I've not yet seen the newest Batman offering, but the other night, FX - or some other channel - showed the last Batman film, "The Dark Knight." I thought that was a superb exploration of the nature of evil and of our struggle against it. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker was inspired, and, I think, more than any other villain, he reveals the real nature of evil.
Bruce Wayne/Batman seeks to analyze and understand how that character "ticks." In his laboratory, with video footage of his enemy, he struggles to find out why the Joker was doing what he was doing. Alfred, his charming butler, shatters the academic pursuit by revealing that some men are not interested in gaining anything from their mischief. "Some men," he says, "just want to see the world burn."
I don't know if you noticed, but each time the Joker talks to his victims about "how I got these scars," he tells a different story. We really never find out what the truth is there. He admits to Harvey Dent, "Do I look like a guy with a plan?" And this is probably the scariest thing about our struggle with evil. There is no reason to it. Sure, there are "causes" and "effects," but there is no sense of "justice" or "desert" when considering why things happen to us.
Ironically, the terrible events of the other day's showing of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado, poignantly remind us that this struggle with evil - in all its senselessness - is not just something that is confined to the silver screen. As I watch the news coverage and the continuing investigation, it seems to me that a motive is far from materializing. I remember that the Joker said, as he did not plan, "I just ... do."
This tragedy in Colorado calls us all again to pray. We don't need to seek the Cross in our own lives - the Cross finds us. The Cross is itself the result of evil in man's life. However, it is also the Cross that God embraced. Therefore, rather than seeking the Cross, we seek the One who died there - and who through that death brought life to the world. Our crosses mean nothing - are as empty as evil itself - unless we can join them to the Cross of Jesus; and He who is the source of our meaning, brings the healing that our world awaits.