October 18, 2017
28th Week in
1st Reading: 2 Tim 4:10–17b
Gospel: Luke 10:1-9
The Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is rich, but the workers are few. So you must ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers to his harvest. Courage! I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Set off without purse or bag or sandals; and do not stop at the homes of those you know.“Whatever house you enter, first bless them saying: ‘Peace to this house.’ If a friend of peace lives there, the peace shall rest upon that person. But if not, the blessing will return to you. Stay in that house eating and drinking at their table, for the worker deserves to be paid. (…)
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life
Andreas was in his late 20’s when I met him in Germany in 2005. I was one of the priests accompanying delegates to the World Youth Day then. He was one of the most active among the youth belonging to the Parish of St. Birgid in Bierstadt of Wiesbaden –the parish that hosted the Days of Encounter of the World Youth Day.
“Do you really aspire for the priesthood?” I asked Andreas to confirm rumors then circulating about him. “Honestly, with the amount of work my parish priest is doing, I don’t see any possibility of me becoming a priest”, he replied. I knew what he was talking about. His parish priest was taking care of four other parishes at the same time. And that priest was not even a native but an Indian missionary. Andreas admitted he was scared of the workload.
Human nature abhors too much work. Surprisingly Jesus introduced his followers abruptly to hard work under harsh conditions. This is clearly off tangent to known management strategies where the recruitment stage is carefully calculated to attract applicants. Jesus, instead, sent off his followers like lambs among wolves. Jesus justified this move by pointing out the mounting work in the vineyard. He had no time to sugarcoat the recruitment process. Had he done so, others with ulterior motives would have jumped into the bandwagon.
Today the Church needs workers who are as selfless as Jesus’ recruits. We know some with ulterior motives have infiltrated the ranks of the workers in the vineyard. As we strive to respond to Jesus’ call for prayers for more workers in the vineyard let us also bear in mind that there is an equally urgent need to pray so that those who respond to such call with ulterior motives may either mature in their motivation or give up the ambition.- (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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