Today’s Gospel underlines the failure of the Jewish leaders of the time. Jesus was casting out demons from many people, which was what they were supposed to do but could not. They were too busy attending to the the Law instead of seeing to the salvation of souls, which is what the Law was intended to accomplish. So instead of fixing what was lacking in their faith, they accuse Jesus of being in league with the devil. Kind of a “best defense is a good offense” sort of thing. But Jesus sees the vast number of people who long for spiritual care but are not getting it, and laments the lack of laborers for the harvest.
The issue is just as pressing now as it was then. Too many times, we are distracted by whatever issue and miss tending to the people around us who need God’s presence. The needs aren’t different: people need to know God loves them and is present to them; they need to see and experience God’s infinite mercy; they need healing; they need to be accompanied in their pain; they need to see the value of living for God. It’s up to all of us disciples to make that life real and attractive, so that everyone can come to know the Lord. You might be the Jesus that someone needs to see today. You might be the laborer God is sending into some situation today. Don’t be afraid to follow the Master of the harvest!