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March 13, 1992     The Message
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13, 1992 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary 5 'll y FATHER L DONALD DILGER GOspel Commentary for Sunday, March 15, .qo,l 7, econd Sunday of Lent, Cycle C: Luke 11- The narrative of the transfiguration of Jesus [,s been left to us in three gospels, Mark, thew and Luke. Though all three are basically .,e, Luke an8 Matthew make some changes in ,[e Marcan version. We are concerned here with eLUcan version and it is Luke who makes most e". me changes. At the very beginning of this tff de Mark had written: "After six days Jesus ok Peter and lames and John with him " t,II - " .... ke ,, ,, tip .Writes: After ezght days. No one has come t,fflt.h a satisfactory explanation of Luke's con- Chon of Mark. What we can say is that if this aistorical account thev cannot both be url, ect. , StruTh. e whole narrative seems to have been con- bretecl of various building blocks from the He- - " criptures although the ('ore may be an ex-  ce that these three disci)les had wben e With Jesus. Peter, James md John are im- t],ant as witnesses of Jesus' glory in the trans- hsuration because it is these three who ac('om- t'qll ." ...... . .... lilY Jesus m his agonv in Gethsemane ttlre =ver, in the Lucan passion account these 11 t e are not singled out in Gethsemane. Instead Sta Le disciples accomDanv Jesus in the garden. ti'Ltlke got his basicstory of the transfigura- ll%sre, rn Mark and for Mark it is important that rt  Who saw Jesus in the glory of the transfigu- , 11 We " " "  tlrl n uld also see him zn his total degrada- r'cjat on his face, begging his Father for deliv- Transfiguration of Jesus: Hope for a disappointed community All three evangelists speak of Jesus' clothing becoming white, but Luke adds: "White as a flash of lightning." This brings him closer to the de- scription of the one who appeared to the prophet Daniel in Babylon We can never forget how the gospel authors searched the Hebrew Scriptures for appropriate language to describe the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. Luke will not write like Mark does that Jesus was "transfigured," or more literally from Mark's Greek, "metamorpho- sized" As in other instances, Luke here shows his knowledge of Greek secular literature. A pop- ular literary work at that time was a book by Ovid called "Metamorphosis." At the end of this book Julius Caesar is changed into a god. Luke does not want his readers to mentally associate the transfiguration of Jesus with the metamor- phosis of Caesar Thus he changes Mark's narra- tive and writes: "the appearance of his face was changed." Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus in all three gospels, but Luke adds: "They appeared in glory and were talking with him about his exo- dus (departure) which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem." Did Luke have more historical details than Matthew and Mark? Unlikely. Luke's theol- " ogy is coming through. By supplying the topic of conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Luke indicates that the transfiguration, the ap- pearance in glory, is somehow connected with Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection in Jerusalem. In all three gospels a cloud overshadows the three disciples and a voice is heard out of the cloud. Mark writes: "This is my beloved Son, lis- ten to him." Luke changes this message a bit: "This is my Son, my chosen one, listen to him." This is the second reference to the suffering and death of Jesus. How do we know? When Jesus is hanging on the cross, "the rulers scoffed at him, saying: 'He saved others Let him save himself, if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one.'" The term comes from Isaiah 42:1, the opening verse of the first "Servant Song." This "Chosen One" Isaiah will later describe as undergoing suffering and