Have you ever noticed that in this world, there are all kinds of things that take hold of us?  Some married couples know what I mean.  When you were very young, you began to hear, and to see, and to learn about love.  In your teens, you began to experiment with it, dating and maybe dating one person steadily.  Then there came a time when you fell in love; and either suddenly or slowly, that love took hold of your life.  Now, you have been married for many years; and you do not so much possess love as love possesses you.

The essential meaning of our lives is found in those things that take hold of us – children, work, friendships, hobbies, great art.  None of these experiences is really ours until it moves into that realm where it takes hold of us.

This is also true with regard to faith.  Often, we describe our faith in terms of belief.  Beliefs are important, but if we stop there our experience is, at best, superficial.  Each of us believes in all sorts of things that never appreciably effect our living.  A person’s real faith lies in that something that has taken possession of his or her life.  St. Paul, for example, not only believed in Jesus, he had been grasped by Him.  And your faith and mine has not become real until it has become that kind of experience.

Perhaps we need to remind ourselves, at this point, that sooner or later something takes hold of every one of us.  And by that, I mean that something possesses us at the very core of our being.  Something  becomes the dominant theme of our lives.  There are those among us who would protest that thought, insisting that they can flit through life, foot-loose and fancy-free, without ever belonging to anything or          anyone.  That, my friends, is an illusion.

Absolute independence is a pipe dream.  We’re not made that way.  Ultimately, something gets every one of us.  Just take a look at life and see all of the things that take hold of people.  Alcohol – think how many people belong to a bottle.  It’s incredible and could happen to anyone.  Drugs – here we think primarily of the young, but it doesn’t end there.  There are homemakers and businessmen who make it through the day only with the aide of pills.  Greed – some people think of virtually nothing the entire day except money and how to get more of it.

The list is unending, but the point is clear – sooner or later, something takes hold of every one of us.  If not faith, then fear; it not hope, then despair; if not self-giving, then self-seeking.

Yet no person is ever fully free to truly be himself until he or she has been grasped by Jesus.  That kind of commitment opens the door to every high and good experience that the human mind can conceive.  To belong to Jesus, to be possessed by Him does not exclude one thing in this world that is worthy and right and good.

So who or what has hold of you?  Something does.  Anything less than Jesus is a comedown, and you’re the only one who can change it.