Today’s Scriptures are showing us that two ways are being developed in the early days of Christianity. The first is the way of the world, and the second is the Way – with a capital “W” – which became known as Christianity.
That first way, our Gospel reading tells us, is concerned with earthly things. These earthly things certainly include the small, unimportant stuff: concerns about our own needs, our prestige, our wealth, our own comforts. But it also concerns things that we have no business pursuing: lust, slander, theft, and all manner of violations of the Ten Commandments. This way seeks to silence the truth, as we can see in our first reading. The religious authorities forbade the disciples to speak of Jesus, lest others be led to convert to the other Way.
And that Way would be the way of Christianity. This is the Way that remembers that the small, unimportant stuff is not worth our time. This Way professes that our home isn’t on earth anyway, and so it strives for heavenly things: the life of the Spirit, the good of others, witnessing to the Truth, the salvation of the world, eternal life. Here is the way of those disciples who could not be bound by a human order not to preach in Christ’s name, because the command of Christ himself carries so much more authority.
We have before us the way of death and the Way of life. We too must choose which way we will follow. And so it’s worth our time today to consider that our final home is not on this earth, that we were created for the life to come. So we must choose the Way that leads us there.