Note: Spoiler alert.
I had originally wanted to write about “Thor: Ragnarok,” but my friends and I were stymied twice when the movie was sold out at the theaters. We were stymied once before we could watch “Justice League.” Just like “Batman v. Superman,” the poor reviews on “Justice League” lowered my standards for it.
I actually found the movie better than what I expected. Of course, unlike Marvel, which slowly rolled out the larger story over several movies, DC had to use a lot of exposition to catch everyone up to the story arc. Overall, the fight scenes were cool and The Flash stole the show by injecting humor into the interactions with the superheroes.
What was the lesson to take away from the movie? In short, stepping up to responsibility.
Each superhero had deep wounds of a death, loneliness or injustice, preventing them to serve others. Aquaman’s macho persona hides the wound of being an orphan. Batman copes with the guilt of Superman’s death. Cyborg hides away because of fear that he might be the next threat to humanity because his developing capabilities. The Flash focuses only on his father’s false imprisonment. Wonder Woman deals with the death of Trevor.
The heroes began to heal their wounds by being united and challenged in a community of support and love. Though most want to be left alone, circumstances force the team together. Batman’s vision of unity against an evil threat pushes the group forward.
A religious community works in a similar way. Christians seeking a deeper relationship with God feel called to join a community. While people can choose their own friends, religious brothers don’t choose their brother. God brought them to together to help them be saints. That means that conflicts would arise but God willing, those would lead to growth and understanding. I have experienced that a few times in the Oblates. What unites a religious community is the vision and charism of the founder (e.g. St. Francis: being poor for the poor, Venerable Pio Bruno Lanteri: encountering Jesus through the Spiritual Exercises and the Sacrament of Reconciliation).
In the end, the superheroes fulfilled their mission. They beat back Steppenwolf and saved the world from an apocalypse. They bonded in community, joking with each other and making wagers. Plus, they stepped past their limitations to serve others.