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February 13, 1998     The Message
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February 13, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana The sermon on the plain: Blessings and " similar material and it is not derived from Mark it is By FATHER DONALD DILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for February 15, 1998: Sixth Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle C: Luke 6:17, 20-26 A biblical term known to most Christians is "the Sermon on the Mount." This term refers to the first of five great sermons or lectures of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. The reason this sermon was called "the Sermon on the Mount," is because Matthew portrays Jesus going up a mountain. There he sits down sur- rounded by his disciples and teaches them material that in Matthew runs through chapters five through seven. As is often the case, the setting into which the gospel authors place an event in the life of Jesus is an artificial setting. In other words, Matthew probably created that setting to depict Jesus as a new and final Moses, the great lawgiver of the Old Testament. As God promulgated the Torah or Law through Moses on Mt. Sinai, so God promulgates the ultimate Torah or Law through Jesus. What is less well known is that Luke also has a sermon containing much of the material found in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount. Luke however gives this sermon an entirely different setting. Instead of going onto a mountain to teach as in Matthew, Jesus comes down from a mountain after a night in prayer and teaches "on a level place.' Luke's version is therefore called "the Sermon on the Plain." Both Matthew and Luke begin with the blessings we call "the Beatitudes." Neither of these authors found this material in their primary source, the Gospel of Mark. It is thought to derive from that unknown gospel we call "Q" (for the German word "Quelle") meaning "source." When Matthew and Luke have the same or Golden Jubilarians Edward and Chrstine (Blair) Kuhr celebrated their fiftieth wed- ding anniversary Feb. 10. They were married Feb. 10, 1948, at St. Anthony Church, Evansville. They are the parents of six chil- dren: Larry, Steven and Michael, all of Evansville, Edward of Henderson, Ky., and David of Yankeetown. Their son, Robert, is deceased. They have 18 grandchildren, and nine great-grand- children. Mr. Kuhr is retired from Schnuck's Markets. Mrs. Kuhr is an L.RN.; she is retired from Braun's Nursing Home. I I I I TRUCK AND TRAILER SALES tOOOO STATE HWY 57 EVANSVILLE, IN 47732 i i i I iiiiii i ii thought to come from Q. Even though their source may be the same, except for the preaching of John the Baptizer, Matthew and Luke always give this material a different setting. Thus the Sermon on the Mount versus the Sermon on the Plain. They dealt freely with the traditions they received, changing as they deemed it necessary to teach the lesson they wanted to teach. While Matthew's Jesus is the new Moses and more, Luke's Jesus is down among his people as the first Christian Saint, teacher and model for all Christians. Luke's beatitudes are'much more direct than Matthew's version. Matthew portrays Jesus as saying,, "Blessed are THE hungry, etc.," while Luke portrays Jesus as saying, "Blessed are YOU who are hungry NOW, etc." We cannot know which version or even if either version is exactly as Jesus spoke. Frequently the authors of the gospels relied heavily on the Old Testament to phrase the teachings of Jesus. This was an accepted method of procedure, even necessary, since none of our four gospels are today thought to be from eye and ear witnesses of Jesus. If one would object that the names of Matthew and John, apostles of Jesus, are attached to the gospel, there is no evidence that any of the gospels had a name until well into the second cen- tury A.D. They were anonymous Christian documents written to respond to a situation, usually a crisis, in a given Christian community or church. Luke's form of the beatitudes reflects a major theme of his gospel, that God through his Son demonstrates a special concern for the poor, the handicapp6d, and social outcasts. One might even say that Luke's version is more "physical," while Matthew's version is more "spiritual." Readers will see that the gospels of this Year of Grace, cycle C, will demonstrate the concern for the poor, the handi- capped, and social outcasts, over and over again. Thus Luke in his beatitudes speaks directly to you living in poverty now; you suffering hunger now; you who are sad and dejected now; persecution, rejection, betrayal, Matthew has eight beatitudes while all the poor and suffering Luke's Jesus total reversal of their situation. To the promised the kingdom of God; tc abundance; to the dejected, laughter; acceptance. To all suffering, "You Your reward is great in heaven!" A more radical difference Luke is that Luke follows his four four "woes" or condemnations. He to you who are rich, you have had' now." Throughout the gospel Luke very severely until he comes to in chapter nineteen. He continues with tion of the well-fed NOW, those of whom everyone speaks did the ancestors praise false prophetS. By adding contrasting woes follows a pattern well est Testament; for example, Joshua 8:34; Ecclesiastes 10:16-17. But be something very personal in woes, as if he personally ex F ment of the poor, the handicapped, casts. Only such a his constant insistence on this theme ning of his gospel and throughout, on d book, the Acts of Apostles, from or hymn of Mary to Paul's final s the truth of revelation that God conveys Luke: as God's/Jesus' first concern is needy, so it must be the first concern of Christian. We are God's eyes, ears, cles through whom God must help Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-8; I 16-20; Luke 6:17, 20-26. Living His Word A radio Bible teaching with Dr. Ann Gries WVHI- 1330 AM Mon.- Fri., I 1:45 to Noon Mon. - Sat., 5 p.m. "your word is a lamp to my feet and a 6ght to my path." Psalm 119:105 When you can't be there, turn to someone who can ... a companion caregiver from Visiting Nurse Plus. They have the training, skills, and concern to care for your elderly parents. And that means peace of mind for you and your family. V1StTING NURSE Pl m//ils todoy. 425-0853 (Evonsville) "f 385-3717 (Princeton) JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER Thanks to all our clients for their confidence in Fleck Insurance Agency, Inc. Jasper, Indiana II I Christian Books & Gifts Bey & Charlie Mendel, owners (812)t4-Tt1 416St Jaer, tN41546 CC HEATING. Alan d[ore JONES . Front e E Call 207 E. South -" Jim 301