“Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.” ― Francis of Assisi: (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco (1181/1182 – 1226): was an Italian Roman Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor)
Gospel Text: (MT 9:32-38)
A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
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.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”
The cry that we hear Jesus utter in today’s Gospel passage (Mt 9:32-38) —“the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few”—is one that we usually associate with the need for vocations in the Church. But Jesus also speaks through these words about the harvest of one’s own heart, the fruits of one’s soul. In each person is a soul created by God, and each soul is capable of being completely filled, as much as it is able: to be “perfected” by God’s grace.
Unfortunately, this “harvest of the soul” is neglected by so many of us by our actions and our inaction. We are not willing to believe what the Church teaches about every single human person being called by God to be a saint. The Church at the Second Vatican Council spoke strongly about the “universal call to holiness.”
God gives each one of us many gifts, but only when we talk with God—and are strengthened by God—do we learn how to use them correctly, in accord with His plan. Through our prayer, and God’s grace, our minds and wills can be shaped in His image, so that each of us can be more perfectly the saint God wants us to be.