The Lord goes out to hire workers for his vineyard at very different times and in different situations. Any hour, any moment is good for the apostolate, to bring workers to the Lord's vineyard, so that they may be useful and bear fruit. God calls each one according to his personal circumstances, his particular way of being, his defects and also his capacity for new virtues. But countless are those who may die without even knowing that Christ is alive and that he brings salvation to all, because no one has transmitted to them the call of the Lord. Are we going to stand still, without speaking of God? Perhaps you will say to me: "Why should I make an effort? I am not answering you, but St. Paul: the love of Christ urges us (2 Cor 5:14). All the space of an existence is too little to widen the frontiers of your charity" (2 Cor 5:14).
The early Christians learned well that the apostolate has no limitations of persons, places or situations. They often began with their own families: "servants and servant girls and children, if they have any, are persuaded to become Christians because of the love they have for them, and when they become Christians, they call them brothers and sisters without distinction". There were countless families who, from the least of the servants to the children, or the parents, received the faith and lived in the love of Christ. Then perhaps it was the neighbors, the clients, or the companions in trade or in arms.... The life of the camps, the same military virtues and very soon the testimony of the martyrs favored the expansion of the Gospel among soldiers. The army provided martyrs in Italy, in Africa, in Egypt and even on the banks of the Danube. Even the last persecution began with a purge of the legions8.
All situations were good for bringing souls closer to Christ, even those that humanly might seem less suitable, such as that of appearing before a tribunal. St. Paul, a prisoner in Caesarea, speaks in his own defense before the procurator Festus and King Agrippa. He unveils to them the mysteries of the faith in such a way that while he was defending himself in this way (announcing the resurrection of Christ), the king said in a loud voice: You are mad, Paul, the many letters have made you lose your mind. And St. Bede comments: "He considered it madness for a man in chains to speak not of the calumnies that harassed him from without but of the convictions that enlighten him from within ".
Later, Agrippa said to Paul: A little more and you will convince me to become a Christian. And Paul answered him: I would to God that, with little or with much, not only you but all those who listen to me today would become like me... but without these chains.
And we, will we not know how to lead our relatives, our neighbors, our friends... to the Lord with patience and cordiality? The apostolic sense of our life will indicate to us the love we have for Christ. Let us not waste any occasion: every hour is good to bring workers to the vineyard of the Lord. All ages are good for filling our hands with fruit.