The Harvest of the Lord

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Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 9:32-38

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.”

Opening Prayer: Jesus, I know that the work of evangelization is a great task, and that there are few who go out into the field as you did to work. I commit myself once more to your service, Lord Jesus, and I pray for all of those who you are calling to this task. Lord, send laborers to your harvest!

Encountering Christ:

  1. The Doubters: Even as Christ goes about doing good works and casting out demons, there remain the Pharisees, who claim that his power derives from a lower source. These are the ones who spread doubt about Christ’s power, for they are blinded by their own sanctimony and learning. Christ looks instead to the crowd, who are humble and open to his teaching and healing.
  2. The Shepherd and the Flock: Christ has the heart of a shepherd, who sees the flock abandoned and alone. He is supremely empathetic, taking the sorrows of Israel upon himself, and he wants to be their comforter, so he teaches in their synagogues and he heals their sicknesses. Christ calls every Christian to imitate this love—to look out on the world with the eyes of shepherds, to see how we can console and guide the flock, each in our own way.
  3. Help WantedChrist calls some of us to a deeper commitment to shepherding and consoling the flock as souls consecrated to his service in religious life or in the clerical state. The ending of this Gospel is like a “help wanted” sign posted at the front of a store. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” What have I done to promote vocations in the past? Is Christ moving me now to work with young men or women discerning vocations?

Conversing with Christ: Lord, do not allow my learning or prejudice to block my ability to see you at work in my life. Help me to discern properly your call at every moment. Put me to work as your humble servant. 

Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will prayerfully discern how I might promote vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and/or married life. 

For Further Reflection: Read The Priests We Need to Save the Church by Kevin Wells.

Written by Br. Brian Flanagan, LC.

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