Where are the heroes?


Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans star in a scene from the movie “Marvel’s The Avengers.”  (CNS photo/Disney)

It’s Sunday night and I’m watching “The Avengers” for maybe the 50th time. Early on in the movie there is a scene between Agent Coulson and Captain America (Steve Rogers) in which they discuss upgrades to Cap’s uniform. Cap wonders if the stars and stripes aren’t a bit old fashioned in this day and age. Agent Coulson replies how this is exactly what might be needed at a time like this.

I think this one scene is pivotal in understanding the thought process behind ordinary people we consider heroes and the superheroes many of us have admired since picking up our first comic book or graphic novel.

Characters such as Captain America (created to be a super soldier against the Nazis), Superman and Batman all have their foes. What makes them last through the decades is how relatable those enemies are to the audience.

Whether our fight is against racism, terrorist, bullies or those who threaten our freedom, we can always look to the superheroes for inspiration.

But what kind of inspiration do we need?

The inspiration many find in comics and superheroes is the understanding how you don’t even have to be a superhero to be helpful or change the world. And while we don’t live in a world where the Justice League, Fantastic Four or the Avengers truly exist, there are real-life examples through history and in our modern day that can equally serve as examples of everyday heroism.

And while there are some people doing great things who are household names (Malala Yousafzai, Blessed Mother Teresa and journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell come to mind), it is not their status that makes them the superstars we have made them. They did the right thing, followed their faith and did not care what others thought of their works or mission. If we could all be filled with such conviction!

While there are many heroes we recognize everyday such as first responders, firefighters, police officers, active duty military and veterans, it is important not to overlook the actions taken by others and encourage them more often. There are too many people who feel their voice is not heard or their call for change isn’t taken seriously. We need to be people who truly treat each other with the human dignity Jesus taught us. As we begin to treat each other with respect and dignity, we can truly begin to make great changes in this world. However, it must start within each of us as individuals. We do not have the luxury of sitting back and letting someone else take the lead. Do as a superhero would do and be the hero in someone’s life.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.