Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Good News Reflection: Working for the harvest master
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells his disciples to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest”. Two thousand years ago, these disciples prayed for you. That’s right! Because you’re a Christian, Jesus has chosen you to bring into the Church those whom the Holy Spirit has been seeding, growing, and preparing for conversion.
We’re all sent into the fields to gather those who want a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and we’re all called upon by God to show them the value of belonging to the community of the Church.
How do we do this? In countless opportunities: We can provide holy guidance during their trials. We can help them heal from the wounds of their hearts. We can feed them with good nourishment for their minds and their souls. By virtue of our baptisms, we’re already in the harvesting field; the plot of land to which God has particularly assigned to you is where you live, work, play, and worship.
The harvest is plentiful, but some of the crop is rotting because no one’s reaching out to them, no one’s showing them what Jesus is really like, no one’s taking the time to find out about their needs and interests, which — if empowered by opportunity and invitation — could bring them into active, full participation in the parish community.
Never believe that you’re too young or too old. Timothy was a mere youth when Paul ordained him to shepherd a parish. Moses was 80 when God sent him to deliver the Israelites from Egypt.
Never believe that you’re not educated enough or skilled or talented enough. God has already given you exactly what you need to do some sort of work in evangelization right now.
Never get distracted by being too busy or setting your own agenda. Which master are you serving? If it’s not God, it’s time to rearrange your priorities. If you let God guide you in what to do and what not to do, you’ll always have the perfect amount of time to do his work.
If you’re willing to become a better laborer in God’s harvest, use this oath of commitment:
“As a servant of God, I commit myself to serve him diligently and ably, using my talents and skills to the utmost, according to the work that needs to be done. I commit myself to work with my co-laborers in unity, mutual support and cooperation, honesty and integrity, flexibility, and diligence. I commit myself to discerning God’s will through daily prayer, with the help of those in authority over me and the affirmation of Christian community. Lord Jesus, help me to love everyone as You love everyone, and help me to serve in that spirit of love. I pray this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!”
Thank You, Father, for all the gifts and talents You gave me. Help me to bear fruit in Your Kingdom. I commit myself to use them with responsibility and in a permanently merciful attitude. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica