Daily Reflection
July 6th, 1999
Tamora Whitney
Genesis 32:23-33
Matthew 9:32-38
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Jesus sees that the people are confused and need spiritual guidance.  They are like sheep without a shepherd.  They do not know which direction to go.  Earlier in this gospel when Jesus has performed a miracle by driving a demon from a man and healing him, his own work is misconstrued.  The Pharisees accuse him of being in cahoots with the demons, and because of that being able to call forth demons.  Even miracles are not sufficient to point people in the right direction.

Jesus sees there is much work to be done.  The people need direction and spiritual guidance, but there are too few people available to do this work, to provide guidance and direction.  The harvest is plenty, but laborers are few.  People need to provide guidance through their own good spiritual examples and sharing with those lost folks who need direction.  Two weeks ago the gospel message was that anyone who puts anything or anyone before God is not worthy of God.  People who love even their families more than they love God are not worthy of God.  True laborers who have this kind of faith, dedication and devotion are few.

Living a spiritual life is not easy.  It takes focus and dedication, and is often a struggle.  In the first reading from Genesis Jacob is struggling.  In fact, he is physically wrestling.  In the end, however, he is blessed because of this struggle.  Itís a struggle to put God first and foremost in our lives.  Itís a struggle to lead a life of good spiritual example and to help lead the lost and confused in the right direction.  But in the end that struggle becomes a blessing in our lives and in the lives of those we can help.

Jesus is calling us to make God the focus of our lives.  He wants us to be the laborers, to go into the fields and be spiritual guides to the lost people.  This work is hard.  It can be a struggle, but like Jacobís struggle it can bring forth blessings.

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