God Always Surprises Man
(see Mt 20:1-16a)
Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This Sunday Gospel story which we have just listened to reminds us of this interesting reality that God always surprises man.
First, God, pure spirit, made a world of pure matter. This is more than controversial. This is unbelievable for man, yet not impossible for God, Who always surprises man.
Second, God, the victim of the worst crimes committed by man, made the first move to reconcile the criminal to Himself by sending His Only Son to death and forgiving the sinner. Why could this happen? Simply because God always surprises man.
Third, Almighty Creator and Master of the universe as He is, God entrusts man, a mere creature, imperfect, limited, short-lived, with the management of all His works. He Himself withdraws into almost entire silence and forgetfulness, yet never does He cease providing him with help, support, protection, direction and everything necessary for his survival and success. Do you know why? Because God always surprises man.
It would take moths, years, even our all lives to make the full list of evidences of the truth that God always surprises man. However, allow me to only tell you the fourth reality, that of how God treats you and me with the same love, care, and goodness, no matter who you and I may be, no matter how much you and I have done to serve Him, and no matter how seriously you and I have hurt Him because of our selfishness, blindness, insensitivity, and ingratitude. Why? Because God always surprises man.
All that I have shared with you about the God Who always surprises man by His love so deep, so high, so immense, so great, can prompt you and me to reconsider the way we love one another, live together, work together, and treat one another.
Could you husbands and wives, always surprise your spouses with the same burning love which you offered one another the first time you met, no matter what has happened in the past years?
Could you parents, always surprise your children with the same loving, caring, and forgiving heart, no matter how painfully they hurt you because of their wrongdoings?
Could you, children, always surprise your dads and mums with your love, respect and gratitude, no matter how often they have caused you embarrassment, frustration, anger, and shame, when they are too old to understand you, and too weak to meet your expectations?
Could you, Christians, always surprise your neighbor with what Christ taught us about becoming perfect as our Father God in heaven Who always surprises man, by making His sun rise on the bad and the good, and causing rain to fall on the just and the unjust?
It is easier said than done, of course. But only by always surprising one another the way God always surprises us, do we deserve calling Him “Father”, and asking Him for mercy and forgiveness.
Fr. Francis Nguyen, O.P.