Parable of the Harvest and Few Laborers

Parable of Our Lord occurring in the Gospels of Saint Matthew 9, and Saint Luke 10, in slightly different settings. In the former it is a reflection of Our Lord saddened at the sight of the multitude but poorly cared for by their spiritual guides; in the latter it is a part of the instruction given to the 72 disciples as a preparation for their mission as forerunners of Jesus. It is very probable that Our Lord uttered this entreaty more than once and in different circumstances. In any case the meaning is the same: God, the Father, or even Christ Himself, is the Lord of the Harvest, the field is the world, the crops to be harvested are first the Jewish people, then the Gentiles, the laborers the Apostles, their workers, and successors. These verses form part of the Gospels read in the Masses of various saints noted for Apostolic zeal: e.g., Saint Mark and Saint Ignatius Loyola (Luke 10) and Saint John Francis Regis and Saint Vincent de Paul (Matthew 9).