When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
I went to daily mass today because a friend of mine who had lost a child said it was a place where she was able to feel close to her daughter, Rachel. I didn’t go cause I wanted to be holy, to be feed or to look cool, I went because I wanted to be close to Cate. The priest proclaimed the gospel which is where the above quote comes from and then went on to give his homily. Well, I did what I typically do and started giving myself my own homily in my head, I know, its weird, but it’s what works for me.
Throughout Cate’s whole ordeal when people were flocking to the blog, flocking to churches, flocking to the throne room door of heaven, it was a huge witness to the fact that the Harvest IS abundant and that all of us often feel like sheep without a shepherd, just kind of wondering through life, until something worthwhile comes up to get behind, this time, that being Cate. I was reading an email that a friend sent me who quoted Pope Benedict XVI, who said:
“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.”
So often we feel like we are just walking through life, day in a day out, getting the routine chores done so we can go home, go out, go to the lake, go fishing, go do whatever it is we do, but at the end of the day when all is done we still don’t feel like we really accomplished that much in the big scheme of life. We wake up the next day and we do it all over again. Cate never had the opportunity or the burden of running the rat race that we all run. She didn’t have to go school, do homework, do chores, go to college, get a job, do the mundane occurrences that we all call life that make this world “great.” Yet, look at who God called from birth to be a laborer for His harvest, someone who NEVER SPOKE A WORD. He used this baby girl to surprise people with the Gospel and for people to have a real encounter with Christ. Did we achieve the outcome that we or the world desired? No, not at first glance, but I challenge you to look deeper. It is bitter sweet without a doubt but yet still the outcome is greater than any of us could have EVER imagined.
I ran into to a friend of mine after Mass today who said, “Man, you have a Saint, for a child!” Wow! I do, Cate in her short time on this earth accomplished everything I want my kids to accomplish, to love their God, to love their family, and to lead other people to Christ, and she did all of this without ever saying a word. Now, I have to be honest, I felt a real kick in the pants as I was returning to my truck. As I walked I was thinking to myself, if God has to use a seven month old on her death bed to tell the world of His great love, he must be running out of people, kinda being funny, kinda being serious though. The Harvest is abundant, the laborers are few, and my little girl just ran CIRCLES around me, my life, and my ministry in only twelve days, and I have been doing this for years, I pride fully thought to myself.
All of us have an opportunity to be laborers and we are all NECESSARY, in God’s plan and we all have a story to tell of the saving power of Christ. And if you cannot think of one, think of CATE, tell others what God did throughout the World during Cate’s short life. We can all continue Cate’s legacy by telling people, those people who are looking for a Shepherd about what our Shepherd did through this little girl’s life, and death. It’s a simple story, you don’t have to remember scripture quotes, you don’t have to know doctrine, you just have to know what God did in your heart and what you saw and read about Him doing in the hearts of others. It’s that easy to become a laborer. You don’t have to go to college, seminary, bible school, or anything like that, Cate didn’t! If God can use Cate as a laborer for his Harvest, than He can and will use ANY of us. Thank You Lord for being our Shepherd, Thank you for calling us into an active role in bringing the message of your Salvation to the World and thank you for your messenger Cate who brought all of us closer to You! Much Love, the Cantrells