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January 19, 1996     The Message
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!9,1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 -- Cornmentary-- Fufillment of scripture: Choosing first disciples ja Gosp el Commentary for nuary 21,1996, Cycle A, Matthew 4:12.23 Matthew begins with a brief reference to the arrest of John the Baptist. He will tell his readers er that John was arrested by 1 od I order of Herod Antipas, that He a_s influenced by his wife Herodias ,. arrest John because John pub- ncly denounced what was consid- ;ed an adulterous marriage be- ech r Herod and Herodias. We do now exactly where John had g and preaching but it been in an area subject to the jurisdic- Antipas. Therefore the arrest was not in Judea where the Roman prefect farther north along the Jordan in t-he area known as Perea. From the Gospel of John we know that Jesus  disciples had also begun a baptismal min- that of John the Baptist. The arrest of seems to have put an end to Jesus' baptismal Matthew tells us Jesus withdrew into arrest We assume this withdrawal was to avoid T, . out Jesus went t, GAlilee i h was also aeroa,_. . ..... wh c xL  s JUrisdiction Thus after a brief sta at "aZareth in central'Galile'e Jesus moved  Caper- bll-This city provided not only a larger audience 0 "'7"u a route for quick escaoe on the Sea of I.I:TjiThat there was at onetime an attempt by 18'31 ,.'_t tupas to arrest Jesus is clear from Luke .' ", nere Jesus is w w n kill him arned that Herod a ted to DB(NFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST Matthew gives us no insight into political intrigue but finds a text in the Old Testament to demonstrate that this move of Jesus into Galilee was already fore- seen in the 8th century B.C. by Isa- iah 9:1-2. The prophet Isaiah speaks words of consolation to the northern tribes that were gradually falling to the army of Assyria from 734 to 721 B.C. Assyria, the super- power of the day, was retaliating for an alliance formed against it. Isaiah promises liberation, a libera- tion Matthew interprets as happen- ing over 700 years later when Jesus moves close to the Sea of Galilee. Matthew had to change the meaning of the words of Isaiah to fit the quotation to the situation in Jesus' time. He has given an entirely new and now spiritual meaning to the words of Isaiah. Thus Matthew adds words not of political liberation, but of spiritual liberation, the first words of Jesus' public ministry: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." This message he copied from Mark's Gospel. Significantly Matthew deletes the words of the Marcan Jesus: "The time is at hand." Just as Luke does, so Matthew has to cor- rect Mark's message of the imminent return of Jesus. Jesus now walks on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Here he encounters two fishing brothers, Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. He says: "Follow me. From now on you will be fishing for peo- ple." Their affirmative response is instant. He en- counters two more fishing brothers, James and John, working the waters of the Sea of Galilee with their father Zebedee. Jesus calls them. They leave the boat and their father and follow Jesus instantly. Perhaps we find this instant response somewhat pe- culiar. Luke did, so he arranged his gospel to have Jesus first work some miracles. Then he calls his first disciples. It can hardly be doubted that the Old Testament story of Elijah calling Elisha to follow him influenced the formation of the call of Jesus' first disciples. The story, is found in the First Book of Kings 19:19-21. Elijah and Elisha are ninth cen- tury B.C. prophets. Like Jesus, Elijah will soon be taken up. He calls a successor, young Elisha. Elisha is not fishing. He is plowing. The major difference between the Old Testament story and Matthew's story is that Elisha does not respond with immedi- ate discipleship but wants to take care of some fam- ily matters first. Not so with Jesus' new disciples. Their discipleship is expressed with instant compli- ance to Jesus invitation. What has Matthew taught us in today's gospel reading? Jesus is the fulfillment of all the hopes of both Jew and Gentile for light and salvation. His readers come from both sides, Jew and Gentile. Thus he cites words of Isaiah that were originally directed to the lost northern tribes of Jews now ab- sorbed into the nations or Gentiles. We are among the latter who "sat in darkness and have seen a great light." Secondly, we are urged to repent and take advantage of"the light that has dawned for those who sat in the.., shadow of death." Thirdly, our response to the call of Jesus' words of repen- tance and return to God must be immediate, no ex- cuses, no delays. Readings : Isaiah 8:23-93; I Cor 1:10.13, 17. 191 'IANA 47441 i'S INC. 140(] Franklin EVansville, IN RED WING ERS SSHOESTORE "Washington The Experts With Over 80 Years Experience! ,e Market Appraisal tnd Counsel Buyers Handle All Closing Proceedings SINCE 1913 464-5991 Golden Jubilarians Joe and Elvira (Schneider) Fehrenbacher Sr. of St. Wen- del will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with an Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Silver Bell Party Room in St. Wendel. All friends and relatives are in- vited to attend. The couple was married Jan. 31, 1946, at St. Wendel Church. They are the parents of four children: Sharon Baumgart of St. Wendel, Joe Fehrenbacher Jr. of Evansville, and Elaine Tenbarge and Beverly Adler, both of Haubstadt. They have 13 grandchildren and a step- grandson. Mr. Fehrenbacher retired from the U.S. Postal Service, and Mrs. Fehrenbacher retired from Whirlpool Corporation. THOMAS A. RUDER Timely Information For Tri-Slale Investors Since 1976 STOCKS * RETIREMENT PLANS * IRA'S TAX FREE BONDS MUI'UAL FUNDS 1NSURED CD's * MONEY MARKET FUNDS 3000 E. Morgan Ave. 473-0225 TOLL FREE 1-800-62.RUDER Edward D. Jones & Co.  r.,,,.,,.. ,,.- .,, i i i I Golden Jubilarians Arthur L and Vi Cornelius of Linton will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a buffet reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 20 at St. Peter's Hall. The reception wUlbe hosted by their three granddaughter',, Tammy Goodman, Lori Russell and Robin Haun, and their nine great-grand. children. Friends and relatives are invited; tl couple re- quests no gifts. They were married by Father William Berry and Father Joseph Steckler at St. Peter Church, where they are active members. Mr. Cornelius retired from General Electric Co. in 1980, and Mrs. Cornelius tired from G.C. Murphy Co. II I I Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc. 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