My godfather Barnabas speaks to the subject of why superheroes appeal to us.
Aunt May is speaking to Peter Parker in the last Spiderman movie and she says “I believe there’s a hero in all of us.” Little does she know her precious nephew is the real Spiderman, the hero who’s saving the lives of so many in the city all the while sacrificing his own private life so he won’t place those he loves in danger.
Our society is mesmerized by the idea of a hero. Most heroes in our comic book world have super powers, but many of them started out as some regular person who discover a hidden talent and use that talent for the good of the community.
What is it about heroes that fire our imagination?
Is it the incredible abilities, the superhuman strength, or the tragic sense of loneliness that mark most of these comic book champions? Perhaps, but there is a lesson here for we Orthodox Christians.
I believe what should capture us is the lessons of ability and responsibility. Most of these super heroes come face to face with the inescapable truth that with great gifts come great responsibility.
Jesus confronted this truth long before Spiderman when He told His disciples that “…everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required…” (Luke 12:48). Christ makes it plain to those whom God has blessed bear the additional responsibility to use these gifts for good. Consider the blessings each of us possess. Many of us were born with a spiritual “head start” in life. By a happy accident of our birth, we were born under the influence of the fullness of the Christian faith – Holy Orthodoxy. We also have the privilege of living in the freest, most educated, and most economically successful nation that have ever existed on earth. The opportunities in this country drew families from far and wide across the globe to the United States knowing that here anyone can achieve what their hard work produces. So both spiritually and physically, we have received abundant blessings.
But to whom much is given, much will be required. Why, because we who have so much are challenged by the very life of Jesus Christ to confront our deepest motivations and priorities. If we hoard these blessings to ourselves we will watch as those things that were meant to be blessings, the very same things, become a private curse and cancer on our own souls.
Here are three insights we can learn and apply to our daily lives concerning our abilities and responsibilities.
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