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January 28, 1994     The Message
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January 28, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 I I III II I I I I I "- Commentary -- Teaching in the synagogue: The struggle begins rdi GOSpel eommentar for their own time. The method would n, 30, 1994, Fourth Sunda be akin to that used by our civil tla Y' 1:21.28oP3 Time, Cycle B, Mark judges interpreting a current case The settizg for this episode is Z.agogue at Capernaum. forJ es his readers no reason from past decisions. Jesus does not seem to have adopted this method of teaching. Like the other scribes or inter- preters of the Torah (Law of Moses) see: :t'at; Capernaum. It Jesus began with a text from the his ,,, tlrst returned to Torah. Then, instead of quoting gespe s iY", Nazareth. All the from past master interpreters, he Je i umcate non-acce t  . .... h; tion with an .sue new way of li e^ -- p. ance oz By FATHER  ....... own mterpre!a yves  d -"^"' . ,= uy ms rela- DON DILGER authoritative tone ann manner. Naz eth'W'cltizens of COLUMNIST Mark feels that such a manner of t;,-, " ,,aat were the,, *-   *--* e Scri tures re uires ;i?allag e carpenerUgets i I soz::ug:henticaon. Hoeqdid Jesus 0fC , at h."- " ? now begins,.., to.preach that the kindom, ........ hnw that he had authority to teach as he taught .. [ ed u':'u" rnmr atbtude may best be Perhaps a quote from the Gospel of John is perh- Christian theology depicted Jesus' public man- vhatever reason, from a time earlv in his Jesus seems to be headquartered in the aperaaura on the northwest shore of the Sea ,e. Mark wants us to think that Jesus has acquired so , . me fame as a teacher He de cts ,atering the syna o " P ath B- - - g gue hke any good Jew on , . ut he did more than attend Sabbath i e taught there. His teaching is described  taught with authority and not like the , methc of the scribes of the time. The re the recognized inter r ter e He tar- p e softh - esta s, the Scriptures we now.refer to as ,aent. Their method seems to have e;:dhn citing the great interpreters of the ' 'an] SOme adaptatmn to mtuatmns of istry as a struggle, combat, war, between the king- dom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Jesus' first encounter with Satan had been noted by Mark in his very brief account of the temptation of Jesus by Satan for forty days in the wilderness. Matthew and Luke later expanded Mark's simple version of the temptation of Jesus with a detailed story of a triple temptation. Whichever version of the tempta- tion we prefer, all of them intend to show Jesus as victorious over Satan. The temptation was only the first skirmish or battle in a prolonged war between the two kingdoms. The second battle takes place in the synagogue at Capernaum. Jesus' victory this time is used by Mark as confirmation of Jesus' au- thoritative teaching. II Within the miracle description Mark places a dialogue between Jesus and the devil or, as Mark says, "an unclean spirit." Whether or not this means ritual impurity of some kind we do not know. The evil spirit challenges Jesus' authority but is quickly squelched with a command to be silent and get out! The man within whom the evil spirit resides goes into a convulsion and the unclean spirit leaves him. Without going into the reality or non-reality of dia- bolic possession, let's just say that the purpose of the miracle here is to show Jesus' authority, that he had authority to teach as he taught and what he taught. Thus Mark's crowd responds with amazement: "What is this? A new teaching. With authority he commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." Beyond the intentions of Mark this story, like the rest of the Scriptures, has to be seen as bearing a message for our time. We note that Jesus teaches in the synagogue. As a Jew he speaks to Jews of his time. Whether we realize it or not, Christianity is a Jewish movement. It began in this way and will end in this way. Our system of religion which we call Christianity can no more escape its roots in Judaism than we can escape the genes passed on to us by our ancestors. Rather than mutual suspicion and denun- ciation between Christian and Jew, we should rather emphasize our common religious ancestry, that we are one family. Even the anti-Jewish state- ments made in our Christian Scriptures must be seen as a human deviation from the universal love proclaimed by Jesus and by those same Scriptures as divine revelation. "He entered the synagogue and taught," his synagogue and ours. Other readings: Deuteronomy 18:15.20; I Car 7:32.35 i I III ?Bt,' J , of s.00=g o. som,,00r: I American ,e! I00m00o,, MILLER & MILLER Drlve'in;aFdl:=rMemBakF'D"C'  79 ' ,merit Comu/tom ] , iI  can trust" tt i')l 00o,,ay I 424-9274 Linco,.,.o,,.,D,,,,.o.COffee,,,. ..,.oServices ,,- il klt] "l To" I IIBBIBIIBIIBBi " 46 Vadetk o| Coffees and Tea= ' l .,re I Serve -Your . WHATEVER YOUR TASTE, SEEKING ORGANIST/MUSIC DIRECTOR c,rc, rr  for St. John the Evangelist Catholic w,,=,,OEvansvt422.1833 I"'  Church Daylight. Interested parties , i ii HOLY LAND & ROME ,.%11 ,oifj 11 DAY PILGRIMAGE ,,,';41 t'i ! APRIL 20 -- 30, 1994 $1,699 7 days -- Israel $599 4 days -- Rome p '" $264 Ew -- NY -- Evv 00irezt Class Hotels =rakfa = st & Dinner Ir Ground transp. 000000.00 deposit lIEN ,KUYKENDALL, Chaplain Tou00s  : & Look Beyond Ministries Iib & Carol Ann Faucett : 'ativity . 3635 Pollack Ave. " . in should contact or write: Bob Vollmer, St. John the Evangelist Church, 5301 Daylight Drive, Evansville, IN 47711 mzzni POSITION AVAILABLE CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL A principal is sought for a small rural inter-parochial school in western Kentucky, the only Catholic School in Union County, Kn- tucky. The enrollment is 215 in grades K-8. This position is avail- able at the beginning of the 1994-95 academic school year. REQUIREMENTS: Energetic, visionary, experienced admini- strator totally dedicated to Catholic education and willing to con- sider a long-term tenure that allows for expansion and growth of the school. The applicant must be a practicing Catholic and be certifi- able as a principal in Kentucky. We hope to fill this position by April 1, 1994. Applications and resumes are to be sent to: Search Committse St. Anne Church 304 South Church Street Morgenfleld, Kentucky 42437 For further information call: Roy. Sever/n Messick, O.S.B., or Sr. Beatrice Koerper, O.S.F. at (502) 389-2287. FREE TICKET TO HEAVEN : "My Ticket to Heaven" is a unique booldet packed with timeless apiritull wisdom written by Fr. Paul Thomas, an "eighty yrs. young" retired priest. The booklet is FREE by sending a salf-addreiaed stsmped envelope to: MY TICKET TO HEAVEN, P.O. BOX 5, DEPT. !)5, RSHERVILLF. KY 40023-0005. II I I II I Main Street Pharmacy " 217 E. Main St., Downtown Wasl%gto Phone: 254-5141 i i