YEAR B: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: VERY RICH HARVEST, BUT ONLY FEW LABOURERS. WHY?
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.’” Matthew 9:36-37.
When Jesus saw the massive crowd approaching in today’s Gospel passage, his heart was moved with compassion. The situation of the crowd in today’s Gospel passage is no different from the situation of millions of people all over the world today who constantly face harassment and helplessness.
For instance, in our society today, we are like sheep without a shepherd; we have people in power who have betrayed the trust of the ordinary citizens and now use that power to sponsor and encourage terrorism, ethnic cleansing and religious violence. Innocent lives are being lost and we are told to either give up our lands or face death.
Jesus saw all of these and referred to it as harvest and at the same time noted that this particular harvest lacks sufficient labourers. God wants to intervene but He needs people. We are the labourers. Each time you feel a push deep down within your heart to refuse bribe, to visit the sick, to help the poor, to clothe the naked, to convert a sinner and so on, God is inviting you to labour for Him.
Too often, we turn down God’s invitation because we feel overwhelmed like one trying to empty an ocean with a cup. Mankind’s problems are too many but then, for failing to do the little we can, we contribute further to the shortage of labourers in this ever rich harvest.
Jesus did His best, He cast out demons from many; He healed the sick. Matthew tells us Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching, proclaiming the Good news, curing every disease and every sickness. However, Jesus did not do everything and as the Stations of the Cross will say: “The work of love I have begun, you must now continue.”
How well do I labour for God? As a politician, a businessman, or even a school teacher, do I use my position fully to advance God’s kingdom? Or am I simply interested in making money?
You see, the major reason for the shortage of labourers is that many do not know they are labourers. And even those who claim to be labourers are more on the destructive side. Imagine the Pharisees claiming that Jesus was casting out demons by the ruler of demons! In our first reading, Hosea describes the all-too- common situation of people who claim to be labourers but are not. He says, they have multiplied altars but at the same time, they have multiplied sinfulness. “The LORD does not accept them. Now he will remember their iniquity, and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.” Hosea 8:13
Labour for God; be a part of the solution; not the problem.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace of sincerity and truth in my calling and empower me to labour generously for your kingdom. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hosea 8:4-13, Psalm 115:3-10, Matthew 9:32-38).