In today’s gospel, Jesus says, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” As we begin reading the 10th chapter of Matthew’s gospel tomorrow where Jesus calls for disciples, we may think of the need of our church for more priests and religious. We certainly need more priests and religious today.
But they’re not the only laborers needed for God’s great harvest. What about laborers for places where priests and religious will never be? And what about the harvest itself, where does that happen?
I’m sure at one time or another you have overheard people at a restaurant or on a bus or at some gathering discussing religion. “What do you think of the pope?” “Do you think there’s life after death?” “Do you think Jesus is really God?” Often the questions go unanswered or wrongly answered because there’s no laborer there to cast in seeds of truth.
The harvest is waiting in a lot of places..
Jesus spoke about the laborers for the harvest as he moved from town to town in Galilee and saw “troubled and abandoned” crowds, Matthew’s gospel says. We need to ask for laborers to walk among crowds like that today. Maybe we need to recognize there’s a harvest not far from where we are, “troubled and abandoned,” at a table nearby.