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March 17, 1989     The Message
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March 17, 1989

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March 17, 1989 Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5  Mass Fioaclings By FATHER DONALD DILGER A king comes home: his city rejects him Gospel commentary for Sunday, March 19, 1989 Passion Sunday -- Luke 19:28-40 The story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem is well known in a sort of hodgepodge harmonized ersion of the four gospels. What is not well known is that we have four quite different accounts of the same event. To see how we har- monize these four accounts, let's examine a few details. Most people would say that the people ac- companied Jesus with palm branches. Yes, they did, but only in the Gospel of John. In Mark they used branches cut from the fields, in Matthew they cut branches from the flees and in Luke they didn't use any branches at all. Most people know that Jesus rode an ass into Jerusalem. Yes, he did, but only explicitly so in Matthew and John. In Mark and Luke he rode a colt but they never say of what species the colt was. The best tidbit of infor- mation on this item is that Matthew makes Jesus ride on an assand on a colt. This may seem com- ical from our point of view but to grim Matthew it was no[ comical at all. It was his way of showing theologically that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy to the letter. Each gospel author tried in his own way to teach the theological relationship of Jesus to Jerusalem. They are teaching "religion," not history. They can differ greatly and even contradict each other, but still be teaching some truth of faith. Their concern is to give the meaning of something rather than how it happened. Today we are concerned with Luke's story of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. To know what he is teaching we have to find out the context into which he put this story, and the changes he made in Mark's account, his source. Immediately before this story Luke places the parable of the talents (or, as he calls it, the mnas). In this parable a nobleman goes into a far away land to receive kingly power and then returns to be king. There are some who do not want him to return and be their king. He returns and has them put to death. Immediately after the triumphal entry Luke places an objection of Pharisees to the shouts of triumph: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." Then comes the lament over Jerusalem and the foretelling of the destruction of the city and its people. Next we have to see what changes Luke made in the Marcan account. He writes that Jesus went ahead of the disciples "up to Jerusalem." In Luke's theology Jesus is anxious to accomplish what he has to do in Jerusalem, his suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension. Luke twice deletes the word "immediately" -- a favorite word of Mark which gives Mark's gospel a sense of urgency. Mark thinks the end will come quickly. Luke thinks there will be a delay. Luke omits Mark's reference to cutting leafy branches from the fields. There seems to be no theological reason for this omission, so we might conclude that Luke was suffering from an allergy to green vegetation. Now Luke adds an entirely new sentence of his own emphasizing that it was the disciples rather than any other crowd that welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem. It is Luke's way of saying that it was not the city and its people who welcomed Jesus but only his disciples. He omits "Hosanna," a Hebrew-Aramaic word which probably would have meant nothing to his readers. Then instead of writing, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord," Luke writes, "Blessed is the KING who comes in the name of the Lord." Luke is tell- ing his readers that this is a king coming to take posession of his city. That Jesus is king Luke already made clear in the annunciation to Mary, that he would receive the "throne of his father David ... and of his kingdom there will be no end." To show that he is thinking of that annun- ciation and royal birth he adds words from the Canticle of the Angels: "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" At the same time he deletes Mark's reference to "the kingdom that is coming." Luke does not consider the triumphal entry as beginning the final kingdom. Now to interpret the context -- that is the placing of the parable of the talents before this story and the objection of the Pharisees and predic- tion of disaster at the end. The king of the parable represents Jesus, though not in all aspects of the king's actions. The point is that King Jesus was not accepted by his own city and people and this rejection would lead to disaster for them. Luke further illustrates this through the objec- tion of the Pharisees to the joyous praise of Jesus' disciples. The Pharisees represent the religious leaders of the Jews. They too reject the king and his followers. The lament over Jerusalem is the' graphic description of the disaster which, at least in Luke's mind, came upon Jerusalem and its peo- ple because of the rejection of their king. Each of the four evangelists has a different message. Let us read them carefully to see what they are saying first of all to the people of their time. With that first message as a guide we can then ask: "What does this story mean to the Church of my time and to me personally?" We have room here only for the original meaning. Let the reader now apply it to her or his own situation as each of the evangelists did to theirs. Other