A true hero is inside us all
In Chapel yesterday morning, the children had no trouble in providing the alter egos of Peter Parker (Spiderman), Tony Stark (Iron Man), Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman). One boy even knew that Selina Kyle is Catwoman!
But no-one was able to identify Geoff Handley, Adam Handley and Mark Smith. And that’s because none of them will be found in a comic or a novel. They are real heroes, having saved a woman’s life from the flooding dangers of Storm Dennis last week. The point I made was that heroes exist and they are all around us.
In the superheroes we see on the screen or in comics, what we admire are embellished characteristics such as courage, calmness, strength and honesty. And conversely, the villains they are up against tend to value dishonesty, greed, ignorance and impatience. Although these villains are unrealistically scary, we must recognise that real villains exist too as there are people around us who steal, show aggression and say nasty things to make us feel bad.
Heroes help to shape our society by showing us what is valuable in life. They can inspire us too. Having just moved into the period of Lent, the heroic acts of Jesus come into focus. In this period which leads to Easter, Christians prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus and what this meant for humanity. Jesus embodied courage, humility, hope and of course selflessness by sacrificing himself to save others. And we must be inspired by this. Inspired to be more honest, more kind, more courageous, more respectful, and more grateful. The message to all this week has been clear: don’t be a villain – a true hero is inside us all.