Tuesday, October 31, 2006


The trailer for the new TV series, Heroes, asks the question, "What is it that unites strangers?" As the video unfolds, we get a glimpse into the fantasy world of nine ordinary people who suddenly realize they can do extraordinary things as hidden superpowers emerge. With the pulsing music and startling images we are drawn into a world that insists "We are all connected...We each have a purpose. Together we can save the (hu)mankind."

While the series is a commercialized, fictional tale, I wonder if this trailer could not be used as the soundtrack to our Christian calling and faith tradition (okay, devoid the violence). This week we will celebrate All Saints Day in the Church, remembering those who have gone before us, those who have laid the foundation for our faith, those who have made a path for us. Despite our tendency to over romanticize the saints of the church, we must confess that all were ordinary people.

Remember Esther, an ordinary girl who finds herself embroiled in a struggle to save the peoples of Israel. Remember Ruth, an insignificant Moabite woman trapped in a foreign land, who through her extraordianry love for Naomi initiates the very line of David, the root of Jesse. Remember David, a shepherd boy raised up to lead the people. Remember Samuel, a young boy called by God to listen and follow. Remember Isaiah and Ezekiel and Jeremiah, ordinary men who struggled with their call to prophecy. Remember Mary and Martha, ordinary sisters who were called to listen and learn at Jesus' feet and to stand as witnesses to the Gospel. Remember Peter and James and John, fishers who were called out of their quotidian work for an extraordinary journey with Jesus. The list goes on and on, extending beyond the limits of Scripture, traveling through the course of time as faithful women and men have heard God's call and responded.

These are the saints of the Church. Ordinary people who are called to do extraordinary things.

We, too, are the saints of tomorrow; ordinary people called to do extraordinary things day by day. We are called not to be great in a flash, but rather to cultivate and practice our simple acts of faith. It is in the daily living out of our faith that we build a foundation for bringing forth God's Commonwealth little by little. Together these simple acts of faith become the momentum of a movement of love, compassion, justice and mercy that will change the world.

"We are all connected...We each have a purpose. Together we can save the (hu)mankind."

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