(Mt 9: 32-38)
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
“The Harvest is abundant, but the worker are few…”
There used to be a common misconception that only priests or religious are called to do the work of evangelization. Lay people who try to actively participate in the life and mission of the Church are playfully referred to as pseudo-priests. Lay preaching is often associated with Protestant and fundamentalists than with Catholicism. Obviously, we seem to have not really taken to heart what the Second Vatican Council said about evangelization as our common vocation-clergy, religious and laypeople alike. “All share a true equality with regard to the dignity and the activity common to all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ.” (Lumen Gentium, 32).
Thus when Jesus asked his disciples to pray that “the master of the harvest send more laborers to gather his harvest,” the call was not addressed just to a few but to all who are baptized Christians. The laity are expected no longer just to say “amen” and to “pray, pay and obey.” Thankfully, lay people have assumed a more active role in the Church as shown in their participation in various ministries in Church as well as in Basic Ecclesial Communities, renewal movements and covenanted communities. The fidelity and success of the church depends on its members-clergy, religious and lay people alike.
Daily Gospel 2017