In this morning's Gospel from Matthew, we hear: "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'."
On Sunday the Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke to seminarians, novices and others contemplating vocations. In his homily Pope Francis said this: "In the Gospel we heard: 'Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest' (Lk 10:2). The laborers for the harvest are not chosen through advertising campaigns or appeals for service and generosity, but they are 'chosen' and 'sent' by God. For this, prayer is important. The Church, as Benedict XVI has often reiterated, is not ours, but God's; the field to be cultivated is his. The mission, then, is primarily about grace. And if the Apostle is born of prayer, he finds in prayer the light and strength for his action. Our mission ceases to bear fruit, indeed, it is extinguished the moment the link with the source, with the Lord, is interrupted."
Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood have reached challenging levels. We have run campaigns, put up billboards, enlisted the help of the faithful to suggest names, promoted vocations, prayed our Diocesan Vocation Prayer, and still our numbers are slim. We need to continue to do the same, but all of us, those called by God and those in need of those so called, need to spend time on our knees. We need to pray that ears be open, that hearts be responsive, that service be seen as honorable, that the Gospel be lived and preached, and ultimately to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
In our busy, distracted world, this becomes an uphill struggle. May we find the courage to let the Lord be the Lord.