The Answer is Jesus

Photo by Francesco Alberti on Unsplash

He may not remove burdens, but He will help carry them.


A bishop was visiting one of his diocesan schools one day, and he stopped in to see the kindergartners. The children sat quietly in expectation, having been well-prepared by their teacher for this special visitor. The bishop tried to break the ice.

“Do you know what I saw when I was walking into the school building?”

The kids just stared.

“I’ll give you a hint. It’s brown and furry. It climbs trees. And gathers nuts for the winter.”

Just stares.

The bishop kept giving hints. “He had a big bushy tail…”

Finally one of the children raised his hand hesitantly. “Teacher said the answer was always Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel!”

The answer is always Jesus.

The world is struggling right now. There are plenty of hilarious memes about 2020, but it’s because if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, right? The pandemic, politics, economy and unemployment, the wounds of a suffering society, family struggles… it’s easy to feel helpless. What is the answer?

Perhaps it seems trite to say that Jesus is the answer. But He is.

We need to be careful not to over-spiritualize, however. To say Jesus is the answer doesn’t mean we should sit back and wait for Jesus do all the work. It doesn’t mean that when we have a problem with work or in the family, we just pray and Jesus will solve everything. He does expect us to work, to use our intellects and talents, and to be resourceful. And some of our problems won’t disappear.

But He is the answer. When you feel most overwhelmed and helpless, go and sit in front of Him in silence. He may not remove burdens, but He will help carry them.

He is the answer to our deepest questions. Some of our questions can be answered by thinking about what Jesus would do in a certain situation. We are called to be Jesus in the world – to our family, our neighbors, our coworkers, and our enemies. It’s a great examination of conscience: was I Jesus today? Did I speak and act in love, forgive my enemies, and serve others?

Go to Jesus. He will give you the grace to confront the darkness. He will give you the perspective to face the confusion. Do not give in to the temptation to despair or think there are no answers.

If I could write a prescription for our society, it would be Jesus. We need to turn to Jesus. We need to trust Jesus. We need be transformed into Jesus.

I can’t change the world. But I can ask Jesus to change me. Transform me into a more charitable person. Stretch me to be a more generous person. Give me the grace to trust in You.

This summer, one in four young adults surveyed said they considered suicide in the last month. The darkness and burdens are real, and people think there is no relief. People have questions and think there are no answers.  Jesus is the answer.


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About the Author

Joannie Watson

Joan Watson was born and raised in Lafayette, Indiana, but college and graduate school took her to Virginia, Ohio, and Rome. After graduating from Christendom College with a B.A. in History and Franciscan University with a M.A. in Theology, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to be part of the explosion of Catholic culture in the middle of the Bible Belt.

She has been blessed to work for Dr. Scott Hahn at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia at Aquinas College. She is presently the Director of Adult Formation for the Diocese of Nashville. She also serves as the Associate Editor of Integrated Catholic Life.

When she’s not testing the culinary exploits of new restaurants or catching up on the latest BBC miniseries, she’s FaceTiming with her eight nephews and nieces and enjoying her role as coolest aunt. She likes gelato, bourbon, and the color orange.

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