Do you ever have one of those moments where you finally make sense of something that has been told to you time and time again, but maybe you weren’t listening or you just didn’t entirely process it? Kind of like a combination of “Deja Vu” and “Oh Duh!” (Deja Duh!)? I recently had one of those moments.
After (almost) 24 years, I finally realized the importance of the statement “Jesus Christ is a person.” Now when you first hear this expression, you might think “Okay…and?” Or even, “Okay, yeah but he’s dead now.” You might take the line of thinking, as I did for so many years, of, “Only super-religious people would say such a thing, and I’m not super religious.” I’m going to explain to you why this statement is important and that you don’t have to be super-religious to understand it and have it affect your life.
Let me reiterate. Jesus Christ is a PERSON. He is a LIVING person. Just as you (yeah you, reading this blog) are a person, and I (the writer of this blog) am a person. Just as your parents, your best friends, and even your annoying little siblings are people (even though some might debate the latter). Just as every human in the world is a person, Jesus Christ is a living person too. And He should be treated like a person, and not just some random person that you might drive by on the highway. He is the Son of God, who died so that you might go to Heaven. I’d say He’s a pretty important person for that. And He’s inviting you into a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP.
Process that for a minute (It took me 24 years): Jesus Christ is a LIVING PERSON who you can have a relationship with, and even a loving friendship.
How do you that, you might ask. Well, how do you have a relationship with your parents? Or your siblings? Or your friends? For those that are dating or married, how do you develop your relationship with your significant other? You spend time with them! And not just absent-minded time, but genuine, I-care-about-you time. And you do it, not just when you feel like it, especially within a marriage, but every day. How would you do this with God? Through consistent, mind-and-heart-invested prayer. That prayer can be in adoration, by your bedside, at Sunday Mass, or even at daily Mass. You can pray a rosary (which fosters a relationship with Mary, a blog for another time), read the Bible, or just talk to God in your own words (Remember, he’s your friend, and how would you talk to your friend?). But, I must emphasize that you must be consistent in your prayer, which means every day, several times a day.
In order to hold yourself accountable, I recommend creating a prayer schedule and putting it somewhere where you are going to see it every morning, like tapped to your mirror or on your car dashboard. And, in making your schedule, be specific. For example, every day, at some point, I’m going to sit in my room for 15 to 20 minutes on the sofa with my phone and computer off and pray. Another example, every morning when I wake up, I’m going to immediately hop to my bedside and pray three Hail Mary’s for Mary’s intercession in my life.
Realize that everyone’s prayer schedule is going to be different. But, the important things are to make the schedule, challenge yourself, and then stick to it. And, always remember as you pray, that Jesus Christ is a LIVING PERSON, who you can have a LOVING RELATIONSHIP with and talk to as a friend, as a Father, as GOD.