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February 26, 1993     The Message
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February 26, 1993

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6ebmary 26. 1993 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana N mentary  4 By FATHER DONALD DILGER J: i! S Commentary for Feb. 28, the First el aay of Lent, Cycle A: Matthew 4:1-11. gospel for the first Sunday of Lent is al- of the temptations Jesus was sub- the devil just before beginning his r. Our oldest gospel, the Gospel of a few lines with no details such as found in Luke and Matthew. Luke knew the Marcan story but de- to expand it by adopting a development In another gospel now lost to us. That of a triple temptation of Jesus. the same basic material, Matthew the original story to correspond Jesus, their theology of Jesus. we examine the temptation story we Matthew. Jesus has just endured and nights in the wilderness. Matthew "He was hungry." The devil steps in with rocks and tempts: "If you are the Son of stones to become loaves of rejects the offer by quoting from 8:3: "Man shall not live by bread r word that proceeds from the Now does this seem like a temp- The temptations of Jesus: Dangers for the church interpretation of Psalm 91:11-12. Jesus resorts again to the Scriptures: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." In the third temptation the devil flies Jesus to the top of a very high mountain, shows him all the kingdoms of the world which he claims to own, but will transfer ownership to Jesus if he worships the devil. Jesus tells him to go to hell and that one worships and serves only God. The devil leaves "and angels came to serve Jesus," we hope with some food. Pity the poor people who read this as history and lose the beauty, the imagination, and the meaning. Devils don't fly people through the air and set them on skyscrapers and mountains from which they can see the whole world. To accept this as historical fact is not faith, but gullibility. Matthew constructed his gospel very carefully to trace the steps of the ancient Israelites, Jesus is the new Israel and he must endure what ancient Israel endured. Like Jesus the Israelites were refugees in Egypt. The prophet Hosea depicts Yahweh as say- ing: "Out of Egypt I have called my son," meaning the tribes of Israel. Matthew conveniently adapts this very saying of Hosea from ancient Israel to Jesus when Joseph loads up his refugee wife and wilderness forty days and nights undergoing var- ious temptations. The Book of Exodus depicts three major temptations for Israel in the wilder- ness. First they were hungry. Instead of trusting Yahweh they complained in Exodus 16. Then they were thirsty, "putting the Lord to the test," in Exodus 17. In Exodus 32 they refuse to wait for Moses to come down with news from Yah- weh. Instead they form themselves a bull calf and worship it as their god. In all their temptations Israel failed. In all his temptations Jesus over- CalTle. Matthew writes with a purpose. The tempta- tions of Jesus symbolize the temptations of his people, the Christian Church. Like Jesus the Church is always tempted toward the acquisition of material goods and material wealth. Like Jesus the Church is always tempted toward external grandure, a spectacular magnificence to rival heaven itself. Like Jesus the Church is always tempted to acquire political power or to serve po- litical power, a form of idolatry. This is one inter- pretation of the triple temptation of Jesus. As the triple tempation can be applied to the Church as a whole, so it can also be applied to the individ' at all? Why not turn the loaves into bread child and comes back to the land of Israel. On the ual. And so we must ask ourselves at the begin- m . r, LV a bagel? way back from Egvnt ancient Israel had to nass ning of Lent: 1) How much material wealth do I J Jr" it-" ? . . . BE"[ ithe! ''' me second scene the devil takes Jesus to through the water and through the cloud. Paul really need. 2) As a Chrlstmn do I betray a sm- holy city, Jerusalem, sitting right on the tip of i thel calls this being baptized into Moses, I Corinthians piicity of life patterned on Jesus? 