“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip?” What must Philip have been thinking when Jesus said those words? Was he embarrassed for being singled out? Did Phillip’s face get red? Did he begin to sweat? Did his eyes fill up from all the confusion? The Gospel writers do not tell us. We only know how Jesus responded. Jesus says, “Phillip, I have help from my Father.” That is to say, Jesus could not do it on his own. Jesus needed help.

These words should be consoling to anyone who claims to follow Christ. You do not need to do it on your own. In fact, you need help. How do those words sound to you? Are they comforting or challenging? Are they a relief or a restriction? Can you allow others to help you, as Christ allowed?

—Patrick Hyland, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province, is studying philosophy at St. Louis University. He lives at the Bellarmine House of Studies.