October 18, 2022
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University-Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist
Lectionary: 661

2 Timothy 4:10-17b
Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
Luke 10:1-9

Praying Ordinary Time

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.


There’s nothing like good old fashioned Catholic guilt! Now that I’ve got your attention, are you doing your share to bring in the harvest?

Today I’m meditating on my checkered record of service. I’m awful at direct service. The Girl Scout troop I led at an inner-city parish years ago folded before we even got to cookie season. It might have helped if I had BEEN a Girl Scout or knew something about scouting.

Then I tried tutoring a boy struggling with reading but the he was utterly bored and  stopped coming for help. Another flop.
I dread parish days of service when we sort clothing and clean up shelves at thrift stores. Have only 10 minutes passed? Whenever I’ve spent hours sitting in waiting rooms for refugee medical appointments, I marvel at my saintly nurse colleague who has done most of this for our parish family.

I give myself a few points for writing promotional materials for just about any worthy cause that asks for it but helping with dinner at a homeless shelter would seem like more authentic service. Our late Creighton president John Schlegel S.J. used to do this regularly.

Then I recall St. Paul’s epistles talking about how the body needs its many differing parts– how there are many gifts but the same Spirit. Maybe writing web copy DOES contribute to the harvest.

Along those lines, the passage in this gospel where Jesus sends his disciples on pilgrimage to live off the generosity of the community reminded me of one of my favorite homilies.

As a novice, a Jesuit who was a CPA before joining the Society was sent out on a pilgrimage one spring to live off the generosity of strangers in strange cities, presumably doing humble jobs for subsistence wages.

But he was a CPA and it was tax season! Wherever our Jesuit went, he was well paid for temp work doing tax returns. At the end of the pilgrimage, he turned his wages over to the novice master.

“I don’t think you quite got the idea of this exercise,” said his superior.

Really? Or was he just using the talent God had given him?

Maybe the lesson we should draw from this gospel is it’s important to labor for the harvest, no matter how we do it.   Give your best gift whatever that is. And if you’re a TERRIBLE Scout leader, God must have another plan for your life.

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