Liturgical Colour : Red
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate with the entire Universal Church, the feast of one of the four great Evangelists, that is the four writers of the Holy Gospels. Today is thus the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, who wrote the Gospel accorded with his name, the Gospel of St. Luke. As a background, St. Luke was once a renowned physician, who became one of the faithful and followed St. Paul in some of his journeys, including what St. Paul wrote in the letter he wrote to Timothy, another faithful disciple of the Lord.
As we can see from what St. Paul shared with Timothy, St. Luke remained faithful and devoted to the tasks entrusted to him. Yes, this is true even though his fellow journeymen had left to pursue their own interests or for various other reasons. They encountered difficulties along the way, and not all the people they were sent to welcomed them. There were indeed instances when they were welcomed and accepted gladly, but more often than not, they literally had the doors slammed on their faces.
This is exactly what Jesus mentioned as He sent His group of seventy-two disciples, who were meant to help both Jesus Himself and His Apostles in the ministries and works they were doing. Jesus mentioned how they would be sent like lambs among wolves. They would not encounter easy works and acceptance easily, but will be constantly subjected to difficulties and suffering. The lambs rightly represent the disciples and the Apostles, while the wolves represent the various people of God, from which a great majority refused to listen to the Word of God.
Remember that in the other occasion in the Gospels, Jesus also mentioned how that as He who is the Lord and Master of all would suffer rejection and suffering at the hands of mankind, the very people of God to whom He had been sent, then His disciples and Apostles, as well as all those who follow Him and walk in His path will also suffer the same fate. Thus, it explained the fate which St. Paul and St. Luke the Evangelist met during their journeys.
But did they stop on their path? No! That is what made them different from those others who gave up along the way, who could not endure the difficulties and challenges and preferred the comfort of their old lives, settling for the less worthy. What can indeed be more worthy than the Lord and to live to proclaim the Lord’s words to the nations? And St. Luke, together with the other saints continued courageously to defend their faith and to continue the hard works for which they are admired and adored now.
Remember what the Lord had said in the Gospel today, in the Gospel written by St. Luke himself, so that we may know it and hear it as if it was spoken directly by the Lord Jesus Himself to us? Yes, that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers and workers are few. So what did Jesus then tell His disciples? Exactly, that they should ask the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers and workers to tend to the harvest. This truly makes sense, as more labourers will help the Lord of the harvest to bring in even more harvest and bring about more bountiful returns.
But what does this mean, brothers and sisters in Christ? This means exactly that the harvest is truly plentiful in our world, and the harvest refers to the people of God, who are ripe for picking and salvation in God, are awaiting for the labourers and workers who serve the Lord, to pick mankind for the Lord of the harvest, that is the Lord our God.
The field itself refers to this world. This world is filled with much difficulties and uncertainties, but it also offers much opportunities and chances for the crops grown in the field of this world. The pests and the weeds that threaten the crops refer to the forces of darkness that is led by Satan, the father of lies and evil, who always try their best to seduce mankind and make them to follow him instead of the Lord.
The rich harvest is a very tempting thing to the pests and weeds, who will definitely try to snatch and destroy the good harvest from the hands of those who collect these rich harvests to the Lord of the harvest. Thus, the same applies to us, as Satan and his fellow fallen angels is out there trying to turn us mankind, by appealing to our human desires and weaknesses, so that we may fall along our path towards the Lord, and then into damnation with them.
The labourers and the workers of the harvest refer to the servants of God, the disciples of Christ and the Apostles, who like St. Luke the Evangelist and many other saints, worked hard and courageously, like lambs among wolves, to ensure that the harvest of the Lord is collected amidst all the pests and the weeds, that is amidst the challenges and difficulties. Their successors, our priests and bishops, and all who devoted themselves to the service of God, continued their hard works even until this very day.
But this does not mean that the works of the Lord are limited to them only. In fact, brothers and sisters in Christ, we too are the workers and servants of the Lord. How is this so? That is because all of us who believe in the Lord and had received the revelation of truth through the Holy Scriptures and the Church, and have been baptised and accepted into the Church of God have the responsibility to spread the Good News of the Lord.
If St. Luke the Evangelist wrote one of the four Holy Gospels and through it countless souls had been saved, then we too can do it in our own way, by showing the faith through our own actions, that show our sincere and genuine faith, which is not in mere words but also through real actions, so that all those who see us, may know that we belong to the Lord, and therefore hopefully they too will seek salvation in God.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples of St. Luke the Evangelist and other holy saints of God, and remembering always the words of the Lord, how the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, let us all pray sincerely and fervently, so that we may truly know and understand what we can do in order to help the works of God in the salvation of mankind.
May Almighty God bless us all and strengthen us, that we may courageously take up the cross and bear the mission entrusted to us, so that we may help the works of God, saving many others who await God’s salvation and who still live in the darkness of the world, and so that those of us who are called, we may embrace our calling and devote our lives in the full and complete service of the Lord. God bless us all. Amen.