PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, teach me to do things myself — almost all the time! Amen.


Jesus sent out the 12 Apostles, two by two, to teach people everywhere about God. He told them not to take food, extra clothes or even money, but to depend on people along the way to help them out. The Apostles went off and taught, and cured many sick people.

Every kid has had said in frustration, “I want to do it myself.” Grownups try to help because they think you need it, or because they can do it faster or more easily. They see you struggling and think they should step in when, if they give you a minute, you’ll work it out on your own.

Most of the time, it’s a great idea to do things yourself. It helps you learn, and to practice what you’ve learned. When you accomplish something yourself, you feel proud.

There are also times when letting someone help is good. This week’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13) is one of those times.

There are many things kids can do without help. Every year, you learn more: how to do math problems, tie shoes, throw a Frisbee, make scrambled eggs. If you can do all of that, you might wonder why you should ever let anyone help.

In the Gospel, Jesus specifically tells the Apostles to ask for help, accept help and even look for help. He tells them not to bring food or plan where they will stay when they travel, but just to accept what people offer. Why would Jesus say that?

Jesus knew that, like you practice doing things on your own, people must practice helping each other — especially in big ways. Being generous doesn’t come easily to everyone. Imagine offering to let Apostles, total strangers, stay overnight in your house! That’s some major help.

But Jesus wanted us to help each other. If everyone gets used to doing that, He thought, the world will be kinder. People will treat each other well automatically — like you automatically tie your shoes now, without thinking about it. Someone had to show you how at first, before you started saying, “I can do it myself!”

Do things yourself. But, sometimes, let someone help — not because you need it, but because they need to practice being generous!