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March 6, 1992     The Message
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March 6, 1992

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h 6, 1992 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary 5 i GOspel Commentary for Sunday, March 8, 992, First Sunday of Lent, Cycle C: Luke 4:1-13 The story of the temptation of Jesus is always read on the first Sunday of Lent. Our oldest gOSPel, the Gospel of Mark, has a very brief temp- ;on Story. Mark merely notes that Jesus was ex- )ed into the wilderness by the Spirit, the Spirit tad just received in baptism. And there he was d0a" 'upted by Satan. There are no specific tempta- s. Mark writes that Jesus was tempted 40 days,  Was with the wild beasts and the angels minis- ecl to him. With some changes to express their 1."  theoloov,, o., Matthew and Luke keep most of tio'-r, s narrative but add three specific tempta- tion, s. Since their stories are so similar we con- ,'0 e that they both used the same source, a lost 6 ape I we refer to as "Q," from the German word I0r "SOUrce," "Quelle." It is important to recall that even in the ver rief-s . Y n., tory of Mark there ]s a tremendous wealth of 'ulic 'o al background from the Hebrew Scriptures ronlv called the Old Testament. The same !i fr tl(e expanded versions of Matthew and .. Since the oosnel authors wrote decades after _. parture of Jesus, we cannot place much his- i;r!3al value on the temptation narratives They ,0 ^, form over a period of 40 to 50 years throu h 'titation on the sa in s of esus on the shargn r ! i sus' experienceYigl hi first'disciples as g 3 'experiencesl r grew. in oral tradition, and on f . estament storms and texts applied to the life ,.'SUs. Those very texts are included in the story tashington tiued frmv page 4 /llitt__Ung children are per- dQ q to Operate tractors and %r ther hazardous farm . . In 1979-83, aoproxi- ;Y 23,800 child;en and far,:Cents were, injured on th a, and 300 ded irom "e injuries. Workers are less SINCE 1888 ,, Schum 'VlOnuments, Inc. UALE, INDIANA ',,,,7-4921 The three temptations: Luke teaches his church as left to us by Matthew and Luke. These texts are the key to interpretation of the story. Today we take a look at Luke's expansion of Mark's temptation narrative. First Luke notes that Jesus "was led into the wilderness, not "ex- pelled" as Mark had written. Luke displays a greater reverence and gentility toward the person of Jesus than does Mark. To prepare for the first temptation, the temptation to turn a stone into a loaf of bread, Luke adds: "And he ate nothing in those days. When they were ended, he was hun- gry." The devil approaches for the first tempta- tion: "If you are Son of God, command this stone to become bread." "Son of God" recalls the bap- tism of Jesus in which the voice of heaven refers to him as "My Beloved Son." Jesus answers the devil with a quote from Deuteronomy: "Man does not live by bread alone." To the early Christian, who knew the Scriptures, those words recalled the temptation of Israel in the wilderness just as the 40 days of temptation had recalled for them the 40 years of testing of Israel in the wilderness. Israel had failed to trust God to feed them. Where Israel failed, Jesus overcame. Next the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, in a vision. All these, he says, he will give Jesus if Jesus will worship him. Jesus answers: "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve." Again Christian hearers and readers would recall from the Hebrew Scriptures how likely than workers in other occupations to receive the So- cial Security benefits they de- serve because their employers fail to file complete reports of earnings to the Social Secu- rity Administration. -- While some farmworkers live in well-kept housing, many reside in dwellings that are "deficient, crowded and unsanitary." The report said "numerous studies tell of mi- grant farmworkers living in shacks, barns, old school buses, and other seriously substandard dwellings. A Yahweh had made a pact with the Israelites that they would be his people and he would be their God. They were to have no other gods, yet they made themselves an idol, the golden bull. Where Israel had failed, Jesus overcame. The devil takes Jesus to the top of the temple: "If you are Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for God's angels will protect you from in- jury." Jesus replies: "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." Once again Luke's audience recalls how Israel tempted or tested God in the wilder- ness in the matter of providing drinking water. Where Israel failed, Jesus overcame. Space permits only a brief interpretation. If Luke is speaking to his Christians as a Church, each temptation has a specific lesson. The tempta- tion to turn a stone into bread is the temptation of the Church to pursue wealth and material posses- sions. Throughout his gospel Luke condemns the acquisition of wealth. The temptation to worship the devil is a condemnation of the Church pursu- ing political power: "All these I will give you, if you will worship me." It was a common belief in Luke's time that the world was in the power of the devil. The temptation to jump off the top of the temple is a condemnation of vain and pompous display in the Church. The temptations may also be interpreted as applying to the individual Chris- tian. Readers and homilists take note. Other readings for Sunday, March 8: Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Romans 10:8-13. family may have to sleep 6n a dirt floor in a one-room house with no furniture, running water or electricity." Roybal, a longtime cham- pion of the migrant farm- worker who will retire this year, pledged at the news conference to try once again this session to convince fel- low lawmakers to require "fresh water and toilet facili- ties" in the fields and to clamp down on farm bosses that fail to report farmwork- ers' earnings to the Social Se- curity Administration. NOTICE Robert J. Pigman was omitted from the Ameritech Yellow Pages HObert j. Pigman is a member of the law firm of Berger & Berger and the firm provides legal representation in ACCIDENTS BODILY INJURY CIVIL LITIGATION WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS PRODUCT LIABILITY on the Walkway at 313 Main Street EVansville, Indiana 47708 425-8101 TOLL FREE IN INDIANA 1-800-622-3604 TOLL FREE OUTSIDE INDIANA 1-800-327-0182 Little Rock Scripture Study Sister Maria Kleinschmidt, D.C., one of the workshop presen- ters, listens to a presentation given by Judy Hoelzeman, as part of the workshop on Little Rock Scripture Study, at the Catholic Center, Saturday, Feb. 22. About 100 people at- tended the workshop, which was sponsored by the diocesan office of religious education. Message photo by Paul R, Leingang r' Jill Ann White Administrator BIm rN! I L_ "'LI ". s so, w=h,oo, J. IBI 3mBl-mm 812-2544516 /I Prairie Village BB Living Center III HAUBSTADT ELECTRIC 24-HOUR Industrial, Commercial and Residential TONY NAZARIO P.O. Box 405 812-768-6207 Heubetadt, IN 47639 I Illlllll II KNOX COUNTY SEED COMPANY VINCENNES