Jesus in today Gospel is telling us: "The harvest is plentiful, bit the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
What does He mean? (Story about farming)
How man people are there in Gusheigu? How many are catholics?
How many outstations do we have in our parish? How many of them are baptized? Who are teaching them? Quizzes in different stations: who is the bishop of our diocese? Some said: bishop John Boawa (prayer leader), bishop Mathew Duut (catechist),...; Can a bishop write bible? Some said a bishop can write something and call it sacred scripture, it will be.
What Jesus says is very much practical for today situation in our parish!
So what shall we do?
- Pray for vocations, more young people will open their hearts to answer God's call and go out to preach the Words of God.
- Encourage your our children to commit themselves to God in special ways like becoming priests, reverend brothers and sisters, catechists, ...
How many priests have been working in our parish since the beginning?
How many reverend sisters, seminarians...?
How many of priests, sisters, seminarians have you you offered to the church?
So we have to pray and encourage our children to dedicate themselves to serve God in special way which is through priesthood and religious life, in other words, to be men and women of God.
What does a man or woman of God look like?
Many of us are thinking that priests and religious are having an easy life. I am tell you that you should encourage the young generation to follow God, but don't tell them that 'being a priest or reverend sister, you will have a better life, you will not worry about anything again, the Church will take good care of you, and so on.' Because no matter how the reality is Lord Jesus Christ tells his disciples and us that:
"I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. It means it will not be easy, you will be in danger, like missionaries having been persecuted here and there everyday. Beside, being a priest or religious, you will be criticized by people. It is said that 'to get married, you are to be in-law of one family, but being a missionary, you are in-law of thousand families of whom your are the minister. And it is not easy to satisfy the wills of such number of people.
Carry no bag, no sandals. He or she should not get stuck to the material things. They are to travel light.
Salute no one on the road. It is not an instruction to discourtesy; but means that the man of God must not turn aside or linger on the lesser things while the great things call him. He or she has to focus on the mission, on what they suppose to do. (Once I was driving and tried to greet somebody, when I finished I nearly hid the electricity pole). If we do not concentrate well we may spoil the work and even ourselves.
Eat what is set before you. It seems easy, but it is not. Because there is a saying that 'delicacy of somebody can be poison of some one else'. If you go somewhere and do not eat tizet for one month and everyday you eat only soup with plenty water, leaves, some seafood and noodle, you will see what will happen. Your tears will start coming out by itself and you will long to go home.
Sisters and brothers,
We have been talking about those who are interested in becoming priests, religious or missionaries, but the call to be peacemaker of Jesus today is for everybody. Jesus told seventy disciples "Whatever house you enter, first say: "peace be to this house". He is also telling us to bring peace to wherever we find ourselves in. When you see somebody troubled or upset, speak a gentle word to comfort the person. If you see some one quarreling, it may not be wise to come between them just then. But later, try to talk to them on positive side and help to heal the hurt. (Once I saw an accident that two motorbikes crashed one another, and the two riders started shouting at each other, even fighting. Lucky enough, when they came down a bit, one gentle man came in and said "oh friends, are you hurt?" They said "no"! He said: "We thank God, we thank God, no thing serious happened. You all are so lucky." That was all. The two of them stopped fighting and went on their ways.
I am sure that the gentle man was happy when he helped the two riders to solved the problem nicely like that.
Sisters and brothers in Christ,
If you want to be happy, be a peacemaker. If you want peace to be flowing over you like a river as God promises in the first reading, be a peace-carrier. If you love to have wealth like an overflowing stream, be the messenger of love. If you like to be comforted by God like a child comforted by its' mother (see Is 66,10-14), be a man of God and walk by his commandments (see Gl 6,14-18) . After all, you shall see the hand of God is with you, his servants (see Is 66, 14c). Amen.