Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Batman & Lent

"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. After John the Baptist had been arrested, Jesus came back to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:12-15

In the first week of Lent, the Gospel message is simple and direct. Jesus went into the wilderness of the desert to be tested by fire, to prepare himself for the wilderness of the everyday.

The film Batman Begins (2005) gives us a superhero very much like Christ in the Gospel above. Before Bruce Wayne can reform Gotham City, he must go inward and fight his own demons, his own fears. He must go into the wilderness and be tempted himself, to discover what he believes in and to understand his mission in the world.

Jesus (and Batman) give us a great example of how to prepare ourselves, too, for our own mission in the world.

If our mission in this life is to be like Christ, then we must know what that means. This first week of Lent is the opportune time to make this Lent a time of reflection, a time of our own wilderness to discover (or re-discover) our life's mission and vision. This is why we fast in Lent, to be like Christ who fasted in the desert. He cleared his mind and body of attachments, so that he had a clear mind and a strong body to face the temptations.

Batman realized his life's mission must be to serve the citizens of Gotham, to rid his hometown of crime and corruption, but not through pure violence (as he was tempted to do). Jesus realized his life's mission must be to serve the world, to rid it of sin and evil, but never through violence, haughtiness, or pride (but through love, sacrifice, and peace). What will your mission be?

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