EMPOWERING THE LABOURERS

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_*“And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.” (Matthew 10:1)*_

Feeling pity for the crowd because they were like sheep without a shepherd, Jesus remarked that the harvest was plentiful, but the labourers were few. Immediately, Jesus set out to do something about this. First, he prayed for more labourers and called the twelve to commission them for evangelisation. In doing this, Jesus taught us to go beyond complaining or worrying about our problems.

– Learn from Jesus; identify the problem, pray, and act in faith. Most of us are good at identifying our problems, but we easily become overwhelmed by their magnitude. We either fail to pray or fail to act with faith. Do that which is in your power to do. It may be very small compared to the problem but do it. Let it become a mustard-seed action planted in faith. Jesus came to save the whole world, yet He chose to begin his ministry with only twelve workers. It doesn’t make sense mathematically to send twelve men when you have a problem involving millions, but this teaches us the power of small actions taken in faith.

– None of these men was perfect; they were all ‘work-in-progress’, and one would turn around to betray Jesus. This teaches us that God is not interested in working with perfect people; rather, He prefers those who are weak – those who admit they are weak and in need of God. During the party at Matthew’s house, Jesus said, I have not come to call the righteous but sinners. (cf. Matthew 9:13). You don’t need to be perfect to work for God but must be willing to let God use you.

– Why did Jesus choose such imperfect people? Why does he continue to choose weak vessels today? St. Paul says: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-29)

– God will never give you an assignment without the necessary tools required for that assignment. Jesus knew the battle ahead. He knew He would risk too much if He sent his disciples “empty-handed.” Jesus did not give them money. He gave them that which is more than money – authority to cast out demons and to heal diseases and infirmity. Do you feel there is something God wants you to do? Start it now. Everything has already been provided. Take a small leap of faith today and keep moving. Everything will start working for you (cf. Romans 8:28). If Abraham had not raised his knife to kill Isaac, he would have never noticed the ram. When you start (no matter how small), you will begin to see what God has arranged for you.

– As we pray for an increase in vocations, we must always remember to pray for an increase in Grace for those who have answered the call already. Over time, we start to forget or underestimate the authority we have. We could become too relaxed in our prayer life or even reach a point when we believe everything depends on us. In such moments, we must re-ignite the fire of our calling. Hosea says in today’s First reading that we must return to God. “It is time to seek the Lord that He may come and rain salvation on us.” (Hosea 10:12). Anointing does not expire. God can never stop loving you. Like the Prodigal Father, He is waiting for your return.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, you empowered your disciples. Renew your Holy Spirit daily so we may not grow weak in your vineyard. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Bible Study: Hosea 10:1-3,7-8,12, Ps. 105:2-7, Matthew 10:1-7).*

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu

 

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