Ordinary People

          The theme for the summer camping session at Cathedral Domain this year is Holy Superheroes. While Dean Carol and I are at the Domain this week with Junior Conference, we have been delving into the lives of superheroes. We have discussed Superman, Batman and the X-men, but to name a few. We have talked about some biblical heroes- Abraham, Miriam, Moses, Esther, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and of course, Jesus. We have looked at some of the saints such as St. Francis, St. Hildegard, St. Augustine, St. Thomas and St. Joan of Arc. On Friday, as we celebrate Independence Day, we will be looking at some of our national heroes including Thomas Jefferson, Jackie Robinson, Harriett Tubman, The Reverend Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin and Susan B. Anthony.

          All heroes share some things in common. They show all of us the good of which we are capable. As Greg Garrett, author of Holy Superheroes puts it, a hero is "someone who fights to save or preserve a particular culture, often through his return to that culture with some saving knowledge, power or wisdom. Power alone doesn't make a hero; service and sacrifice does." Doesn't that describe Jesus? He came down from heaven as Man Incarnate, filled with the Holy Spirit. Through his teachings, his actions and ultimately the loss of his earthly life, Jesus sought to bring justice, compassion and forgiveness of sins that man might be saved.

          Heroism doesn't require special powers. Heroism is ordinary people doing extraordinary things. For example, Chesley  "Sully" Sullenberger, the American Airlines Captain who in 2009 successfully made an emergency water landing with 155 passengers and a crew aboard, had no super powers. But he used his wisdom and skills to safely land that plane with no loss of life. Abraham, who simply trusted in God, faithfully followed where the Lord led him. Abraham had no super powers, yet he became the patriarch of a great nation that eventually led all of us to Christ. Mary Magdalene had no super powers but her faith led her to tell the good news of Jesus' resurrection that Easter morning 2,000 years ago.

          I think what God wants us to understand is that we all have the power through our faith in the Lord to be heroes. We need no super powers to love God, to love our neighbors even as we love ourselves. We need no super powers to show compassion, to care for others in our midst. We need no super powers to stand up for our faith in a culture that increasingly shows its faith in itself rather than God. We have all the super powers we need through the love and grace given to us by God.


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