The Harvest is Great, The Labourers Few

– Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier –

‘When Jesus 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; so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” “As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.”’   [Matthew 9:37-38, 10:7-8]

God’s love is revealed in scripture. An example of that is this particularly beautiful passage from the prophet Ezekiel: “Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Ezekiel 34:11-12).

This is God’s promise to each of us personally, that he will search us out, find us and rescue us should we ever be lost. All each of us need do is to call out to God. Then, in turn, we too are to go in search of the lost. We are to go out on mission, to be the hands and feet of Jesus serving others and revealing God’s love to everyone we meet.

As we see in today’s gospel reading, Jesus sent his disciples out on mission. This can be daunting for us, because we often don’t know where to start. Little do we realise that the admission that we are unsure is the ideal starting point. We stand before God with empty hands and we quietly ask God to show us what he’d like us to do and how he would like us to do it. We will have to return to that prayer again and again.

That’s alright, for that is the prayer that begins to transform us into truly being a son or daughter of God. Gradually we start to reveal his love for us almost without our being aware of it. This is our true mission – to reveal God’s love to the world.


by Lisa McKerr

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