'You the One'

I'd passed the homeless addict with a good wish but nothing more. During a sleepless night, I realized something was wrong.

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My adrenaline began flowing rapidly. My heart began pounding wildly. Suppose I had remained lying in that bed? Would Jamal be alive this morning?

Six months later I flew down to that drug treatment center to see how Jamal was progressing. They told me to have a seat and they would have him brought in shortly.

Soon a young man approached me and said, “Hi, it’s good to see you.”

“Hello, I asked for Jamal."

“I’m Jamal."

I was stunned. I did not recognize the full-fledged 100-percent human being standing in front of me. His skin was clear, his hair neatly braided, his eyes sparkling, his smile captivating. Could this truly be that same miserable creature in rags that was on that bench that cold night? Jamal was alive-alive-alive!

My young brothers and sisters, Jamal was talking not just about me. “You the one!” “You the one!” You who are reading this are the ones God has given the great gift and privilege of being a Catholic. You are the one who God wants to live a life free from drugs and alcohol. You are the one who God wants to reach out to the Jamals of this world and show them by your good example that substance abuse is not the answer.

Let your life clearly demonstrate to all of your peers that Jesus is the answer. “You the one!”

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