I heard someone say : ‘God does not know how to count’. In any case, his way of counting is not ours. The Psalmist had understood this when he wrote: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day” (Ps.90:4) . And through the prophet Isaiah, God had told us already: “My thoughts are not your thought, my ways not your ways” (Is.55:8).
So, today’s gospel text (21st Sunday of the Year, C – Lk.13:22-30) should not surprise us when we read: “There are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last”. What does it mean? Different interpretations are offered. Personally, I like to see there an invitation to take on… God’s way of… accounting! He does not keep tabs as we do, he does not appraise situations and judge people according to our criteria.
In today’s text, we see someone coming to ask Jesus: “Will there be only a few saved?” And, typically, Jesus does not answer that question. It seems that God is not interested in… statistics: the number of those saved? The number of those ‘lost’? The number of those… mid-way???
We live in an age where statistics are very important: we gauge performance in nano- seconds! We count and we compare, we judge and we adjudge! We scrutinise and we assess! For his part, Jesus has one guideline, not to call it an… injunction! He tells us: “Try your best…”
In other words: try to take on God’s ways – God’s ways of looking at life and people, God’s ways of ‘discriminating’ – the right kind of discrimination between what is good and… what is best! And then, for us there will be no ‘weeping and grinding of teeth’ in disappointment at being left out of the on-going feast of God’s COUNTLESS blessings!