PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me accept that people sometimes have good reasons for not answering my questions! Amen.


A sick man begged Jesus, "If you want to, you can heal me." Jesus felt sorry for him and said, "I do want to. Be healed." And the man was! Jesus asked him not to tell anyone, but the man couldn't help himself and told everybody. Then Jesus got so famous, He couldn't even go into a town without being mobbed.

There are some questions you ask that other people won't answer. "There's a reason," they say -- but they don't tell you what the reason is. For a kid who wants to know why, that can be exasperating!

Adults deal with the same issue. In this week's Gospel (Mark 1:40-45), Jesus heals a man. You might think Jesus would want everyone to know He did a miracle, but instead, He asks the man not to tell anyone.

Of course, the excited man totally ignores Jesus' request and tells every person he meets. He's happy to be healthy again; he's not thinking at all that Jesus may have had a reason for not wanting everyone to know.

Then Jesus gets mobbed. Instead of people listening to what He's teaching about God, they want to be cured of every illness; they want miracles. Really, they want magic. That's not what Jesus is about -- but no one wants to hear that at the moment.

If you ask a question that someone doesn't want to answer, you might get curious. You pester the person, wanting to know more and to know why he or she doesn't want to talk about it. But think about the Gospel story: If the man Jesus met had respected Jesus' wishes, it might have been easier for Jesus' message about God to reach more people, more quickly.

There's sometimes a reason a person doesn't want to answer your questions -- and you don't have to know what it is in order to accept it. Understanding that people have their reasons can make their lives a lot easier. It sure would have helped Jesus!