Editor’s note: “Matters of faith” is a column that provides local religious leaders a place to write about how their respective faiths provide hope, courage and strength in these modern times.
In the Superman movie, “Superman Returns,” Lois Lane tells Superman that “the world does not need a savior.”
In response to her comment, Superman walks over to Lane, embraces her, sweeps her off her feet, and then flies her over the tallest buildings to see the bright city lights from the air.
While suspended in mid-air darkness, Superman casually asks Lane, “Can you hear anything?”
Naturally, she answers, “No, I can’t hear anything.”
Superman then proves to her that the world definitely needs a savior because he states from the depths of his heart, “I can hear every cry from the people, a cry for help and a cry for a savior.”
Do you think that this scene, where Superman is able to hear the cry of the people as he overlooks the city, reflects in some way the Savior that you and I have in Jesus Christ who heard the cries of his people as he stood on the Mount of Olives and wept for the City of Jerusalem?
As Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives, he was able to foresee 37 years in advance the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., and he wept!
May the City of Jerusalem always remind us that in Jesus Christ we have a Savior who is not an absent God, or a sleeping giant, but an ever present Shepherd who was, is, and will always be attentive to the needs of his flock if we are willing to listen, trust and believe in his message of salvation: “When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress, He rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and to those who are crushed in Spirit, He saves.” (Psalm 34)
In the book, “Superheroes and Philosophy,” edited by Tom Morris and Matt Morris, these two editors stress the importance of how Superheroes not only highlight the best of our humanity, they also reflect the battle between good and evil and our need for a savior. They wrote:
“Whether Superman is stopping a purse snatcher, foiling one of Lex Luthor’s evil plots, or even deflecting an asteroid from it collision course with Earth, Superman gives us an ongoing example of what a commitment to truth and justice should look like. We’re all meant to be active in our creation of good lives, for ourselves and for the other people around us. We’re supposed to be concerned about our communities and our greater world. There is evil to be resisted and great good to be done. Life awaits our best contributions.”
We definitely need a Savior, and we definitely need Superheroes who reflect the righteousness of God, but let’s not forget to recognize the ordinary people around us who sacrifice their lives daily and who do not get the recognition they deserve.
The author of “Superheroes and Philosophy” lists the following: “The heroes who live and work around us every day include firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, stay-at-home mothers, etc., because they fight for human health, safety, growth and excellence!”
Lane was able to recognize her need for a savior, and she found him in Superman. May we find our Savior in Jesus Christ, and may we find his light reflected in one another here in Tooele County.
Rev. Vialpando is the priest at St. Marguerite Catholic Church in Tooele.