wonder if a homeless man asked the pope to sell one of his million dollar paintings and give the proceeds to the homeless, what the pope would say. “No, I can’t it is corban, dedicated to the Church.”

      4. BillyHW

        But he’s right that it’s sentimental drivel.

      5. Patrick Madrid

        See above, Billy. That goes for you, too, amigo 🙂

    2. Roberto

      Ryan: like I mentioned to another poster, you are missing the point of the story! It is not about the man who donates the initial dollar; it is about what the homeless person manages to do with it and the fact that to truly help others we don’t need a lot of money, we need a heart in the right place.
      We are all aware of the scams perpetrated by some people who present themselves as needy and we must be vigilant for that. But that is not the point. As Patrick reminds you, Christ commands us to help others and we often refuse, hiding behind the excuse of not having adequate means. This video tears down that excuse in a clear way. That is, unless you find another excuse, like focusing on the rather irrelevant initial event. (I bet that now someone will focus on my use of the word “irrelevant”!)

  11. Mary

    You don’t have to own a lot in order to give a lot….you just need to have love. Love is priceless and powerful beyond measure, more powerful than anything else. This 10 minute fill was more gratifying than anything Hollywood has produced in a long, long time.

  12. Joan

    Thank you Patrick, as I sit here in tears. I must be more aware of situations where I can apply charity. Have you ever noticed it is often the most downtrodden among us that are sensitive to the real needs of others and know what to do or say?

    1. Patrick Madrid

      You are so right about that, Joan. Thanks.

      1. Samuel A. Molines

        Hi Joan, as you said – the best people who understand the downtrodden are the downtrodden themselves. This gives me a new perspective on a verse from the bible. Blessed are the poor, for they will be blessings to others. The blessed are also the blessings. 🙂

  13. Andrew Koltuniuk

    This is one of the best videos I have seen for a while. Just amazing.
    Thank you Patrick.


  14. Jamie

    And they say a dollar goes a long way! Wow!

  15. Lynn

    So beautiful, I can’t wait for my kids to get home from school to show them. Thank you so much for sharing this gem Patrick. A powerful message about Christ and the truest meaning of charity in action. I pray that I can keep it in my heart next time I see a need. Thank you!

  16. Cameron

    The actor looks the part! But the movie is pure sentimentalism. Not surprising since most people watch movies for the emotional kick they get from them (whether a positive or negative feeling). It is a feel-good production. Nothing wrong with that as long as you do not mistake it for reality or idealize it as the way life and people should be. Too many social programs have started with such idealism and have done more damage than good.

    1. Patrick Madrid

      Right. Okay.

      But I do hope, Cameron, that if ever you’re really down on your luck and in need of help, that folks around you won’t take your advice. Because if they adopt your view that what this movie depicts is not the right “way of life” and not how “people should be,” when faced with poverty and despair, then they won’t see Christ in you at a time you need help the most.

  17. Peter

    It’s a great reminder that God is in all of us all of the time, not just when I feel like it or when I remember or when it is convenient or when I get to see a video that my best friend emailed me. I often kick myself in the pants for not giving others the time of day regardless of who they are or where I’m at. God is buzzing around me all of the time in everyone around me but I let myself get distracted with the day to day events. I am not a social type person, I like to keep to myself but I have learned that it is not about me. I try and make a conscious effort to smile and say something positive to the strangers I come in contact with and even more difficult, smile and say something nice to my coworker that rubs me the wrong way. I imagine that the person that cuts me off on the highway is my own father who is one of the most loving people that I know, maybe he just got some terrible new and is distracted or panicking not really aware of his psycho driving techniques? . So I make an excuse for the faceless stranger, hope that they’re going to be all right, thank God for keeping me safe and ask God to keep the stranger safe. This kind of reasoning takes great effort on my part but I don’t plan on ever giving it up because the harder I work at it the more I see God’s blessings.

  18. Samuel A. Molines

    I can’t help but cry watching this video. It is hard to describe why. Maybe because my life was so full of “coincidences” like that coin left by that Big Guy on the pavement. I also realized how God needs our “change” to make wonders out of them. THANKS A LOT FOR SHARING THIS !!! God bless !!!

  19. Catholic Defender

    Ok Patrick Madrid! I came by to say hi and you had to try and make me cry. That is a powerful video you have posted. You had a 26 year Army vet fighting back tears… BTW, Tell Coach Dave that I said hi. You guys there in Ohio always seem to have good teams?

  20. Ross Earl Hoffman

    Absolutely “OVER THE TOP”! A Masterpiece, good brother, Madrid. When you become, Dr. Madrid, you will have earned it! It brought TEARS TO MY EYES! Pax. In Christ through Mary! Ross

  21. Delilah

    I now have “raccoon eyes” from crying. I will share this with my friends that say I shouldn’t give money to homeless people because they will only spend it on booze. This movie has renewed my faith in mankind. Pax et Bonum

  22. Eugenio Abril

    It was touching, very moving. I cried. And keep crying for Cameron, Ryan and all the cynics in the world.

  23. K M Smith

    If you give and give truly from the heart, then God knows your intent and you will be blessed. The person that the charity is given should be mindful of his/her actions as well. God will handle them justly as well.

