3rd Sunday of Lent
I remember watching “Superman Returns” many years ago. At one point, Superman was flying high above the Metropolis, taking Lois Lane with him. In the silent sky, this dialogue followed:
Superman: Listen. What do you hear?
Lois Lane: Nothing.
Superman: I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a saviour. But every day I hear people crying for one.
For some reason, that scene really struck me. I remember thinking, “I wonder if that’s what God would say… after all, His hearing is even more powerful than Superman’s!”
Indeed, today’s first reading expresses very similar sentiment. God said, “I have seen the misery of my people… I have heard them crying for help… Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings, and I mean to rescue them…” (Ex 3:7-8)
…but then God did the most baffling thing and sent Moses instead: a shepherd who was on the run after killing a man; with no super powers other than a somewhat ‘magical’ stick.
He wasn’t even an eloquent man, ‘slow and hesitant in his speech’ (Ex 4:10); his brother Aaron had to speak on his behalf in front of Pharaoh. Not a very inspiring superhero, was he?
Yet, this speaks volumes about God’s ways and wisdom. Rather than coming down Himself as ‘superman’, he empowered a weak man to do the rescuing. You see, Superman’s limitation (apart from kryptonite) was that there was only one of him. I don’t see how he could rescue everyone in their time of need in one city, let alone the whole world! Instead, throughout history, God sends out normal ordinary people to carry out His work.
“The Lord is compassion and love” – we read / listen to / repeat this phrase several times during Mass today as our responsorial psalm. Many people think that this can’t be true – after all, if God really loves us, why doesn’t He do anything about all the people suffering in this world? Yet, He DOES show his compassion and love, every second of the day, everywhere in the world! Through the family who is providing shelter and food to a refugee; through the people working to dismantle human trafficking chains; through a parent who never gives up on the child; through a woman looking after an ill husband; through a man checking in on their neighbour; through a child’s comforting hug to a friend… I can go on and on!
All of us (yes, including YOU) are superheroes in our own ways. Never underestimate your ‘power’ – a little gesture of love may mean a world of difference to the other. We have been sent… let us show the world that truly, God is compassion and love.
Have fun with your ‘super powers’ this week!