Do you like to help people? Helping others makes us feel good about ourselves and it shows that we care. I think most people enjoy helping other people, but few people like asking for help. How often do you ask for help?
What an exercise in humility it is to ask for help and to receive help from others. I know I can fall into the traps of “I can do it myself” or “I like the way I do things and don’t really want help from others”. Sometimes I have to laugh about it because I can be carrying two kids, a diaper bag, and an armful of groceries and will still say, “I’ve got it!” when someone asks if they can help.
We can look to our Lord as an example to imitate, as He allowed Simon to help Him carry His cross!! He allowed Mary Magdalene to wash His feet. He chose to come to earth as a baby, dependent on His parents! Yes, the God of the universe accepted help.
What happens when we ask for help and receive help from others? Is it a sign of weakness or failure? When we invite others to help us carry our cross, we’re not abandoning the cross, but allowing others to love us and accompany us on our journey for a little while. Just like Jesus, we’ll get our cross back to carry by ourselves.
I am so grateful for the homeowners who trust God enough to become vulnerable and allow Catholic Mission Trips, Inc. to accompany them. Leading up to Thanksgiving, I had the honor of serving as a cook for our mission group in Jenkins, KY. After 432 service hours, generous donations from individuals and the Diocese of Lexington, we were able to restore dignity to 4 families who recently suffered losses as a result of flooding, and distribute turkeys and groceries with the Missionaries of Charity to about 90 families.
One of the Sisters shared with me the tragic impact of the flood. The area has not seen a flood like this in about 1000 years and nobody was prepared for it. Once they got to safety, people were going back down the mountain to help save their neighbors. One family was holding on to their 4 kids when the flood tore open their house and ripped the children from their arms. In grief, after finding the dead bodies of their children days later, the parents took their own lives. Dozens of cars were washed down the mountain, foundations of houses were destroyed, furniture and personal belongings were ruined.
On the feast of Christ the King, the priest shared in his homily how the King will
- take your stuff
- take your family and
- disrupt your life
all for the good of the kingdom.
As we are now in the Advent season, we can also meditate on how God came to us as an infant, depending on His mother and father. God chose to come as an infant, where all he can do is receive love and care from others. How much joy does it bring you to make a baby smile? When I look at a baby, even when it’s sleeping, I am filled with so much wonder and awe at God’s creation. Jesus advises us that unless we become like one of these little ones, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. By virtue of their existence, babies share the love of God. Just by doing what they are supposed to do, they please God and bring joy to others. They openly receive love and help from others.
Let’s face it, we all need help in some way. And, we are supposed to have help. What is your disposition to asking for and receiving help? This Advent, let’s humble ourselves, inviting others to share our cross. This could be as simple as allowing someone to open the door for you or asking a son or younger sibling to help you with a chore. When we let others know our needs and our desires, we trust them with our hearts, and allow them to serve Christ in us.
At the end of the day, don’t we want that mutual, “I saw Christ in you and you saw Christ in me”?