  24. Rev Msgr Don J Fitzpatrick


  25. David

    Patrick –

    I have grown to really admire you and your work. You are one of the best in the biz. And just because you asked on your show, I do pray for you. Pray for me, too!

    And yes, I started crying, a man in his 40’s, watching this. It is beautiful, and it shows the power of good filmmaking to tell a story and move people in a particular direction. In this case, to move people to compassion and an imitation of Christ. But I did not view this as a documentary. The homeless man has an “supernatural” gift to heal people in their brokenness. He is the Christ we walk past every day.

    That being said,to be perfectly honest, I do have trouble giving money to panhandlers. Alcoholism runs in my family, and I have seen firsthand how addiction destroys relationships and pushes out love.

    I recognize everyone’s dignity as children created in the image and likeness of God. I try, in small ways to help, whether it is through donations to the missions or bringing food. But, I don’t think I do enough.

    But, if you will forgive me for saying so, it may be too facile to say we should always give when someone asks for money. As you well know, love is wishing the good of the other. And sometimes the most loving action is to say “no.”

    God Bless you, Patrick.

  26. Cameron

    I understand what you are saying Patrick. I am in favour of people being generous and compassionate to one another. And private charity is a very good thing. Maybe I did not make my point well. Certain images are common in movies/television and in the culture. For example, the aboriginal spiritually in tune to Nature, the big hearted hooker, the hypocritical preacher, the kind and generous hobo. They are liberal staples. That does not mean they are stereotypically true. They are not. But when people begin to believe the stereotype as real and think policies should be enacted based on such misconceptions, it does no good and much harm. In the case of the “homeless” it turns them into helpless victims, establishes bureaucracies that perpetuate their state, and creates an entitlement mentality. Not good.

    1. Lenore

      I think this little film is about a lot more than money! There are layers of depth to this film that really moved me. I don’t even think it is about giving money to homeless people. That is not the point I got at all. Much more about the value of a life, the value of a person’s contributions, like St. Therese said ” a little way”, than anything literal about handing out money. Blessings to all! Thank you Patrick.

    2. Roberto

      The main focus of the story is not the person who gives the homeless a dollar, but what the homeless does with the dollar. He uses it to intervene positively in the lives of people, effecting real change, not just dropping money and forgetting about it.

  27. Anonymous

    An awful lot of good discussion on the topic of the homeless. Indisputably, the poor were paramount to Christ.

    That said, as someone who has been approached by, talked with, walked with, and assisted dozens of homeless people in my city over the years, I do have to offer a note of caution. After a few years, instead of giving money directly to the homeless, I started telling them that I do not provide cash, but I would buy them what they need, if it is food or bus tickets (90% of requests), and occasionally even shelter at a local hotel if the weather is inhospitable. In roughly half of cases, I would get turned down, which is a fairly clear indication that the requestor was wanting the cash for some other purpose.
    So, what to do? Now I carry a handful of fast food restaurant gift certificates (or any other restaurant/store that has numerous locations and does not sell alcohol) and a set of bus tickets with me. When approached, I provide those, which covers the vast majority of requests. If the recipient has bad intentions, at least he/she has to go to the trouble of selling said item to get cash.
    Another helpful thing to do – offer to call 2-1-1, the United Way hotline available in most major cities that can connect the needy with a wide array of services.
    Before taking on the role of judging who is deserving and who is not, I always try to remember that Jesus got taken by 9 out of 10 lepers. Ultimately, the Lord will hold us accountable for how we responded, but also the requestor for what he/she asked. All this said, with a little creative thinking, we can offer help in a way that does not facilitate or tempt addictions that plague so many. God bless to all.

  28. C.

    Those of us who live in cities know that giving change to homeless people isn’t virtuous and Christlike, it’s cooperation in serious sin. This is not stinginess, it’s a moral responsibility, explained to me by priests and homeless shelter directors and holy men and women who walk the streets at night to offer shelter and food. The necessities–food, clothing and shelter–are available in abundance. There is no strict need for a homeless person to carry cash.

    Tourists give change and look good in front of their girlfriends. Citizens need to step up and actually change the situation.

    What sometimes helps is buying them a sandwich. But even that is risky because they often figure out how to extort a cash refund out of the sandwich store. If you really want to help, join one of the ministries. It takes a lot more time than reaching in your pocket for a half a whiskey shot’s worth of coin, but your Heavenly Father will reward you for your labor.

    1. D. Etters

      I agree with you that giving money to the homeless can be “cooperation in serious sin”. However, for me, viewing this film literally misses the point. What strikes me is that the homeless man rises above himself to give – despite his own poverty. Isn’t that a profound challenge to examine our giving and priorities? The stroke of genius in this short film is to show how much can be done with so little, when driven by love and care for others.

    2. bumpy

      Recovering drunk and addict here sober for almost 20 years. You know NOT what you are talking about……no one will/ can force someone into being something they are not (that is “morally” correct). If a drunk asks me for money i wll give it to him knowing full well that is what he will spend it on. That is what he needs RIGHT NOW. I might also give him food but HE will make the decision, with God’s grace, when to hit bottom and rise anew.

