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March 15, 1996     The Message
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March 15, 1996

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",rhis, 1.6 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Oommentary-- man receives sight: Jesus the light of the world , GOsPel Commentary for areh 1.7, 1996.. Fourth Sunday  ofLent: Cye/e A: John 9:1-41 made the people of Israel dwell in lowed by a long and sometimes amusing debate be- The attthors of the Gospel of the central around Jewish for example, the Sab- Hanukkah, Taber- For each feast the Used one or two aspects of a given feast as a to an explanation of and/or function of the explanation of function of Jesus is SOme statement of Jesus, for example, of the Sabbath in 5:17 Jesus says: :still and I am working." Such precedes or follows some of Jesus. For example, in chap- CUred a man who had been ill for ; years. not use the word "miracle" for these Greek word this gospel uses is English as "sign." A sign always The sign and the lead-state- _ then used to explain an identity L of Jesus. By connecting these state- events with a Jewish feast day, the au- nue a major theme of this gospel, or even replaces the institutions gospel reading the authors take on es or Booths. This is a harvest is called the feast of Booths because dur- eight day celebration of the feast live in booths constructed of and leaves. Leviticus 23:43 tells us that BN FATHER DILGER COLUMNIST the purpose of the booths was "that John 8:12 and 9:5. your generations may know that I The miracle and the statement of Jesus are fol- booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt." This feast is also called "Tabernacles" from a Latin translation of a Hebrew word meaning "hut, booth." Two very important aspects of the feast of Booths were the cere- monies of light and water. These two aspects of the feast become the stepping-stones for John to demon- strate how Jesus perfects or gives new meaning to this particular in- stitution of Judaism. The feast of Booths in the Gospel of John takes up chapters seven through nine. John uses the water ceremony to illustrate this statement of Jesus: "Let those who thirst come to me and drink. Those who believe in me, as the scriptures say, 'Out of their hearts shall flow rivers of living water.'" John then explains that Jesus said this about the Spirit that believers would receive after he was glorified. The water of the feast of Booths thus is made to symbolize a function of Jesus: The pouring out of the Spirit upon those who believe in him. The miracle that John connects with the feast of Booths has yet to take place. This happens in chapter nine and is connected with the light cere- mony of this feast. During the light ceremony huge oil lights were constructed so high that their light is said to have illuminated the whole city of Jerusalem. Incidentally we are told that the wicks of these lamps were made out of the worn out "drawers" of the priests. It is in connection with this ceremony that the "sign" takes place. Jesus gives sight to a man born blind. Before and after this mir- acle Jesus says: "I am the light of the world," see tween the parents of the man born, the man him- self, and the religious leadership. We must remember that the authors of John are not histori- ans in the sense that they intend to write exactly the way things happened. Their intention is theo- logical, religious. At the core of the story is an event. The story is developed in such a way that it responds to a situation in the Church for which a particular gospel was written at the end of the first century. John's development of this story reflects debate between Christian Jews and Jewish reli- gious leadership about who and what Jesus is. This debate became bitter and led to mutual excommunication and shunning. John uses the blind man as representative of those Christian Jews who were excommunicated from their synagogue, or as the gospel says, "put out of the synagogue." The parents of the blind man are either prospective con- verts to the Christian synagogue or Christian Jews who were afraid to openly profess their belief in Jesus as Messiah, Son of man, Son of God. At the end of the story Jesus meets again with the for- merly blind man who now sees. He asks for a pro- fession of faith. The man answers: "Lord, I believe," and worships Jesus. John ends with a warning from Jesus to those who think they see but are actually blind. They do not accept Jesus, light of the world. Behind the title of Jesus as light of the world is the idea that on this earth we are on the way to God, but we are traveling in darkness. Faith in Jesus as Messiah, as Son of man, as Son of God, removes this darkness. In his light as expressed in his teachings we find our way to God. Readings: I Samuel 16:1b, 6.7, 10.13a; Eph. esians 5:8-14. of Columbus :i1630 OPEN ,ngs MENU ' Chicken DON'T TAKE ON THE STOCK ALONE Avc. "0225 5, race 1871 23, ,15  7:00 RM. ee, Slaw, Drinks, Golden Jubilarians James and Frances (Martin) Greubel of Evansville cele- brated their fiftieth wedding anniversary Feb. 19. The couple was married Feb. 19, 1946, at St. James Church, St. James. They are the parents of five children: Luan Greubel of Evansville, Mara Promisco of Glenview, I11., Sylvia Muth, Joe Greubel and Brenda Ray, all of Evansville. They have 10 grandchildren. Mr. Greubel re- tired from Sears. They are members at Holy Redeemer Church, Evansville. ! LinCo Coffee Services Total Beverage Distributor Indiana-Illinois-Kentucky 46 rarities of Coffees and Teas } WHATEVER YOUR TASTE, 1 PiE CAN MATCH IT Main Street Pharmacy .17 [:. Mare St. * Down.own W'shington Phone: 254-5141 =- i1 .-[ =, =, [.],' .m,m "-* Golden Jubilarians Glen and Anna Mac (Griesinger) Songer of Huntingburg celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving Feb. 20 at St. Mary Church. A surprise celebration was hosted by their children on Feb. 18 at the Old Town Hall in Huntingburg. The couple was married Feb. 19, 1946, in Mooresville, In. They are the parents of five children: Gwen Barnett of Evansville, and Gregory Songer, Bill Songer, Joe Songer and John Songer, all of Huntingburg. They have 13 grandchildren. Mr. Songer re. tired after 47 years as a public servant; Mrs. Songer re- tired in 1994 after 30 years of nursing service at St. Joseph Hospital, Huntingburg.