Jesus’ Last Words On Earth
As Jesus was coming to the end of his earthly ministry, he instituted the priesthood and the Holy Eucharist, which would be essential for his plan of salvation. He then entered into his passion, death on the cross, burial, and finally his resurrection for the redemption of humanity in fulfillment of the heavenly Father’s will.
Before he returned to the Father, Jesus said to his disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
God’s Generosity In Every Time of Our Lives
The plan for the harvest of souls begins with baptism. The baptized person becomes a child of God, is freed from the stain of original sin and receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit. All of the baptized are called to be laborers in the Lord’s vineyard for their own sake and for the sake of the kingdom. In this early morning of the harvest, some souls have a special docility to the Holy Spirit and are attracted to the harvest even before they reach the age of reason and have a longing to be close to God and his plan.
At mid-morning of the harvest many souls receive the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist which allow them to have a special intimacy with Jesus Christ. All of these souls are called to participate in the Lord’s harvest. The powerful influence of the presence of Jesus causes many souls, though not all, to begin to long for the intimacy with Jesus that they experienced in these sacraments. At this early age, they begin to ponder a life close to Jesus which in reality is a willingness to join the harvest.
At noon during the harvest young souls take another step of spiritual maturity and receive the sacrament of Confirmation which is a calling down of the Holy Spirit upon each individual by the bishop or his designee. All are called, but those who are docile to this experience may receive a stirring-up of the Holy Spirit that ignites within them a desire to serve God by becoming laborers in the harvest.
By midday of the harvest, all souls have reached maturity and begin to make life-long decisions. All are called to assist with the harvest, and some receive the special sacramental grace of matrimony, ordination, the choice of religious life, or perhaps a spiritually formed life-long commitment to celibacy. They have chosen a path that demands the assistance of God’s grace, to make sacrificial choices for the sake of their happiness and the sake of the harvest.
At the end of the day of the harvest, all have been called and had the opportunity to join in the harvest; which is to cooperate with God for the salvation of souls. Some who have been reluctant to participate in the harvest will become aware of the help they received throughout their life because of the prayers and sacrifices of the laborers in the harvest, and they may choose to offer their end-of-life trials for their soul and the souls of others. Some will not participate in the harvest at all, but when they die may become beneficiaries of the prayers of the Church and people who prayed for them throughout their lives. All souls who do not reject God will be given the opportunity of final purification so that they may gloriously enter into the eternal presence of Almighty God. The souls who participated in the harvest will receive the same reward as those who benefited from their labors, the generosity of eternal happiness.
There will be no complaints from those who labored in the harvest from the early times in the day; they began receiving their reward as they labored. The greatest happiness on earth is to be close to God and cooperate with him in the saving of souls.
Deacon Tom Fox, C.K.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with his wife, Mary Jane Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Deacon Tom is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Commander Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.