|Hosea 8:4-7, 11-13
Psalm 115:3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10
"The harvest is plenty but the laborers are few; so ask the master
of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
I hear you, Jesus! I hear your message. I know, you need help out there in the fields and of course I want to help you in your cause.
The harvest is plenty, but I need laborers in this work. Come with me into the fields.
Yes, I want to. I really long to follow you and when I pray, I know thatís the right direction. Into the fields with you, laboring at your side with the people you love. Call me; take me with you, Jesus. I want to answer your invitation because I know you mean it for me.
But where should I go to serve? My heart is moved by your call and I think of working with the villagers in our universityís Latin American clinical programs, living among the families in the villages and spending my summer helping with their medical needs. I would be compassionate, brave and loving and so open to you if only I were there.
Or, it would be easy to feel like I was laboring in the fields if maybe I was teaching in a big inner city program for disadvantaged kids or if I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps or the Peace Corps. But Iím 48, Iíve got two teenagers, a husband and a house. Where is the service in that?
I stand before you and feel your incredibly loving gaze on me, your supporting hand on my shoulder. ďWhat else can I do for you?Ē I ask weakly. I feel lost, vulnerable and suddenly empty. What about the people you have put in my life? Canít I be more patient with those I see as lazy? More loving to those I judge so harshly as incompetent? Why canít I love as you do, without limits and without my own bias?
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.
Dear Lord, help me. I am troubled and abandoned. I think Iím the one who needs help and caring Ė Iím certainly not good enough to be the one doing the caring. But you are so full of love. You see me for my many faults, my impatience, my tendency to judge so harshly, to be so afraid of so much.
Come with me into the fields.
Yet you call me. You know me so well, and love me so intensely.
And you call me. I hear you and I will come. I will rely on
you for the courage to not be afraid, for the patience and kindness to
not judge. Help me to serve. Help me to love. Help me
to work alongside you in the harvest.
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