Readings: Hosea 8:4-7,11-13, Ps. 115:3-10, Matthew 9:32-37

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he told 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 that of millions of people worldwide 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 ordinary citizens and now use that power to sponsor and encourage terrorism, ethnic cleansing and religious violence. 

- Jesus saw all of these and referred to them as harvest and, at the same time, noted that this particular harvest lacked sufficient labourers. God wants to intervene, but He needs people. And we are the labourers. Visit the sick, help the poor, clothe the naked, and make efforts to convert a sinner. God is inviting you to labour for Him. If you are in a position to help salvage the spate of attacks on catholic priests, please do something. Labour in this harvest for God.

- Too often, we reject God’s invitation because we feel overwhelmed like one trying to empty an ocean with a cup. Mankind’s problems are too many, but by failing to do the little we can, we worsen the problem. Jesus did not solve all the problems in the world, but He did His best. He touched lives. He made good use of His power and authority. Matthew tells us Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching, proclaiming the good news, and curing every disease and sickness. You, too, can do something.

- As much as it is good to be part of this harvest, remember that when you decide to work for God, people will hate you and try to discourage you by spreading false tales about you. Imagine the Pharisees claiming that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of demons! Working for good should never be an attempt to look good or to please others. If you seek to please people in this life, you will never achieve anything, but if you seek to please God, no haters will ever stop you from fulfilling your destiny.

- In today’s 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). What kind of a labourer am I? Am I winning souls for Christ or destroying every atom of religion in them? People can be deceived, but God cannot. It would be better not to labour in God’s vineyard than to become a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give us the grace of sincerity and truth in our calling and empower us to labour generously for your kingdom. 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.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. May God’s abundant blessings be upon us all. (Tuesday of week 14 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hosea 8:4-7,11-13, Ps. 115:3-10, Matthew 9:32-37).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu