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January 5, 1996     The Message
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January 5, 1996

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1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana dt::Gsp el Commentary for need to forget the very different a_ 7, 1996, Epiphany of f:!::::!'::% i story Luke constructed of rejection ; .ord, Cycle A: Matthew 2:1- J :: I from proper lodging, birth in a sta- : ]] ble, angelic choir, and shepherds. The word" ,, Luke and Matthew have very dif- fr0m-, - epiphany is derived :: v /, ]] ferent theologies about the birth lurai:areeK word meaning "to il- f ]] and making known of Jesus. In o,, Ire, to make known, to ap- L :  both Matthew and Luke Jesus ,s thew-. Greek hterature  born m Bethlehem but t ey .... ta classical " h  have . .-,u is used for the annearance  very different ways of getting the ugoas and im -v   . life,e. . portant events in the m Holy Family there. Luke uses a ;^L" .ng, such as birth ..... By FATHER census for which the family has to .,,a m the thron ' '_;"- DON DILGER visit,- e, a raemorable COLUMNIST I travel from Gahlee to Bethlehem to the :.u a. mty. Matthew never uses m register in a universal Roman cen- Te;tr "epiphany.', In the New m sus. In Matthew the Holy Family is attribuent it  used only in letters seen to be resident in Bethlehem. 0rliis ,u o la.ul and refers either to Jesus' birth Beyond this historical core what Old Testament cieat' coming as judge at the end of time. In influences can be found in Matthew's story of the '}es-, . nurcn usage, "epiphany" was used of Evinhanv? First is Matthew's use of Psalm 72:10, fs:urac-les' since they madeknown his divinity, "lIay theKings of Tarshish and of the isles render ade :a, h!s baptism, and especially of his being him tribute. May the kings of Sheba and Seba bring _ uwn to the world in the visit of the Mare gifts May all kings fall down before him, all nations -ere i - "  " .,s no doubt whatsoever that our gospel serve him." Then Psalm 68:29, "Because of your u]a not intend to write a history or biogra- temple at Jerusalem, kings bear gifts to you." Isaiah Co-mmentary__ ,.piphany of the Lord: A star is born 60:5-6, "...the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you .... They shall bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord." Genesis 49:10, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah... until he comes to whom it belongs. To him shall be the obedience of the Gentiles." Thus far we have gifts of gold and frankincense brought by royal visi- tors from afar, visitors who are non-Jews, i.e. Gen- tiles, royal descent from the tribe of Judah as Jesus is shown to be in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, and above all the obedience, service and worship by the Gentiles. But magi and a star? Here Matthew turned to the Book of Numbers 22-24. This story of the prophet Balaam is a major mus. Around some historical core they con- stories intended for teaching theology, s authors f'requentl he composition of such turned to the Hebrew (our Old Testament), to other religious and finally to folk legends and beliefs. Epiphany of Jesus occurs only in In the construction of this story Matthew of Old Testament stories and say- ,' these with legends about a new star , ln the sky at the birth of someone impor- age of world history. core of the story is the birth of In the Gospel of Matthew we ingredient of Matthew's Epiphany story. In litera- ture contemporary to Matthew's gospel Balaam is referred to as a "magus," the singular of"magi." In the Book of Daniel magi are associated with dreams. In popular literature of the time they were associated with astrology, the interpretation of human lives through the stars. In the popular mind magi were associated especially with areas to the east of Palestine, with Babylon, with the area that is today Iraq and Persia. Thus Matthew's "magi from the east." The nucleus of the Balaam story is found in the words of this ancient magus: "A STAR shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall arise out of Israel." Now we have a STAR who is also king of the Jews. To ask whether the coming of the Magi is a his- torical event is entirely irrelevant. It was never in- tended to be. This is mature teaching for mature Christians, adult literature. For Matthew all Scrip- ture (Old Testament) is fulfilled in the life, work, and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Thus he is at lib- erty to redirect any Old Testament text to teach who and what Jesus was and is and his role in God's eternal plan. Like the parables of Jesus the story is told without an explanation. The explana- tion is this: the Magi represent all the nations, the Gentiles, who come with their gifts to honor and worship the king of the Jews who is also king of all nations. The star that "arises out of Jacob" is not in the sky but in the house at Bethlehem. The star is Jesus. A STAR IS BORN! -- and we, like the an- 7 cient magi of Matthew, follow that star to Bethle- hem and bring our gifts and our lives to serve him. He is the STAR! We are the MAGI! Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2.3a, 5-6. . D'O'W'N'T.O.W.N ViNCENNEs, IN 47591 Vincennes ",,,...,..,. Bicknell MOnroe City, Sandborn Princeton, Patoka rnber F.D.I.C. IANT FOOD STEAQK CHICKEN RDES NEEDS, CNJ. IN in Stock" q.& up higher) to $37.95 sq. 95 to $29.95 sq. In Stock DOORs irl Stock ............. $239.81 O0'span Quotes SALES Golden Jubilarians William and Dorothy (Carie) Cunningham will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks- giving at 6 p.m. Jan. 13 at Sacred Heart Church, Vin- cennes. The couple was married Jan. 3, 1946, at St. Thomas Church, Vincennes by Father Cornelius Sahm. They are the parents of four children: Barbara Luig of Evansville, Diana Patterson of Bloomington, Richard Cunningham of Vincennes, and Donald Patterson of Princeton. They have 12 grandchildren and one great- grandchild. Mr. Cunningham is retired from the Packag- ing Corporation of America; Mrs. Cunningham is retired from WalMart. i ii ii i i i i II U I Kimball International Jasper, Indiana i i i i1= Golden Jubilarians Raymond and Virginia (Belford) Eberhard will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks- giving at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at St. Clement Church, Boonville. A dinner and dance will follow in St. Clement's social hall. The couple was married Jan. 5, 1946, at St. Clement by Fa- ther Clement Conen. They are the parents of three chil- dren: Margaret "Peggy" Waddell of Roseville, Mich., Theresa Ann Williams of Houston, Texas, and Joseph Eberhard of Laguna Nuguel, Ca. They have five grandchil- dren. Mr. Eberhard retired from Peabody Coal Company in 1980; Mrs. Eberhard retired from the Warrick County Prosecutor's Office in 1994. i ii ii ii i i i i i i [ . _ RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY i I i i , i t JASPER 1 ) 482-1200 i iii i] ii ii]J iii i LI [i