Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Then in Mary's song of praise there is the first hint of that thing the Catholics call "God's preferential option for the poor".

His mighty arm does tremendous things!
How he scatters the proud and haughty ones!
He has taken princes from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.

As I recall, this is not the last time we will see the rich getting cast in a bad light, basically because they have lots of money, and the poor in a good light, because they don't. It's quite interesting how such obvious biases get quickly passed over in a rich Western reading of the gospels. But these things aren't lost on the poor who read the scripture (I think of some of the Gustavo Gutierrez I read a long time ago).

But I admit it is hard to see how that jives with the notion of a God who loves all his children equally. I think Ron Sider said the best thing I have heard about that. He said that God does indeed love all his children equally, that he doesn't "prefer" the poor. But WE make him biased because of our incredible preference for the rich. Most everyone strives to be rich, strives to be popular, and comfortable, and good-looking and whatever else brings power. But God seems to be constantly balancing that out by emphasizing, in opposition to the normal human way of doing things, his value on the poor.

So we should too.

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