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January 27, 1989     The Message
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January 27, 1989
 

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January 27,1989 "Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5  Mass Readings B FATHER DONALD DILGER A visit to Nazareth: Jesus' keynote address Gospel Commentary for Sunday, January 29, 1989 Luke 4:16-30 Luke has drawn careful parallels between John the Baptist and Jesus through two annunciations, two birth stories and two ministries. He has been careful to subordinate the role of John to that of Jesus and never let them meet in person. John has testified to the greater role of Jesus first by his dance of joy in his mother's womb at the visit of the pregnant Mary. In his preaching he spoke of Jesus as "one mightier than I is coming." In Luke he is not allowed to baptize Jesus to avoid any im- pression that Jesus was a disciple of John. John is imprisoned and Jesus' work begins. John was given a keynote address from Isaiah, words which emphasized his preparatory role. Jesus is also given a keynote address from Isaiah which ex- presses what he is and what he will do. Before we examine the meaning of the ad- dress, let's visit Nazareth with Jesus. Luke notes that what Jesus does is by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was received at Jesus' baptism, led him into the wilderness for the temptations, and now brings him back to Galilee, where "he taught in the synagogues." He goes to Nazareth, Galilee, "where he had been brought up." He visits the synagogue on the sabbath as was his custom. Luke is depicting Jesus as an exemplary Jew. He stood up to read. They handed him the scroll of Isaiah. He read his text, then sat down to speak. He told his audience that the scripture he read was being fulfilled right in front of them. For this keynote address Luke chose a text which outlined his interpretation of Jesus. It expressed the themes of both his gospel and the Acts of Apostles, his se- cond book. It repeated that Jesus was annointed with the Spirit, that he was sent to preach the good news that God cares about the poor, the im- prisoned, the blind and all those on the bottom rung of the social ladder. At first the people praised the wonderful homily. Then they began to ask: "Isn't this the son of Joseph?" Familiarity breeds contempt. They could not believe that one of their own could amount to anything. As the Gospel of John puts it: "Can any good come from Nazareth?" Jesus quotes two examples from the Old Testa- ment showing that the prophets of Israel were sent not only to Israel but also to the Gentiles. When his audience heard these examples they were furious, kicked him out of town and then tried to throw him over a cliff. Jesus walked away. unharmed. Though we cannot agree with the kind of reaction they had to Jesus' first homily, we can at least admire their zeal and hope that our own homilies would kindle just a bit of the spark that they showed. What is Luke teaching his readers in this story? The story as told by Luke is to be regarded as a teaching story with perhaps some historical core, but not just the way it happened. Why not the way it happened? Luke has taken the story out of its context in the Gospel of Mark. He has put it at the beginning of Jesus' ministry in Galilee rather than close to the end where we find it in Mark and Matthew. We see a parallel in the Gospel of John. John took the cleansing of the temple from the end of the ministry and placed it at the beginning, in- mediately after the water to wine miracle to il- lustrate that the new wine was the grace and truth that came through Jesus and the temple, which was to come to an end, was the law given through Moses. Every event in the gospels as we have them must be examined for the meaning arising from its context. For Luke, this visit to Nazareth is the oppor- tunity to state the themes of his gospel. He does it by a long quote from Isaiah 61:1-2 mixed with Isaiah 58:6 and 42:7. Since Jesus was supposed to be reading from Isaiah 61:1-2, the deletions and additions made by Luke from other passages show us the artificial nature of the sermon. It was com- posed by Luke. It states his exact interests, in- terests that are however based on Jesus' ministry. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, who guided not only his own activity but that of all the mis- sionaries in Acts. His interests and associations were with those on the bottom rung of the social ladder. The opinion of the time was that sickness, poverty, slavery, oppression of any kind were punishments from God. The "Good News" Jsus brought was that these are the very people who need the greatest care. The violent reaction of the people is Luke's way of showing why this good news is being proclaimed to his Gentile communi- ty. Those to whom it was first directed rejected it. Luke ends by stating that Jesus "went on his way," the way which would lead to his death on the cross, a death already reflected in this story by the attempt on his life. Other readings [or Sunday, January 29, 1989: Jeremiah 1:4.19; I Cor. 12:31.13:13 Priests, parish staffs to attend Follow-up Day Jan. 31 By PAUL LEINGANG The meeting is termed a office, the sisters' senate, RCIA Message Editor "Follow-up Day" to the con- and clergy continuing vocation of priests and parish education. A vision of the Catholic staff from throughout the At the November meeting, parish in the year 2000 is what diocese last November. and in subsequent deanery priests and parish staff will try Planning the meeting are meetings since then, various to discern at a meeting planned representatives of the deans, questions were discussed about for the Catholic Center, the personnel board, the the parish and the role of the Evansville, Jan. 31. priests' council, the vocations priest in today's Church. "We have done a lot of ques- tioning," wrote Bishop Francis R. Shea in a letter to priests Jan. 13, "but the answers have so far come from fallible sources; we need to go higher." The method selected "to go higher" is to use a "process of discernment" which the Sisters The church surrounds the sacred rites with the most beautiful of prayers and the most consoling of anointings and blessings. Therefore, it is most fitting that the bodily remains of our loved ones, made sacred by the sacraments, should be. placed in a beautiful structure which is a place of prayer ..... ST. JOSEPH MAUSOLEUM PROVIDES YOU WITH... The most secure protection for your loved ones in above ground crypts. Architecture of a classic design lends a sense of beauty that cannot be outdated. The finest and strongest building materials of steel, granite and reinforced concrete has been used with the most up-to-date con- struction methods to guarantee a building not only of beauty but of enduring dignity. MAUSOLEUM BURIAL HAS DEFINITE ADVANTAGES... A Oatholic shrine recognizing death in its true perspective as the beginning of eternal life. Permanent entombment above ground at a cost comparative to ground burial. Meticulo'us care even after all family members are deceased. A final resting place in an atmosphere conductive to prayer by visitors. Selections can be made now, while husband and wife may do so... together. Peace of mind is assured by before-need provision of mausoleum property. St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, 2500 Mesker Park DriP/e, Evansville, IN 47712, Phone: (812) 423-1356 of St. Benedict in Ferdinand and other religious com- munities have used to make decisions on matters affecting the entire community. "The process of discernment is based upon the promise Jesus made to His Church that the Ho- ly Spirit will be given to us," wrote the bishop in his letter. "If the Holy Spirit is to lead us to all truth as promised, we need to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another." Sister Maria Taste, O.S.B., has been invited to facilitate the follow-up session of diocesan priests. Sister Taste said in a telephone interview that "shared wisdom" is the basis of discernment, and that those who use the process believe that the Spirit is present within the community. "We all have a piece of wisdom to share with the community," she said. Sister Taste said she believes using parliamentary procedure to make decisions leads to a "win-lose" situation. She believes the discernment pro- cess is much better because it leads to decisions made by con- sensus -- where everyone wins because the wisdom of all the members is important. Father John Davidson, pastor of St. Joseph Church, Jasper, said the discernment process "has promise." He said it was important that the process be- ing used had a spirtual basis, and was "not iust business." It is, however, a "painful pro- cess for priests," he said, "because it seems to be saying that we need to change the See PRIESTS page 9