3) Do I con- I.eP le. He asks Jesus to jump because, ac- i| 'tort] 10:2. Jesus also had to pass through the water and sciously or subconsciously strive tor power over ag to a psalm: "He will give his angels w'ri | cl the cloud when he was baptized in the Jordan others? ,|:1 Y0,.. River by John. n vet you, so that you will not (even) strike D dergIoS'(:glWaSoin hme tialdernne Jesus (*as in he RomOatnh:5 12-19 gs: Genesis 2:7-91 3:1.7; uaentalist tendencies for such a strange ....  " I II I !  II I I I I Ington page 1 . were poking n the proposals and " strategies for pro- , ueir interests re, s eat .seine hope how- .,,,,-!'':tWith voters on his on s plans could be through Congress de- ernpts to alter them. Let Clinton (tid quite and what bad to be is to say that that tergroul; politics got , ' mess," said David 0000Ster Celestine, dies Feb. 11 Sister Celestine uer Marshall, o died Feb. 11, Feb. 15 at St. for the Aged in entered the of the Poor at celebrated 69 religious life, She Years in missionary in India. She Tunisia, Italy ce. She came to lrL 1976. I I iii Ahern, chairman of the politi- cal science department at the University of Dayton, a Catholic school in Ohio. Such bluntness, coupled with the public mood that elected Clinton and gave Ross Perot 19 percent of the vote in November, means there's a better chance than ever for "politics as usual" to change this time around, Ahern be- lieves. Ahcrn noted the support the president's proposals were winning from the pub- lic. "The debate this morning is: 'do you want taxes raised or do you want to have to cut H I I I I into Social Security and Medicare?"' Ahern said. "That's been the avoided dis- cussion in this country for 10 or 15 years or more." Two days after the speech, the National Council of Churches publicized a call to its member congregations to mobilize in support of urban rebuilding, including both hands-on activism by churches and advocacy on behalf of the cities witl the fideral government. At a press conference, the Rev. Benjamin F. Shavis, head of the council's racial justice project and a member of the Clinton transition I ql II III III YOUTH MINISTER WANTED Progressive parish near University of Notre Dame seeks full-time director for youth min- istry program. Qualifications: practicing Catholic; Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious Education, or in Education with certification in Youth Ministry; excellent pre- sentation and group skills; minimum of two years experience as director or assistant director of a youth ministry program or in a supervised internship or through volunteer service with youth. Will participate as mem- ber of Pastoral Team. Submit resume by March 25 to Youth Minister Search Committee, Christ the King Church, 52473 US 33 North, South Bend, Indiana 46637. ..... i v II ]1 I [ I III II team, said there is a conver- gence between what the council is asking its members to do and what Clinton is ask- ing of the American people. "I'm encouraged by the cli- mate in which we are operat- ing," said Shavis. Campbell said the council would be attempting the same sort of impetus from the bottom up that Clinton is ask- ing. "It's not going to be from the national level that we go down, but from our local and regional councils of churches," she said. Ahern noted historical precedents for a wave of pub- II t I III IIII 1 I ]1 lic support to overwhelm op, position from Congress, the most recent example coming during President Ronald Rea- gaffs first term. "Clinton is playing on the notion of going directly to the people, over the heads of the press and Congress," a politi- cal style that was successful for Reagan, Ahern said. "'But Clinton told a true story rather than a tale," Ahem said. "And for that he should be praised. People don't necessarily want to hear what he had to say, but any- body with any kind of sense knows it's true.'" BOOKEEPER/BUSINESS MANAGER: The parishes of St. Paul, Tell City, St, Michael, Cannelton and St. Plus, Troy are seeking a full-time bookkeeper/business manager. Responsibilities include maintaining finarcial records, preparing budgets and financial reports and managing parish facilities. A college degree, preferable in accounting, is desired as well as 5 to 10 years of business expe. dance. Competitive compensation is provided as well as excellent benefits which include health care, life insurance and pension. Please send resume and salary history, in con- ficence, to: Rev. Daniel J. Staulin, St. Peul Parish, 814 Jefferson St. Tell City, IN 47586, Oeadline for application Is March 17, 1992. An Equal Opportunity Employer