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Monday, January 26, 2015

Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops - Memorial
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Lord of the harvest

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 101; PL36

Lord of the harvest

The gospel that has just been read to us invites us to seek out what this harvest might be of which the Lord says to us that: “The harvest is great, the laborers are few, so pray the lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” So it was that, in addition to those twelve disciples whom he called apostles (those who have been sent), he sent out seventy-two others. All of them, as his own words reveal, were sent to work at a harvest that had already been prepared. What harvest is this? They were not going to reap a harvest from the gentiles, where nothing had yet been sown, so we must think of a harvest among the Jews. It was in order to reap this harvest that the Lord of the harvest came. But to the other peoples he sent, not reapers but sowers. Among the Jews, then, there was a harvest but elsewhere, the sowing. And it was particularly while reaping among the Jews that he chose the apostles. Harvest time had come, the harvest was ripe, for the prophets had done their sowing among them…

Did not the Lord declare to his disciples: “You say the harvest will be a long time. I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for harvest,” (Jn 4,35)? And again, he said: “Others have done the work and you are sharing the fruits of their work,” (v.38). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the prophets have done the work; they worked hard to sow the seed. At his coming the Lord found the harvest to be ripe and he sent out the reapers with the scythe of the gospel.

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