This Sunday everyone is invited to be part of multicultural celebrations beginning with Mass at 11.00am and all of our diverse communities will come together to celebrate through their distinctive expressions of faith. Many people come to Australia from different countries, some through immigration for work or seeking a better life, and others as refugees who may have endured some kind of hardships. Even though these communities embrace the Australian way of life, they usually hold on, in some ways, to their cultural heritage and traditions.
As a community, we are not all called to speak the same language, we are not called to eat the same food or to wear the same dress. Diversity is what keeps us colourful and interesting. What each one of us, does have in common, is that we have been called to be disciples of the same Christ, Jesus, and this is what unifies us.
The gospel reading this Sunday speaks of discipleship. Jesus called and sent out the first twelve apostles, men who were from different backgrounds or walks of life, to a life of faith and mission. Jesus also calls and sends out each one of us. Like the apostles, we are called to be workers in the vineyard, where “the harvest is ready, but the labourers are few.”
During the time of Jesus, there were many people who were in need of help. The same is true today, if not more so. We just need to look around us. People are hungry for the Good News, some for physical food or a place to call home, and many are in end of healing and comfort. Who will proclaim the Kingdom of God and tend to their physical, emotional or spiritual needs?
The task of spreading the word of God and serving the needy is not only for priests or pastors. Every baptised Christian is called to share the unfinished work of creation and redemption as priest, prophet and king (1 Peter 2:9).
Just as Jesus was moved with compassion, may the Holy Spirit help each one of us to move out of our comfort zones and reach out to the last, least and lost people in society.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit have been given to us freely so let us serve the people of God freely, without expecting reward or recognition. For it is Jesus whom we actually serve, and it is Jesus who will bless us and give what is due to us whether at the present time or in the life beyond.
Let us as a multicultural community, united in Christ, respond to his call of discipleship. Let us celebrate our diversity but stand unified as disciples of Jesus as we reach out to each other and those in our wider community.
“The harvest is rich, but the labourers are few; so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.”
Deacon Michael Khoury