|“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” Matthew 9:37-38
As Catholics, we spend our lives trying to find our place in the world, always searching for purpose and meaning. It is only when we begin to look beyond ourselves and to the needs of others that we come to find what God is calling us to do. However, that can be easier said than done. Quite often when we look at the problems and needs of our community around us, it can seem daunting and at times, it can be very overwhelming. We find ourselves asking the question “where do we start?”. This can lead to the point that we become paralysed and feel that we are unable to respond. Jesus understood this feeling.
In today’s Gospel, while Jesus is about to retreat to take a breather and pray, he looked with pity at the crowd demanding his time and attention. Jesus understood that the needs and demands were enormous. However, the difference in Jesus’ attitude was that he did not stop responding in action. He continued to serve to the very end, to the point of giving his entire life for the redemption of the world. Why? Because Jesus understood the need and loved the world so much that doing nothing was not an option.
Jesus took the initiative. He didn’t expect people to come to Him; it was He who sought them. They will not seek, they must be sought – they will not learn, they must be taught – they will not come to Jesus, unless they are brought. Jesus has promised us that there’s a plentiful harvest. The only problem is: “The workers are few”. Yet, God is looking for “workers” who want to reap His harvest. Jesus doesn’t call for pastors, missionaries, evangelists, leaders, or experts; He calls for “workers”. Harvesting crops requires effort, patience and perseverance. There are no quick wins.
As followers of Christ, we are challenged to reach out to those who need us, to see the face of Christ in all that we meet. We have been blessed by the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were given to us, so that we may follow in the footsteps of Jesus and reach out to those in need. Just like Jesus did. As Church, we are always confronted with “the harvest is abundant but the labourers are few”. Let us continue to pray for the courage to open ourselves to the call of being to labourers for His harvest.
Kirsten Mahon – Parish Faith Development Worker