“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
In Numbers 11:16, God told Moses to select seventy elders upon whom the spirit of the Lord would descend, enabling them with the power to assist Moses. By appointing seventy, Jesus passed on a very strong message: He is the new Moses, and this seventy would receive the Holy Spirit to serve as His assistants.
Nevertheless, according to Jesus, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few”, meaning that the work is always more than the labourers available. The question is: why is there such an imbalance? Why do those who embrace God’s work become overwhelmed with too much work, mental exhaustion, fatigue, burn-out, depression, etc.?
The answer is that even the labourers who assist Jesus need assistance. As laypersons, we cannot afford to leave the work of evangelisation entirely to the ordained clergy.
In our first reading today, we see how the people were touched when they heard the word of God read to them by Ezra, the priest. This reading of the Book of the Law would not have been possible without the ground-breaking work of Nehemiah, who rose from the position of cup-bearer to Governor of Judah.
If Nehemiah were not passionate about the faith of Israel, he would have remained in his position as cupbearer to the King. God elevates us when we make ourselves available for His service. Nehemiah is a role model for every Christian who is neither a priest nor a religious.
As laypersons, we find ourselves at a vantage point because we can reach places even the Pope may not enter. We must always ask: “In what ways can I use my good office like Nehemiah to promote the work of God?”
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, help me give my best as your labourer. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Nehemiah 8:1-12, Ps. 19:8-11, Luke 10:1-12).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu