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Sunday, June 16, 1996

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11th Sunday Ordinary Time

Exodus 19:2-6
Psalm 100
Romans 5:6-11
Matthew 9:36—10:8

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lord, teach us to pray for vocations

"Beg the harvest Master to send out laborers." —Matthew 9:38

Jesus "said to His disciples: 'The harvest is good but laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest Master to send out laborers to gather His harvest' " (Mt 9:37-38). Like Jesus, we lack workers for His kingdom and His Church. We usually pray for this situation to change and then proceed to think up ways to deal with the situation if it doesn't change. We don't seem to expect to have our prayers answered. For instance, we pray for more priests and then speculate about Roman Catholic priests of the future being allowed to marry. This point is usually brought up not because of any inherent value to marriage for priests but because of "the priest shortage."

Why don't we beg the harvest Master to send us priests and other workers for the harvest, and then make no plans for our prayers not being answered? We may find that the Lord will give us the workers we need. Or we may find that our prayers for harvest workers are not completely sincere. Some people may feel resentful toward priests and/or religious, and not truly want more of them. Others may want the Church to be more pressured to change through "the priest shortage." Consequently, in addition to praying in faith, we must repent, forgive, and be healed.

When we pray with pure hearts and deeper faith, we will have the workers we need for the harvest.

Prayer:  Jesus, teach us to pray (see Lk 11:1) for vocations.

Promise:  "It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Rm 5:8

Praise:  Alleluia! By faith in Jesus risen, we will live forever in the perfect happiness of heaven!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995