“…for my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways.”
Even before Isaiah penned these words, followers of the true God faced this dilemma: God does not play the game according to our rules! And the same conundrum faces the 2020 believers.
“My ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.”
We have a great example of our willingness to change the rules, even after we have agreed to the contract in today’s parable; the debate about Job Keeper and Job Seeker is an update on aspects of the parable. Some recipients received more than their accustomed wage, others less, but they all received. One would not dare to suggest that the Government is “the Kingdom of heaven” and the PM “the landowner”, but you can have some delight and debate in following that path. In time you will reach the nub…how do we balance justice and mercy in our dealings as the parable reflects the truth of God’s justice and God’s mercy.
“…my ways are above your ways.”
Often in his ministry, Jesus was accused and criticised of his company keeping; his association with disreputable people (tax collectors and sinners). His concern for the marginal in his society is obvious, just as it is evident since the time of Leo XIII and his earth-shattering letter “Rerum Novarum” which has spawned a series of teachings, letters and instruction urging our Church to, more and more, do what Mary MacKillop did. The denarius was accepted as a basic unit to enable the family to live for the day. All got a meal!
How do we, today, ensure that all get a meal?
As has been suggested, the parable known as the parable of the Prodigal Son is now often referred to as the parable of the Prodigal Father…so, too, today’s parable might deserve the title, ‘Prodigal Employer’.
Whatever the title, we are called to acknowledge, “How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.” Comforting, yes, but at the same time challenging, for “my ways are not your ways”.