October 3, 2019
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” (Luke 10:1-12)
We have all been in situations when we were facing what seemed like an impossible task. It was too big and would require more time and energy than we would have had to get it done. Too big and too time-consuming if we tried to do it alone; but with help the task suddenly became manageable.
That reality plays out in today’s Gospel. Getting all of us to do God’s work is a daunting task. I wonder sometimes why God didn’t just “program” all of us human beings to do His will. Why did He add free will to the mix and make things more difficult? My guess is that He wanted us to commit on our own and thus take ownership of the work that needed to be done. No worker works harder than one who has buy in.
Luke’s Gospel tells the story of the “sending out” of 72 disciples. These were 72 men who had bought in and could now do the work of Jesus – bringing the Good News to those who had not yet been exposed, healing the sick, caring for the poor, and preparing all they met for the coming of Jesus Christ.
This type of work is never done. Today Jesus sends us out as well. We have had the benefit of hearing His message and we know what needs to be done. Our creed states: “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church…” If we truly believe these words we pray at Mass each Sunday (or else why would we say them?), then we accept that we are apostles, and accept the responsibility of going out to do God’s work.
When we all accept this responsibility, nothing is impossible. The 72 found this to be true, reporting back to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name!” Jesus responded to them, and will respond to us if we choose to do His work: “…rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”