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March 1, 1991     The Message
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March 1, 1991

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March 1, 1991 Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I 5  Mass Readings Gospel Commentary for Sunday, March 3, 1991 -- Third Sunday of Lent: John 2:13-25 It was Passover time. Like many pious Jews of the day Jesus goes on the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. As he enters the temple he observes merchants selling the animals necessary for the sacrifices and other offerings of the temple ritual. Beyond them he sees the money-changers whose work was to change the coinage of various coun- tries into the silver coins of the city of Tyre. They used these to pay the annual head tax to the tem- ple for every male adult Jew. Other coins, such as the denarius of Jesus' time, had "graven images" on their face. Such coins could not be used to pay the temple tax. Jesus makes a whip of cords and drives the merchants and their animals from the temple. He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. Then he told the pigeon- people to remove the birds. The reason for these actions is added: "You shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." John adds that the disciples later applied a Scripture text to this event: "Zeal for your house has consumed me." This explained for them both Jesus' action and the result. That result was the death of Jesus. They saw Jesus' attack on the temple as at least one of the causes of his deatla. It was an important ac- cusation against him at his trial. i Cleansing of the temple: faith from miracles The high priest and his colleagues now con- front Jesus. The temple and all that went on inside of it was under ttfeir supervision. It was their ter- ritory. They demand to know by what authority he acted: "What sign (miracle) do you show us for doing this?" Jesus gives a mysterious answer: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." John writes that Jesus was speaking of the temple of his body. The meaning for John and his community is that if these religious leaders kill Jesus, he will rise from the dead on the third day. Again John notes that the disciples remembered after the resurrection that Jesus had made such a statement. But the authorities didn't know what Jesus was talking about. They reply that the renovation of the temple had now been going on for 46 years. It was begun by King Herod about 20 B.C. This would date Jesus' ministry in Jerusalem in the middle or late twenties, A.D. Since Jesus was born about 6 B.C., he was now about thirty years old. Luke gives thirty as the age when Jesus began his public life John now switches to another topic, faith in Jesus. He writes that many in the city of Jerusalem believed Jesus when they saw the "signs" or miracles that Jesus did at this time. But John doesn't tell us what those miracles were. Nor does he approve of the kind of faith that is based on Father Cad Kunkler dies Feb. 25 1 Letters to edil Father Kunkler was born Jan. Continued from page 4 neglected; 18, 1903 in Evansville, and or- burning and our massive bomb- -- The signs or miracles. They can only be a beginning. And so, Jesus did not trust these people. John will show us in chapter six how such a faith is misguided when those who believed in Jesus in this way want to force him to be their king. Jesus has to flee. The author points out that Jesus knew exactly what went on in people's minds. There are two lessons for us in this gospel- reading. The cleansing of the temple by Jesus asks us to examine our own churches. How clear is the distinction in the minds of our contemporaries between the Church as a money-making business and the Church as the instrument of "Good News , to the poor? Like Jeremiah and other prophets, Jesus saw that the distinction between religion and business was getting blurred and he took action. In the other gospels he speaks of those in charge of the temple as having made it'a den of robbers. The second lesson for us is a reminder that although faith may be engendered by signs, wonders, and visions, a more secure faith is that which is nourished by the gospels. More might be gained by studying and living the gospels than by travelling to every reported vision, whether that be on a hillside, or as was most recently claimed, on a church wall and on a concrete floor of an auto parts store. I Other readings for Sunday, March 3, 1991" Exodus 29: 1-17; I Cor. 1:22-25. that will surely mean thousands growing antagonism of casualities. Father Carl N. Kunkler, a native of Evansville, died Mon- day, Feb. 25, at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. He was 88. ml i "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" Miller & Miller 424-9274 20% Senior Discount Every Tuesday! Groups, Please Call 812-486-3977 For Reservations Guided Tours Available Montgomery, Indiana (812) 486-3977 daineda priest at St. Meinrad ings of refineries and fuel Archabbey on May 21, 1929, for supplies; the Archdiocese of -- The growing hatred of the Indianapolis. U.S. by Arab countries, par- Parishes he served included" ticularly democratic Jordan, a St. CelestineChurch, Celestine, long-time friend; and St. Joseph Church, -- The censorship of the Evansville, both in what is now news by the Pentagon, the Diocese of Evansville. repeatedly featuring our Father Kunkler also served "smart" bombs, while failing parishes in Indianapolis, to acknowledge the non- Starlight, Siberia, Decatur military impact of those County and Leopold, all within . weapons; t he Archdiocese of -- The growing threats of ter- Indianapolis. rorism around the world; Father Kunkler had resided at -- The financial costs of Providence Home, Jasper. weapons, military deployment The funeral liturgy was held and protection against ter- at St. Joseph Church, Jasper, on rorism, while so many in the Thursday, Feb. 28, with burial U.S. are unemployed, hungry al St. Joseph Cemetery, and homeless, and while health Evansville. care and education are sorely F" rM-n UYLE L LU" ,IBI%Floo$ T% EItAE TPA H Y J Homemade Amish Cooking Monday through Friday 20% Discount (50 and older) Daily 2 PM - 5PM Open Monday Thru Thursday 11 am to 8 pm Friday 11 am to 9 pm and Saturday 8 am to 9 pm and threats against Arab- Americans within our own country; -- The patriotic rhetoric that condemns dissent, failing to recognize that criticism of government policies can ex- press the highest .love of one's country; -- The disproportionate number of Blacks serving in Saudi Arabia (30 percent of the force -- while Blacks number only 12 percent of the U.S. population) even as we con- tinue to ignore the chronic unemployment and violence in the inner city; -- The rigidity of the U.S. position in negotiation when so much more than the 400,000 people of Kuwait is as stake; -- The prospect of commit- ting our courageous young men and women to a ground war Built with Quality to Save You Time & Money Factory and General Office Hwy. 231 S. Jasper, IN (812) 482-1041 Please do all you can to pre- vent our plummeting further in- to this quagmire! Nancy Brosnan, S.P. St. Paul's Office of Religious Education Tell City, In. Gulf war To the editor, It is difficult for me to believe anyone intentionally wants to do harm to another person, regardless of age, sex, race or creed. However, reality is we are not living in heaven, but on a planet mixed with people of good and evil. 1 believe the good will always prevail over evil. I also believe the innocent suffer and sometimes die because of the mistakes of their forefathers. In regarcls to the war in the Gulf, I do believe a part of it is over oil, but not the main cause. I derived at my opinion only after hearing many of the Arab people, some having served See LETTERS page 12 KNOX COUNTY--1 SEED COMPANY VINCENNES SUPERINTENDENT/PRINCIPAL Washington Catholic Schools, Washington, IN, seek- ing Superintendent/Principal. Applicant will be Catholic, possess. Indiana secondary administrative license, and have educational experience. Submit the following by March 15, 1991: Letter describing education and background, current resume with references, letters of recommendation, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, evidence of certifiability to: Phyllis Beshears, Catholic Diocese of Evansville, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 4 7724-0169.