Question: What happens to crops in a field if they are not harvested in a timely manner?
Answer: They rot.
I am sure you are all familiar with the phrase “the harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Often, this quote from Jesus is used to highlight the importance of vocations. There is much to do for the Kingdom, Jesus is saying, and many workers are needed. And, if there are not enough workers, some work will be left undone.
The harvesting of souls, just like the harvesting of crops is about timing. Without enough workers for the Kingdom: Priests, Brothers, Sisters, Missionaries, and other ministers of the Gospel will not be able to reach out to those in need at the right time. Without vocations to the priesthood, who is going to respond to a call to anoint a dying person or hear the confession when someone is ready to find reconciliation with God? Without missionaries, who is going to travel to remote places telling the story of salvation when someone is ready to hear it? Without religious brothers and sisters, who is going to witness to God’s love to the young who need a sense of hope in today’s world?
Promoting and encouraging vocations is the work of us all. Each one of us has a reason to build up and strengthen the Kingdom’s workforce. It is true that a vocation is a personal call from God, and we do not know who will become a priest or religious one day, but that does not leave us off the hook. We are all a part of the process. The harvest is ready. Don’t let it rot.