It’s a bird … It’s a plane … It’s ... YOU!

This morning there was a great deal of excitement with the release of the movie trailer of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” If one takes a look at some of the big blockbusters in the theaters and successful TV shows like “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” it seems that these shows about superheroes are the most popular. 

There is no doubt that recently there have been a lot of films featuring superheroes. It seems like there are more of these types of films each year. What gives with all of these movies and TV shows featuring superheroes?

Of course, superheroes have always been popular. Perhaps because we know that we are all in need of help. Now more than ever, with the state of our country and of the world, we need more help than ever before. 

Next week we celebrate Christmas during a time when our country’s economy is just about recovering. It looks like we are still a country at war in Iraq and other areas. We hear about parents who beat or kill their children. We read about shootings and murders all around the country. Schools rehearse intruder scenarios. It’s a mess out there.  

Awhile ago, I read an article by a rabbi and a minister who participated in a discussion on finding hope during times of uncertainty. They spoke of many who are concerned about what is going on today and afraid of the future. 

What struck me the most was a comment by the rabbi. He mentioned that he tells his congregation that no matter the difficulties, tragedies, disappointments and challenges that they face, there is only one real failure and that is the failure of faith: faith in oneself and faith in God.

 It seems to me that right now we need a real superhero. Not Superman or Batman. No, it is only faith in our Lord Jesus that can turn things around for us. We may yearn for the superheroes, but only Jesus is the real thing. 

Even though, on that Christmas Day so many years ago, Jesus gave up His Almighty power to take on human weakness to become one of us, this tiny little Child would still change the course of mankind forever. 

Last week I attended a study day and the monsignor who was the presenter made a statement that really struck me. I’m not sure if it was his own words or he was quoting Pope Francis. He stated, “God’s response to evil in the world today is you!”

Today, we know that we are called to be Christ to others, and with His help, we too can help change the course of what is going on in the world today. No matter what our circumstances, we are still truly blessed in this country. As a people we have so much more than most of the world’s people. We, therefore, need to be there for one another. We need to not only be good, but to do good for those less fortunate than ourselves. Each one of us is called to be a “superhero” for each other. Isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?

The rabbi closed with this thought, “No matter how difficult things are, God gives you the strength to make it through and the ability to turn this all around and create something good in this life.” 

I recall a saying that I heard many years ago. “Pray as though everything depends on God, but act as though everything depends on you.” Perhaps that is no more true than it is today. 

So which superheroes do we turn to, to start to fix our world? It’s you!

Anchor columnist Frank Lucca is a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Fall River, a youth minister at St. Dominic’s Parish in Swansea, and a campus minister at UMass Dartmouth. He is married to his wife of 37 years, Kristine, and the father of two daughters and their husbands, and a twenty-one-month-old grandson. Comments, ideas or suggestions? Please email him at DeaconFrankLucca@comcast.net

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