Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
I love being the go-to guy. It’s a great feeling to have people rely on you and who turn to when they really need something done. This way, I can feel needed and exercise control over a given situation. Typically, I become so used to solving problems that I don’t involve anyone else in the process and am left to my own limited resources.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” This is as true to today as it was 2,000 years ago and if I was one of them, I would raise my hand and tell him, “Oh yeah, I’ve got it Jesus, I’m really good at this and I know I can do it.”
But notice this isn’t what Jesus says. He doesn’t tell his disciples that they should drop everything right away and go do it themselves, or that they are the only ones who can do it. Instead, he tells them: “Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” He is reminding them of a simple truth - God is in control. It is his plan and he is the Master of the Harvest. He wants us to be a part of his plan, but not solely on our terms. We don’t have the whole picture. When we answer the call without consulting God, we are ignoring the incredible amount of grace he wants to give us.
It’s fair to ask God to include you in the ones he sends out, but note the important step here – we are including God in our planning, deferring our interests to his divine will. Perhaps he will send us out, but to a different vineyard, which on the surface seems a lot less fruitful than the vineyard we think we want. Jesus is inviting to see the plan as he sees it, imploring us to pray that God gives us the grace to become the workers he desires us to be. And with his grace, we are empowered to do the work of more than just a few laborers.
The Sacred Heart overflows with happiness when we express our deepest longings and they line up with his own divine plan and passions for us. Today’s saint, St. Ambrose, went from catechumen to bishop in one week because God both needed laborers for his vineyard and knew Ambrose would be perfect for it. All Ambrose had to do was pray that God’s will be done in the world through him, a humble servant.
As we end this first week of Advent, we are settling into the mode of waiting and preparation. Use your time in prayer to both tell God your desires and ask him how we can be part of his grand plan for humanity. He won’t withhold his plan from you, but may wait until you see it with the eyes of Christ and desire its outcome as eagerly as he does.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
In what ways in your life right now is God asking you to be one of his laborers? How does that look different than you expected it to?
How is God asking you this Advent to wait, to prepare, and to be silent with him in order to let him speak to you?
What are the desires of your heart that you long to speak to God? Take some time now to express to him your desires in honesty and sincerity.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I trust you, Lord."
"Help me follow you."
"Thank you, Jesus."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Find some time of quiet today. Whether you get outside and go for a walk (even if it's cold), sit down with some egg nog by the tree, of find some other quiet place, make time for silence. In that time of doing nothing – no listening or watching or talking – allow your heart and God's to speak to one another and reveal your desires and let him show you his desire for you and plan for your life.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Kevin Gregus, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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