December 5, 2015

“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few"

I usually have a problem with the way Jesus is often portrayed in the majority of modern images, he often looks delicate, too clean... and his hair is always perfect.

On the other hand, my second favorite image in the whole world is the one at The National Basilica in DC, "Christ in Majesty". When I visited it for the first time I stood beneath this gigantic mosaic, and there he was: huge, powerful, heroic, like a soldier from that "300" movie, fearless andstrong, yet his eyes trasmitted a sense oftenderness that made him look even stronger and loving in a mighty way. For the first time I felt completely protected, and intimidated because he was so majestic and I was so small (literally).  If you ever visit the Basilica stand beneath this image and pray, it is magical.
If you stare at his eyes it feels like he is also staring back at you from above, (literally).

So, the reason why I have a problem with the popular delicate images of Jesus, is that we may be giving the same image to others if dont become true laborers, a "wishy-washy" image which is endangering our catholic faith by watering it down. It is not a secret that within our own church we can find plenty of people who sometimes get too comfortable and won't even lift a finger to go beyond their confort zone, clerical and lay, it is just our reality... it could be me and maybe you the comfortable ones.

The truth is that we can't evangelize withoutbreaking a sweat. Jesus is making a huge emphasis on this when he says in today's gospel "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few".
Our Lord could've used a different term to describe those he invites to evangelize but he used "laborers", hardcore workers who have an specific task to do, who sweat, who get dirty, who are a few because is not usually an atractive working position, and the best part is that anyone can do it, as long as there is a need for work, a willingness to endure, and commitment to the labor.
We must become true laborers, like the apostles, they did not sit and evangelize, they harvested for real, they reached out to people, they passionately lived for Jesus, they knew Jesus so well thatthe image of Christ they gave to the world was that of a loving, strong, heroic and firmed being, thus becoming like him in all senses.

Brothers and sisters, as advent is an invitation to prepare ourselves to receive Jesus, let us look at the image of him as a baby (you can never go wrong with that one) delicate, pure..  no hair. Mary and Joseph always gave a true image of their son in spirit and truth, even before he was born. Because ofthe divine reality they wererevealed by God they were able to see the real image of Jesus which is that of the Father: love which is not weakness but the greatest strength. Hope which is not comfort, but the purest wait. Authority which is not power, but the way in which we become true witnesses of our Lord's glory.

Mary and Joseph,
Pray for us.

Frassati NY