Work the Field
Gospel Reflection for October 18, 2022
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’” (Luke 10:1-9)
In today’s Gospel, we hear of Jesus appointing disciples to spread his Word. He tells them that the way will be difficult, and they must bring no provisions with them, but that they will be provided with all that they need while laboring in His field. In these places, the disciples can go about the work of curing the sick and bringing souls closer to heaven. The most notable portion of this Gospel, however, is the statement: “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few.”
Let us reflect on this for a moment. As we see the decline of society, and it seems that generation after generation strays further from the Truth, it can sometimes feel like there is no one left who is open to hearing the truth of the Catholic Church. The decline, however, is not due to the lack of harvest. The harvest is abundant. The decline is instead due to the lack of laborers. There are too few. Of the small percentage of Catholics that regularly attend Mass, only a tiny percentage of those are involved in ministries. Many separate their daily activities from their Catholic activities, living what seems like a double life. Many of us sit next to a part of the harvest, but never bother to gather it into the Church.
Jesus does not say that the harvest is ‘scattered here and there’ or ‘occasionally encountered’. He does not say that there is ‘quite a bit’ or ‘a good amount.’ No, he says that the harvest is abundant. It is the responsibility of the disciple to gather this abundant harvest, to actually put some work in so that we can bring people into God’s Kingdom. So, while reflecting on this Gospel today, ask yourself: “What am I actively doing to gather the abundant harvest all around me?”
Copyright 2022 Jessica Tucker