In my last entry, “People and Me”, I mentioned Christ’s words, “I am the Way”. These words are the key to all of our Christian belief. We hold Jesus as not only our model, our example, but the way we are to live. We are to believe this so deeply, so intimately that His thoughts are our thoughts, His concerns, His love, His passion for people are to become ours.

In today’s Gospel, at the very outset we hear the 72 disciples exclaim with joy, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” -1 Jesus goes on to caution them to not rejoice in this fact, but just rejoice that their names are written in heaven. These 72 were no different than you or I. They did not instantly become angelic or saintly. However, they did believe totally in Jesus. And their belief spurred them into actions at which they, themselves, were amazed. They believed as the proverbial mustard seed, and mountains of people were moved.

They believed in Jesus. They believed with their entire being. Their lives reflected their belief. We know the story of Jesus. We know the events in His life. We know the wonders that He did, the sufferings that He endured. We know of His Resurrection. All that information that we have in our mind, must find its way into our heart. It must move us, shape us, and guide us. The truth will set us free. Our belief, our total belief in Jesus, will be the driving force in our lives. Not just on Sunday or when we go to Mass, but throughout our daily life we will be guided by our love for Christ, our love for our God.

The Apostles and the 72 were the first ones to recognize the importance, the impact of Jesus in their lives. They themselves, like us, cannot do anything except through Jesus. Or said in a more direct way, total belief in Jesus, and all that it entails, enables Him to work through us. This is very easy to type, to read, to say but to live that total belief will consume us.

Our lives will change, must change. We can’t just read this or say it and then say, “Ok, now where was I?” It’s like a two by four hitting us, awakening us. Do I take my belief in Jesus outside, when I leave my home? The first person I meet, regardless who he or she is, will I treat them as I would Jesus? Am I really concerned about people, or just the appearance of being concerned? These are questions that take on different meanings when asked through our belief. This is not saying that our goal is to be nice or good to people. No, this is saying that our belief in Jesus, in His way, will automatically drive us to being nice or good to people. The being nice is not an end in itself, but rather a beginning.

Why is this just a beginning? It is the start, because through the genuine love, and concern that Jesus has for mankind, and that we strive for, Jesus can and will work through us. This is not something to which we can aspire. We can’t say, “Ok, Jesus, use me”. But, we can believe so totally, we can love so completely that we are willing to be used. The danger will always exist that this becomes an end in itself. That is where pride takes over. I… I… I. This is why it is so important to remember Christ’s words that He is the Way. For it is that Way, that will change us.

1- Luke 10, 17-24

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