Jesus’ heart was moved with pity, today’s gospel tells us, when he saw a troubled and abandoned crowd. Because they were like “sheep without a shepherd,” Jesus turned to his friends and insisted that they “beg” the “harvest master,” God the Father, for more “laborers”- people to serve them and help them.
This, however, begs certain questions: if this need is so urgent, why does it have to be begged for? If Jesus is aware of the situation, and presumably his Father as well, why don’t they just take care of the problem themselves? Why should we have to beg for something they already know we need?
It’s true that Jesus wants more laborers. That’s clear from today’s gospel. However, Jesus wants us to ask the Father for them, because he wants us to want the same things he wants, and to express those desires in prayer. It’s as simple as that. It’s a matter of our wills becoming aligned with God’s, which should be the whole focus of our Christian lives.
St. Catherine of Siena put it well: “You will show that you are indeed alive, when you harmonize your will with God’s.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/070511.shtml