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February 2, 1990     The Message
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February 2, 1990
 

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 February 2, 1990 Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5  Mass Readings By FATHER DONALD DILGER Gospel Commentary for Sunday, February 4, 1990 Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time -- Matt 5:13.16 In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus has just spoken the eight beatitudes, the ultimate standards for Christian life. He follows the beatitudes with fur- ther clarification. Those who live the beatitudes will be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a city set on a hill, a lamp that radiates through the whole house. In applying these sayings of Jesus to his own Christian congregation Matthew advises them to let their light shine before all, not for their own reputation or glory, but for that of their Father in heaven• The sayings of Jesus contained in this reading are found not only in Matthew• They are found partly in Luke, partly in Mark. In each Gospel they vary somewhat and are placed in a different con- text in each Gospel• This illustrates how the say- ings of Jesus, handed down orally forty to fifty years after his death, evolved differently in dif- ferent church communities. They were "free- floating" sayings that teachers and preachers could use in any context, could apply in any way they wished• There is no way we can know which version is the original• Nor does it matter• The inspired words of the Gospel handed down to us by the Church are the vehicle of revelation even though L I Salt, city on a hill, light: the Christian in the world they may take different forms in different Gospels. They have something to teach us. Now a closer look at these words. SALT OF THE EARTH: Looking .at Old Testa- ment background we find that salt was sprinkled on sacrifices to the Lord. It was considered to have medicinal qualities when Elisha the prophet used it to purify a spring in Jericho so that "neither death nor miscarriage would come from it." A newborn child was rubbed with salt. It was used as an ingredient of sacred incense. Salt was used to seal treaties and other agreements. Such an agree- ment was called a "covenant of salt." After an agreement was signed the parties to the agreement ate salt together. Once a person ate the salt of another person, an unbreakable bond was established between them. As salt is used to bring life, to heal, to com- • plete, so the life of a Christian brings life, healing, wholeness to the lives of those she touches. A Christian who does not live up to Christian ideals becomes as useless as salt without saltiness, good for nothing but to be thrown out. A CITY ON A HILL: A Christian is also like a city on a hill. One who practices a Christian life will stand out like such a city. Old Testament background may be found in the words of Isaiah 2:2-5. He describes the city of Jerusalem, set on a hill, to which all the nations will come in pilgrimage. He envisions universal peace going out from this city on the hill, Thus the Christian brings peace to those whose life he touches. LIGHT OF THE WORLD, LAMP ON A STAND: A third way of describing a Christian is as a light o the world, a lamp that radiates through the whole house. Matthew already portrayed Jesus as a light to the nations at 4:15-16. The follower of Jesus has that same quality. The Christian prin- ciples by which he lives will single him out and draw others from darkness to the light• The whole house referred to in the saying about the lamp is the one-room Palestinian house common among the poor of the first century. "It gives light to all in the house•" The life of a Christian must be such that it enlightens and attracts everyone who sees it. A light that is covered is either extinguished or does no good to anyone• The light must be allowed to shine for all to see. To what purpose? "That they may give glory to your Father who is in heaven• These final words of the gospel reading tell us that the credit for our good works is to be attributed to the Father. A Christian never lives for himself alone. His light is to shine for all to se. A Christian life is a channel for others to come to the light, to come to the Father• Other readings for Sunday, February 4, 1990: Isaiah 58:7-10; I Corinthians 2:1-5 ICC backs bills showing concern for saci'etlr00ress of life By ANN WADELTON Indiana Catholic Conference The Church's concern for life at all of its stages, from concep- tion to a natural death, is cl0ar- ly demonstrated by the bills be- ing backed by the Indiana Catholic Conference at this near mid-point of the I.ndiana General Assembly's "short" session. The bills focus on the spec- trum of life: abortion, prenatal care, adoption, maternity homes, child care, AFDC, minimum wage, energy assistance for the poor and capital punishment. "They Clearly show the Church's