One of Hollywood’s leading men took time out to lead a prayer during a Super Bowl ad for the Catholic prayer app Hallow on Sunday night.
Alongside Jonathan Roumie, who plays the role of Jesus Christ on the highly successful show The Chosen and is also seen in the ad, Wahlberg focused on a message of thanksgiving and family.
“God, we take this moment just to give you thanks,” he says in the ad, as the camera shows people praying in various scenarios, such as the family setting and deployed soldiers.
“Join us in prayer this Lent on Hallow,” he concludes. “Stay prayed up.”
The message of prayer, family, and thanksgiving starkly contrasted with the other Christian-themed ad that ran during the Super Bowl. Taking the Biblical occurrence of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, He Gets Us ran an ad showing Christians and others washing the feet of overtly gay men and women at an abortion clinic. While the Christians depicted in the ad also had their shoes off, apparently signifying they, too, had their feet washed, none of the images showed that, and He Gets Us left the viewer to infer it.
Jesus washed the feet of friends and enemies. No ego or hate. He humbly loved his neighbors. How can we do the same? pic.twitter.com/kXift42ZG9
— HeGetsUs (@HeGetsUs) February 11, 2024
Instead, many viewers inferred that the ad was seeking to show that Jesus would have been fine with sinners and those living in apostasy should not be judged.
The “He Gets Us” commercial might seem harmless to some, but it’s obviously part of a psyop to trick Christians into thinking Jesus is fine with sin & apostasy. It’s the opposite of what our world needs right now.
— Ryan Visconti (@ryanvisconti) February 12, 2024
Jesus isn’t just some nice guy.
He is God.
Washing feet is a sign of discipleship, of following Him.
But to follow Him you must deny yourself.
If you love Him you will follow His commandments.
That’s my Super Bowl ad. pic.twitter.com/LAiPlvcZfa
— meta thomist 🇻 (@metathomist) February 12, 2024
The message He Gets Us is sending will lead people to Hell. pic.twitter.com/0hEICpHu3S
— Smash Baals (@smashbaals) February 12, 2024
X users also chided the ad for making no statement that any of the people portrayed were living in sin, acknowledged that they were living in sin, or needed to repent for those sins.
Hallow describes itself as “…a prayer and meditation app that combines the peace and stillness of meditation with the spiritual growth of contemplative prayer. It features over 10,000 sessions of audio-guided prayers led by world-class talents such as Jonathan Roumie, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Bishop Barron, Mark Wahlberg, Sr. Miriam James SOLT, Jeff Cavins, Dr. Scott Hahn, and more!”
Wahlberg has been outspoken about his Catholic faith for some time. During an interview on The Today Show on Ash Wednesday of 2023, Wahlberg confessed that practicing one’s faith is not popular in Hollywood, but that wouldn’t deter him from doing it.
“It’s not popular in my industry, but you know, I cannot deny my faith,” he added. “It’s important for me to share that with people. But I have friends from all walks of life and all different types of faiths and religions, so it’s important to respect and honor them as well.”
Mark Wahlberg is joining us to talk about the Catholic prayer app ‘Hallow,’ discusses fasting, opens up about why it’s important for him to not deny his faith, shares why he doesn’t force Catholicism onto his children, and more. pic.twitter.com/TrUy1g9eMT
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 22, 2023
Wahlberg also brought his faith to the big screen by portraying a boxer and failed actor who became a Catholic priest in the 2022 film Father Stu.