Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The harvest is plentiful
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” Mt 9,35-38
Whenever, during the holy mass, it happens to hear a sermon on this passage from the gospel, the priest concludes by asking the believers to pray for the priestly vocations; we too pray often enough for this intention. It is true that the harvest is plentiful and that the workers are few, but to realize that Jesus, when he urged to pray to the Father to send more laborers to work for his harvest, was referring only to the priests seems to us a limited understanding. In the vineyard of the Lord there is need for the all of us: the important thing is that the workers, whatever their activity is, work well. In other words, there is need for saints. The saints are the workers who work better. The church and the society need for saints: for holy priests, for married and holy families, for holy politicians and administrators, for holy employers and workers, for holy teachers, for holy artists and sportsmen. Whatever our role in the church, in the family and in society is, if we operate in a holy way, we are good workers, otherwise we may even destroy the good work done by others. Two questions then arise: Who are the saints? What does it mean to operate in an holy way? Like the love, it is also difficult to define the holiness, but when we meet it, we recognize it immediately. However, an initial response is given to us by St. Paul in a Letter to the Corinthians, when he speaks of the body and limbs: “Now the body is not a single part, but many……God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. The eye cannot say to the hand, “ I do not need you” nor again the head to the feet, “I do not need you”. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it”(1 Cor 12,14-27). Each of us, St. Paul says, must operate in the service of the others, as each member of the body does. The spirit of service is a clear sign of holiness. But the real answer is given to us by St. Paul when he explains that the way to work in the service of the others must be in the love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”(1 Cor 13,4-7). This is the true holiness.