The Savior Image

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella for September 20, 2015

Clergy Corner by Fr. Robert Falabella for September 20, 2015


A favorite story theme that just about always turns out to be a winner among movie goers is the one that, in the beginning, shows peaceable people being threatened and bullied by vicious criminal-types, who stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious purposes. Suddenly there appears a mysterious stranger who comes into their lives and saves them from this evil.

An excellent example of this film genre is found in that classic Western, entitled “Shane,” starring Alan Ladd as a mysterious stranger who has come from out of nowhere, who wears his gun in a way that indicates we have a professional gunslinger in our midst, and who finds himself having entered into an environment of impending danger -- threatening the peace and safety of a gentle, God-fearing group of farmers who are not equipped to deal effectively against such an impending evil.

It will be this unknown stranger, this quiet hero-type, Shane, who turns out to be a savior figure for these people. Memorable is that face off between Shane and the ruthless black-clad gunman named Jack Wilson (played by that arch-villain, Jack      Palance), who epitomized all that is merciless and evil, but who is eventually overcome by the skill and bravery of this        Savior figure, Shane.

The etiology of this need of a “Savior Image” theme actually has its source in the Book of Genesis, where the prototype of “Man” -- Adam and Eve -- find themselves in the need of a Savior capable of reconciling them with God, with whom they are now at enmity due to their sinful disobedience -- choosing to listen to a creature of God -- one that is “other than God,” than what God, their Creator, had required of them -- with the result that Paradise was lost and death and suffering became the fate of sinful “Man.” This “Savior” would be the Incarnate Word of God -- Jesus Christ. We see this graphically presented in the New Testament account of the life and mission of Jesus Christ: “… the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ… (2Timothy 1:10); for “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). Ever since then, the weak and helpless would often find themselves in analogous situations, mirroring a need for someone to “save them” from whatever ruthless evil was then threatening their peace and safety.

Thus deep within the genetic structure of Mankind has always been this “need for a savior figure,” and so, as we enter into this or that cinematic story, we share a mysterious identity with these people in certain aspects of our own lives, and the   subsequent uncomfortable feeling we experience, if no savior figure arises to save them. This is why we are exhilarated with a sense of fulfillment, when a “savior image” comes on the scene -- whatever the storyline.

Today, we only have to look around us in this world -- to feel this need of a “savior image,” as we view the self-destruction taking place all around us, in so many areas of humanity -- those who listen not to God -- as found in His Natural Law and the Commandments -- but rather to other than God -- the Secularists, Atheists and Leftist’ “World View,” with the grotesqueness that comes upon mankind when it has lost being in the Image of God, and has chosen to be in the image of other than God as exemplified in degenerative caricatures of humanity, as represented in those adhering to so called same-sex marriage; trans-genderism; homosexuality; and those Environmentalists who idolize the “earth” as superior to “Mankind.”

Thus, the dire need for that “Savior Image” for the past thousands of years, is no less apparent today -- but the Savior that is now among us is no celluloid hero of the cinema: our Savior is the Glorified Risen Christ -- the Incarnate Word of God Who continues to live among us in His Mystical Body, the Church, the Sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: all of which embodies the actuation of the Savior Image -- continuing reminders that we are never alone…however surrounded we are by that culture of evil that would have us become in their image, as manifested in those murderers of the innocent in the womb; those mendacious hypocrites of the glorification of absurdities as exemplified in those championing trans-genderism and the hubris as seen in a gratuitous redefinition of marriage, which if universally entered into would mean the end of human mankind. But the heavenly Father “…sent to us His Divine Son, Jesus Christ -- our Savior, whom we are enabled to interface within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and Who destroyed natural and supernatural death as well as “bringing (eternal) life and immortality to light through the Gospel”(2 Timothy 1:10). We are thus saved from exchanging our being in the image and likeness of God for becoming that image of other than God -- as found in all today who are among the damned as described by Jesus: “I have seen Satan fall like lightning from the sky…” (Luke 10:18). Jesus saves us from such an eternal disaster.

Our Savior is truly with us; we have our Lord’s word on it: “Amen I say to you, I am with you always, even to the consummation of the world” (Matthew 28:20). “Remain in me as I remain in you” (John 15:4). For this reason each of us can personally proclaim throughout our life: “The Lord is MY SHEPHERD; there is nothing I shall want…you lead me to safe waters …you guide me along the right path…even though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are at my side” (Psalm 23:1…), assuring that eternal experience as signified in John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”

Ever in the love of Christ,

Fr. Robert


Tags: homily, clergy corner

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