Msgr. Charles Pope: Our Common Threat, as Seen in a Commercial

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By Msgr. Charles Pope, September 28, 2018

The commercial below is humorous, albeit preposterous. Here is the scenario: the earth has stopped rotating on its axis and “scientists” say that if everyone runs in the same direction we can restart the rotation, much like hamsters running in an exercise wheel.

Of course, as the standard disaster movie format requires, the news anchor both explains everything to us and gives us our orders from the scientists. In the end, mankind triumphs; crisis averted; roll credits. (Oh, and don’t forget to buy Nike shoes).

It’s rather amusing and pokes fun at the predictable disaster movie recipe.

There is a point to ponder in this standard disaster movie plot. Peter Kreeft once said, “When a maniac is at the door, feuding brothers reconcile.” Many disaster movies use this insight and present us with some sort of universal threat, some outside enemy that threatens all of mankind. Suddenly, partisan politics disappear; nations stop fighting one another and unite to solve the shared problem or repulse the common enemy.

But of course this is the reality. Every human person does have a common enemy: Satan. St. Paul writes,

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the high realms (Eph 6:12).

In other words, our real battle is not against one another, but against Satan and his demonic army. Sadly, this truest of battles is hidden from most, who instead focus their attention on other, lesser ones.

What will God need to do to refocus our attention? Let’s hope it’s something less than a worldwide disaster! Something tells me that we are so distracted and divided these days that nothing short of the catastrophic will get our attention. Oremus.