Jesus, help me keep working on whatever I need to learn this summer! Amen.

“I am the bread that came down from heaven,” Jesus said. The people answered, “You’re a person, and you’re from this town, not heaven!” But Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. People who believe in me will live forever with God in heaven.”

For a lot of kids, summer isn’t just a time for hanging out. It’s a time to work on skills like reading, writing, spelling and more — things that you might have struggled with during the school year. Your teachers and family hope you can catch up before school starts again.

If that’s how you’re spending your summer, you are not alone. Everyone struggles with something. Even Jesus, in this week’s Gospel (John 6:41-51), struggled to get His message across to people.

Many kids have tutoring or go to summer programs to work on school subjects because those subjects don’t come easily. Whether you’re dealing with a learning disability or you just have a hard time, extra help is a good thing.

Jesus had God the Father to lean on and the Apostles to help Him but, like you, He was the one who really had to do the work to teach people about God. No one could do it for Him.

Jesus struggled sometimes. In the Gospel story, He was trying to explain being “the bread of life.” He meant that listening and taking in His teachings was like being fed. This was not long before the Last Supper, when Jesus gave people communion for the first time, sharing the “bread of life.”

People argued with Jesus. Even when He tried to explain things simply, they didn’t understand. Some of them walked away. If you’re getting summer help as you work on your reading, writing, spelling or other skills, you can probably understand that.

The only way to get through struggles is to keep working. ¬≠Jesus didn’t give up. When one way of explaining things didn’t work, He tried another: He told people that, if they believed in Him and lived the way He taught, they’d go to heaven.

Keep trying. The struggle is worth it!