The harvest is abundant, but…

Written by Sr. Rosemary, O.P.
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Jesus did it all, and today we heard all that he did. He cured the man who was mute, he healed others, he taught in the synagogue, and he was moved with compassion for all. It’s the last thing he said today that we’ll reflect on:  “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Yes, he did it all, but now Jesus is looking to us to carry on his works.

A few years ago I attended a reunion at our Motherhouse and we gathered from all corners of the world. One day, Sr. Judith posed this question to us:  What are 2 life changing events that have truly affected you over these past years?” Needless to say, we got serious real fast and it turned out to be one of the most poignant experiences of our time together. Many shared that the death of their parents was life changing, and many, if not most, also shared how particular experiences in ministry molded, shaped and challenged them, deepening their faith and humbling them.  Ethel opened a preschool in Africa and started education in that village, Judith spent 30 years as a mid-wife in the rural South, Ann was a pastoral minister in a home for the elderly, Andrea became a medical doctor at 45 years old because they needed someone where she was in Guatemala, etc., etc.

I share these stories because in our gospel today, we hear of all the hope that Jesus has left behind in the works that he did. The good news of the kingdom was ushered in through his words and works. The crowds were amazed; the Pharisees were appalled. 

Those who believed were offered an invitation to discipleship and involvement in his mission, like my friends whose stories I shared. He told them, and us, that shepherds are needed for the lost and laborers are needed for the harvest. Then and now, the Lord is looking for those who have His heart, who see people with a heart of compassion and are willing to go and help them. Whatever we do for one another in need is bringing hope to them. It’s our way of being disciples. 

May we be those people and respond to others as Jesus would want us to do, wherever we find ourselves, and whatever opportunities (big or small) are presented to us to serve others.

“The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.”