The Harvest is in Crisis
THURSDAY: Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
The Harvest is in Crisis
The world is in the grip of a moral crisis. Allegiance to God and to Christ is plummeting. Humankind can no longer tell the difference between their left hand and their right. The commandments are becoming increasingly meaningless for this generation. The human soul is great jeopardy. Meanwhile, the Church in the world is becoming progressively passive and unresponsive to the historical, social, political, economic and religious ignorance that is breeding a soulless generation.
That I think this is an apt description of what Jesus meant when he said “’ The harvest is rich but the labourers are few.’” Put differently, the Church in the world has lost its prophet voice; there is a critical need for people like Nehemiah and Ezra to gather the nations and to instruct them in the ways of God. The reapers of hell are by far much harder at work while the harvesters of the kingdom are like fiddlers on the roof. Today’s Gospel is timely; it is applicable to our present dilemma. How? Why?
The soul of humankind is the wheat of the kingdom. To put this more succinctly St. Paul describes us as single grains of wheat gathered, ground and colaced by the grace of the sacraments to form a single loaf (1Cor.10:17). This is a metaphor for the Mystical Body of Christ. By the power of the Word, God harvests our souls and by the grace of the sacraments, he binds us together to form one body in Christ. This is what Paul meant by one loaf – we become one bread with Christ. In other words, we become symbols of righteousness, hope, love and nourishment for the holistic development of others while still in the world. What is holding back the process of becoming one bread with Christ? What is hampering us from becoming proactive reapers with Christ?
The same attractions toward materialism, individualism, the quest for power, popularity and timidity Jesus warned against (Lk.10:4-5) have been unsparing in their efforts for today’s clergy. We are stuck hard and fast in their grip. Thus, we are unable to witness like Christ and the apostles who went before us. The short-term goals are clouding our vision and hampering our movements while the harvest is languishing and the enemy is plundering the fields and feasting at the expense of the kingdom. It has become easier for many to patronize the congregation than to harvest their souls for the kingdom.
Jesus is once again extending a clarion call to his Church and his disciples. Wake up! Do like Nehemiah, like Ezra. Go out to the whole world proclaim the Good News in and out of season (2Tim.4:1-3). For this is what Christ commissioned the Church to do from its inception (Matt.28:19). Arise, my friends, the harvest is indeed rich and ready for harvesting. Let us brandish our pruning shears and sickles and be on the move. Time is against us. God is counting on us.
Lord, I am in your hands. Use me as your shears and your sickle.