King Ceña and Nate Dorego: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The Authors: King Ceña and Nate Dorego are from Class 12O. They reflect on the importance of the Mass of the Holy Spirit in their young lives.

A lot of people may remember the immortal words from the not-so-immortal Uncle Ben from Marvel’s Spiderman comic books: “With great power comes great responsibility.” However, the meaning and syntax of this quote has been warped many times over the 50 or so years it’s been repeated time and time again. The original quote from Spiderman’s first appearance in Marvel’s Amazing Fantasy #15 back in 1962 was: “With great power MUST ALSO COME great responsibility” — a subtle but profound difference.

I’ve read hundreds of comic books over the years, but I continue to look back and find Spiderman’s torturous struggle to stand out amidst the chaos that is Marvel earth nonetheless inspiring. Though high school life may pale in comparison to doing battle with Kang the Conqueror or Victor Von Doom, how can you NOT draw the parallel?

Peter Parker was just a plain, normal kid destined for a plain, normal life. He had studies to do, dishes to wash, shows to watch, and other things plain and normal people do. In layman’s terms, his life was boring. Forgettable. Replaceable. Unimportant.

All this changed when a radioactive spider bit him and altered his life forever. One bite and lo and behold, Spiderman was born.

We may not be able to climb walls, shoot out webs nor hang from skyscrapers, but we have an out-of-this-world power inside of us nonetheless. No, it is not the ability to shoot laser from our eyes or to freeze things using our “superbreath”. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within us. The apostles were gathered in a room after Jesus Christ died and were trembling with fear of being crucified themselves for proclaiming that Jesus is Saviour. It was in that exact moment when the Holy Spirit came like a strong driving wind and descended upon the apostles with His 7 gifts: understanding, wisdom, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Infinitely more than mere superpowers, these gifts form us to become God’s heirs, for we are His children (Romans 8:14-17). Now who would not want such “superpowers,” such gifts?

Mass of the Holy Spirit flags along EDSA walk, Ateneo HS. Photo: Fr. jboy Gonzales SJ
Mass of the Holy Spirit flags along EDSA walk, Ateneo HS. Photo: Fr. jboy Gonzales SJ

Now with the Mass of the Holy Spirit just a little more than a week away, it would certainly be good for us to reflect on how we are going to react to these certain “superpowers”that were given to us. Peter Parker used his to keep the streets of his city clean of petty crimes and certain mischiefs. How are we, as Ateneans, going to be superheroesgiven these“superpowers”? Simple. We must stay true to the one value and trait that our beloved school has been hammering into our heads ever since: being a “man-for-others.”

In a way, man does not exist to experience life, but rather, life exists because of man’s experiences. We are all given the ability to make decisions that can shape our environment, the people around us, and, most of all, ourselves. Why settle for the norm, the standard, and the mediocre? Wouldn’t you choose to be something exceptional?

Tara, volunteer to be part of orgs that reach out to the needy! Tara, donate your books, clothes, and any pre-loved things to the typhoon victims! Tara, visit the old and lonely! Tara,seniors, give your best in tutoring those kids! Tara, save a part of your baon to buy bread for the street kids who don’t have anything to eat.

Through it all, God will always be there to inspire and support us through the Holy spirit, for, as stated in Ephesians 1:13-14, “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”

In the end, always remember that “with great power MUST ALSO COME great responsibility.”

Tara, Atenista. Tara!


Let us pray.

Dearest heavenly Father,

We will never be worthy of Your gift of salvation for us. You sent your one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Now, with the new life that You have given us as Your adopted children, help usgive our everything in order to bring nothing but glory that only You deserve, Father. With the Holy Spirit blazing in our hearts, grant us o Lord, everything we need in order to go out there and spread your love. With every orphan, let us feel their loneliness. With every ailing person, let us feel their pain. With every single person around us, let us be one with them. Teach us how to love just as how You have loved us. Ignite within us the mercy and compassion that are needed for us to live a life that is pleasing only to You. We love you so much. Amen.


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