In the gospel reading yesterday (Luke 10:1-12), we hear that Jesus sends out 72 of His disciples because “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” Seasonally, the harvest is abundant here in Wisconsin. The time of the year has come to reap the benefits of the seeds planted in the spring. And when we pray Psalm 27, “I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living” at this time of year, we do tend to see all the good parts of the earth that God has created for us. Food like apples and pumpkins….sustenance for the animals like hay and corn….leaves changing colors which reminds us that God has the best set of crayons…..
But what else are we supposed to harvest? What seeds have we planted? I’d like to suggest that we use our stories to ‘harvest’ the seeds we’ve planted in others to bring them closer to Christ. Because those people are also the “good things in the land of the living” (Psalm 27) and unique, beloved members of the Kingdom of God. And we should use our stories to rebuild the Church because at this time in history, although the Kingdom of God is at hand (Luke 10:9), the Church is struggling to survive in a world that loves materialism, relativism, individualism and selfishness.
But the harvest requires work….hard labor….persistence….and perseverance. We have to be ready to answer Jesus’ call…to go out…to forsake distraction, to forsake sin and do this work. We have to be open to letting Christ rebuild our souls so that we can help rebuild His Church. And we should look towards saints like St. Francis of Assisi (feast day-Oct 4) and St. Faustina (feast day-Oct 5) who inspire us and challenge us to be like the 72 disciples that Jesus sent into the “land of the living” because the “harvest is abundant.”
May we all be inspired by the Spirit to answer God’s call and enter the harvest.
Peace and blessings,
Deborah Gretzinger (No R.E.-Gretz)