Jesus Christ: Action FigureAt Urban Outfitters, near Eatons Centre, Jesus Christ with messianic gliding action, sits beside action figure Moses and sells for $13.
-Printed in the East York Observer on April 9, 2004
Sitting next to Spider-Man, Superman and Batman, sits an a new action figure, which two priests believe is the greatest superhero of all, Jesus Christ.
Archie McPhee and Co.s five-inch action figure can lift his arms in a gesture of blessing and has messianic gliding action with hidden wheels.Although these two East York priests, Pastor John Hill and Fr. Stanley Moszkowicz, hold Jesus as their hero, they have doubts about making Jesus an action figure.
"Jesus is a hero in my life," said Moszkowicz, a Catholic priest of the Canadian Martyrs Parish." "But I have a difficult time if someone was using him to make money."
Moszkowicz, 60, believes that his hero, Jesus, is Gods gift to humanity and that his powers of love is the mightiest power of all.
"Children should meet God the right way, through experiences," Moszkowicz said.
He explained that experiencing the love of ones family, the feeling of helping others and the love of Jesus, is the only way Christians can feel God, not through plastic figurines.
Pastor John Hill of the East York Anglican church St. Augustine of Canterbury, has a different feeling about this action figure.
"One of the phenomena of our time is that Jesus and the memory of Jesus is no longer sort of copywrited by the churches," Hill said.
Since the churches no longer has the absolute authority to keep a faithful memory of Jesus, he is open to an even greater manipulation than the Church.
This being said, Hill also sees advantages to commercializing Christianity.
"It might strengthen attachment to Jesus that already existed amongst children of Christian families," said Hill.
Hill believes that the religious symbols of Jesus, like the cross, help Christians understand Gods actions and identification with the world through Jesus.
Moszkowicz follows a more Mystic approach, in which Christianity should not have religious symbols. He believes that his hero, Jesus, will help bring peace to the world, take down the barriers between religions, and allow people to love one another.
For many years, comic book figures that supported violence, like GI Joe or Wolverine, were the only action figures sold in toy stores. Now, figures of the past like Moses, Jesus and Buddha, who have supported peace, love and fraternity, are hanging next to these violent superheroes at Urban Outfitters at Dundas and Yonge for $13.
These two priests are not concerned if it is blasphemous to commercialize great spiritual figures. They wonder what action figure will a child pick; the violent figure, who fights with weapons or the fighters of peace, who fight with love.
-Printed in the Varsity newspaper on April 5, 2004
Huddled together to keep warm from the strong winds and flurries on Sunday, Newman Centre Catholics paraded down Philosopher's Walk holding palm leaves and singing Latin songs. They tried to reenact Jesus Christ's famous journey into Jerusalem, when he rode on top of a donkey walking over palm leaves set down by believers. A week later Jesus was said to have been crucified.
"Jesus probably didn't have to deal with this cold when he went to Jerusalem," said Fr. Patrick O'Dea, pastor of the Newman Centre chapel. "But we try our best to follow his example."
When the procession had entered the chapel, a group of men and women entertained the congregation with a reenactment of Jesus' last hours before his execution. Each person took a role in Luke's version of the passion narrative and spoke as if they were either Jesus, Peter, the Jewish tribunal or Pontius Pilate, with a narrator telling the story.
A sermon by Fr. Robin Koning followed the reenactment and focused on a Catholic's duty to follow Jesus' example just as Muslims follow Mohammad's example, called "Sunna." Koning said that especially during this holy week, Catholics should take up the burden of Jesus' cross.
Koning said that many people create their own idea of the cross, which gives them false burdens. He said that some believers take on the burden of convincing others that his/her view of being a good person is the only way and everyone else's versions are wrong. Koning said that the cross Jesus passed on to mankind was not one of resentment for those who crucified him, nor was it one of bitterness or hatred.
"Jesus' cross is a cross of faith, hope for a better future, love, and of a reliance in God," said Koning.
After Koning's sermon, four people gave the Catholic creed to join Newman Centre Catholics in trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in order to be good Christians.