Our Lord has asked each one of us to participate in the holy mission of bringing the Gospel to others and to live it ourselves.
“[Jesus] said to them, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest’” (Luke 10:2).
The Holy Spirit is our strength, and yet there are times that it is easy to be overwhelmed by the abundant harvest and the work that needs to be accomplished! How often does your zeal for Christ dwindle as a worker in his kingdom and you start to view your faith as your “job” and not a response to Christ?
Day in and day out we are called to serve others both in and outside our home, and yet without heavenly renewal we can lose our enthusiasm and perspective on our life and the work we are seeking to accomplish. It is essential that you don’t allow the work that needs to be accomplished to become a source of stress or even anxiety! The Lord desires that we develop a work ethic and perspective that is oriented toward God.
FIVE THINGS WE CAN DO TO NOT BE OVERWHELMED BY GOD’S WORK
True renewal starts with prayer
Prayer is the fuel for our labor. Give yourself permission to pray, to slow down, and spend time with the Lord. Consider carving out time for prayer or even better scheduling it in your daily routine. We cannot give what we do not have; prayer is the first step toward overcoming any vice, fear, or feeling of being overwhelmed.
I have found that attending conferences or retreats are a great way to hear the voice of God and become renewed! Recently, I started making a weekly visit to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament while my daughter is at her preschool class. As a matter of fact, about half of my books have been written in moments when I can squeeze out time for prayer and reflection in the midst of the busyness of life!
Extend a helping hand to others in the field
Our goal is to recognize that there is a lot of work to do in the mission field, and yet only with the help of the Lord can we accomplish it all, by working and serving together. Be friendly, get to know other people who share a similar passion with you! For example, pick up the phone and call others who might be in the same area of ministry as you. I have enjoyed getting to know authors, speakers, and others serving Christ, both in and outside the Church. When we come together and discuss “best practices” a lot can be accomplished!
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
Who can you extend peace to that would benefit from your helping hand? Who knows, you might just leave having made a new friend?
Cast your net wide
Invite others to serve on your committee or with you in the area you serve! Don’t limit what God has started! Oftentimes we might feel like we need to do it all, but instead “many hands made for lighter work.” Dream big for God.
When working, don’t just focus on hoeing your row, but think of ways to reach more souls through advancements and the help of others! Allow technology and collaboration to be tools to help you in your work in order to reach more people. Invite others to learn more about your ministry or project, and do not limit your attempts to spread the Gospel to a “safe group of people.” Consider teaming up with other organizations and cross promote your events, realizing that you both benefit!
Your attitude matters
There are many needs in the Church, so remember not to be jealous of other workers in the field and that we all have gifts and talents from the Lord.
“Now the body is not a single part, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).
In the Church we want to have a place for all ministries to help the body of Christ. There are many different ministries such as movements of healing, evangelization, apologetic works, post-abortion support, vocation awareness, and so much more. If you are feeling burned out or bitter, jump into another area of service.
I have found through my work at a wide range of service-based ministries that each has been a blessing in a different way. I have given back in my children’s school by starting an after school service program, speaking and connecting with others on the important topics of Divine Mercy, spiritual friendship, the Sacred Heart, and motherhood! They are all worthy of my time and each has a special place in my heart, and keeping active in many areas helps me to not burn out.
Let’s go out of our way to encourage others to run the race of our faith with Gospel joy and enthusiasm. Look to the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends who are journeying next to you and make sure you offer them the support they need to keep the faith.
“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Offer your friends in the field a “spiritual glass of water,” or in other words, encouragement! Your attitude will greatly impact others, and make sure to not forget that! Turn to the saints as a source of inspiration and encouragement and go out of your way to seek their intercession for strength!
As Catholics, we have a real opportunity to stretch out our hand and build relationships with others who need not only the graces from the holy Mass and the sacraments but the many ministries and apostolic ministries that make up our great Church.
Who in your parish, diocese, or city needs the helping hand of Christ? Let us as the laity extend a helping hand to others and be the peacemakers of Christ in times of trouble and tribulation. The harvest is plentiful, the laborers are few. Now it is time that we all come together and serve Christ in a spirit of unity and charity.