readings for Sunday, March 19, 1989: Isaiah 50:4.7; Philippians 2:6.11; and the Passion according to Luke. Indiana General Assembly The bigconsideration for legislators is the state's biennial budget By ANN WADELTON Indiana Catholic Conference With more than two-thirds of the session over, the Indiana General Assembly is facing the moment of truth. Which of the many bills approved thus far will be funded? And at what levels? The crossover deadline, the 38th session day, saw a record number of bills crossover from one chamber to the other. The House had approved almost 500 bills, compared with 331 in 1987 and 316 in 1985, the last long session. The Senate ap- proved about 200. The time crunch now hits the Senate as they filter those 500 bills through their 17 standing committees in about 12 days. Deadline for the final third reading vote comes four days later and conference committee reports are due in another three days. The big consideration is the state's biennial budget, which sets Hoosier priorities for the next two years, according to Dr. M. Dasmond Ryan, lobbying for the Indiana Catholic Con- ference. Many human service projects have been generously funded in one chamber. But many fear, he says, that the sup- port represents political postur- ing rather than genuine com- mitments to such programs ,as prenatal care for poor pregnant women and babies and the fun- ding of ISTEP testing for non- public schools. Legislators need to know that Hoosier citizens support such programs, says Dr. Ryan. The prenatal legislation, also called SOBRA after the federal program which authorizes it, was approved by 47-0 vote in the Senate. SB 499 would fund prenatal care at 150 percent of the federal poverty level. The House bill, HB1378, was withdrawn from consideration by its sponsor Rep. Joyce Brinkman (R-Indpls} rather than have it reduced from its 185 percent level. The Senate bill would ex- pand the Medicaid program to include medical care for preg- nant women and babies to age one who live in families earn- ing less that 150 percent of the federal poverty level, $13,250 for a three-person family. Children to age eight would be covered in families earning less than 100 percent. Indiana's cur- rent level, set last year, extends to 50 percent of the poverty level. The state's share of the cost at 150 percent figures about $23 million and would bring in $47 million in federal money. By federal mandate, Indiana must raise its eligibility to at least 75 percent by Jtfly, 1989 and 100 percent by July, 1990. are John Sinks (R-Fort Wayne), teachers' unions. Several That comes in the face of in- Richard Thompson (R-North schools sent notes home with creasing recognition of the Salem) and Robert Hellmann their students asking parents to U.S.'s high infant mortality rate {D-Terre Haute). write letters, said Dr. Ryan. One by comparison with other The bill would direct the teacher called a former pupil, developed countries. And also stateto pay for ISTEPtesting for now a legislator, to urge sup- the recognition of the cost- all accredited schools. Current- port for the bill. effectiveness of spending ly, although the state requires That personal lobbying effort money upfront on prenatal care all accredited schools to ad- will be needed again to move as a means of preventing minister the test, they limit pay- the bill through the Senate, ac- lifelong disabilities, ment to public schools, cording to Dr. Ryan. Catholic In his state-of-the-state ad- schools spent $120,000 to ad- dress, Governor Bayh gave sup- "People power" helped to minister the ISTEP test last port tothe mandated 75 percent move HB 1667 through the year. level of care. House, according to Dr. Ryan. The ISTEP funding bill, HB Supporters of non-public Supporters of non-public 1667, was approved 71-27 by schools mobilized teachers, schools should immediately the House and assigned to parents and friends to lobbying write their Senator urging sup- Senate Finance Committee legislators who represent them portforHB 1667. The address is because of the $175,000 up- at the Statehouse as the bill Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN propriation. Senate sponsors faced stiff opposition from 46204. Fr. Sylvester Schroeder dies March 15 Father Sylvester Joseph Schroeder, 67, died at his home in Ferdinand, March 15. He was co-pastor of St. Ferdinand Church in Ferdinand. He was the son of the late Herman and Catherine (Schroering) Schroeder of Celestine, Ind. He is survived by his brothers, Joseph, Ed- ward, Jerome and Norbert, and his sisters, Veronica Mehringer, Rosina Schwartz, Bernadette Schroering and Marie Bechman. Two brothers, Alois and Msgr. Othmar Schroeder, preceded him in death. Visitation was scheduled at the Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand, March 16, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST, and at St. Ferdinand Church, March 17, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. A parish memorial service was scheduled at St. Ferdinand Church, March 17, at 8 p.m. EST. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Ferdinand Church, Saturday, March 18, at 11 a.m. EST. Burial will be in the St. Ferdinand Cemetery. Sylvester Schroeder was born at Celestine, Ind., April 21, 1921. He entered St. Meinrad Seminary in 1935. He was or- dained a priest by Bishop Henry J. Grimmelsman, June 11, 1946. His assignments included parishes in Evansville, Vin- cennes and Ferdinand. He taught at Memorial and Mater Dei High Schools in Evansville and was superintendent of high schools in Vincennes. He had been appointed co- pastor of St. Ferdinand Church, Ferdinand, in 19771 ......