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January 13, 1995     The Message
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1995 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 "" Commentary-- Water into wine at Cana: Replacement theology GOspel commentary for Jan. 15, Second Sunday, Ordi. nary Time, Cycle C, John 2:1.11. : Although we are in the cycle of readings from the Gospel of Luke. from Luke today. are directed to the John and the changing of at the wedding Cana, Galilee. In the of John Jesus' miracles are that is they serve to By FATHER DON DILGER s or direct our minds to COLUMNIST e partiular aspe::: ::;tity ide--rofhlsmls'" John Thechan "n of are seven such signs m in feast is ong] ghe Water into wine at the wedd g y first. week we celebrated the Epiphany or reve- on of Jesus to the world outside ! people, The world was represented by the assume that the people responsi- the choice of gospel readings chose this first or sign of Jesus as a counterpart to last In the Epiphany story Jesus' glory worhl. In other words he is made World. In today's gospel his glory is disciples, i.e. t[my come to know him re about him. Thus tile whole with tile words: "This, the first of at Cana in Galilee, and re- as glory: and his disciples believed in him." eles in John are signs or pointers aspect of Jesus' ministry or person, how does the miracle of changing water into wine accomplish this purpose? A basic principle for un- derstanding anything in the Gospel of John is to realize that history and/or a biography is not his concern. His concern is rather to cast his gospel in such a way that those who read it and hear it will come to faith in Jesus as Son of God. John makes this very clear when he writes: "These things were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name." As part of this purpose John uses what may be called "replacement theology". He sets out to demonstrate to his community of Christian-Jews that everything they had in their way of life in Judaism has been replaced or perfected by Jesus. The "anti-tone" of this gospel is present through- out, a product of a time when the Jewish-Christ- ian community, now also joined by many Gentile Chri.stians, was trying to establish its identity over against its mother, Judaism. Therefore, John speaks for his particular Christian community when he attempts to demonstrate how Jesus per- [bets and/or replaces the Torah, the ancient ritu- als, the temple, the Sabbath and the other vari- ous, great Jewish feastdays. In the first chapter of his gospel John had de- clared Jesus as the WORD of God. This could mean that Jesus perfects or replaces the Torah it- self; or at a minimum John intends to say that Jesus' teaching as John presents it in his gospel is the true interpretation of the Torah. In this first miracle or sign of Jesus that we celebrate today John takes on Jewish purification rites, or perhaps the whole system of "clean and unclean." How can we know this? The jars that are standing there, the jars that Jesus orders to be filled, were the jars "for the Jewish rites of purification." We have to recall that at the time when John was writing his gospel there were various forms of Judaism. Christianity is part of an internal struggle within Judaism as to how one should live or practice Judaism which was now with- out the temple or the sacrificial cult and purification rites that were carried on in the temple. John says that the Christian movement is the way to go. The new wine is a sign that Jesus has re- placed the ancient purification rites -- the empty jars. John will go on to say that not only are the pu- rification rituals replaced, but the very temple in which they were performed has been replaced by Jesus. This is why John takes the temple cleansing out of its traditional place at the end of Jesus' min- istry and places it immediately after the creation of new wine. In appbfing this story of Jesus' first miracle or sign to ourselves, we might see the empty jars as a sign or symbol of the emptiness of our own lives. The story invites us to unite with the statement of the Mother of Jesus: "They have no wine." lter implicit petition is not only tbr her own race and people, as John intends, but {br all Christians of all times, We are those servants to whom she turns with the words: "Do whatever he tells you." Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5; I Cor 12:411. 3TOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis is seeking a Director of Religious Io provide archdiocesan level leadership, coordination, and support for Eous education. This position is responsible for promoting the Catholic Education through life-long faith formation in a 39-county and southern Indiana, comprised of urban, suburban, and rural fities. .must be exemplary practicing Catholics with well-developed communi- interpersonal skills. We require a master's degree in religious educa- or a related field and a minimum of five years of experience as an )r of religious education or catechist. Experience in adult faith formation We ffer corn ,Ce and - pet=tcve compensation and excellent benefits, including health insur- to'. a retirement plan Please send resume and salary history, in confidence, The Ar Ed Isakson Director, Human Resources Cldloces h P.O Box 1410 Indiana ohs e of Indianapo "s . . " p " , IN 46206 An Equal Opportunity Employer I I I I HOLY LAND 10-DAY PILGRIMAGE with Fr. Philip Kreilein and Mary Jo Holmes July 31 -- August 9, 1995 WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS! Bethlehem; Nazareth; The Galilee; Capernaum; Mount of Beatitudes; Mount Tabor, Jerusalem; Mount of Olives; Garden of Gethsamane; Via Dolorosa. Visit many beautiful churches and shrines venerating Jesus, His disciples and Mary. Fr. Philip Kreilein P.O. Box 156 Ferdinand, IN 47532 Phone: 812-367-1212 Mary Jo Holmes 825 Maryland Street Ferdinand, IN 47532 Phone: 812-367-1343 ons from St. Celestine the 50th Anniversary of 00cese of Evansville S. Buhman L, Butler Louise Tretter Housekeeper-Sacristan: Loretta ttumbert Total Families: 350 Total Parishioners: 1,,00 RAY FRITZ REALTY & APPRAIS.ALS (812) 482 6630 JASPER, IN [ i c= ,n 3acke lnster CONYERS GEORGIA May 12-14 Oct 12-14 PASSION PLAY Eureka Springs, Apfi 28-30 Mother Aretica's EWtN & Cartas Call Jackie for Reservations (812) 963-5533 i i i