Wanted: More Laborers

Matthew 9: 32-38
Gen 32:23-33 / Psa 17

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
(Matthew 9:38)

Despite our sins, we must admit
In Christ our faith has been restored,
For heaven’s gain, we must commit
Never be dumb to preach His Word.

As Jesus and His disciples were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the mute person spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9: 32-38)


Our Lord Jesus encountered much opposition during His ministry here on earth, and the evil spirits were the least of His harassments. The Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees and high priests were always ganging up on Him, trying to find faults in His unorthodox ways, and even attributing His divine power to the “prince of demons”. And yet our Lord continued and persevered in proclaiming the kingdom of God, never tiring or getting discouraged in preaching the Gospel, and healing all kinds of disease that were brought to Him.

Just before He sent out His apostles, Jesus told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Jesus knew that the work of evangelization was a formidable task that required many dedicated helpers. He also knew that their work faced challenges and obstacles along the way, so He empowered them to cast out demons, heal the sick, and the grace to communicate His message of salvation.

Jesus’ call for more laborers to work in God’s vineyard continues to this day. His appeal is not limited to the ministers of His Church only, but to all lay people as well. There are many laborers in the vineyard who may not be as active in church activities, but may also heed the call of the Lord in harvesting souls for the kingdom. They may be businessmen or professionals, or even simple housewives, who have made a commitment to win souls by spreading the Word of God. For their contribution to the kingdom Jesus addresses His statement too. If more of their kind would only stand up to declare themselves for Jesus, the work of evangelization will no longer be a concern for our priests and religious people.

Yes, Jesus asks us to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send” more priests and religious brothers and sisters, but He also invites each one of us who profess to be Christians to share our faith with others by our words and by the example of our lives. We simply cannot remain silent like that dumb demoniac, now that Jesus has freed us from the yoke of sin.

Father God, our Lord Jesus said, ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,’ and so we pray to You to increase our numbers in this work of evangelization. Touch the hearts of your faithful so that more brothers and sisters will heed Your Son’s call to volunteer in mission work in our workplaces and outreaches. Amen.

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