“After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.” 35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”- Matthew 9:32-38 NRSV
Harvest And Laborers
This Gospel reading is one of my favorites. We see Jesus caring for and healing people, but I think that sometimes verses 37 and 38 are overlooked. We are enamored with the supernatural. After all, we like to talk about the authority of Jesus and the healings that he did. Don’t get me wrong. These things are important and should be discussed. Proclaim them to the rooftops. However we tend to ignore those times that Jesus tells us to do something. We may tend to equate “laborers” in today’s Gospel with priests. That is certainly part of it, and on that note please pray for vocations. There is more to the scenario if we think about it.
We All Have A Gift
There are people out in the world who need to hear the good news of Jesus, but not everyone is called to be a priest. As amazing as our priests are they can only be in one place at one time. We all have a gift that we can use to minister. Through that gift we are laborers in the vineyard and help raise people up. Some may say that their gift is insignificant. That is a lie from the evil one.
Every gift given to you by God is a gift that he will use to build up his church. In Luke chapter 12 Jesus gives a great example of this. There was a rich man in the temple who was basically making fun of a poor widow because she was only able to offer one coin. Christ said that the widow offered more because she offered all she had. This sentiment is also echoed by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul says that not all can be priests or apostles, but we are given a gift to build up the church. What is your gift? Is there something you are good at and enjoy doing? You can use that as an offering to Christ to build up his church.
“Know that the greatest service that man can offer to God is to help convert souls.” St. Rose of Lima
“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux
“You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new center. Will what God wills, and your joy no man shall take from you.” Venerable Fulton Sheen