Pokemon and Jesus
Prologue: a friend of mine on Facebook recently sent me a gift of a Pokemon (which was very kind of her, don’t you think?) and in so doing she reminded me of a reflection that I wrote several years ago when my own kids were in the midst of a mega-Pokemon obsession phase. I share this with you at some risk, since when I originally published it I did get some grief about it from those who believe that drawing a comparison between Pokemon and Jesus is inappropriate. I, however, am of the opinion that when trying to share the message of the Gospel with inhabitants of this world, it is helpful to speak to them in a language that they can understand and which gets their attention. In defense of this evangelistic approach, I share two quotes…
The world speaks of the holy in the only language it knows, which is a worldly language. - Frederick Buechner
If a chasm exists between you and someone else, the best way to get them to come over to your side is not by yelling at them to come over. Rather, the best way is to build a bridge, go over to their side of the chasm, get to know them, and then lead them by the hand to where you want them to be.” --author unknown
That being said, here is the article…
The theme of Pokemon is “gotta catch ‘em all”, and that is exactly how Jesus feels about us - he wants to catch us all, and bring all of His children into His kingdom.
The nicest Pokemon trainer is Ash, and in some ways, Ash is like Jesus. Ash is a trainer, and Jesus wants to be our Trainer. Ash wants to train his Pokemon to do battle against other Pokemon, but what Jesus wants to do is to train us to be the most loving people that we can.
Ash keeps his Pokemon in a Pokeball, but the place that Jesus wants to keep all of us is in His Heart, where he teaches us how much He loves us. When we stay in Jesus’ Heart, that is the best place in the world to be.
Everyone who collects Pokemon cards has their favorite. For some it is Charmander, for some it is Squirtle, and for some it is Ninetails. The neat thing about Jesus is that we are each His favorite! He knows what is special about each one of us, and loves each of us so much that He died for us! We are all very special to Jesus!
A lot of people keep their Pokemon cards in some kind of book or binder. Why? So that the cards will not get lost or all messed up. Well, there is a place that Jesus wants to keep us – in His Church! When we stay in church, and keep receiving His love, especially through the Eucharist, we will not get lost or all messed up. Jesus will protect us, just like a Pokemon book protects the cards.
One of the Pokemon cards is the Energy card. Do you know how we get Energy to be more loving people? Our energy comes from Jesus - when we say our prayers, and especially when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist - we can receive His Body and Blood at Mass – the most powerful source of energy in the universe!
So, the next time that you see Pokemon on TV, or the next time that you look at your Pokemon cards, please remember...
1. Jesus wants to “catch us all” - so share His love with others!
2. Jesus wants to be your Trainer - so that you can be a more loving person!
3. Jesus wants to keep you in His Heart - it is the best place to be!
4. Jesus loves you - you are His favorite!
5. Jesus wants you to stay in His Church – it will protect you and keep you from getting lost!
6. Jesus wants to give you Energy - so say your prayers, and receive His Body and Blood in the Eucharist!
Paul Masek is the coordinator of the REAP Team, a Catholic youth retreat ministry of the Catholic Youth Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is married to Lisa, and they have four kids - Jacob, Audrey, Kyle, and Dominic. You can follow Paul on Twitter: @clasekmasek, and you can contact Paul via email: firstname.lastname@example.org