The Harvest and the Laborers
By Bro. Jerson Hiponia
Lk 10:1-12, 17-20
The focal point of today’s gospel is “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” Jesus sends His disciples as “laborers” for a mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God, perform healings and bring the message of Jesus to communities the group pass by on their way to Jerusalem. This is not an easy task for the disciples because going to the “harvest” entails challenges, uncertainty and even danger. Yet, the disciples have faithfully followed Jesus and worked bravely and passionately for the “harvest.”
The gospel message “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” is still relevant today. The world is divided yet globalized. People are divided because of corruption, selfishness, power, and greed. We are also living in a globalized world where everything is influenced by technology, power, consumerism, and individualism at the expense of the poor. These present-day realities pull many people away from the Church especially the young ones. Moreover, even the people in the church are also divided because of scandals, corruptions, and abuse of power. Worse, some of them are the ones causing division among the people of God and making the lives of people working in the parishes difficult.
These places of division and chaos, where Christ is not felt and followed, are precisely the area of the “harvests.” These broken Christian communities that probably started as faithful followers of our Lord are essentially in need of the kind of “laborers” that are like the disciples of Jesus in our reading. The needed laborers must be aware that they are the spokespersons of Jesus ready to do the mission entrusted to them. They must be themselves faithful Christians whose focus of being is singularly Jesus Christ. However, currently the “laborers” in the church, bishops, priests, parish lay workers and catechists, are very few compared to the enormous number of Christians in our country, and in the world. The Church needs more laborers to change the communities worldwide so that the Catholic Church could truly become a mirror of the Kingdom of God on earth.
The challenge of this message of God “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” is not only a call for the people to offer their lives to serve God, but for the people in the Church to see their real mission entrusted to them by Jesus. Isn’t it every Christian’s responsibility to help Christian communities remain united and faithful to our Lord Jesus? Hence, with all the situations of the “harvest” communities in the world and in the Church today, the “laborers” are reminded that they should serve the people by following closely the disciples of Jesus like Sts. Peter, John, James and Paul, who bravely and passionately faced the mission of building, rebuilding and unifying the divided and broken communities in their time. Jesus’ disciples even took special care for the last, the least and the lost, the preferential option they learned first-hand from their master. May the “laborers” of the Kingdom today be like the disciples so that those who are excluded, especially the poor may feel the spirit of belongingness in the one Church of God.