Working for the Kingdom

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)

Through all trials, I must admit
My faith, Lord Jesus You restored,
For heaven’s gain, I now commit
Not to be dumb to preach Your 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)

Reflection

The Gospel of Matthew relates that after calling His first disciples, Jesus began His ministry by first teaching the crowds (Chaps.5-7). Then He started healing the sick, the disabled, and the demon-possessed (Chaps.8-9), beginning with the cleansing of a leper, the healing of a Centurion’s servant, and the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law; after which He drove out evil spirits from the possessed that people brought to Him all evening. After calming a storm at sea, Jesus healed two demoniacs who came from the tombs of Gerasene. Upon His return to Capernaum, He made a paralytic walk, converted a tax collector, healed a hemorrhaging woman, brought a little girl back from the dead, gave sight to two blind men, and drove out a demon from a mute person to make him speak again. All in a week’s work to show His disciples how rich the harvest was for God’s kingdom.

During His ministry here on earth, Jesus encountered many obstacles, and the evil spirits were the least of His harassments. The Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees and high priests were always criticizing and plotting against Him, trying to find faults in His unorthodox ways, and even attributing His divine power to the “prince of demons”. 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, cure the sick, and gave them 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. And although it has been manifested to us now in more subtle ways, His empowerment comes nonetheless.

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 proclaiming the Good News. Amen.

One Response to “Working for the Kingdom”

  1. Marvin Mahusay  on July 26th, 2013

    Good day…I am inspired everyday for the posted Gospel…