“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the end” (Philippians 1:6)
To contemplate Jesus’ availability to God’s Plan during his public life and how He has come to understand along the way the strategy to reach it. Strategy with the greatest apostolic efficacy: to make disciples who in turn make other disciples.
Objective of the week:
To enter and see the vision of Jesus seeing the necessity of the people to work in His vineyard.
This week, we continue to contemplate Jesus in the public ministry particularly looking at his availability to God’s plan. We continue to look at how he learned the best strategies in order to form apostles.
We started this month with the feast of St. Joseph the worker, seeing the sacredness and the importance of work. As the theme of the week says, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard!’, we see the need of Jesus for workers in building up the Kingdom. But at the same time, we enter in the same vision of Jesus for each person seeing the necessity for them to take part and to work in Kingdom of God. Jesus sees each one with so much capacity to work in His vineyard. Just as it is said in John 15:16, ‘I appointed you to go and bear much fruit- the kind of fruit that endures,’ we are reminded how much love, talent, knowledge, blessings we have received in order to be able to work in His vineyard. We have received so much and it’s a pity that we remain stagnant without bearing fruit and giving life. He does not want us to remain idle and in death doing nothing. He provides us each day with the opportunity, with the space to work in His Kingdom and to grow as disciples by our work.
Let us enter and grow in this same vision of Jesus for each one by bringing them to work joyfully in building up the Kingdom of God.
The harvest is large, but there are few workers to gather it in
36 And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.'
The people need shepherds who lead and guide them with how Jesus himself sees the sheep. He felt sorry for them because no one is helping them to grow as disciples. They can give so much and work effectively in the Kingdom. The harvest is rich and ready for harvesting but the workers are few. Am I part of the few?
You go and work in the vineyard
'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day and sent them to his vineyard. 3 Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place 4 and said to them, "You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage." 5 So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. 6 Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing around, and he said to them, "Why have you been standing here idle all day?" 7 "Because no one has hired us," they answered. He said to them, "You go into my vineyard too."
Jesus does not want us to remain idle all day when we can give so much. We can learn his strategy of generosity providing opportunities and space for them to work in the vineyard. ‘Help me to hire people.’ Encourage people to work in the Kingdom. Anyone can work in His vineyard.
You go and proclaim the Kingdom of God
57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' 58 Jesus answered, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.' 59 Another to whom he said, 'Follow me,' replied, 'Let me go and bury my father first.' 60 But he answered, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.' 61 Another said, 'I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good -- bye to my people at home.' 62 Jesus said to him, 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'
‘Your duty is to go and spread the news of the Kingdom of God.’ Many times we are conditioned by so many concerns that prevent us to give of ourselves fully to work joyfully in the Kingdom. Hesitations, resistances and sadness come in that makes us put aside His work saying ‘I will do it later’ and eventually forget. We need to be pushed by Jesus sometimes.
Go! I am sending you like lambs among wolves
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting. 2 And he said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to do his harvesting. 3 Start off now, but look, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Take no purse with you, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!" 6 And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you. 7 Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house. 8 Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is put before you. 9 Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you."
Jesus wants us to work and work hard in His vineyard so that we can grow as his disciples. The more we work, the more we become familiar and ready to face many challenges in the world that opposes this work. Let us be attentive and vigilant as workers who also defend the fruitfulness and holiness of the harvest.
Which one did what his father wanted?
28 'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today." 29 He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went. 30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.
I have sent you to reap a harvest in a field where you did not work
34 But Jesus said: My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work. 35 Do you not have a saying: Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! 36 Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For here the proverb holds true: one sows, another reaps; 38 I sent you to reap a harvest you have not laboured for. Others have laboured for it; and you have come into the rewards of their labour.
We are reminded today that many people in history have worked before us. They have been faithful in doing their part in building up the Kingdom and they have received already their reward. Help us Lord to pass on and continue the chain of faithfulness in a harvest that we did not start. Instead help us to be humble workers knowing that the fruits we are enjoying now comes from the self-giving and faithfulness of many who have worked hard and responded to His call before us.
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
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