August 6, 2008

Optimus Prime and Jesus

Feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration
Matthew 17:1-9 “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to

In the Anime World, children and those who love cartoons learned to love Optimus Prime and all those ordinary and unassuming cars and trucks that suddenly become huge, powerful, indestructible but lovable robots. They are the Transformers. They are robots made of steel but they have good hearts to save the world against the forces of Megatron and evil autobots.

All of us love heroes because they are cool, kind, and in the words of St.Ignatius of Loyola, they are persons for others. But heroes do not come handy. Heroes are made by other heroes… by LISTENING to their masters.

In our gospel for today, we see Jesus in the midst of conversation with His Father, Elijah and Moses. And while conversing with the Father, he was transfigured and transformed! His face changed in appearance and his clothes became dazzling white. Then the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to him.” And so Jesus became like his Father who cares and loves the world and became our savior, our hero. Transformation comes from listening to God always.

Jesus wants us to become heroes too because we are his disciples. He wants us to become little heroes, not in the Anime World but here in Zamboanga. We can be little heroes in our own world. But like Jesus, little heroes need transfiguration or transformation by listening to God in our prayer. In prayer, we hear what Jesus wants us to do: we hear the will of God. It is in prayer that we hear Jesus telling you to help your classmates with his homework. It is in prayer we hear to love our Muslim brothers and sisters. It is in prayer we are moved to pray for peace in Mindanao. It is in prayer we hear to forgive one another and reach out to somebody that needs help.

When we listen to Jesus and do what he wants us to do, we are transformed and become his “little heroes” Heroes are happy people because they can hear God telling them in their hearts, “This is my beloved son or daughter, with whom I am well pleased,” because they did something good and lovely to others.

In the Anime World, Optimus Prime, Superman, Spiderman are our heroes. We love watching them save the world. But they are not real people. What the world needs now are real heroes to imitate. Jesus tells us to pray always, listen and imitate Him and you will become God’s “little heroes.”

I do not need the Transformers, Superman and Wonder Woman. I want you to become my little hero.

Fr.Willy Samson,SJ
Ateneo de Zamboanga

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