We all grew up with heroes, whether they be super heroes with special super-human powers, or sports figures or people who made a difference in life, whether in history or in our own lives individually. One would think that we as a human people would want to respect these people and look with fondness as we remember or imagine what they've done or could do to make the world we live in a little better, a little safer than it is.
I certainly remember super heroes on TV, people who possessed special abilities that were needed in order to avert certain disaster. Superman would be there just in time to hurl the nuclear bomb into space before it obliterated Metropolis. Even in our own day, some TV shows and movies portray ordinary people with extraordinary powers, and this still inspires us.
Yet, what kind of heroes do we need in our own day and age? Certainly safety and security are concerns that are always on our minds. But these things ensure that we will live to see the next day. What about the future, the long term future? Will we as the human race be able to survive into the future, or will we slowly degrade ourselves? What will our quality of life be like? All these things point to the need for moral security, not just physical security. All this speaks of a need for heroes of virtue who have the ability to teach us by example the right way to go.
As Christians, Jesus Christ is our model, our benchmark, our Savior. Yet, we, beset with Original Sin, need constant reminders, pointing the way to Jesus our Lord. We need heroes who will clarify the message of Jesus and give us much needed insight into the Gospel.
St. Peter and St. Paul give us just this type of example. They can be our moral heroes, pointing the way to the One who is the Way the Truth and the Life. They can be the compass of virtue our society needs, if only we listen to their words.
This Sunday begins the Year of St. Paul. During this year, the Church give us an opportunity to study the words of St. Paul and let him lead us to Jesus. May we be open to his guidance and let him be our moral hero, leading us to virtue.