8: The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few

Daily Meditation, Scripture readings, Saints of the Day: St. James son of Alphaeus

On the Gospel Reading Matthew 9:36-38; 10:1-8: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”

With these words, our Lord is referring to the disciples who, although only twelve of them, will go out into the vast world and spread the Gospel. The harvest are all the people in the world who were desperate for the message of salvation, who were helpless and had no hope, who were enslaved to the power of the devil and death. As it was then, so it is today. The Gospel message that Christ is Risen and has destroyed the power of the devil and has given life to all who desire it, continues to be relevant to us today, in fact, one could say, even more today. Another way to understand this reading for an Orthodox Christian today is that the harvest is not the world outside but the world within: your own heart and your own soul. In these are plentiful riches and treasures of God’s image and likeness which must be labored for. The labor, the work, is your own prayer life, your repentance, your ascetical struggle, the work of the Divine Liturgy and ultimately your love for Christ and compassion for others. As we labor to purify our hearts and minds, to restore the image of God within us, to continually grow in the likeness of God by acquiring the Holy Spirit, the change in our behavior, in our life, in our disposition, will silently declare the truth and power of the Gospel message to the world around us as well.