THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
AN ABUNDANT HARVEST
October 3, 2013
Today’s gospel: Luke 10:1-12
God’s disciples are empowered to witness, because “the
harvest is abundant” (Lk 10:2a). The work of bringing
in the harvest has been entrusted to God’s people, to
continue the work of Jesus in bringing salvation to all. As
such, God’s workers are given everything they need in
order to do this work. They witness to Jesus, and in this
they are empowered.
harvest is abundant because God went to great lengths to win
salvation for all humankind, sacrificing His very own Son
Jesus. Jesus won salvation on the cross, at the price of his
most precious blood. Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, who
guides, inspires and empowers God’s people to proclaim
that salvation. God wants to restore all humankind to Himself,
and to be with Him eternally in heaven. The work of evangelization
is divine work, carried out through divine power, intended
for a divine purpose. Thus the harvest has been prepared.
But here is the problem: “the laborers are few”
(Lk 10:2b). Now the laborers are supposed to be all Christians,
all those who claim to be followers of Christ, those who are
his disciples. There are two billion of them in the world,
one-third of the whole population. However, most of them are
Christian in name only. Many are lapsed, nominal or cultural
Christians. For the few who can be considered Christian, they
may not be all-out disciples of Jesus, not striving for holiness
or walking the narrow path. And for the very few who are striving
to live the way of Jesus, many of them do not share Christ,
especially Catholics who have no notion of being evangelizers
and thus helping bring in the harvest.
Now for the few workers who participate in bringing in the
harvest, they may not be conducting themselves in the way
they might not be aware that they have entered into intense
spiritual warfare. They are sent “like lambs among wolves.”
(Lk 10:3). They might be trying to do good, but are clueless
as to the intensity of the war that is raging in the heavens
and on earth, with them right in the midst of that conflict.
The enemy is a diabolical spiritual being, not just crime,
injustice, poverty, environmental degradation. These are just
manifestations. So their weapons have to be spiritual as well,
and they need to be clothed in the armor of God.
they may sally forth too much dependent upon their own human
wisdom, power and resources. But what is needed is absolute
dependence on and trust in God. “Carry no money bag,
no sack, no sandals” (Lk 10:4a).
they might be distracted with many worldly things, such that
evangelization is not given the priority it needs. The disciples
are told by Jesus to “greet no one along the way.”
(Lk 10:4b). They must be impressed with the urgency of proclaiming
the gospel. This work is more important that the usual social
interaction or relationships that ordinary people maintain.
While we eat, drink and be merry, people are dying in their
they must know they are bringers of peace. “Into whatever
house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’”
(Lk 10:5). But before they can be instruments of peace, their
own lives must reflect that peace. So are they in right relationships
with others? Do they have resentments or grudges in their
hearts? Have they failed to forgive? Are they intolerant of
the shortcomings of others? Are they into factions or dissension
they are supposed to be instruments of healing, as they “cure
the sick” (Lk 10:9a). This is often in the form not
so much of physical healing, but emotional and spiritual healing.
They share the burdens of others. They counsel. They teach
forbearance and forgiveness. They cry with those who cry.
They point people in pain to Jesus, the great Healer.
they speak of spiritual realities. They say to people, “The
kingdom of God is at hand for you.” (Lk 10:9b). They
point to the need for a deep intimate personal relationship
with Jesus as Savior and Lord. They urge people not just to
lead good lives but holy lives. They help people meet Christ,
live Christ and share Christ.
they must share a deep burden in their hearts for the many
who are lost, ultimately lost to eternal damnation. The work
of evangelization is all about salvation, about eternal life.
It is not so much the peace and joy that is available to a
disciple of Jesus in the here and now, but what happens to
a person in the life that will never end. They must take seriously
the words of Jesus, speaking about those who will reject the
gospel message: “I tell you, it will be more tolerable
for Sodom on that day than for that town.” (Lk 10:12).
They must bear their relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers
and even strangers in their hearts, not wanting them to suffer
the fate of Sodom, of destruction by eternal fire.
us continue to “ask the master of the harvest to send
out laborers for his harvest.” (Lk 10:2c). But know
that it is his harvest. We are just his workers. We do things
his way. We live his life. We carry his heart.
we do, then Jesus will indeed empower us to be his witnesses.
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