Of Childhood Heroes, the Holy Child, and Childlike Faith
“Look, up in the sky – It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” Save for not having a good fashion sense, Superman is the greatest comic book superhero of all time and has always been my favourite even as a child. He’s selfless, just, compassionate, righteous, and a natural leader. Practically invulnerable, too.
Watching recently at home the “Man of Steel” movie with my husband and kids, I couldn’t help noting the parallelism director Zack Snyder made between Superman and Jesus Christ. I guess it was there from the very beginning the superhero was conceptualised, but it was made more evident in the film: only son sent to save the world; the image of Jesus in the Agony in the Garden behind Clark Kent when he seeks the counsel of a priest; revealing himself in public and sacrificing himself for the sake of mankind at the age of 33; diving down to save Lois Lane, spreading his arms out like a crucifix.
After the movie, I sat down to talk about these parallelisms with my kids, and noted that if a made-up alien can be that way and do the things he did, what more could be said about Jesus, who was a real, both perfect man and perfect God?
T’was indeed a wonderful reflection for us in preparation for Christmas. God the Father loves us immensely and gave up his only son to save us. Equalled only by the love of Jesus, who suffered and died for our sake.
In between that time, however, Jesus lived a normal, ordinary life. He did, however, as a perfect human, live it doing his best always in all ways, in accordance with God’s will. Such is what the Santo Niño (Holy Child Jesus) reminds us to be, as we strive to be like him – to do our best and turn the ordinary circumstances and events of our lives into occasions of loving God and serving the Church. And to have childlike faith and love of God.