Helping Others, Getting Help For Others
Opening Question: How do you feel when you get help? How do you feel when you help others?
First Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
You already have everything that's important. You have faith in God, you know and speak about God well, you are eager to do good things, and you have our love. So, give generously.
You know how generous our Lord Jesus Christ was. He was rich, but became poor for you, so you might become rich in God's love.
Don't give to others so much that it becomes hard for you to live. Instead, give what you think is fair. Now that you have a lot, give to the churches that are poor. In turn, they can share with you when they prosper and you aren't doing well. In this way, everything will be just. It's written in the Bible,
"The person who has a lot won't get much more. The one who has little will not be in need."
Crystal peered out the window of her Mom's SUV. She saw a man wearing tattered clothes and a scruffy beard. He held up a sign that read, "Will work for food."
"Mommy, why is that man holding up that sign? Is he hungry?"
"What Crystal?" Crystal's mother turned on the ramp for the freeway. "Oh, that poor man. I suppose he needs help."
"Let's go back and help him, Mommy."
Crystal's mother glanced at her for a moment. "I'm sorry, dear, but it's too late now. We're on our way to Grandma's house."
Crystal folded her arms and frowned. "He needed help. I want to help him."
All that week, Crystal moped around the house and made comments. "We could have helped the man, Mommy. We could have helped."
Finally, Crystal' mother had enough. "Young lady, if you want to help, give up your Saturday morning. We'll go down to the homeless shelter and help feed people like that man you saw on the street."
Crystal smiled, ran up, and hugged her Mom.
Jesus gave us a rule to live by. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Everyone wants to treated fairly. If we need help, we hope others will help us. If others need help, we feel good helping them.
How do we keep the Golden Rule? Share generously with others.
Bridging Question: How do you help someone who is in the hospital?
Gospel: Mark 5:21-24, 35b-43
After Jesus sailed again to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him by the shore. Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came into the crowd, saw Jesus, and fell at the Lord's feet. "My little daughter is dying. Come and put your hands on her. Then she will live!" Jairus urged Jesus. So, Jesus went with the synagogue leader.
Suddenly, a messenger came from the leader's house. "Your daughter died." he told Jairus. "Why do you bother the teacher?"
Ignoring the message, Jesus interrupted. "Don't be afraid," Jesus said to Jairus. "Trust me."
Jesus didn't allow anyone to follow him, except Peter, James, and his brother John. When they arrived at the leader's house, Jesus saw an uproar. People were crying out loud. Jesus entered the house and asked, "Why are all of you making such a huge scene? The girl isn't dead, just asleep." The people burst out loud laughing at him. So, Jesus threw them out of the house. Then he took the father and mother along with his three followers and entered the room where the little girl was laid out. Taking her hand, Jesus said, "Little girl, get up." Immediately, the twelve year old girl stood up and walked around the room. Everyone was in shock! "Don't tell anyone what just happened!" Jesus sternly commanded them. "But, give her something to eat"
Lars looked up to the tall white building, marked City Hospital. "Where's Grandma's room, Mom?"
"I don't know, Lars. She just came out of surgery this morning. She might be sleeping when we see her."
"How bad was her cancer, Mom?"
Lar's mother stopped walking, turned, and stooped down. She wiped her right eye and swallowed hard. "I won't lie to you. It was pretty bad, Lars. I've been praying they got all of it."
"I've been praying, too, Mom."
Lars' Mom kissed his forehead. "Thanks. Let's go see your Grandma."
The door to the elevator opened on the fourth floor of the hospital. "What room is Grandma's?" Lars said.
"451," his mother said.
Lars looked up at the numbers posted on the wall. "It's this way, Mom." He took his mother's hand and led her down one hallway, then another. "Room 451," he said more to himself than to his mother.
Lars looked beyond the curtain to a figure on the hospital bed. He recognized his Grandma, but her gray complexion, messed silver hair, and sunk body worried him. Her eyes were closed, but she breathed easy. "Hi, Grandma," he said in a half whisper.
His Grandma opened her eyes and turned her head. "Hi, Lars," she said in a low voice that matched his.
A woman in a white coat with a clip board entered the room. "Who's this?" the woman said to Lars' Grandma.
"My grandson, Lars."
The woman turned to Lars. She held out her hand. "I'm Dr. Harris. I'm glad to meet you. Your Grandma has told me a lot about you."
Lars shook Dr. Harris' hand.
The doctor turned to Lars' Grandma. "How are you feeling?"
"Did you get all of it? Did you get the cancer?" Lars's Grandma said.
Lars looked up to the doctor.
The doctor smiled. "The tests came back negative. I think we got all of it."
Lars looked his mother. She wiped both eyes, but it was no use. The tears streamed down her face. He looked at his Grandma. She smiled. Her smile seemed to chase the gray away. Lars felt himself smile, too. He felt his shoulders and back relax. For the first time in several days, he felt happy.
When the ones we love are seriously sick, we worry. We might wonder if they will get better, or if they will be with us for long. When they do get better, we feel relieved. Jarius must have been worried for his daughter and his family. She was so sick, she died. But, responding to the request of the synagogue leader, Jesus raised her up. He was relieved, even joyful.
When there is serious sickness, we naturally pray for health. This is natural. This is what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to ask for his help, even if we are asking for the health of other.
Final Question: Who do you know that has been in the hospital? Did you pray for the person? What happened?