We speak of ghosts and haunted places, miracles and prayer, vampires and zombies. We toss these words around, maybe play a few video games, watch the Avengers, and then go back to our regular everyday lives based what we can see with our own two eyes. What we can quantify. If we can see it, measure it, size it up – then we can control it.
We feel safer that way. But it’s an illusion. Reality is behind the veil. Because behind the veil exists an unseen world far more beautiful and dangerous than anything we’ve ever seen with our own two eyes.
Behind the veil, I’m the hulk. So are you. Zombies walk among us, as do evil aliens from another planet. We’re locked in cages, held captive by our own minds and victimized by jailers who are themselves held captive against their will. It’s why we cheer for Captain America, why we tolerate Iron Man’s narcissism, why we feel a thrill when Thor holds his hammer up for the lightning. We like superheroes because we need them. Humanity is a mess down here. And we know it. Despite our many efforts to shirk our own humanity, we know we’re fallen and broken and desperately lost.
If you need proof of that, then you haven’t yet lived enough life. Or watched the news. Or thoughtfully examined the problem of suffering.
Behind the veil, our souls could starve to death. Loki and his Chitauri do their best, trying to turn us against each other. If all else fails, Loki will reach out and touch our vulnerable hearts with his scepter, making us like him.
But there is hope. Not everything behind the veil is lost.
Nick Fury: “And there came a day… a day unlike any other… when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat… to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand… on that day, The Avengers were born.”
Behind the veil, we’re the avengers. You and me. The angry hulk, egotistical Stark, conflicted Romanoff, lonely Captain America, Thor and his family struggles, human but skilled Hawkeye. There’s a little bit of each in all of us, I think. We could easily destroy each other. But if we work together…
Behind the veil, we can unite against evil and avenge what’s been lost. We can fall in line behind that one perfect superhero, and take up our weapons against all the forces of darkness. We can do this, because that’s what the Church was created to do. As Captain America said “There is only one God.” And if that God is for us, then who can be against us?
May we have courage to look behind the veil. And more courage still to LIVE behind it, to engage the battle that’s been raging among us. Unseen.