Labourers in the Harvest (Tuesday, Week 14)
Hosea is one of the ‘minor prophets’ - not because of their importance but because their books are quite short. He lived in the C8 BC, around the same time as Amos who we heard last week. He complains about the lack of leadership in Israel (or more specifically the tribe of Ephraim); as a result, the people have lost their way and begun worshipping false gods made of silver and gold ‘ ‘a workman made the thing, this cannot be God!’
In the Gospel, Jesus also looks at the people with sympathy, because they are like sheep without a shepherd. ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest.’ We often hear this phrase when we pray for vocations, especially for those to the Priesthood - which indeed we do - but it’s more general than that. The harvest is not just something somebody else does. We all have a part to play as labourers. We all act as shepherds and show people the right way, away from the idols of our time - in our families and friendship groups, at work and play.
The labourers, of course, always feel overwhelmed; they need to look to God, ‘the Lord of the harvest,’ not only to send more labourers (‘reinforcements’) but to give us the grace to persevere and to spread the good news.