"Hannah was childless." —1 Samuel 1:2
"Hannah would weep and refuse to eat" (1 Sm 1:7). Bearing a child meant more to her than anything else in the world. We too should weep and fast for any lack of spiritual fruitfulness in our lives. If last year we only led fifty people to new life in Jesus when we had the opportunity to be more fruitful, we should weep and fast. "Those that sow in tears will reap in joy" (Ps 126:5, our transl).
Paul was in "great grief and constant pain" (Rm 9:2) because his kinsmen, the Israelites, had not accepted new life in Christ (Rm 9:2-3). Paul made himself "the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible" (1 Cor 9:19). He made himself "all things to all men in order to save at least some of them" (1 Cor 9:22).
Jesus said: "I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn 12:24). Jesus so zealously desired to bear the fruit of salvation in the lives of all people that He died on a cross for each of us.
At this moment, Jesus is calling each of us to follow Him and bring as many people as possible into His kingdom. Let us leave anything, do anything, and suffer anything so that we will bear much fruit in this year of the Great Jubilee.
Prayer: Father, do in me what You must in order to do through me what You will.
Promise: "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand!" —Mk 1:15
Praise: As a distributor of One Bread, One Body, Margaret reached some people with the good news of Jesus that no one else could have.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999