December 5, 2020

The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

What’s the good of having an abundant harvest unless people are willing to work in the fields to collect the bounty? Jesus makes it clear that his gathering a group around him was so that he could send them out to cure and to drive out unclean spirits. That continues to be the mission of the church. We do not become sisters and brothers of Jesus simply to “save our souls.” We are baptized into Christ’s life so that we can share that life with others.

As we look forward to the feast of Christmas, we know that Jesus has already come and will do so again at the end of time. The feasts that we celebrate in the meantime are to remind us that the work Jesus has begun is now ours to carry forward. Jesus hopes to shake us out of an individualistic vision of personal sanctification to a zeal for mission. He deputes us to transform the world with his own vision and ideals.

The gospel tells us that Jesus “at the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” when Jesus saw people in need, he was moved with compassion. As Isaiah tells us in the first reading, “he will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you (30-21). In the same way, Father Eymard felt compassion for the rag pickers of Paris; they were the refuse of society, so he tended to their material and spiritual needs.

Prayer is our first commitment for mission.

Let Us Pray:

O loving God, make gentle my heart so that it is open to hearing the cry of the poor so that I can reach out to the marginalized and feel compassion for those in need.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.