“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.” (Matthew 9:36-37)
In today’s Gospel passage, when Jesus saw the massive crowd approaching, His heart was moved with compassion. The situation of the crowd is no different from the situation of millions of people all over the world today who constantly face harassment and helplessness.
Jesus saw all of these and referred to it as harvest and at the same time noted that this particular harvest lacks sufficient labourers. God wants to intervene but He needs people. We are the labourers. Each time you feel a push deep down within your heart to do a good deed, to visit the sick, to help the poor, to clothe the naked, to convert a sinner and so on, God is inviting you to labour for Him.
Too often, we turn down God’s invitation because we feel overwhelmed like one trying to empty an ocean with a cup. Mankind’s problems are too many but then, for failing to do the little we can, we contribute further to the shortage of labourers in this ever rich harvest.
Jesus did His best, He cast out demons from many; He healed the sick, He preached with words and example. Matthew tells us Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching, proclaiming the Good news, curing every disease and every sickness. However, Jesus did not do everything and as the Stations of the Cross will say: “The work of love I have begun, you must now continue.”
How well do I labour for God? As a politician, a businessman, or even a school teacher, do I use my position fully to advance God’s kingdom? Or am I simply interested in making money?
In our first reading, Hosea describes the all-too-common situation of people who claim to be labourers but are not. He says, they have multiplied altars but at the same time, they have multiplied sinfulness. “The LORD does not accept them. Now he will remember their iniquity, and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.” (Hosea 8:13). Labour for God; be a part of the solution; not the problem.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace of sincerity and truth in my calling and empower me to labour generously for your kingdom. Amen.
Bible Study: Hosea 8:4-13, Psalm 115:3-10, Matthew 9:32-38).