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January 18, 1991     The Message
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| January18,1991 Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 .DONALD DILGER WitvL0000ss of John the Baptist: the call of the disciples Gospel Commentary for Sunday, January 20, 1991; Second Sunday in Ordinary Time -- John 1:35.42 Every year at this time the Church asks us to consider the story of the call of Jesus' first disciples. This year that story is taken from the Gospel of John. This gospel differs from the others in the fact that the call takes place east of the Jor- dan, close to Judea, soon after the baptism of Jesus. In the other gospels it takes place in Galilee, far to the north. Efforts to bring the two accounts together to preserve historical accuracy center on the explana- tion that Jesus first called his disciples as we read about it in John. Then they went about their work. Later he re-calls them in Galilee. But such a solu- tion goes beyond the evidence of the gospels. There is no indication whatsoever that when Jesus calls them in Galilee they have already heard him or heard about him. There is no need to try to preserve historical accuracy, for history or biography is not the con- cern of the gospel-authors. They have a religious purpose, a teaching statement to make in these stories. We may never know which of the two is historically correct and this need not be our con- Cern anymore than it was the concern of the authors. Since this year's call-story is taken from the Gospel of John, let's see what the author is teaching his readers. John the Baptist has already given his witness to Jesus: "See the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." Now John gives witness to Jesus a second time, this time in the presence of two of his own disciples. He sees Jesus walking by and says again: "See! The Lamb of God!" John's two disciples leave John now and follow Jesus. They approach him, addressing him as "Rabbi." They ask him where he is staying. Jesus invites them to come and see. They stay overnight while Jesus instructs them. The following day one of these new disciples, the one named Andrew, goes out to find his brother Simon (Peter). He finds him and proclaims to him they had found the "Messiah." Andrew. in- troduces Simon (Peter) to Jesus. Jesus changes Simon's name to "Peter," or "Rock." That is all the gospel-reading tells us today. And at first glance it is not a whole lot. What is the author of the gospel doing with this material? He is describing the call of every Christian to follow Jesus, the response of a Christian to the call, and the growth in faith that follows. How does the author do this? He divides his story into days: "...the next day...the next day...the next day." First there is the proclamation, the witness of John the Baptist to Jesus. This was followed by his witness in the presence of two of his own disciples. They hear John. Faith begins in their heart. They want more. They follow Jesus and already address him as their teacher. They want to know where he is staying. Jesus invites them to stay with him by the words: "Come and see!" To come to Jesus and to see Jesus are standard ways in which the Gospel of John describes faith. To stay with Jesus means to be attached to Jesus as a disciple. The next step now/ollows. A disciple is never satisfied to contain within herself or himself what has been learned from and about Jesus. Therefore Andrew now goes out and gets Simon Peter and brings him to Jesus. He announces to Simon Peter: "We have found the Messiah." This is the author's way of showing growth in faith. From calling Jesus their teacher they have advanced to calling him Messiah. In the section that follows growth in faith is shown to continue by having the next disciple call Jesus "Son of God, King of Israel." The author of the gospel sums it all up when he adds at the end of Jesus' first miracle in the presence of his disciples: "Jesus manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him." Faith is now secure. "We have found the Messiah!" The first reading for today presents the call of God in a different way. God calls the prophet Samuel. His final answer is: "Speak, Lard! Your servant is listening!" That is also our answer. Other readings for Sunday, January 20, 1991: I Samuel 3:3.10, 19; I Cor. 6:13-15 and 19-20. Family Leave Bill has strong support from ICC By ANN WADELTON Indiana Catholic Conference Among the nearly 3000 bills expected to be introduced in this session of the Indiana Ceaeral Assembly, there is one which would help many young tanailies cope with their dual job. It's House Bill 1208, the Family Leave Bill which would allow parents to take unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill child or their parents or spouse. The bill has been introduced by Rep. John heard in Rep. Day's Committee (Family and Children) January 16. Floor vote in the House is expected by late January. The bill has the strong support of the Indiana Catholic Con- ference (ICC). A similar bill, supported by the United States Catholic Conference, was ap- responsibilities to family and Day (D-Indianapolis) and was proved by federal legislators this past session but was vetoed by, President Bush. Despite the chl rages in the wor cezLt years," says mend Ryan, ICC Director, ' we HIGHLAND CHAPEL 6300 FIRST AVE. Four Convenient Locations GREENE INSURANCE, INC. "Committed To Serving You" 304 E. VanTrees Washington 254-5768 dramatic changes in the work force in re- cent years," says Dr. M. Des- Executive continue to operate as though mothers stay at home to care for the children and fathers' wages are suffi- cient to support the family." Yet in fact, only 14 percent of American families follow that traditional mode. Women make up almost half of the total workforce. More than 80 per- cent of them are in their childbearing years (1844). And nearly 50 percent of all mothers with children under the age of one year are working. Indiana, along with most other states, makes no from the business sector which allowance for these changes, was instrumental in defeating a Most workers risk losing their similar bill in 1988. Yet, a jobs, along with their health study by the U.S. General Ac- benefits, if they take time off to counting Office (GAO) found meet family responsibilities, that the cost to business is Sixty percent of working minimal, amounting mainly to women have no form of mater- the cost of maintaining health nityleave, insurance. The GAO study Yet caring for infants and shows that employers replace children is not the only respon- fewer than one in three absent sibility of today's parents, says workers and that the cost of the Dr. Ryan. According to U.S. temporary replacements is Department of Labor studies, similar to or less than the cost of working women are also the the workers replaced. primary caregivers for their Businesses benefit by increas- elderly family members. In fact, ing their ability to recruit and today's women can expect to retain productive workers, says spend more years caring for an the GAO. aging parent (18 years) than for a dependent child (17 years). Surveys show strong support Rep. Day's bill calls for a state from the general public. In policy to allow 10 weeks ofun- 1987, Opinion Research Cor- paid leave, with a continuance poration asked: "All things of health benefits, to men and considered, haw strongly do women in companies with you favor or oppose parental more than 20 employees. The leave legislation?" Seventy-six bill would also assure the percent said that they either employee of the same or a "strongly favored" or "fa- similar position once the un- vored" parental leave. 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