YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: RICH HARVEST BUT FEW LABOURERS
BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi
HOMILY: GOSPEL: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
My dearest brothers and sisters peace be with your spirit as we gather on this 14th Sunday to listen and meditate on the words of life from our master Jesus. He is the word and the preacher. Let’s open our hearts and welcome His message.
The readings of today speak to us about the harvest being rich and few labourers willing to work, thus reminding us that God needs more hands and more commitment to the work of evangelization( harvest of souls) The question is, are you ready to offer yourself as a committed labourer to the work of God?
A line in the Gospel pericope says: “The harvest is abundant but the labourers are few”. If we clearly understand the term ‘Harvest’ it means the act of gathering crops. But here the Bible does not imply crops but the harvest of souls. But think of it, we are not the ones planting but simply called to work as labourers in harvesting souls in the vineyard of the Lord. There are many lost souls that we need to save, truly salvation belongs to God but we must cooperate with God in leading straying souls back to Him and in teaching the ignorant ones. So this is exactly why God needs more committed labourers to work for Him and He provides the ways and the means to accomplish it. “ Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.”
– St. Theresa of Avila
We must labour to save souls. A labourer works for money and deserves his wages, but in the vineyard of God our reward or wages for good labour is Heaven, this is what Christ meant when He says to His disciples … rejoice rather for your names are written in heaven. We also have to bear it in mind that: “ You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.”
– Catherine of Sienna
Poor remuneration or material gains may partly be the reason behind the shortage of labourers in the Lord’s vineyard or the reason why those already in the vineyard are not really committed in their labours. Many indeed are not willing to work where the pay is not handsome or attractive enough, if they accept to work however, they work as hired labourers and not as shepherds. There is a serious decline in the number of vocation to the priesthood and religious life, we need to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send more labourers to His vineyard.
Every Christian is called to be a labourer in this rich harvest of the Lord. Each person has his or her own unique role to play. We all have a share of our own work which may be volunteering to works of charity in the parish apostolate or drawing people closer to God by our good example. Our talents and gifts must be invested in this harvest. Sure, It is not going to be an easy task, we shall encounter a lot of challenges because we are being sent as lambs among wolves, but there is no fear because God provides whatever we need to be successful. Monetary or material rewards should not be the motivating factor to this mission but the desire to see the work of God progress.
Christ is sending us out daily. At the end of each mass, we are being sent to go in peace and evangelize the world. Christ sent the 72 in pairs to remind us that we need to collaborate in this mission, it is not a one-man-show. Our mission is that of bringing peace and healing to all men and women. Christ did not send His disciples to go and convert people to Christianity or preach religious superiority, but to take the message of peace (peaceful coexistence) to them and whoever rejects peace, rejects God outrightly . We are called to be messengers and harbingers of peace in words and action. We are called to offer physical and spiritual healing to the sick especially those who have lost faith and hope in God. We are called to heal the brokenhearted and our troubled world. Pondering on what is happening in many parts of the world especially in Nigeria, I shed tears and keep asking when would peace return to our land? who will heal our land? I am very certain the God has not abandoned us, He is always there for us but we must work together( labour) as a people to restore peace and heal our land from the poverty, ignorance, insensitivity, bad leadership and wickedness that has crippled it economically and spiritually. May the peace of Christ reign in our hearts.
Christ has promised to offer us comfort and to spread prosperity over us like a river, as we heard in the first reading; so let that be our consolation and strength as we labour for a richer harvest of souls.
With St. Paul’s may we boast with nothing but the cross of Christ; Enduring every hardship with hope and faith in God who has called us to labour in His vineyard.” There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already born for us, and does not now bear with us.”
– John Paul II
May God fill us with His grace in this Eucharistic celebration.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem C. Aladi