Daily Reflection
December 1st, 2001
Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Kiewit Student Residence Chaplain
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Memorial of St. Edmund Campion, SJ
Daniel 7:15-27
Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
Luke 21:34-36

Today is the last day of the last week of the liturgical year, and the readings reflect this "last days" attitude.  Our first reading looks at how God's holy ones will survive the violence and the chaos of the end times, while the gospel reading seems to say that the end times are here at every moment.

A question that arises in this context is how we can see ourselves as living this moment as our last and still be totally present to it as this moment:  how do I let my fear become joy, my worries over my worth be only gratitude and openness, concern about my future turn into trust in the Lord?

I suspect that it is as simple as the empty open hand of poverty.  In the real poverty of this world we open our hands to receive our salaries, gifts, even our "daily bread," but in a more religious sense, do we also open our hands to give, to let go, to be empty of ourselves so that we can receive what the Lord wishes to place in our hands next?  Are we free enough not only with what we have but also with who we are to continue to receive ourselves anew from our Father?

This is difficult for us to understand but marvelously simple to learn to do.  It amounts to continually emptying ourselves, not in denial but in an eager generosity to share what God has given us.  It is trusting God absolutely to provide what is right for us (and others) in the chaos of this world.  It is an avoidance of "becoming bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares" in the words of today's gospel and cutting down to the heart of our lives. 

It is the being joyfully empty in the hope of God's advent into our lives.

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