Superheroes. Who’s your favorite? Maybe it’s Superman, or Batman, or Wonder Woman, or maybe it’s even the Green Lantern or the Flash. Mine happens to be Mighty Mouse, for those of you who remember the little guy. No matter which superhero is your favorite, they all have a couple of things in common … they use their gifts and talents to help people, and they all suffer in one way or another while doing their good deeds.
We focused on superheroes last night in class with the 6th graders. We spoke about their favorite superheroes as well as some of their real-life heroes. We discussed some of their qualities, like courage and love of their fellow man. We spoke about the challenges that they each face and how difficult it truly is being a hero.
Then we transitioned to one of the great Old Testament heroes. To quote the movie, it was “Moses, Moses, Moses.” We reviewed Moses’ early days and how he came to leave Egypt, but we focused mostly on his calling. We spoke about what it means to be called. Each and every one of us is called to impact the world, albeit in different ways; but being called can be a scary thing. Most times, you are being called to do something that you haven’t done before or that you think you just cannot do. I know I’d be a bit scared if I saw a burning bush that was telling me to take off my shoes, because last I checked, bushes don’t speak. We know that’s how Moses must have felt, among feeling other emotions.
What if Moses had said “No thanks, God, I’m not your guy so go with your backup plan”? News flash – God doesn’t make backup plans. We each have a purpose for being here, most likely more than one; but we all have a choice to fulfill that purpose or not. If I had not accepted my call as a Catechist, then maybe some kids would not learn their faith as fully. Sure there are other Catechists, but there is only one Catechist that does things “exactly” the way I do it (we are all unique, after all) and maybe my style impacts some students in a special way; or maybe this ministry is preparing me to help someone in the future who is struggling with their faith that would not otherwise be helped, or maybe I help set an example that will touch someone’s heart. None of us truly know what our purpose is, but saying no to our calling will definitely have an impact that none of us will ever truly understand, sort of in the same way that saying yes will have an impact. If Moses had said no, then who knows what might have happened to the Israelites.
Luckily, Moses said yes. Afraid and unsure, but trusting in God, he went back to Egypt to demand that the Hebrews be freed per the command of God. We discussed how God supported Moses’ words and reviewed the first 9 plagues. Then we discussed the biggie – The Angel of Death, and why Passover and the Passover Seder have been and continue to be so important for the Jewish faith.
That was the perfect segue over to the Eucharist. We all know the Last Supper occurred at the Passover Seder that year. Just as the Jews celebrate and remember through a meal the saving power of God by His freeing them from Egypt, we too remember the saving power of God through Jesus through a meal. Of course, there are differences between the two celebrations as well, but it was interesting to see some of the links.
So, whether it’s one of the Super Friends, Mighty Mouse, Moses, Jesus, or even your grandmother; heroes love, sacrifice, trust in good, help others and show people the way.
Next time, the class will discuss the rest of the Exodus and the Ten Commandments. Until then, keep sharing the faith.