Each week my parish, St. Dominic, sends out an e-mail reflection. I found a recent one by Russ Petrus, a staff member, thought provoking. Russ pointed out that artists sometimes portray Jesus as a blond, blue-eyed man with perfect teeth and garbed in a spotless white robe. Considering that Jesus was a first-century Jew who lived in a hot, dusty country that had no dentists, this picture is not realistic. Then Russ wrote the following:
“As followers of Jesus, what Jesus do we present to the world? In word and action do we present Jesus for who he is, or have we taken certain artistic license? Do we present the Jesus who is so strict and judgmental that our children are afraid to make a mistake? Or is our Jesus so agreeable and loving that almost everything seems relative and there is no truth? Do we put Jesus on so high a pedestal that he is difficult to be in relationship with? Or do we present the Jesus who suffered, dealt with temptation, was afraid, and confused? Is the Jesus we present a supporting argument for our way of life, or is he the one who calls us to continued conversion?
“Perhaps as we move forward this week, this would be a good question to ask ourselves as we encounter our families, friends and neighbors. What Jesus do we present by our words and actions? Is it truly Jesus or is it just my inaccurate version of him? And how can I figure out the difference?”
Thank you, Russ, for providing me with good material for my blog!