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January 23, 1998     The Message
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January 23, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Introduction to Luke: Introduction to r ByFATHERDONALDDILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for January 23,1998: Third Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle C: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21 Before Luke begins the story of Jesus, he writes a preface of dedication in which he explains the pur- pose of his writing. He notes that many before him have attempted to put together a narrative about the deeds and words of Jesus, or as he phrases it, "the things which have been accomplished among us." We do not know who these "many" are. We have one of these many for certain and another hypothetically. The certain predecessor of Luke is the Gospel of Mark. As far as we know, Mark is the pioneer of the type of literature we call "gospel." Luke will use Mark as a primary source. We can tell much about Luke&apos;s theology by comparing his gospel with that of Mark to see what changes, additions, and omissions he makes. Besides Mark there is another predecessor of Luke, a writing we call "Q'. The "Q" is taken from the German word "Quelle" meaning "source." Luke shares this source with Matthew. The hypothesis goes like this: when Luke and Matthew have the same material, sometimes word for word, and the material is not found in Mark, then it is derived from "Q". One example is the fiery preaching of John the Bap- tizer. Some scholars posit a third source for Luke called "L," which designates material found only in the Gospel of Luke. In his preface Luke notes the importance of tradi- tion, that is, the deeds and words of Jesus handed down not only by eye and ear witnesses of Jesus but also those who became proclaimers of the gospel. The latter would include St. Paul. Luke does not claim to be an eyewitness, but one who depends on them. One may see in Luke a third generation Christian. First were the eyewitnesses, then the "ministers of the word," as he calls them. Finally comes Luke along with other gospel writers. Luke notes that he "fol- lowed all things closely, for some time past." In other words he studied and collected traditions for a long time before he undertook writing, arranging, and rearranging the traditions about Jesus. His gospel is dedicated to someone named Theophilus, perhaps Luke's financial sponsor for this undertaking. Writing a document involved very expensive materials. Theophilus is either a Christian or at least a man informed about Christianity, since Luke asserts that he writes his version of the deeds and words of Jesus, "that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed, most excellent Theophilus." He tells Theophilus that he intends to write a systematic or orderly account, which seems to be a kind of slap in the face to those who "tried" before Luke. Our reading for today now skips chapters one and two, the so-called "Infancy Gospel of Luke," also chapter three and part of chapter four, leaving aside the preaching of John the Baptizer, the baptism of Jesus and his designation as Son of God, his family tree, and the triple temptation in the wilderness. We begin immediately with Jesus' first visit to Nazareth after the beginning of his public life. He had already been preaching and healing throughout Galilee, according to Luke. Therefore the former carpenter of Nazareth was already well known to his former fel- low townspeople as a traveling preacher. Recall that Luke claims to be writing an orderly account. There- fore this visit which occurs much later in the Gospel of Mark, is put at the beginning of Jesus' ministry by Luke. It was the Sabbath day. Luke portrays Jesus as the faithful Torah-practicing Jew that he was. Therefore he goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. custom, when well known interpreters of the Torah came to town, to give nity to read a text and interpret it for the synagogue. Jesus is handed the He unrolls it and reads from Isaiah 61 that Luke is composing this reading because he liberally mingles into the tex H :1-2 other thoughts from Isaiah 42:7. is not an eye or ear witness of Jesus, about fifty years after Jesus' departure. he change the traditional place of Jesus' Nazareth as he found it in the Gospel also wrote Jesus' inaugural sermon occurred in the Gospel of Gospel of Mark. Luke takes an Mark said only that Jesus taught in the Luke takes the opportunity to pt teaching, words that strike the gospel. It is Jesus' inaugural address Lucan Jesus' program. Luke begins with Jesus" the Lord is upon me." Then the good news to the poor, release to of sight to the blind, liberty for claim Yahweh's time of favor. If ing theme of Luke's gospel, it is poor, the oppressed, the handicapped t and physically. This is the program Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. It is the a Church for which Church that does not have as its primarY agenda outlined in the Lucan Jesus' men, is not the Church envisioned by 1 Gospel of Luke. The same holds tians. Readings: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, ans 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21. Happy Ads celebrate Catholic Schools Sts. Peter and Pau kindergarten students are a living reflection of our theme, "What Would Jesus DoYou are truly a special group of studentsl Love, Mrs-. Bittner and Mrs. Zenthoofar Happy Catholic schools Week