Daily Reflection
October 1st, 2007

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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Zechariah speaks of Yahweh returning all of His people to Jerusalem, where they will be happy, but this is a promise which the Lord does not seem to have kept, at least not yet.

The prophet is responding to the fact that the Lord sometimes seems so extremely distant from us, a problem which has concerned His people all throughout history. Our exile from the Garden of Eden, the call to Abraham, the covenant with Moses and the people, the establishment of the Temple to guarantee the presence of Yahweh's glory in the midst of His people, the prophets' progressive revelation of God's desire for us, the very Incarnation of Jesus, the institution of the Eucharist, the sending of the Spirit, our understanding of the Mystical Body are all steps in God's coming closer to us and our grasping the fact of His being nearer to us than we had previously realized (and of our being closer to Him).

But more precisely, it is not that God approaches us, for "in Him we live and move and have our being": He could be no closer than He is. It is rather that we do not approach Him, that we do not turn to Him as much as we should, or pray for His help, or progressively accept and understand His constant and loving presence in all that we are and do, right from our most interior and intimate self on out to our interactions with the people and situations that He sends into our lives. Jesuits speak of this as seeking to "find God in all things," but it might just as well be "finding all things in God," even ourselves.

Our seeking, our humble following of our Shepherd, will lead us back to the New Creation of the New Jerusalem, to the Promised Land, the Garden, the Kingdom, our Father's House — or to the fullness of our belonging to the Mystical Body and to the absolute intimacy and ecstasy of the Beatific Vision, two images that are very difficult for us to grasp in any real sense as yet and for which all these other terms are approximations.

We would not be yearning for God, and hungering so deeply for Him, if His Spirit were not already right there at the center of our being. This aching desire of ours does not indicate that God is either deceitful or a failure in His promise of uniting us all in His heart: it simply points in the direction of our growth, our hope, our pilgrimage.

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