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February 25, 1994     The Message
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February 25, 1994

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l 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 " COmmentary The transfiguration: A promise, a pledge  .-G_ P el commentary for Feb. withipower." , Thi.rd Sunday of Lent, What follows the story of the . u, ark 9"2.10 tranfiguration? After Jesus and ever would save his life will lose it," and "Those who the transfiguration or as follows: After six takes Peter, James, and a high moun- undergoes a (the Greek term that his clothes white. Moses appear with Jesus and The Peter says: "It is be here. He wants to put up three or shelters for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. t know what he was saying be- Were all too frightened. Then a cloud scene. A voice out of the cloud says: Son, listen to him." Suddenly scene was gone. They come down n with Jesus. He orders them not to say after his resurrection, so they kept it By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST to point out that the transfigura- not stand alone. It is an integral part of Mark's gospel. What pre- what follows it are essential clues to un- what Mark teaches his readers by this this story Mark inserts Jesus' is followe suffering, death, and resurrec- by a series of statements de- of following Jesus, of being there is an assurance that some of are present with Jesus would not die be- see that the kingdom of God has come the three disciples come down from the mountain they come upon an almost comical scene where the rest of the disciples were trying to cast out a lemon, but without success. They have to turn to the boss, Jesus, who finishes the job quickly, _ then proceeds to lecture his disci- ples about their lack of faith and lack of prayer. This scene is imme- diately followed by the second pre- diction of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. We must now reach back into the situation in which Mark and his Church at Rome find them- selves. They are a community that has suffered ex- actly as described in the sayings of Jesus that Mark placed before the story of the transfigura- tion. In the recently ended persecution of this Christian community many had denied them- selves, had taken up the cross and followed Jesus to death. A Roman historian writing not long after this persecution of the Roman Church writes that some were covered with the skins of beasts and were torn up by dogs. Others were nailed to crosses. Still others were burned to death. They had indeed "lost their life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel." And that saying of Jesus was placed by Mark just before his story of the transfig- uration. The transfiguration was therefore meant as an encouragement to the Church, a pledge, a promise, an assurance that those who had died for Jesus were with him in a new life: "Whoever lose their life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it." But there's a negative side. The Marcan Jesus had also said just before the transfiguration: "Who- are ashamed of me and of my words, of them will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father... "The words of the same Roman his- torian shed light on this saying when he tells us that arrests were made of those who admitted to being Christian by pleading guilty. They turned traitor and turned in the names of other Christians who were then brutally murdered and martyred. These traitors are the ones represented by the disciples after the transfiguration, the disciples who could not cast out a demon because of their lack of faith and prayer. The failure of the disciples is a warning that betrayal or failure of some Christians in the persecu- tion could happen again to those whose faith is weak, to those who do not pray. At the beginning and end of this whole series of actions were the predictions of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. These predictions tell Mark's readers that like Jesus they too may be asked to make the supreme sacrifice for his sake and that of the gospel. But Jesus' suffering and death were not the end. Their eventual outcome was the resurrection of Jesus to glory. Our Church places this gospel story on the second Sunday of Lent. Lent is a time when we are asked to follow Jesus in a spe- cial way by self denial, sacrifice, or more positively, to show in a special way that we are Christian by giving ourselves and of ourselves to the poor, the sick, the homeless, etc. Those who do so have died to themselves. To them the transfiguration is a pledge of resurrection to glory, the goal of Lent and the ulti- mate goal of life. Other readings: Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15'18; Romans 8:31-34. ..... !anizations addresses, phone num- Places, dates, offices, direc- schools, institutions, financial statistics, assignments _ they are all 994 Yearbook of the Catholic of Evansville. may purchase your copy at Center for $7.50. For include $1.50 for and handling. mltlmltmml :ili /  :, i " TOTALS I m m lmmm Im  Special Jubilarians Leo and Louise (Giesler) Helm of Ireland celebrated their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiv ing Feb. 6 at St. Mary Church, Ireland. A family dinne was held at the Knights of Columbus Home in Jasper. The couple was married Feb. 7, 1939, at St. Joseph Church Jasper. The late Father James Reed officiated. They ar the parents of four children: Patricia Bohnenkamper o Ireland, Carol Schneider of Jasper, Ronald Helm of Evansville, and Mary Gibson of Orlando, Fla. They have 16 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and threel step.great-grandchildren. One daughter died in infancy. Mr. Helm is part owner of Helm Brothers Lumber Com- pany in Ireland; he retired this year. M LLER & MILLER ! 'A family name you ! c00nt00u00t n -- 424-9274 ...... I I ] ii ] j  DUBOIS cOUNTY BANK,  otD tlloNj.   Fc YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK I