Passion Week and Preparation

Apr 14, 2022

by Dina Gonsar

The story of Martha and Mary is not typically what comes to mind when observing Passion Week. The focus usually lies on the events in the days leading up to the cross, as it should. However, there is a certain type of distraction that lends itself to any holiday. You can’t escape preparation whether it is making sure you are present for church activities or filling in for the Easter Bunny. That is just the nature of our man-made rhythms.

For the past couple of days, I have been reminding myself to make sure I make a resurrection garden with my daughter, not to forget to buy my mom Easter flowers, and make sure we set aside time to color eggs. I am still on the hunt for the white patent leather shoes to go with her Easter dress. I tend to get caught up in my to do list. However, I need to pull back and ask myself, where is Jesus on this list? Whenever, I am overwhelmed I find that the story of Martha is not far from my mind.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one..”

Luke 10: 40-41

With so much to prepare for we must not forget to prepare our hearts. Fostering tradition, family gatherings, and observing holidays are all important. However, I do not want Jesus to have to call my name twice. If we do not take the time to sit with Jesus during this Easter season we will be missing out on what he has for us. We will be missing out on opportunities to praise him and express our gratitude for his sacrifice. We will miss a chance to have our hearts filled with hope and expectancy as we proclaim “He has Risen.” We might miss the chance to sit with our children talk about the story of the cross. Because we were too busy trying to find the matching shoes.

The outfits will come together, the Easter eggs will be dyed, and chances are you will make it for brunch. You may feel stressed out or hurried. But I encourage you to slow down as he calls your name. Sit with him this week, spend time thanking him for all he has done and for what is to come. Let you heart feel the weight of what he endured on your behalf. Then rejoice in knowing Jesus has overcome the death and darkness.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta Recipe:

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts to make during brunch season! This recipe is a wonderful make ahead dessert. It is great for larger groups as it can be served individually.


• 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (the gelatin comes in packets, so use about 1 packet)

• 3 Tbsp. cold water

• 2 c heavy cream

• 1 c half and half

• 1/3 c sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1 vanilla bean pod bean

• caviar scraped out


1. In a small saucepan add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until fully dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. In large saucepan combine the heavy cream, half and half, and sugar. Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Once the mixture has heated through and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the vanilla extract, and gelatin mixture. Add the vanilla beans, stirring to incorporate.

4. Divide mixture into ramekins. Let them cool to room temperature then put them in the refrigerator to chill, covered for 4 hours or overnight

5. If you want to serve the panna cotta out of the ramekins dip ramekins, 1 at a time, into a bowl of hot water 3 seconds. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin and invert ramekin onto center of a small plate.

Dina Gonsar is the writer and creator behind the popular Dina has shared her recipes and love for family dinner across numerous media outlets both local and national. She is an award-winning home cook that has a heart for encouraging her community both in and out of the kitchen. Dina has a heart for encouraging those right where they are at, especially when it involves the kitchen table. When she isn’t dishing it up on television you can find her in the kitchen with her daughter Siena and her husband Brian in New Jersey. You can learn more about Dina by visiting:



you said:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *