Skip to main content

Let’s Talk About Who Jesus is to Us?

I am an amateur baker. Which is a nice way of saying that the gingerbread cookies I baked this weekend taste delicious but look like a mash-up of white icing and googley eyes. While I’ll never be a master baker, I’ve learned a few things from my mistakes.

Don't overwork the dough. There’s a temptation to believe that everything must be perfect before it goes into the oven, and our attempts to whip the dough into submission actually causes it to become tough, rather than tender.

I believe I face the same danger in my relationship with Jesus. I often want Jesus to fit into my pre-conceived idea of what he should look like, act like, and sound like. Often based on my own fears and worries in any given moment.

Yet, I know Jesus is so much more than my limited understanding. This Advent, I want spend time really asking, ‘Who is Jesus? Why did he come here and why do we still need him now?

I understand that Jesus became human so that we could experience a personal relationship and communion that could only be possible if we saw human-ness in him and believed that he understood our frailty. Yet, I worry that when I see Jesus only as a provider of stuff, or a friend to pal around with, or more uncomfortably a spiritual-lover, I diminish the true sacred mystery that is due the Son of God.

Jesus speaks differently to millennial hipsters in a storefront church in Brooklyn, where they share the communion meal around a table and pass broken bread after they have blessed it and shared an informal homily. Those words would probably sound strange to my 50-something Catholic ears that understand Jesus best through the formality of Eucharist.

 The conservative church that my mother returned to after living with me for twenty years, has changed. The 150-member robed choir sings in the early morning service and is followed by a contemporary service with a rock band.

But it’s also changed in a more important way: it has become a church that serves its community, its elderly, its homeless, as well as the young families that are now its majority.
Other than complaining to the new pastor that the band’s drummer is too enthusiastic, my mother is very content there.

Advent is the perfect time for us to re-consider who Jesus is   and why he came to earth to be born in a manger and grow into a man who came to save the world.

Why? Why did he do this for us?

There are many moments when I am brought to tears of gratitude as I share communion during Mass. And though I am unable to experience his presence in prayer, I do not doubt his existence, or my love for him.

But there are other moments when nothing I do seems to reach Jesus. Sometimes praying with Jesus feels like speaking into the wind. On a spiritual level, I understand that he is there. But on an emotional level, I am never sure that he is listening. I want to have a deep relationship with Jesus, to know that I am in his presence.

I want to have the Best Christmas, ever. But that means I need to spend Advent preparing to meet the babe in the manger, the Newborn King. I need to renew my relationship with Jesus. This Advent is the perfect time to begin.

Join me in preparing for The Best Christmas, ever.


Popular posts from this blog

Dinner with Julia

What do Ina Garten and Martha Stewart have in common? Both women describe cooking through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking when they were young as foundation to learning to cook.
Julia Child is an inspiration to most home cooks of a certain age. I found her so inspiring that at one time, I had all of her cookbooks, including a first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and had read almost every biography written about her, My Life in France, being my favorite. And yet! I confess that until this week, my cooking adventures in Mastering were limited to her omelet recipe, her iconic recipes for onion soup and Beef Bourguignon.
When the Food52 Cookbook Club on Facebook chose Mastering as its cookbook for the month, I jumped at the chance to finally use Julia’s first cookbook for its intended purpose.
I decided to start with something easy, a poached egg. I purchased the best organic eggs I could afford, read the recipe several times, and began. After I’d tur…

Collard Greens with White Beans - A Vegetarian Take on a Classic

Could a vegetarian version of collard greens ever compete with the traditional goodness of collard greens cooked with a smoked ham hock?

I was skeptical until I made this recipe. It is every bit as delicious. Taking the place of the ham hock is the rind of parmesan or other hard cheese. I keep a small plastic bag of cheese rinds in the freezer, they are the perfect flavor enhancer of stocks and soups, and now collard greens.

Similar recipes call for dried beans, but sine I live 10,400 feet above sea level, dried beans are always a challenge unless I'm using a pressure cooker. For this recipe, I opted for canned beans and am just as happy as can be.

This recipe is quick, easy, delicious, and so rich and satisfying a bowlful with a slice of garlicky olive oil toasted bread makes the perfect week night dinner. It is also a satisfying side dish.

Let's get cooking!

1 bunch of collard greens, touch center stems removes, leaves torn into large pieces
1 14 oz can of Nort…

Open to the Spirit - Book Review

Open to the Sprit is like reading a letter from a friend. McKnight writes a very accessible introduction to the Holy Spirit and its role in our spiritual life. McKnight uses several stories from his life and others to share how the Holy Spirit consoles and deepens our daily spiritual walk. A terrific book for those seeking an introduction to a relationship with the Holy Spirit.