for Sunday, September 21, 2008
"To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises." Today's Scripture readings seem to turn such a saying upside down, or at least make us re-think, "What's fair?"
The prophet Isaiah quotes God: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, your ways are ot my ways." In the Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a boss who insisted on paying everyone a full day's wage, including those who didn't work a full day. The response from some of the workers: "It's not fair!" Jesus' is telling us, God's fairness is different from ours.
Life often isn't fair, and people frequently blame God for that. The death of loved ones; God's seeming silence in response to prayers; the flaws in nature that give rise to natural disasters, all raise questions about God's "fairness." And yet there is also the amazing surprise ending to the parable, the generosity of the employer. What is Jesus telling us?
Today's responsorial psalm hints at it: It speaks of God's graciousness, mercy and kindness. Perhaps we're meant to delve deeper into what "fairness" means in human terms, so that we can understand it in God's terms—and to be open to God's "wonderful surprises."
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: