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Evansville, Indiana
February 27, 1998     The Message
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February 27, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 The "historical" Jesus By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN Catholic News Service parish Bible class is studying St. conjunction with the current materials we use refer to the as if he is different from the Jesus we an idea of what is meant, but am to the class. the subject without becom- r what the his- "search for the historical Jesus," as it a significant movement the 20th century. Properly , it can help us under- the church's teach- the Gospels particularly. group must be aware of the the four Gospels were formed in stages. ministry of Jesus himself, did, what concerns he had people he was trying to On. ' to put it, perhaps a little oversimply, Camera had followed him around, recorded? Second came the period of proclamation, when the apostles and other early disciples preached Jesus to the earliest Christian communities, roughly between 35 and 70 A.D.; how they reinterpreted the words and actions of Jesus in a variety of new cultures, new situa- tions, new languages, all so the saving message, the "good news" of the risen Lord, would take root in new believers. The final stage was the actual writing of the Gospels, a period covering roughly the years 65 to 100 A.D. During these years, "from the many things hand- ed down," the Gospel writers "selected some things, reduced others to a synthesis, others they explicated as they kept in mind the situation of the churches." Thus they compiled a narrative concerning the Lord Jesus "with a method suited to the peculiar pur- pose each (author) set for himself." Their purpose, then, was not to compose a "biog- raphy" of the Savior, but to create a portrait of Jesus that would establish a base of faith in the risen Christ. (This church teaching, including the above quote, is found in the Pontifical Biblical Commission's "Instruction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels" 1964, and in other documents.) It is important to emphasize here our Christian belief that all this happened under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit Jesus promised would be with his community of believers through the ages On 14). In no way, therefore, may we fear that the "truth" about Jesus and his message became diluted or con- fused by the time the Gospels were written. On the contrary, the process leading up to their writing made the four Gospel portrayals of Jesus clear- er and infinitely more revealing than would have been possible (from our human perspective at least) had they been written the day after the resurrection. Again, it all occurred with the Spirit hovering over the infant church as it was transpiring. From here on, the answer to your question is brief. The "historical Jesus" is the "actual" Jesus we might discover hidden behind the words and events of the present Gospels. Scholars (with varying motives and degrees of faith) ask: If we dissect and search beneath the words of the Gospels, what "real" Jesus -- what literal words and actions of Jesus as he walked this earth w might we uncover there? That's a valid and potentially illuminating ques- tion. Whatever that Jesus may be, however, he will never replace or detract from the Jesus we know and love by faith, the Jesus passed over to us by the Spirit, the Jesus of the Gospels. A free brochure answering questions Catholics ask about cremation and other funeral regulations and customs is available by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, Holy Trinity Church, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, Ill. 61701. Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address. receives the ministry of Acolyte a seminarian from the Diocese of Evansville and a mem- Evansville, has received the Ministry of Acolyte. Daniel Buechlein of Indianapolis presided at the ceremony 10 other seminarians at St. Meinrad Archabbey Feb. 10. appointed to help the deacon and aid the priest, primarily SS. , zs a third-year seminarian. He is the son of Ronald and Martha Sville. for new Catholic Medical Association .d March 4 for the newly-formed Catholic Medical Serving Catholic physicians throughout the Diocese of Evans- preside at the Mass, to be celebrated in the chapel Center, Evansville, on March 4 at 6:30 p.m. CST. Lss, and objectives of the new association will be dis- lic physicians in the diocese are invited. contact Dr. Anthony L. Schapker, (812) 485-4144, : 853-2222. Catholic High Schools seek 'president' The Evansville Catholic Interparochial High Schools -- Mater Dei and Memo- rial -- are seeking applicants for a president. The new position was created by the board o directors recently, with the approval of Bishop Ge.raktA, Getteifingor. : Applicants are sought, who have at least a master s degree and five years of administrative leadership experience. Applicants should also have strong inter- personal and human relations skills, oral and written communications skills, and they must practice the beliefs and values of the Catholic faith. More information is available from Dr. Phyllis Bussing, Director of Schools, (812) 424-5536. 'Time of healing' planned for separated, divorced, remarried A day of renewal is ]21anned at St. John the Baptist Church, Newburgh, for sep- arated, divorced and remarried "who have experienced the pain of a broken rela- tionship and are wanting to move towards a spirituality of wholene," accord- ing to a publicity brochure. Annulment information will also be available. The day-long session is sponsored by St. John Church and Catholic Charities. The fee of $10 will include lunch. Reservations are required by March 14. Con- tact Lynda Provence at St. John, (812) 853-6181, or Kristel Riffert at Catholic Char-. ities, (812) 423-5456. Paul E. Nonte Certified Public Accountant 112 W. 5th St., Jasper CATHOLIC SUPPLY OF ST. LOUIS. INC. special with Catholic Supply. FOR A mE[ COPY r00OOBmmCATALO˘ Odtt, llibles, Rosaries- Even Dresses O VeflMll Loui& Missouri 63109-1498 ' I Vanderburgh Co, FOR COMPLETE I Right-To-Life ELECTRICAL SERVICE I 474-3195 FISCIR ELECTRIC INC. I Evansville, Indiana SCHNELLVILLE,389.2418 IN FRIDAYS OF LENT Fish Fry February 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. CATFISH FILETS Dinner includes fried or baked, large, boneless, cash filets, veggies, drink, ˘ornbread or our famous cheese biscuits & dessert $6.00 dults & youth over age 1 $2.00 Family Busterl 1 child, (under 10) with 1 adult (chicken nuggets or small fish & all the same fixins) NATIVITY 3635 Pollack Avenue (between S. Green River Road & Vann Avenue 476-7186 I A LittJeTime Makes A Sh0w alill.tml)oa unlcaion I I I II II II =Ed. L. Lee = Mortuary Noah Street . n I I iii I II II I MO X%lls,00 Gam Rn & VO J [I I tL J "i " !