to the stu- dents, parents, lacta"ty and staff at Good Shepherd School! YOu are absolutely the VERY BESTt Sistm Mary Celestin We have the best students at Washington Catholic Elementap/.Thanks for the Christ- mas remembrances. From the teachers and staff and Mrs. Camahan The St. Benedict School faculty and stu- dents thank Bishop Gettelfinger and Dr. Bussing for their leadership of the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Evansville. Corpus Chris thixd Faders: I hope you enjoy all the fun and e=citing activities dur- ing Caolic schoob Week. Mrs. Bell J.i ii i , SL Jarnes rm sooo glad to be back. You're the best. Mrs. Bta:k I I i St. Theresa staff and studen You make our sd a .ondl pace to learn and g.Thank you al so much! Mrs. Brandle The teachers at WCCS, Sacred Heart Cam- pus, think their chaco are fantastic. We love each and Me/one of your The students in t,t Chandlm's fifth grade at Holy Redeemer School are exceptional. They are Numbe Om in my book! IH ,es. ,s Mamm I dass is t t't group of boys and gkls in Evansville. i in Education." Have a great Catholic Sd Week -- stud teachers, staff, SL James Kool Kindergarten  love their nea n  Have Io ot fun! Line, Mrs.W. Who has the greatest fifth grade class? St. Benedict School.You are a wonderful and enthusiastic group of students. Miss Frank St. Theresa third graders are happy, hard- working, and full of spirit. I'm proud of you! You are fantastic! Miss Alvey Corpus Christi is a super school; our colors are gold and blue; we have what it takes to motivate and educate you! Happy Catholic Schools Week to the kinder- ' garten class of Holy Cross. You are the greatest and this is a terrific year. Mrs. Z. Mrs. Kennedy's third grade class at Holy Redeemer School is the GREATEST! Keep up  goed work!) Holy Radeemer Sd'o is Number One. Go Trojans! The first grade al StThe is the very best! Mrs. Waninge is hairy to be their teached rhe e' gra:le ma class = St. Jans is the Oreaest. rm proud of you. Mre. L Happy reading to all the wonderful Corpus Christi students Love, Mrs. Feller To the 321 students at Good Shepherd Schod. You make your  very proud. Keep up  x3d werk. St. Theresa burth gradm m awesomel rm so hamy to be your Zzch= b's p Keep up the good work. Lo, Mrs.Wdms Dear Resurrection First Graders, I am so proud of your hard . Xp  upu a  bti Mrs. Bpm To me St. Blm class of '98; we betm+ Itmt Angela, Jason, Laura, Phillip, Jill, Jimmy, Jessica, Leslie, Ryan,  and Travis, rm proud of each one of you! Mrs. Paulson Mrs. Widerman thinks she has the best class in Corpus Christi School! I am having a great time learning with you! The SL James volleyball teams are the best! Thanks for a great season! Love, Coach 1". Holy Cross Rrst Graders are the best! Tara, Jessica, Leia, Brittany, Alex, Blake,. Scott, Mike, Bryce. Love, Mrs. Wallace St. Theresa kindergarten we are so proud of you. Keep up the great work in 1998. We love you. Love, Mrs. Fleming and Ms. Gloria Corpus Christi first graders -- keep working hard. I love you! Mrs. Hodoe Dear Kindergarten, We have Faith in You! Love, Mrs. Scha and Miss Unfried The fourth grade at St. Ben's wishes every- one peace, happiness and lots of jolly ranchers. way to go soven grad Kp up  good work! Mr.F. Sixth, seventh, eighth graders at Corpus Chdsti, God made each of you a unique person. Use your talents to serve Him well. Mrs. Spahn, Etpers, and Weber Mrs. Prlar's eighth grade dass is the best! We've had a great year so far. I'll miss you next yearl Holy Cross Second Graders think that  Sch<xs Week is a great time to be thankful  their Catholic education. Mrs. Trapp is very proud of her middle schoo =udents at Cood Shepherd . 'St. James sixth graders put a smile on my face. Thanks for being simply marvelous! Mrs. Schmitt Dear Kindergartners, you are full of kind- ness, energy, and joy. You are learning to appreciate your world! Love, Mrs. Hinder- liter and Mrs. Well Happy bread-making to all third grade stu- dents at St. Ben's! Panettone all the way! Love, Mrs. Woehler and Mrs. Steckler Dear Resurrection Kindergarten, We are very thankful to have a wonderful class like you! Love, Ms. Ficker and Mrs. McBride Corpus Christi second graders, you are all Number One in my book! Mrs. Goeltz Roses are red, violets are blue, our fifth grade is great, and St. James School is too! Mrs. Geer St. Bened't sixth graders: We appredate all your efforts to make this year a suooessful one. Keep it up! Mrs. Russler and Mr. Folz Fourth graders at Holy Cross School are the best. They're kind, hard working, and a lot of fun! It's great having them in my class. Mrs. Connie Grabert Holy Redeemer Computer Students: Bring this notice to your computer teacher for a prize. Happy Catholic Schools Weekl St. Benedict seventh graders are the lead- ers of tomorrow and the joy of today, Mrs. Wright St. James fourth graders, you're a fantastic class! Bring in this ad and receive mini economy money. Love, Mrs. Johnson To all St, to you each dayl Mrs., St. Ben Sun and Shine on Love, Mrs. Heitzman . :i WCCS is the best! dents' Keep up the good second semester. St. James third an award sticker. LoVe, dents have what world Keep developing th you.You yourself. Mrs. NagY : St. Joe students in | one, two: Keep Thanks for Happy CSW! Love ....... Bridget, Ms. Benett The greatest kids " Redeemer Mrs. Jureczki Benedict first graders, Mrs.G. Second grade You e to paY you really el LoVe, Two, Good Shepherd School's seventh graders lygreat are awesomel Bring in this message for a Wes, Eric, Lee,