Helping Others In Their Time Of Need
Opening Question: Have you ever been put in charge of a group or project? Were you ever made the president of a club or captain of a team? Did you like being the leader? Explain.
First Reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-3
Sandra was elected captain of her basketball team by her teammates. She was totally surprised by the honor. Sandra was a good but not a great player. She wasn't the tallest girl on the team, nor was she the best at free throws. But everyone agreed Sandra had what it took to make a good leader.
What made Sandra a good leader? First, she liked all her team mates. Even when they made her mad, she looked for special qualities in them that she liked. And she always found those qualities.
Next, Sandra encouraged her team mates to use those special qualities to play as a team. She became a one person cheering section, always keeping positive.
Third, Sandra insisted on fair play. When she knocked down a player from the opposite team, Sandra helped her back up. When her own team mates made fouls out of anger, Sandra yelled at them to play better and smarter. Sandra knew the rules and always wanted people to play fairly by the rules.
Finally, Sandra was always the first to arrive and set up. She was always the last to clean up and leave. During a practice or game, Sandra always asked if she could help.
Respect, encouragement, playing by the rules, and serving others made Sandra a good leader. These qualities made David a great king. And they show us the way Jesus treats us as our eternal King.
Bridge Question: Have you ever reached out to someone, even when you felt down? What happened?
Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
After Jesus was crucified, people stood there and watched what was happening. The leaders kept insulting Jesus. "He saved other people," the leaders sneered. "Let him save himself if he's really God's Messiah, the Chosen One!"
The soldiers also made fun of Jesus when they came up to him and offered him a drink of bitter wine. "If you're the King of the Jews," the soldiers taunted Jesus, "save yourself!" There was a notice of the crime Jesus had been charged with. It read, "This man is the King of the Jews."
One of the men crucified with Jesus mocked him. "So, aren't you the Christ?" the man said in a sneer. "Save yourself and us!"
"Don't you have any respect for God?" the other man shot back. "We've all condemned to death. You and I got a just sentence. After all, we did so many bad things that we deserve to die. But this man didn't do anything wrong!" "Jesus," the man continued, "remember me with kindness when your reign comes."
"Listen!" Jesus replied. "Today you will be with me and God."
Julie had the worst day of the year. She got a "D" on an English quiz and English was her best subject. Her teacher was mad at her for scoring so low.
When Julie got home, she got yelled at by her mother for the bad grade and because she didn't complete her chores. And, when her mother got mad, her dad would be mad, too.
Then, there was Julie's best friend Gail. Gail came to school ready for a fight and Julie said the wrong thing to Gail. Gail exploded in a big way.
Julie went quietly into her room, closed the door, and slumped down by her bed. With her head by her knees, Julie began to cry. She was all alone. It felt like the world stood against her. Her teacher, her parents, and her best friend rejected her. The world looked dark at that moment.
Then, there was a knock on her door. Julie's younger brother, Jack, whispered, "Can you help me with my arithmetic?" At first, Julie wanted to tell Jack: "Go away, Leave me alone." But, something in Julie made her stop and think. "Jack wasn't to blame for my problems," Julie thought to herself. So, Julie got up, dried her eyes, and went into the next room to help Jack with his homework.
Later on that night, Julie realized she had forgotten about her loneliness. Helping her brother helped Julie to relax and focus on someone else's problem. In fact, after Julie helped Jack with his homework, they began to tell jokes. Laughter filled Julie's house. It wasn't such a bad day after all.
Like Julie, Jesus was alone. Everyone rejected him, except one thief who took a chance to ask for help. "Remember me, when you come into your kingdom," the thief said. The thief believed Jesus would survive death and become a king. All the thief wanted was a little help. What he got was eternal life.
Remember the thief on the cross who, like Jack, asked for help. The loneliest times are the times we should be looking to help others with their needs. Jesus did it for a thief; we should do it for others.
Closing Question: How can Go help us to help others, even when we don't feel like helping?