death for others and his ultimate vindication or victory. Now we have seen two references to the pas- sion, death and resurrection of Jesus, two refer- ences not found in the other gospels. Through such changes we try to determine what Luke was specifically teaching his community through this transfiguration narrative. A major problem Luke has to deal with in his gospel is the fact that his Christians had expected the Coming of the king- dom and the return of Jesus. Nothing happened. But just before the transfiguration Luke (just like Mark) had placed the prediction of Jesus' suffer- ing, death and resurrection. He will place a sec- ond prediction of these events after the transfigu- ration. Luke therefore teaches his Christian community that even though they are sur- rounded by the sufferings endured from the pagan society surrounding them, those sufferings are only a prelude to the glory that will be theirs. As Jesus endured suffering and death and resur- rected to glory, so will those who follow him. Other readings]or Sunday, March 15: Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18: Philippians 3:17-4:1. I page 1 St. Anthony EVansville l;tehUnlens" Robin West, 11 r . .  idiWllkmson ,vutt C_ ,*tes: Julie Boarman, %,krnphell, Kathy Hin- --uy Warner St, Benedict ,teehE:ansville h nens: Brenna % "'.L r' Michael O'Connor, "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" l00iller & Miller 424-9274 St. Boniface Evansville Catechumens: Steve Bab- cock, Robert Carp, R. Chris Fehrenbacher Candidate: Kenneth Jenk- ins St. Clement Boonville Catechumens: Tony Bryant Kitty Bryant, Lindsey Bryant, Allyson Bryant, Jen- nifer Bufkin, Christine ttutchison, Larry Miles, Larry , i ! I I Miley, Lana Oldham, Tiffany Oldham, MacKensey Crooks, Kristina Lawyer St. Joseph Evansville Catechumens: Jenna Dun- mire, Helen Stone Candidates: Debbie Dun- mire, Becky Hamilton, Laura Fisher, Marsha Sanders St. Joseph Vanderhurgh County Candidates: Jennifer Harris, Brian Herrell, Crystal Smith, Steven Smith St. Mary Evansville Catechumens: Joe Birk- head, Farren Shanks, Noelle Wallace Candidates: Arthur Ben- sten, Mary Brooks, Jennifer Corum, Patricia Hill, Ann Ri- nard, Carlton Scott, Phelecia Ann Seibert, Kim Stephens, Judy Stock, Tela Zuelly St. Matthew Mount Vernon Catechumen: Chad Nisbeth Candidates: Shirley Wentzel, Connie Winiger St. John the Baptist Newburgh Catechumens: Craig Sturdi- rant, Julie Welch Candidates: Brenda Marie Fehn, Natalie Haas, Jennifer Keller, Trenton Smith, Larry Sturdivant, Ann Louise Ziert- man St. John the Evangelist Daylight Catechumen: Eric Jones Candidates: Rita Raley, Kathy Scherrer, Jeannie Shu- lar, Tina Smithhart St. Joseph Princeton Catechumens: Ed Blair, Pam Christy, Charles Harris, Derek Turpin Candidates: Kreig Christy, Support Catholic schools by using the TradRmn Card. A percentage of each purchase you make using the Tradition Card goes to support Catholic education. Call 464-3322 or 1-800-777-3949 . exteos:oq 322Jor details, IsstlecJ by, Cjtizns ppp... Teresa Dove, Jean Edwards, Debbie Greenwell, Barbara Gordon, Leeanne Kruse, Jeanne McConnell St. Philip Posey County Catechumens: Kelly Kissel, Sandra Reising, Liz Stolz Candidates: James Berry, Ernie Bohleber, Tim Everly, Tom Hemmer, Warren Kissel St. Rupert Red Brush Catechumen: Lisa Knapp Candidate: Glenda Zint St. Theresa Evansville Catechumens: Angela Lynn Angel, Bradley Stuart Angel, Justin Mathias Angel, Lori Buckwinkel, Joseph Shaki Flutey, Helen Harlow, Bar- bara Orpurt, Colinda Rickard, Eric Rickard, Richard Rickard, Melissa Dawn Ruf- fert, Cynthia Zeller Candidates: Diane Gentry, Audrey Greubel, Brian Har- vey, William Hussmann, Pa- tricia Jackson, Lynda Kane, Ramona Wilt Blessed Sacrament Oakland City Catechumens: Shawna Fet- tinger, Christie Woodruff, Retta Woodruff Holy Cross Fort Branch Catechumens: Valerie Clements, Brett Conrey, Lorri Davis, Tom Roney Candidate: Jan Weiss ' .... ........ See 2'Page 9 " "