Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest…
Written by Fr. Colin
There is a powerful moment in St. Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus tells 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” (Matt 9:37-38). The context of this stirring phrase is that Jesus has been preaching the Good News and healing the diseases and infirmities of the people. But suddenly, in a moment of sublime love and concern, he looks around at all the crowds who have gathered, and we are told that “he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” Now, we might think, “well great, Jesus, you can just fix that, can’t you??” Well yes, in fact, he can! But rather than fix it with a snap of his fingers, Jesus instead tells his disciples to pray…why? He tells us all to pray that our Church might be blessed with priests, deacons, and consecrated men and women, who will dedicate their whole lives to serving in the vineyard!
On July 14, Holy Name of Jesus will be hosting a beautiful event in which we as a parish will have the opportunity to make that same prayer to “the Lord of the harvest.” Throughout the year, parishes in our Archdiocese have been hosting a Holy Hour for Vocations, and on July 14, the Holy Hour comes to HNOJ. In this time of prayer, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar for Adoration so that we can look at Our Lord Jesus face to face and share with Him everything that is on our hearts. On this particular occasion, our prayer as a community will be that same prayer which Jesus taught us to say: to “ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.” We will be able to ask Him to bless our local church with those who are needed for His work. And perhaps, most importantly, we will ask for the grace to open our hearts to His gentle invitation, whether that means listening for God’s call in our own life, or opening up our homes and our families to whatever way the Lord might be using them. It’s hard to find a more powerful prayer than that!
The event will take place on Tuesday, July 14, from 7 to 8 p.m., right here at Holy Name of Jesus. We will follow all the COVID-19 protocols as we have done at Mass since our return: social distancing, sanitization of pews before and after, encouragement of masks, and no congregational singing. Since we will not be receiving Communion – only praying to Our Lord in the monstrance – we will not have to worry at all about moving around. So providentially, this event will allow us to easily follow those guidelines, while also spending time under Jesus’ loving gaze. I do pray that you will be able to join us!