BY: Fr Unachukwu Cyril CCE

The ability to live and move with the standard of God and with His mode of operation is what keeps us on the same page with our creator. Contrary to this, we are distracted by what we think and by the limitations of the standards we may have created for ourselves. May God’s standard always be our measure of understanding and of choice; Amen.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways; it is the Lord who speaks.” Very true are these words from the mouth of the Lord from the First Reading (Is 55:6-9) of today. This expression is certainly very true of our God because God understands differently from us. He sees, understands and judges in a complete and comprehensive manner. He judges with a standard that is all-encompassing. But we see, understand and judge from a particular perspective, from a particular school of thought that is beclouded by prejudices and focused on the actualization of a particular goal. This always demeans our vision and judgement; it confines our perpective. Because of this, we find it difficult some times to understand the unique logic of God’s operations as we have heard in the gospel of today. It is impossible to enclose God with the prescriptions and limitations of human logic and standard. This is why sometimes the results of Divine Operation leaves us within an enigmatic sphere, effects of which can even make us grumble like the laborers because we think God must use our standards; we think God has erred by not using our measuring tape. We must always note that the standard of Divine Operation is different from our standard because sometimes our standards are borne out of selfishness, envy, the desire to oppress others, from the intention of accumulating even much more than we need and from evil motives. But God’s standard is borne out of love, peace and out of his eternal disposition to do good; for Himself is Goodness by essence. This dichotomy is what creates the dilemma between the ‘first’ that our standards and logic have created and the truly ‘first’ made by the logistics of Divine Operation.

If the workers in the Gospel Reading (Mt 20:1-16) understood this, they would not have grumbled. Sometimes, we behave like them. We behave like them because we think our myopic and infinitely narrow opinions and standards must be principal courses of action. This mindset is heretic because it disrobes God of His omnipotence. It is in no way evil to be guided by good and praise-worthy standards. What is evil is to place God underneath our standards. Every human standard and logic must be subject to Divine Power and must create the largest room for God to exercise His omnipotence; otherwise we become frustrated and disappointed by the very standards we have created just like the laborers. Jesus teaches us in this parable that at the end of the world, each of us will be surprised because everything will be different from what we thought. Everything, both our standards and logics, will be subject to that which is the Superior. Of course, “the last will be first and the first, last.”

We pray for the grace to live in such a way as to be among the first at the end of time; Amen.

Happy Sunday

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