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Have you ever read about someone and then actually met them? Or heard about somebody and then met them face-to-face?
There's a big difference between knowing about someone versus actually knowing them. This Advent, we want to get to
know Jesus, not just know about him. That's what Advent is about—preparing to meet him and to know him. Let's take a
closer look at that . . .
From The Turning Point
My wife Anita and I have two daughters, Sarah and Griffin. And after each one of them was born, right before they were
baptized, a friend of our family gave us this picture to hang on each of their walls: a picture of Jesus with little
kids. So we hung it on the kids’ walls, and for all their eighteen years grownin’ up in our house, that picture of
Jesus was in their bedroom every night.
So fast-forward eighteen years, our first daughter, Sarah, just graduated from high school. She's getting ready to go
to college. And we're all very cognizant that night, we're all very conscious of an idea: this is really our last night
together as a foursome. So the four of us, my wife and two daughters and I, decided, you know, we're just gonna kind of
stay home, talk and visit, and savor this last night as a foursome.
So we did that. And Sarah was kind of nervous about the big day the next day. She's going off to school, had never been
on her own before, all those nerves and all those anxieties that kind of come with that. And so, about nine o'clock she
said, “You know what? I think I'm gonna go to bed early tonight.” So the rest of us continued to kind of visit and kind
of think about things, and at about 10:30, I guess, I got up and I said, “You know what? I'm gonna go upstairs too, and
I'm gonna go to bed.” Not long after that, my wife Anita came in, and I said, “Sweetie, I'm gonna go down and check on
Sarah before I go to sleep.” She said okay. So I walked down the hall to Sarah's bedroom, and I kind of gently knocked
on the door. She didn't answer, so I figured she was asleep. And so I gently creaked open the door, and I peeped in,
and I saw Sarah lying on the bed. And she was asleep. She was lying on the bed, eighteen years old, with her picture of
Jesus that had been on her wall for eighteen years, squeezing that, sound asleep.
I went back down the hall, kissed Anita good night to go to sleep, and she said, “Everything okay with Sarah?" And I
said, “Yes, she's sleeping. And you know what? She's gonna be just fine.” Because I knew, and looking at her that
night, that she knew him. She knew Jesus, and she loved him. Because in her eighteen years of growing up, she had
encountered him. And she knew that in this big next step of her life that he would be there with her.
Father Bob Sherry
I was in the seminary eleven years. Ordained a deacon, you know? I mean, the last five years of that I had a couple
years of heavy philosophy, you know? And theology. I mean theology and dogmatics . . . the whole works. I knew Jesus.
But then I was assigned to a parish that summer, and the people there . . . yeah we had a great time, but they said,
“Father, why don't you go on a Cursillo?” So, I went. And there were great talks, great theological talks on the
sacraments and on Eucharist. I ate it up because you know, I knew all that theology. I really shone forth, you know?
But then at the end, I did not realize they were gonna have everybody stand up and give a talk about what the weekend
meant to them. So I got up and, reluctantly, and I didn't know what to say. I heard everybody else and the faith that
they had. I had the, you know, theologian’s vocabulary, but not the saint’s heart. I had . . . nothin’. So I just
cried. I just cried in front of the group. I didn't know Jesus . . .
But someday, someday I would like to tell you how I did meet Jesus. In the meantime, how did you meet Jesus?
Allen Hunt is a nationally known speaker, bestselling Catholic author, and presenter for
Dynamic Catholic’s Passion & Purpose for Marriage and Find Your Greatness events. He converted to Catholicism after serving as a mega-church pastor and has spent the last thirty years helping people and couples of all ages encounter Jesus and deepen their faith lives.
Father Robert Sherry (known as Fr. Bob in the office) is the Dynamic Catholic chaplain. His hobbies include reading,
traveling, and watching movies while eating salted popcorn. In high school he worked at a Harley-Davidson shop (and
rode a motorcycle himself for many years). He was also an ironworker for seven summers, and is one of the few people
who enjoy anchovy pizza.
Jesus wants you to get to know him.
Write down one way you can purposefully meet Jesus this Advent. Here are some ideas, but feel free to come up with your
own! You could spend one minute in silence each day to simply be calm and listen for Jesus’s voice. Write the word
“joy” on a card and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Or read one chapter from the Gospels every morning.
Jesus, open my eyes and my heart so that I may recognize when I am encountering you.
Today’s video features excerpts from Session One of The Turning Point: Eight Encounters with Jesus That Will Change
Your Life (now available).
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