The readings at Mass the past few weeks have been some of my favorite of the year, especially the selections from the Old Testament. We've heard (on 8/31) from Jeremiah 20:7: "O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived . . ." and (yesterday) from Isaiah 55:8-9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
The Gospel reading yesterday (Sunday) was a perfect complement to the passage from Isaiah: the laborers in the vineyard who've been working all day cannot fathom why they are paid just the same as those who came late. It doesn't make sense. On the world's standards, they're supposed to get more.
These readings, to state the obvious, tell us that God is God and we are not. They remind us that the mind of God infinitely surpasses our own. God operates on His own time. Our conventional measurements are not sufficient.
Lots of insights flow from these truths, but for me, right now, the readings help me remember that I can never treat God like a spiritual valet. As I try to follow the Ignatian command to "find God in all things" I cannot try to force Him to earth, demanding that He respond in ways that deny his utter transcendence. I must constantly let God draw me out of my temporal paradigm, to heaven, where I can behold the mystery. If I feel deceived, that might be a good thing. It might be the sign not that God has misled me, but rather, I have misled myself. I have dared, perhaps, to think that I have figured God out.
I believe the Jesuit Karl Rahner once wrote that we must abandon ourselves to the incomprehensibility of God. Perhaps that is what it comes down to.