July 7, 2013 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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THE HARVEST IS ABUNDANT……….WORKERS ARE ALWAYS NEEDED (Lk.10:1-12; 17-20) For me, this particular passage of Luke’s Gospel always reads like a scolding – “Not enough of you are stepping up to the plate to hit the ball! How about some home runs, Guys and Gals!” The text is frequently used by vocation directors and those who are in charge of formation of clergy and religious sisters and brothers. When I entered the convent, there were lots of us, and we had a lot of fun as a group going through the religious training period. Today, the world is very different and there are very few individuals thinking about ordained priesthood or religious life in service of the Church. Today, young people do not have much experience of permanence and a life-long commitment to service of others. And that’s OK, because we know for certain that God gives vocations; God is the Host who invites individuals to a particular way of life – this could be Marriage or the Single Life as well as Ordination or Religious Profession. Maybe it’s really all about Lay Ministry and a Universal Call to Holiness…Now that’s an open- door message! Maybe we all need to re-read this passage in Luke and realize that God is speaking to each and every one of us. The harvest is indeed abundant and the laborers are few! How can we understand this message and connect the dots correctly?

Each one of us can do some part of the labor to spread the Good News of our loving and generous and forgiving God. Each one of us can be a sign of this God-among-us! The spin on this Gospel invites each of us to go out to the nearby villages and towns as bearers of the Good News of Jesus Christ. It challenges us to go where we are known and ‘received’ and to stay there and live the message we bring. We are not to leave unless folks stop listening or no longer collaborate with us. Then it’s about shaking the dust from our sandals and moving on to other situations and other possibilities where we are heard, where the door is open. It’s now the heart of summertime; the doors and windows are open; people are outside and enjoying the weather; there’s room for good-news gatherings and conversations! Summer finds us a little more laid back and more relaxed, and this kind of atmosphere allows for dialog and the movement of the Holy Spirit. May the season challenge and inspire all of us with Gospel fever!

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