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February 9, 1996     The Message
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February 9, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana '9 Commentary__ problem to be solved: The validity of the old testament Commentary for I, 1996: Sixth Sun. : Matthew 5:17.37 Sermon on the continues for the third week First he portrayed _ mountain surrounded as Moses on Surrounded by the Is- the giver or Law on Mt. Sinai, the ultimate in- I the un- The '1 began with Jesus begins with the beat- were told in the Torah: "All you are shall see the work is an awe-inspiring thing that I Exodus 34:10. Just so the s says to his disciples: "You are the l, the light of the world, a city on a now to the heart of the Sermon on the penned his gospel in the last third of Christianity, at a time when new messianic movement within ways. Like family disputes in was sometimes bitter. It was or being forced to she to take with her? In other of the Torah, i.e. the Law of followers of Jesus obliged to ob- answers were given to this question. the Mount M/tthew gives his an- Jesus declares emphatically in DBcNFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST first place that he did not come to abolish the Torah or the prophets, but to fulfill them. Matthew is so enphatic on this point that he says not the smallest regulation of the Torah will be abolished until it is fulfilled. He admits that there are other answers to the question of how much of the Torah is to be kept. He does not want to com- pletely separate those who disagree with him in the Christian commu- nity for which he is writing. There- fore he adds: "Whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, while the one who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." In chapter thirteen he will speak to this subject again but less kindly, when he says that the weeds are to be allowed to grow with the wheat until the harvest. Then they can be gathered and burned. Next Matthew takes on opposition from mother Judaism: "Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." This is a too severe judg- ment on his opponents and Matthew's gospel is full of such statements. It is necessary to understand such a statement in the context of Jewish syna- gogues and Jewish-Christian synagogues in a bitter conflict over which was the true Judaism and which group had the ultimate interpretation of the Torah. Matthew has clearly portrayed Jesus thus far as a new Moses who is therefore the ultimate interpreter of the Torah. Matthew must have been influenced by Deuteronomy 18:15-18 where Moses speaks to the Israelites about a prophet whom God will raise up to take his place and he tells his people: "Listen to him!" Jesus, the fulfillment and ultimate interpreter of the Torah now proceeds to the final authoritative interpretation in a section of the Sermon on the Mount called "the Six Antitheses." These are six statements that begin with a thesis or opinion which is then corrected with an antithesis, or cor- rective opinion. The first one: "It was said to the an- cient people: Tou shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment." This is the thesis. Now the antithesis: "BUT I SAY TO YOU, etc." In this first of six antitheses the interpretation of, "You shall not kill," is extended to a prohibition against things that lead to murder, such as anger and in- sults. In fact, if there is anything adverse between two people, they are to reconcile their differences before they worship God. The second antithesis is concerned with adul- tery. Not only is adultery itself forbidden, but also any act or desire .that leads to adultery. The third antithesis forbids divorce except "on the ground of unchastity." Although there is disagreement on the interpretation of the word "unchastity," the most logical interpretation of Matthew's word "un- chastity" is adultery, because his discussion of di- vorce follows immediately upon his prohibition of adultery. Luke and Mark forbid divorce absolutely. Matthew allows this exception. In the final antithe- sis, the fourth, of today's gospel, not only is the an- cient prohibition against falsely swearing restated, but all swearing for any reason whatsoever is for- bidden. Such are the first four of the six antitheses. Can anyone live up to them? Does anyone? They are the stuff of sainthood. Readings: Sirach 15:15-20: I Corinthians 2:6.10. Bicknell , Sandborn Patoka 18 PKGS. Packages for StOCk. Inch, METAL annelburg. treet Golden Jubilarians John J. and Rita M. (Sauer) Sauer will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving Feb. 14 at Holy Rosary Church, Evansville. A reception will be held at the Evansville Airport Marriott from 2 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 18. The couple was married Feb. 14, 1946, at St. Joseph Church, Evansville, by Father Urban Sunder- man. They are the parents of two children: Carol A. Fol- som of Washington, and Jo Ann Sauer of Evansville. They have nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Mr. Sauer retired from Windsor Plastics Evansville in 1984, and Mrs. Sauer is an interior designer. i T F $ Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Travlor I resident Phone: 486-3285 Golden Jubilarians John and Lucy (Koester) Wahnsiedier of Evansville cele- brated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving Feb. 3 at Holy Rosary Church, Evansville. A reception was held at Cottonwood Center. The couple was married Feb. 2, 1946, at Assumption Cathedral in Evansville. They are the parents of seven children: Bar- bara Klein of Evansville, Larry Wahnsiedler of Owens. boro, Ky., Kenneth Wahnsiedler of Indianapolis, Steven Wahnsiedler of Newburgh, Susie Kerner of Kokomo, Jane Limback of Vincennes, and John P. Wahnsiedler of Evansville. They have 12 grandchildren. Mr. Wahnler retired from John Wahnsiedler Plumbing and Hng Contracting in 1972; he is now an owmer and malia o rental properties. Mrs. Wahnsiedler is a