The fall season this years has me thinking: there is a deep theological connection between the fall harvest and the end times. Think about it. The Roman liturgical calendar ends with the Solemnity of Christ the King, which is in late November during late autumn when the harvest has taken place. The calendar itself speaks of the chronology of divine revelation; with Advent starting the calendar and speaking of the prophets foretelling Christ to Ordinary Time ending the calendar with Christ the King who gathers all righteous souls into Heaven.
“Use your sickle and reap the harvest, for the time to reap has come, because the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” (Revelation 14:15)
We see this as echoing the words of Saint John the Baptist: “His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12). The farmer, after his harvest, gathers the wheat for produce but burns the chaff. This is a warning to us what our fate will be depending on with we lived in a state of grace.
“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)
Christians are called to ministry; be it priesthood, diaconate, religious life, married life, single life or consecrated life. We are all called by God to a vocation to serve others. We are called to preach God’s word especially to those who do not believe. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
The purposes is to bring souls to God so that they will bare good fruit and be saved for the harvest. This is the great harvest of souls our Lord Jesus Christ talks about. It will be fully ripe on the day of judgment when an abundance of souls have been brought to Christ. He not so much needs, but desires the laborers to gather the souls for this harvest. This is done again through the ministerial priesthood which alone offers Holy Communion, Confession and Extreme Unction (along with bishopric Confirmation), or deacons with Baptism and Matrimony, or married couples through having children, or religious orders in preaching of the word, or consecrated life in serving God through prayer and His people through acts of charity. These laborers toil until of the end of days when the harvest will be ripe and ready for gathering.