Today it is Spiderman, but back in the 1940s, Captain Marvel was the comic book hero that captured the attention of the nation. Poor, orphaned Billy Bateson could turn himself into Captain Marvel just by uttering one magical word – Shazam! Shazam was actually an acronym stating all the powers Bateson received when he transformed into Captain Marvel. It stood for Solomon’s wisdom, Hercules’ strength, Achilles’ courage, Zeus’ powers, Atlas’ stamina, and Mercury’s speed.
The power of the Holy Spirit goes far beyond the minor gifts granted to Captain Marvel. The Holy Spirit is Christ alive in us. All the works that the disciples had seen Jesus do – preaching, teaching, inspiring, comforting, healing, increasing of resources (like the loaves and fishes) – they would be able to do. Jesus’ presence had to depart in order for his power to descend.