by Fr. Jonathan Atchley
We human beings can never figure out who or what we really are. I’m watching the latest iteration of Superman for the first time, and find Hollywood exuberant in its expression of theatrics, while the film is lacking in purpose, direction and meaning. Of course, the movie, and we viewers, want Superman to overcome the invaders with their monstrous terraforming machines to save earth. But with all the firepower of military forces together, we’re too weak and puny to make a dent in the enemy’s armor. At least that much is true.
Humans will always need a savior. Even the enemies who seek our destruction are too much like us, mirroring our own self-destructive tendencies. I am glad Superman is only fighting his own kind rather than us; I fear he’d be overwhelmed by the evil that humanity harbors in its heart, say like what one can readily find in the Biden Administration.
We humans are endowed with the power of God by grace and the power of Satan by nature. We have fallen with sin and would stay there, ultimately demolished and demonized were it not for God’s ongoing effort to lift us out of ourselves and back into his image and likeness.
Hollywood is predictable. I’m certain Superman will win the battle; otherwise, Hollywood would lose followers and a substantial amount of invested time and resources. Satan, too is predictable, doing all he can to wrest our destruction with the help of those who may temporarily gain some benefit from the suffering of others.
But we know the ending of our own story better than Hollywood can retell (yet again) the overwrought tale of a winsome superhero. Jesus saves, Satan loses, and those who fight for good will emerge weary worn, but as superheroes themselves. Stupid Satan! Foolish powers that be with anti-life policies that wreak destruction on the innocent and downtrodden! Don’t you know, the end is near? That with its advent, the forces of evil will be utterly and forever vanquished? Of course you haven’t figured that out; if you had, you’d switch sides! That part of the story hasn’t been revealed to you. But we as believers know, even as we mortal beings suffer our outrageous fortune on the cusp of entering into immortality.
Stupid Satan. You have already lost, and you are too stubborn to admit it. Jesus saves! Of that we can be certain. This, like every show may play out in time, but we know the real ending. And believe me, it’s better than we can imagine.