While I was preparing to write this article, I went to YouTube and watched the opening theme of a weekly TV show that aired on NBC from 1966 to 1968. When the show began in 1966, I was nine years old. I’m referring to Tarzan, a TV show that I watched with my younger brothers every Friday night.
Not very many people know this, but the plot of the original Action Comics story of Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, was eerily similar to the nonfiction “story” of the life of Jesus Christ. When you compare the story of Superman with the life of Jesus, you can see the similarities.
Do you know what the Blessed Mother, the apostles, the disciples, and all the followers of Jesus had in common, other than believing that Jesus was the Son of God? They all forgave everyone who was involved in the torture and murder of their Savior. Think about how difficult that had to be. I know how hard it is for me to forgive certain people for what they have done to me, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to forgive those murderers.
Last week, at a general audience, Pope Francis touched on the role of women in the Catholic church. He started out by discussing the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and then, in a bold expression of the importance of women in the church and in society, stated:
Do you know who saw Jesus for the first time after He rose from the dead? According to the gospel of St. John, it appears as though it was Mary Magdalene, one of the women who was standing at the foot of the cross when our Lord died. (“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” John 19:25)
Have you ever heard of the practice of using canaries in coal mines to alert coal miners of danger? Canaries are small songbirds that were first bred and used as domestic pets in the 17th century. Because they are more sensitive than humans to toxic gases (such as methane and carbon monoxide), canaries were, at one time, routinely used by coal miners as early warning devices that danger was imminent.
As Catholics, we know from what we’ve been taught that it was necessary for our Lord to die on the cross in order to redeem us from our sins and to open the gates of Heaven. Prior to His death, because of the sins of Adam and Eve, Heaven was “off limits” to everyone.