Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The harvest is great, but the laborers are few

As we pray with Pope Benedict that many young people may hear the call of Christ and follow him in the priesthood and religious life, let us turn to a reflection by Fernando Cavada-Guzman, a Chilean layman, father, grandfather, and vice-president of communications for Serra International, an organization dedicated to praying and supporting vocations.

The Lord Jesus said to his apostles ‘The harvest is great, but the laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest, then, that he may send laborers into his harvest.’ (Lk.10:2) Today, too, the harvest is great and the laborers are few. In some places in the world we might say that there is no shortage of priests or of religious men and women, that the faithful are well provided for, well supported by enough priests. But the reality is that in the majority of local churches the shortage of men and women especially consecrated to the Lord is very strongly evident; many communities all over the Catholic world do not have pastors who encourage them to live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ; there are priestless parishes in many places; that means that on many Sundays or feast-days the Eucharist is not celebrated in those parishes; the faithful in those parishes do not celebrate the LORD’S SUPPER, do not celebrate CHRIST’S SACRIFICE. …

Certainly the Lord calls, certainly he is calling now and will never cease to call, but this call needs a response from the man or woman who is called. This response is blocked today by the secularism and materialism that consume our societies – and that is where the Holy Father asks us to intervene. The Church is made up of all the baptized, so we are responsible, laypeople together with our pastors, that the Lord may have enough ‘laborers for his harvest.’ His Holiness asks us to pray, in this intention, that many young people may be able to receive Christ’s call, and follow him in the priesthood and in religious life, so that there may never be a lack of holy religious, men and women, who may sanctify his Church and us, his children.

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