Matthew 9: 32-38
Hos 8:4-7, 11-13 / Ps 115: 3-10
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Despite all pains, I must admit
My faith in Christ has been restored,
For heaven’s gain, I now commit
Not to be dumb to preach His Word.
As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man 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)
It just occurred to me that in a sense we are like that dumb demoniac, every time we fail to live and speak up for Jesus and His Good News of salvation to others. Like the time I experienced some technical problems with my internet connection, I was beginning to get discouraged because I could not send my daily Gospel reflections. Thank God the internet provider’s technician finally came around to fix the problem. I guess the devil is always at work in finding ways to prevent or discourage us from sharing the Word of God.
Jesus encountered far greater 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 still 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 diseases that were brought before 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. 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 He has freed us from the yoke of sin. Let us speak out for Jesus and His values of honesty, integrity and justice, and cast out the spirits of ignorance, indifference, and unjust practices in all our relationships and business dealings.
Thank You, Father God, for restoring our faith in You whenever we are discouraged. Our Lord Jesus said, ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,’ and so we pray for Your grace that we may never tire in this mission of winning the marketplace for Christ. Amen.
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