con- cern for the sacredness of life and her conviction that we have a responsibility, personally and as a society, to protect and nur- ture that life," said Dr. M. Des- raond Ryan, ICC's executive director. "How can you work for the protection of the unborn and not show equal concern for prenatal care? Or the reverse?" he asks. Four anti-abortion bills have been passed by members of the House: -- HB 1134, Informed Con- sent, passed 64-34. The bill, already sent to the Senate, re- quires a physician to inform a pregnant woman about the abortion procedure and risks as well as al[ernatives to abortion, such as medical assistance which may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care. It would require the Board of Health to publish information about alternatives to abortion as well as fetal development at various stages. The bill would also require a 24 hour waiting period. Senate sponsors for HB 1134 are JASPER SER VICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE Buehlers I.G.A. JASPER-HUNTINGBURG Car Wash Centers "THE THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S SOURCE OF SAVINGS" QUALITY FOODS and MEATS H, untingburg and Oakland City KREMPP w LUMBER CO HOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION & . GENERAL CONTRACTING .YARD CONSTRUCTION Z'1961 482-6838 JASPER BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME DOwntown Chapel, 214 E. 7th NorthChapel, 33rd Newton • 3 Automatics • 12 Self-serve Bays JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph. 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER Senators Patricia Miller (R- Indianapolis} and Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond). -- HB 1034, Public Facilities, passed 56-43, Monday• The bill includes most of the restrictions upheld by the Supreme Court in the Webster decision, including a ban on the use of public facilities and public employees for abortions and a requirement that a physician test for viabili- ty at 20 weeks. The bill's spon- sor, Rep. Frank Newkirk (D- Salem} successfully amended the bill to make abortions il- legal after the 20th week. Under current state law, abortions may be performed after the 20th week, but a second physician must be present to care for the child if it survives. -- HB 1088, Sex Selection, passed 77-21, Monday• The bill would ban abortions for the purpose of sex selection• -- HB 1258, Viability, passed 59-39, Monday. The measure requires testing for viability at 20 weeks gestational age. A resounding majority of the members of the House defeated an effort by Rep. James Davis (R-Frankfort) to kill the anti- abortion bills for this session by assigning them to a study com- mittee. The vote was 70-27 against the amendment• Two adoption bills, one in the House and the second in the Senate, are also expected to be sent to the opposite chamber for debate. Both bills, SB 241 and HB 1071 would encourage the adoption of "special needs" children by allowing a subsidy for support and/or medical ex- penses to the adoptive parents• The death penalty bill, HB 1431, passed 55-42, Monday• The bill would assign to the jury, not the judge, the respon- sibility for setting the sentence in a trial which the state seeks JOB OPENING: SECRETARY/NOTARY FOR THE TRIBUNAL The position of Secretary/Notary for the Tribunal will be open after February 2, 1990. The Tribunal deals with persons seeking church annulment or dissolution of marriage. The position of secretary involves general secretarial services for the staff of the Tribunal as well as the per- formance of special duties in filing cases, preparing legal forms and decisions, and keeping accurate records for all cases. For details contact Rev. Charles J. Koch, Judicial Vicar, at the Catholic Center, 4200 N. Kentucky Avenue, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169. Phone 424-5536. the death penalty. The jury's choice would be either the death penalty or 40 to 60 years in prison with no time off for good behavior• The latter sentence is commonly called a "natural life" sentence and 28 states have laws providing some form of that penalty. House sponsor, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Seymour) said, "My reasons for opposing the death penalty are practical .... It's not a deterrent, and it's not cost- efficient." ICC is totally opposed to the death penalty and supports HB 1431 which is expected to reduce the number of criminals sentenced to death• ICC's op- position to capital punishment comes from a commitment to life. A 1968 statement from the ICC board said, in part: "Our opposition comes from the very fabric of our faith: our belief that all human life, from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages, is sacred, because human life is created in the image and likeness of God." The ICC board is made up of Indiana's six bishops and one lay person from each of the state's dioceses. Funeral Homes Four Convenient Locations WEST CHAPEL 3033 W. MARYLAND RI." Main Street Pharmacy