Superheroes

Who is your superhero? 

During last month’s Youth Rallies at Bishop Stang High School, I pondered that question as was asked by Brad and Gene of APeX Ministries. Is it your mom, your dad, a sibling, a friend, a saint? Then Brad went on to share a story about his superhero, his little sister. The world may have looked upon his sister as a burden to society because of her special needs. But, it was her unconditional love for him and all people she met that made her Brad’s superhero. She was the pick-me-up at the end of a rough day, when, walking through the door, she hurriedly ran to you and embraced you with a love and tenderness so unique that you just wanted it to last forever.   

Then, Brad looked at all of us, youth and adults alike, and echoed these words, “You are a unique and unrepeatable reality of God’s creation.” I purposely used the word “echoed” because at that very moment I felt it was something that God has been telling all of us since the very beginning. Brad was simply making us aware of this awesome truth!

You are a creation of God, wholly unique. There has never been someone like you, not in the past, not now, not ever. What does that tell you about God’s love for you? From the moment of creation God’s love for you has always been the same: the rock, the stronghold, the ever-dependable lover of you. That’s no paradox. That’s the constancy of God.

Now if God purposely took so much trouble to create each of us as a wholly unique human being then why do we, at times, try to be someone we’re not? The superheroes in our lives are not meant for us to become them, but rather for us to imitate them in their kindness, compassion, love and charity. You’re still you, wholly unique. Be the person God made you to be because you do have something unique to offer the world.

If we are not conscious of God’s plan for us then we begin to create a paradox for our very lives. Think about the following paradox of our time, as written by a Columbine student:

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less. 

We buy more, but enjoy it less. 

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. 

We’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We have higher incomes, but lower morals.

We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom.

Who is your superhero? Does he or she represent a paradox for our time or is he or she a constant of love in your life. Jesus said a unique and unrepeatable miracle of God with His last Words before dying on the cross, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). With that one phrase He pronounced the end of an unrepeatable and unique miracle. He completed the work of purchasing our forgiveness of sins by suffering and dying on the cross. There is nothing anyone can add to what Christ did. He did it all.

So, next time you look at a crucifix, think this, “He died for me.” Next time you think of the empty tomb, think this, “He arose to give me the promise of new life.”

And by the way, have you considered that you may be a superhero for someone else?

God bless!

Anchor columnist Ozzie Pacheco is Faith Formation director at Santo Christo Parish, Fall River.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts