“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
In Numbers 11:16, God told Moses to select seventy elders upon whom the spirit of the Lord would descend enabling them with power to assist Moses. By appointing seventy, Jesus was passing on a very strong message; He is the new Moses and that this seventy would receive the Holy Spirit to serve as His assistants.
Nevertheless, according to Jesus, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few” meaning that the work is always going to be more than the labourers available. The question is: why is there such an imbalance? Why is it that those who find themselves embracing the work of God become overwhelmed with too much work even to the point of mental exhaustion, fatigue, burn-out and even depression?
The answer is simple; that even the labourers who assist Jesus need others to assist them. As laypersons, we cannot afford to leave the work of evangelization entirely to the ordained clergy.
In our first reading this morning, we see how the people were touched when they heard the word of God read to them by Ezra the priest. But the fact is that this reading of the book of the Law would not have been possible without the ground-breaking work of the Nehemiah who rose from the position of cup-bearer to Governor of Judah.
Think of this, if Nehemiah was not passionate for the faith of Israel, he would have remained in his position as cupbearer to the King. In truth, God elevates us when we make ourselves available for His service. Nehemiah is such a powerful role model for every Christian who is neither a priest nor a religious.
The truth is that as Laypersons, we find ourselves at a vantage point in that we are able to reach places that even the Pope may not enter. It is not enough that we go to church, or contribute to its building, we must have our say even in the formulation of laws and policies that directly bear on the promotion of the kingdom of God on earth. The question we must always ask ourselves is this: “In what ways can I use my good office like Nehemiah to serve the work of God?”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me give my best as your labourer. Amen
Bible Study: Nehemiah 8:1-12, Psalm 19 and Luke 10:1-12).