I openly defy anyone who would dare call King Kong a monster—he is a good, kind, very large ape who has made it his life’s work to protect the people of his island. Naturally, he’s feared because he’s big—but anyone who would take the time to observe his behaviour would see immediately that he’s all about protecting the weak.
Tag archive: Jesus
Throughout the Easter Season, our first reading comes from the Acts of the Apostles instead of the Hebrew Scriptures because it tells the story of the first Christian Community—the continuation of the story of the Resurrection. Because, our story doesn’t end with the Resurrection, but only just begins.
Having to read the “Crowd” parts during The Passion on Good Friday, is always an uncomfortable fifteen minutes for me. “Crucify him!” sticks in my throat and “I do not know him” is unpleasant. But, for me, no phrase cuts to the heart like “We have no king, but Caesar!” (Jn 19: 15)
Superman treats Bizarro, not like the monster that everyone else sees, but like a child who needs assistance.
If Superman turned on us, we’d be toast. I am not afraid of my hero turning bad because he constantly reveals his gentle nature and compassion for the small, the weak, and the needy. To me, Superman is the embodiment of love because he wills the good of all others—even though he really doesn’t have to.
When we talk about Christmas, or sing about it in carols, we always use peaceful and charming words—idyllic, really—to tell the story about how Jesus came into the world. It’s nice how our memory heals the reality of a situation… For us, looking back at that moment we see a peaceful, happy and really joyful scene. And it is—but maybe not so much for Mary and Joseph when they were going through it. Instead of being what we would consider an ideal setting for the birth of any one of our own children, it was God bringing good to a very wrong situation.
We’ve heard it all before about what a risk Mary took with her “yes,” we hear in the Gospel about how Joseph wasn’t sure what to do with the info he’d been given about the condition his brand new bride was in, we know there was no room at the inn, and how the holy couple had to make a crazy long journey at the very end of Mary’s pregnancy. I’ve been pregnant, and I can’t think of anything that would make me take a long ride on a donkey right before giving birth. When you put all of that together, and add in the turmoil of the time, it’s a terrible story—except that it’s how God chose to enter into the terrible circumstances of the human condition. Then, it’s a really cool story…
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has called upon the Church to be a witness of God’s mercy to the world. Mercy is kindness that isn’t deserved. It’s forgiveness unearned. That’s what God’s love is all about. While on the cross, Jesus asked the Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23:34) If you read the Gospels, this kind of mercy is rampant in Jesus’ personal encounters. Jesus recklessly, extravagantly lavished mercy on people who everybody else had either hated or just written off.
Across the world, parishes have been participating in the dedication of Mercy Doors decorated with symbols of God’s invitation of love to all people. It is a Jubilee tradition to cross thresholds and to return home (Leviticus 25). God’s mercy invites all who have been away—physically and spiritually—from God to come home again and experience the forgiveness and reconciliation of Christ. Our churches are meant to be the homes that children of God can return to, to be welcomed, loved and accepted. They are meant to be a threshold that people who have felt estranged from a sense of community to find the embrace of God.
As Catholic Christians, we believe that Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth to live among us as a human being was to offer us salvation. This is one of the times during the year when we think a lot about how we have received that invitation. We are reminded that Jesus will come again. This is something we look forward to—we even say it in a few of our regular prayers! “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end” and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come” are part of our Creed. A major point that is made at the end of today’s Gospel is that, “of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Sometimes people pretend that they know when Jesus will come back and they try to scare people with it. But, we know that God would never do anything to hurt us and we are not afraid. Jesus brings healing and peace to anyone who wants it.
The second that we got to the train station—before we even parked—I spotted some co-attendees for my first-ever Comic Con. The red cloak and Thor’s hammer were the first things to clue me in. Costumed folk were everywhere on the way to the convention, and as I walked the streets of New York with my husband, we played many rounds of “Cosplay or Everyday?” Some I was able to figure out and some remain inconclusive for me.
My husband and I met the first Godzilla suit actor, Haruo Nakajima, and got his autograph for my son, who has wanted to be a kaiju actor since he was four. Doing that for my son made my day, but seeing the cosplayers, the merchandise booths, the life-sized TARDIS, and the exhibits was amazing—I’d like to do that every year.
But my favourite part was attending a presentation by Scott Snyder (Batman writer), called “DC Entertainment Spotlight on Scott Snyder.” Snyder shared the challenges of writing and all of the rejections he faced before he got anywhere (that was great for me to hear). However, his best insight was when he shared about his vision of Batman.
Today’s readings share the theme of freely giving—sometimes with uncertainty of what will happen as a result of it, and sometimes in complete confidence that we will be taken care of as a result. The widow of Zarapheth took care of Elijah out of her own poverty—she and her son had only a tiny bit of food left and then they would not have any way of getting more—when Elijah appeared needing help. The law of hospitality at that time required that she should feed him and her heart said that she should, too. As a result, they were taken through their hard time and blessed with more food than they could have had if they didn’t share.
The second reading speaks of Jesus’ free giving of himself for our salvation—it was such a perfect gift that it only had to be given once to be effective.
Then, in the Gospel, Jesus makes an example of the woman who lived on a very fixed income offering all that she had—her security, her retirement, her everything—to God with no fanfare and no apparent trepidation. She appears perfectly free—not just in her giving—but in her trust that God will provide for her. There’s a certain economy in giving when it comes from a place of love—free for the one who is given to because there are no strings attached, and free for the giver because they attach no strings. It’s where true joy comes from because it is how we are most like God.
Most of the time, when I’m watching a movie or TV show, I can see right through it. I catch the foreshadowing and can predict what’s coming (and sometimes dialogue—which means that it must be pretty poorly written). I have worked in pastoral ministry for almost 20 years. That means that I should be able to see a lie coming from a mile away.
But, last week’s episode of Doctor Who, “The Witch’s Familiar” had my poor brain in a tizzy. I should have seen through Davros’ act—he even gave himself away early in the conversation when he called “compassion” in the Daleks a “defect.” He told The Doctor that compassion “grows strong and fierce in you like a cancer” and that it “will kill you in the end,” to which The Doctor replied, “I wouldn’t die of anything else.” “You may rely on it.” Davros warned. I mean, he completely laid it out there. He said it flat out. Could he have been more obvious?!
But, I got sucked in to his tears. I got sucked into his apparent remorse right along with The Doctor.