Daily Reflection
October 16th, 2006

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31–5:1
Psalms 113:1b-2, 3-4, 5a and 6-7
Luke 11:29-32

The last two lines from today's psalm say "He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor." I've always wondered why someone would be on or next to the dunghill, as Job is reputed to have been, and one of my teachers once explained to me that the slow decomposition gives off heat, something a poor person might cherish. But for whatever reason, that would have to be the choice of the poorest of the poor.

If the psalmist uses such a striking image, it is to underline God's attitude towards us. It is not (only) a matter of social justice, it is the center of who God is: He is not interested in justice as regards Himself, and His interest in our justice towards each other is only a first step towards the equality that only love can bring. His deepest desire is to draw in the lowest of the low, those who are ready to admit their need and to accept His lifting them up to life.

Our God is not the manager of some heavenly gardens or pleasure palace. He is not nirvana or a philosophical principle, a cosmic physical force or a distant and disinterested clockmaker, nor is He merely the God of the Law, bound by rules and full of thundering threats.

He is love, burning to do us good in the most radical and purest sense of the word. He has a history of drawing each and all of us to Him, and today we can see that that love will recreate everything whatsoever in Jesus...

...but only if we are willing to admit our own hunger and need, only if we are willing to turn to Him instead of relying on our scraps and our rags and the fugitive heat of our dunghills.

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