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February 18, 1994     The Message
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February 18, 1994

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,1994 The Message Monthly -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 " Commentary __ Rejection of J,.=sus begins: Temptation in the wilderness COmmentary for Feb. First Sunday of Lent, 1:12-15. Mark's story of the temptation is very brief. He begins that the Spirit, Spirit who had just de- in the form of a expelled or into the wilderness. translation is that the us into the wilder- the impres- of Jesus the wilderness is better to translate the Greek l, expelled," or perhaps even more ac- out." Mark here uses the same Used for Jesus "throwing out" demons through exorcism. then alluded to in one sen- in the wilderness 40 days and was with the wild beasts, red to him." Since our cur- of gospel readings from Mark, Matthean and Lucan versions of Jesus. Both Luke and Matthew version of the temptation of Jesus symbolic version of triple temptation, to political power, to personal g, the version of called a rewriting of the tempta- n the wilderness. Such symbolism is Luke, but a greater emphasis is put J , esus temptation is the temptation of Mark is twofold: expul- nto the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, By FATHER DONALD DILGER COLUMNIST the temptation itself. By the expul- sion of Jesus Mark indicates Jesus' unwillingness to undergo tempta- tion or even to go into the wilder- ness. Mark is capable of highly symbolic writing. To understand an author we must know his situation in life at the time of writing. We may safely assume that Mark was writing for the Church at Rome. This new Christian community had had its share of trouble. There was a dispute with the Jewish commu- nity lasting several decades. The dispute was over the identity of Jesus. Was he Messiah, Son of Man, divine Son? The dispute seems to have come to a head when all Jews (meaning Christian Jews and orthodox Jews) were expelled from Rome by order of the emperor Claudius about the year 50 A.D. Both Christian Jews and orthodox Jews must have regrouped soon in Rome since Paul writes to the Roman Church within the next ten years. In 64 A.D. a fierce persecution breaks out against Chris- tians at Rome. Manywere cruelly put to death. Some Christians turned traitor and turned other Christians into Roman authorities. Peter and Paul were martyred in this persecution. The Church was devastated. Six years later word comes to Rome that the Christian community of Jerusalem, the mother Church, had fled before the Roman army, that the Jewish temple, where Christian Jews still worshipped with other Jews, had been destroyed. Mark sees all these tragedies as a wilderness expe- rience, an experience his Church community was unwilling to undergo but was forced to undergo by the Spirit of God. It seemed to be a rejection by God himself. Thus Mark writes the experience of his Church into the opening sentence of Jesus' tempta- tion experience: "The Spirit threw him out into the wilderness." The temptation of Jesus is said to be by Satan. Mark sees the suffering of his own Church as caused by Satan, a view which will become ever more prevailing in New Testament literature until it finds its high point in the Book of Revelation. The temptation is said to last forty days. Does Mark see in these 40 days not only the 40 years of Israel in the wilderness, but also the 40 years of difficult formation of the Church at Rome, from the death of Jesus about the year 30 A.D. to the de - struction of the temple in 70 A.D.? That Jesus is said to be with the wild beasts is probably a refer- ence to Psalm 23. There the Psalmist is surrounded by wild beasts and prays for deliverance. Does Mark also have in mind that during the persecu- tion his own people, the Christians at Rome, were thrown to the wild beasts? Finally Mark notes that the angels ministered to Jesus. In this we see a reference to Psalm 90: "He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways." Mark's Church felt rejected, be- trayed, subjected to Satan. They had been thrown to the wild beasts. Yet Mark wants to assure them they have not been forgotten. The same Psalm 90 assures his people that they will eventually over- come: "On their (the angels) hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You will trample on the lion and the serpent." They would even overcome the wild beasts. Mark leaves a note of hope to his Church and to us. In rejection, betrayal, persecution, despair, in temptation he of- fers us the original "WE SHALL OVERCOME!" Other readings: Genesis 9:8.15; I Peter 3:18-22. ' .mmL. essing for " that's the item in the as the 1994 CEF cam ai n oa!i ....... ........ $136,000 Francis R. Shea Endowment goal for 1994 Drake the CEF board lished in 1968, and since then has raised over $2 million. Tu- ition grants-in-aid have been awarded to over 4,300 stu- dents. CEF has also provided the high schools with pro- grams, services and equipment amounting to $96,000. Marian Day School, another recipient of benefits from CEF, has re- ceived $185,000. Donors to the campaign may make a gift of cash, or a planned gift contributed at specified times over a nine- month period. Donors may also designate that their contribu- tions should go to the Catholic Education Foundation Endow- ment Fund or to the Bishop Fund. Donors may also use a will or life insurance to con- tribute cash, property or any form of gift to the foundation or to one of the endowment funds. For more information, con- tact Executive Director Rudy Montejano, (812) 424-5536. met for a campaign kickoff breakfast, at Sarto Retreat House, Feb. 9. The mission of the Foundation is to provide funds, in the form of tuition grants-in-aid, to deserving stu- dents who could not otherwise attend Memorial or Mater Dei High Schools. The foundation was estab- urges changes on abortion, undocumented in health plan health plan's basic benefits sense to leave uncovered a pop- congenital disabilities and do all low-income people should Service .(CNS) :}n'8 Plan must abortion, ated immi. Protect the work- told a submit. e ,Uraan Re- liary the U.S. Domes- many of by rep- Le Oishops plan. reform how it Surance and it serves the un- nted," package. "The sooner this burden is lifted, the better for the cause of reform," Bishop Ricard said. "When destructive practices such as abortion are seen as part of 'health care' alongside genuine acts of healing, the very meaning of health care is distorted and threatened." He recommended that health care resources ear- marked for abortion be instead dedicated to "enhancing prena- tal care services for all preg- nant women." Bishop Ricard said the lack of coverage for undocumented immigrants was "a major fail- ing of all current health reform initiatives." =It makes no health policy IIII I ulation which will continue to require and receive care in the most extreme and expensive circumstances, and whose pre- carious health status will jeop- ardize the health of the citi- zens with whom they live," the bishop wrote. "It is shortsighted to pretend that omitting a class of needy people from the health plan does anything other than exac- erbate a situation and short- change people who are already severely marginalized in this society," he added. Among the other points raised in Bishop Ricard's 10- page testimony: -- Provisions for the dis- abled do not adequately deal with rehabilitation needed for Miller & Miller Colomal Chapel Supports the Knights of St. John MEMBERS Bernie Miller Gerald Miller Jon Miller Greg Betz I II not protect those who cannot afford the co-payments needed for regular visits associated with their disability. -- Although co-payments will be limited for those partic- ipating in cash assistance pro- grams such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplemental Security Income, low-income workers will not be subject to the same limits. "While some believe that co- payments discourage excessive use of expensive medical re- sources, that must be balanced with the need to encourage ap- propriate use of cost-effective primary and preventive health care," Bishop Ricard wrote. =Therefore, whether or not they receive cash assistance, have co-payments indexed to fit low-income budgets and premiums reduced to afford- able levels." The bishops support "ef- fective mechanisms to restrain rising health care costs," which will in turn help to "avoid the growing pressure for rationing that raises fundamental ethi- cal and equity questions.  Any health reform plan must include =strong con- science clauses and other pro- tections so that Catholic and other institutions, both health providers and employers, can serve the undocumented, pro-" tect unborn life and follow their religious teachings." SCHNEIDER IIIIIII ii HEA'I ING & A/C. INC. RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL 118 W. FRANKLIN STREET EVANSVILLE, IN 47710 24 HR. SERVICE (812) 428-2665 JEFF SCHNEIDER ue, he signs to Clinton