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January 7, 1994     The Message
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January 7, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 jaG_sP el commentar for 1 in no need of repentance And so n. 9 .-" ," . " . ark brings Jesus onto center plications of Jesus submitting to baptism by John "- Commentary , The baptism of Jesus: The simple story by Mark the Baptist. As time went on Christian communi- ties found such submission offensive. This develop- ment is expressed'in the way Matthew and Luke handle the baptism of Jesus story and in its total omission from the Gospel of John. We suspect that Jesus' baptism by John was given this new spin because as time went on there were disputes be- tween disicples of Jesus and disicples of John the Baptist as to who really was Messiah. The baptism of John was still practiced in the latter part of the first century by John's disciples.That they came into conflict with Christians, i.e. followers of Jesus, is indicated in the Gospel of John. The Christian Churches had to deal with the problem that Jesus seemed to be a disciple of John the Baptist. In real- that Jesus came from Nazareth of Was baptized by John in the Jordan came up out of the water the heav- and the Spirit came down upon him in uove. A voice of approval comes from ray beloved Son. With you I am is Mark's simple description of to the description and- - Luke. They took Mark's sim- mane some changes and elaborations. Matthew and Luke had a problem Jesus was baptized by John. was a sign of inner repen- to early theological develop- y without sin and therefore ity he may well have been so at first. Later Jesus de- veloped his own baptismal ministry. Mark already deals with this problem by demonstrating John's inferiority to Jesus in the statements about his unworthiness to act as slave to Jesus and his comparison between baptism by John and baptism by Jesus. More important for Mark than the baptism itself is the voice of revelation that comes from heaven after the baptism: "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased." In this state- ment we see an evolution in Christian theology as to when the divine character of Jesus was revealed. Earliest theology on this matter is found in an old creed cited by Paul in his Letter to the Romans, that Jesus "wasdesignated Son of God in power accord- ing to the Holy Spirit by his resurrection." Mark is not satisfied to place such a designation or revelation only at the end of Jesusearthly life. He places that revelation at the beginning of Jesus' public life, on the occasion of his baptism: "You are my beloved Son." Matthew and Luke will take the revelation of Jesus' divine sonship still farther back, to Jesus' conception. In Luke this is done through an annunciation to Mary. In Matthew through an an- nunciation to Joseph. The Gospel of John has a still different approach. The author of that gospel first speaks of the eternal Word of God who was himself GOd and through whom GOd created all things. It was this Word of God who is God who then became human through Jesus of Nazareth. Thus our lesson today is theological, a lesson in faith rather than a lesson in morality. Other readings: Isaiah 42:1.4, 6.7; Acts 10:34-38. communion and their un- communion. ntinued be- churches and Other Chris- activities and in- "Orthodox Or- ere the col- .raunism has new needs for the re- No- to ordain rati- and In November extensive efforts COnsequences First ordina- Ln Worsen in in the to find and oppo- to offi- oUt Policies and other move 16 papal t the itself ts efforts rela- With Islam Mus- and in As- SeCond inter- by World month the Christ. erstanding during a visit to Sudan. Throughout the year Vatican and Israeli representatives had a series of meetings to find ways to improve relations be- tween them. American religious leaders moved to calm anti-Muslim feelings when the February bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and other foiled bomb plots were linked to followers of a radical Mus- lim cleric, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. The world Parliament of Re- ligions met in Chicago last summer. The ecumenical movement lost a leading figure Oct. 7 with the death of the Rev. Arie R. Brouwer, 58, a Reformed Church in America minister who was deputy general secre- tary of the World Council of Churches 1983-85 and general secretary of the National Council of Churches 1985-89. He died of cancer. Leading Catholic figures who died in 1993 included: Helen Hayes, 92, one of America's most honored stage and screen actresses, who was also widely recognized for her social and religious contribu- tions in real life; March 17, in Nyack, N.Y., of congestive heart failure. Msgr. John M. Oesterre- icher, 89, Moravian-born Jew turned Catholic, founder and head for 40 years of the world's first Institute of Judaeo-Chris- tian Studies at Seton Hall Uni- versity in New Jersey, pioneer in Catholic-Jewish relations and chief architect of the new Catholic teaching on Jews and Judaism adopted by the world's Catholic bishops at Vatican II: April 19, in Liv- ingston, N.J., of a heart attack. Cesar Chavez, 66, United Farm Workers founder and head whose name symbolized the nonviolent struggle for farm worker rights since the 1960s: April 23, in San Luis, Ariz., of natural causes. Father Bede Griffiths, 87, British Benedictine monk and convert from Anglicanism who founded a monastery in India in 1958 and whose pioneer writings on Eastern religions and spirituality paved the way for a vast intercultural and in- terreligious East-West dia- logue: May 13, in Shanti- vanam, India. Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, 66, arch- bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, apparently a victim of mis- taken identity in a shoot-out between rival drug gangs: May 24, at the Guadalajara airport, of multiple gunshot wounds. King Baudoin, 62, ruler of Belgium since 1951, who in 1990 temporarily abdicated his throne rather than violate his Catholic convictions by signing a bill legalizing abortion: July 31, while vacationing in Motril, Spain, of a heart attack. Federico Fellini, 73, Oscar-winning Italian movie director whose stylized, biting film satires of Italian religious and social life in the 1950s and '60s earned him a prominent place in film history and a rep- utation as an anti-cleric, al- though his work often reflected Christian values: Oct. 31, in Rome, of a stroke. Felix Houphouet-Boigny, 88, president of Ivory Coast since independence in 1960 and a staunch Catholic who left as a monument to his 33- year rule the world's tallest Catholic basilica, completed in 1990 at a cost of $150 million: Dec. 7, in Abidjan, of cancer. Golden Jubilarians Norbert and Virginia (Ellert) Kremer of Evansville cele- brated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a family gathering Nov. 27, 1993. The couple was married Jan. 11, 1944, by Father Francis Bauer at Assumption Cathedral in Evansville. They are the parents of three children: Pat Le Gate, Tom Kremer and Mike Kremer, all of Evansville. They have 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchil- dren. Mr. Kremer retired in 1980 after 33 years as a sales representative for several manufacturing companies. He later retired from First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Kre. mer is a retired teacher with the Evansville Catholic Dio- cese schools. They are members of Holy Trinity Church, Evansville. IllIIIIII I Ill 1 I ill I I I I I I II MILLER & MILLER "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" 424-9274 II Ill III I III I I I Ilil IIIII II II I III II _ I J II IIII III I I II III I I II III _ I T Fs Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 I I II III I IIII ]1 I II I IIII I I ] [  J _! I]