      There but for the sake of God go YOU! Witholding what the beggar might need in order to satisfy your moral precepts is emptiness.

      i am a traditionalist Catholic adn believe in pulling your self up as well as you do…but you knwow NOT what you speak of. And your lucky for it.

    3. Dan

      And Jesus said, He who is without sin, cast the first stone.

    4. Sigh

      You are very cynical and mis-aligned with the virtue of Christ. It is more blessed to give than to receive, and to assume something so rudely of people who are in their lowest of lows is, to me, a sign of Satanic influence in people’s thoughts. How many religious homeless people have gone hungry because of people like you? And if you were homeless? Perhaps you need to experience such deprivation yourself. So sad to see “Christians” like you, who are cut off from the empathetic love of God, and passionless towards the least of men.

    5. Knowyourbible

      Hebrews 13:1-2
      “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

      Your beliefs contradict the very gospel you, as a Christian, should know and abide by in both action and empathy. For shame.

  29. Chardin

    Powerful. Excellent depiction of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen it for real on several occasions. I welled up at least 3 times. In my opinion, tho, if it is taken in any other way than as metaphor for the kind of culture Christians must work to create, it may just soothe us into washing our hands of doing anything real. The focus of the film is undeniably money. Giving cash to homeless people feels good for the moment but is disastrous. Christ will never say, “you saw me broke, and gave me cash.” Not to speak for anyone else, Patrick, but run that by Fr. Groeschel and see what he says. Write checks to the folks who care for the spiritual and physical need of those who endure the streets. Carry ready to eat, non-perishable food in the car. Heck, even heavy duty 30 gallon trash bags are better than money.

  30. Bill Jacobs

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful film. I noticed several comments about the hazards of giving cash to the poor. Actually, in the movie the poor man gives a cup of coffee, gives change for a loaf of bread or a phone call, helps someone find a job, gives a dime to a cancer charity, gives a stressed couple a flower, gives matches for someone to build a fire, and whatever else. Note that no government programs are involved. Its about each person giving what they have, and doing what they can. A very Christian message. :=)

  31. Giovanna

    More of these videos are needed to be shown not only on internet but in public places as well……….God bless.

  32. Jeavonna

    Messed up in a good way. never say you have nothing to give again.

  33. tina

    Very profound this short film, I was deeply moved. I observe the unselfish love, for if we all take moments to share this world would be a much better place.

  34. janelle

    I cried puppy dog tears! Thanks for mentioning it on your Open Line show today. God Bless, Happy Advent and Merry Christmas!

  35. Ruth Lovison

    Great video. Thank you. Pswalm 91 says He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

    Get the movie Pay it forward since it is inspiring doing good deeds for others.

    Merry Christmas and God Bless one and all. Love Ruth

  36. Dana

    Whatever we do affects others…we can do good and hope that it is for good…often we do not know the outcome…only with God’s help can we have faith that it will be for good. We are our brother’s keeper…will we be the Samaritan and care for the ones that others ignore, as we are commanded to do?

  37. Jeffery Rose

    I heard you talking about this short video on the replay of EWTN on St.Gabriel radio 820. I cried both times I watched it. It really makes you think about life and the people you pass everyday. I posted it to my facebook page so that my friends and family could see it. Thanks for talking about this and having a link from here to it. God bless everyone.

  38. mike

    as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said “… the poor are Jesus in distressed disguise”

  39. John

    Every once in a while God places us in an untenable situation where we have to repond….not becauses He commands us to, but because He loves us into doing it.

  40. K.A. Hughes

    We NEVER know if (or when) Angels are amongst us.

  41. Fe

    Thank you, Patrick! It was a good reminder about a lot of Christ-like things. I also learned a lot from all the comments posted here. I thank God for you!

  42. Pat

    I think I missed something. I enjoy and appreciate Patrick Madrid very much. I’m a Catholic and a believer that all we have comes from God and that we must love the less-fortunate and care for the “least of our brothers”. And I believe that we must see Christ in the face of all people. I just wasn’t emotionally impacted by the movie; I usually am. Unless someone had said to me, “The homeless man was supposed to be Christ”, I would have to say that it was too coincidental and contrived. And yes, I understand story and fable – I’m a writer myself. I just found the homeless man’s seeming omniscience to be too much. Unless , again , he’s God. I’m not being cynical here. Just expected a little more compelling reality, and less coincidence to provoke such emotion as I had expected from the comments. maybe I’m missing something.

    1. Trace Smith

      Wonderfully depicted story of love. I rolled my eyes when I read posts of those who felt it necessary to caution about giving money to homeless people. Folks, that is not the issue at all! The moral of the story is love, selflessness, and hope.

      I cried, yes. Why? Guilt. Recognition that though I don’t confess it often, I indeed lack selflessness. I am guilty of letting myself be so distracted by this secular society. I was going to spend my Christmas money on extra clothes but instead I will parcel it out to someone who could use it. If I can’t find anyone then it will go to the Church.
      You have to ask yourself, “What does this story mean to ME and my walk with Christ?” Then you will get out of it its purposed intention.

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