Week of March 14, 2021

Warning: spoilers for the television series WandaVision below

For those of you unfamiliar with WandaVision, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and television series, or the comic book superheroes the Avengers in general, let me give you a little background.

In the Avengers movies, Vision is a robot-turned-superhero who gains sentience and the capacity for human emotion.  He falls in love and starts a relationship with Wanda Maximoff, a villain-turned-superhero who possesses reality-bending magical powers.  Both of them eventually become members of the Avengers.  Vision is killed (twice) in the movie Avengers: Infinity War.

Emotionally devastated, Wanda creates a pocket alternative reality heavily influenced by American sit-coms where Vision is alive and well and living with her as her husband.  They even (rather improbably) have two children.  These events make up the WandaVision series.  At the conclusion of the series Vision, having been made aware that he is essentially a figment of Wanda’s memories given form by her powers, is confronted by his previous robotic body, having been rebuilt and reactivated, but lacking his memories, personality, or the capacity for emotion.  After a brief battle, the two Visions end up resolving the situation by having an intellectual and philosophical discussion about which of them is the real Vision: the physical form, or the emotional and mental state.

Which, in addition to being a great bit of storytelling, also got me thinking about the Resurrection (timely given Easter is right around the corner).  Both “Visions” represent a sort of notion about the Resurrection: a non-corporeal state of being, and a physical restoration of the flesh.  So which aspect, or some combination thereof, is critical for what really happens?  Our memories?  Our bodies?  Our personality?  In the end of the discussion, the two Visions ultimately decide that they can both claim the identity (with the robot body getting some degree of memories restored, albeit not the personality) and they depart their separate ways to confront their own destinies.  In the same way, the answer to what is fully entailed in the resurrection will remain a mystery to us, but regardless each of us will continue to be each of us in the way that matters most, whatever it may be.

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Rob+