I believe we are inclined to help one another. I think it is built into our nature as social beings. It is how we are created, God’s design for a communal way of life of mutual care and interconnected support. It is key to our survival. We do not thrive in isolation. Our capacity to love calls us to a gracious attitude toward all whom we meet.
When our children were school age, we coached them on how to ask for help. We encouraged them to be wise and humble enough to know that there are some things in life we cannot do on our own.
We all probably know people who are by nature helpful. They are not just agreeable, but rather people who offer to help when they perceive a need. It is their gift to anticipate needs and stand ready to offer their service. They are the “go-to” people in our workplaces, neighborhoods, and families. We know that when we go to them, they help us.
They are good listeners, prudent in judgment, and generous with their time and energy. We trust their wisdom, their experience, and, very importantly, their interest in us.
These friends, acquaintances, and family members are our comfort, our consolation. Probably, they have no idea how important they are to us. We find that being in their presence is reassuring, and we naturally want to emulate their generosity and goodness. Sometimes it seems they can anticipate what we need. At the right moment, they provide a listening ear, an offer to help, a word of encouragement.
In the Gospels, Jesus offered His life-transforming help to His listeners. He called them to examine their own faith experience in the daily events of their communal and family lives. He invited them to consider love’s potential, to which the Father called them.
Jesus turned water into wine at Cana in Galilee, the first of His signs found in John’s Gospel. This sign of His glory helped His disciples find faith in Him. The Mother of Jesus let Him know the wine was depleted and advised the servants to follow her son’s direction. Her understanding of what was needed led to the gracious gift of faith. (John 2:1-11)
“My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)
In our family prayer, let us ask Mary, Mother of the Lord and our Mother, to help us understand what is needed.
About John Dacey
John Dacey is a retired Catholic high school teacher. He has taught Scripture, Ethics, and Social Justice. He enjoys being in the company of family, reading in the field of spirituality, and gardening. John and his wife have been married for more than 40 years and have two children and four grandchildren.