Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lent: Glorious Wednesdays

On Wednesdays we say the Glorious Mysteries. The first of these is the Resurrection. Here is my reflection...

Last night I watched the Incredibles with my children. Okay, okay, I'll admit, Andrew and I enjoy this movie too. Like us, society is fascinated with superheroes. Having superpowers probably ranks at the top of the list when children (or even adults) are asked what they'd wish for themselves. As a society, we idolize those who seem to possess superpowers. Just yesterday morning, I heard a story of a 15 year old boy lifting a car off his grandfather. I also heard, later in the day, the story of a rescued cat saving its new owner's life. The commentators said they got goosebumps from these tremendous stories.

As I began reflection on today's mystery, I saw how much more awesome and all-powerful is our God than any superhero imagined. Then, I was saddened to realize that society seems to have rejected God. I don't know why since God has more going for him than any superhero. God has rescued us from evil, just like superheroes do. Except, God rescued us from evil for ALL eternity. Mr. Incredible laments in the beginning of the movie that he wished the world would just stay saved from time to time. That is not being saved from evil for eternity... God sent only His Son to pay for our sins. ONCE, not time and time again. However, that wasn't the end of God's superhero deeds, though. Instead, He also raised His Son from the dead three days after His horrific death.

The Resurrection was witnessed by an incredible number of people across a wide geographic and time period. Christ's body wasn't simply visible, like a ghost. No, God's superhero skills far exceeded a mere specter. Jesus's resurrected body could be felt, as Thomas was asked to do to cure his unbelief. When it was time to eat, the resurrected Jesus consumed food and drink, just as everyone else did. Take that Death!

So with this short discussion of God's superpowers*, I come to the crux of the matter. Why don't more people behave as if God IS a superhero? Where is the mass adulation that God so righteously deserves -- especially since superheroes are make-believe, but God is real? I think it is because the fruit of this mystery, Faith, is not engendered into the hearts and souls of many in society. You see, Faith requires more than blind adoration. It requires obedience, humility, strength, steadfastness, and purity. In other words, it requires work. Paul tells us that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:17). Society today (man, that makes me feel old to write), well probably forever since the Apostles had to speak of it, wants to be free to act without consequences and to reap the rewards of faithfulness without the work of being faithful.

Basically, society is all gimme and no give. It is up to us, Faithful Catholics and Christians, to truly live our faith. We are called to worship our God and call attention to His awesomeness by how we behave and speak, as well as our beliefs. Can we don our superhero costumes, whether it is a veil in the presence of the Eucharist, our best clothing for Mass, or a smile in the face of suffering? I'm trying, are you?

* I enjoyed this thought process so much that I wrote way more than was necessary for this Mystery. I will definitely revisit God's superhero traits at a later date. Stay tuned!

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