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March 18, 1994     The Message
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March 18, 1994

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tlll, 114 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 " Commentary End of m00nistry in Judea: Opening to the world for Fifth Sunday of John 12:20.33. GOspel of John, in con- Jesus north long ago time in south. The action has around the capital city, Six days before ated at on the outside Jerusalem. he decides to go to A large crowd assem- accompany him into Jerusalem in to be known as Jesus' triumphal The crowd accompanying so says this gospel, by the fame after resurrecting his friend dead. of Jesus in John's drama, oppo- now come on stage with a "You see that you can do noth- has gone after him." For the statement concludes the rain- to Judaism. John reflects the fact that  Wrote at the end of the first Christian ;sion to the Jews as a whole (We must remember however community of Christianity was Jewish, including Jesus.) that the Christian movement had By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST found a home among the Gentiles, or as he might call them, "the world," or "the Greeks." The ministry to Jews having been closed in John's scheme of thins, he now turns to "the Greeks," the Gentiles, the world. Here is where today's gospel be- gins. Some "Greeks" approach Philip, one of Jesus' disciples, and ask to see Jesus. Philip tells An- drew and they both report to Jesus. Jesus' answer seems rather strange for the real world. He doesn't say: "Great! I'd like to meet them." Rather he replies with these words: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glori- fied." This statement is followed by various sayings of Jesus that John has collected into this story. A grain of wheat has to die before it can produce any- thing. Those who love their life will lose, while those who hate their life in this world keep it for eternal life. Those who serve Jesus must follow him and doing so they will be honored by the Fa- ther. What does all this mean? In the mind of the author who is here teaching his readers there has to be some connection be- tween the Greeks, the hour of glorification, the grain of wheat, loving or hating life coupled with losing or gaining life, and the following of Jesus with its reward by the Father. The answer is in John's next paragraph. All these statements are a connection with the saving death of Jesus on the cross, a death which is part of his glorification. They can all be summed up in the third of Jesus' un- usually formulated passion predictions in the Gospel of John: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself." The "lifting up" of Jesus is his death, a death that will affect "all people." "All people" are represented by the Greeks who want to see Jesus. =To see" in the Gospel of John sometimes has more than the obvious meaning. Here it means "to believe" in Jesus. Thus this whole section of John will end with these words: "While you have the light, BELIEVE in the light, that you may become children of light." Jesus' reference to the "hour of glorification" for himself means that his death is the beginning of that process whereby he will return to his Father "with the glory that I had with you before the world was made." John 17:5. Jesus himself is the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies. But that is not the end. Not only will that grain of wheat die but it will rise into a new plant, a plant that produces "much fruit." The fruit consists of all people, all nations, races, tribes, that will be affected by Jesus' death, his res- urrection, and his return to the Father. That whole process is the hour of glorification. But his glorifica- tion-return to the Father will not be by himself alone. "If anyone serves me he must follow me." That following consists of being a grain of wheat that, like Jesus, dies to itself and with him affects all people. In his glorification he is accompanied by those who served him in selfless giving: "Where I am there shall my servant be." Other readings: Jeremiah 31:31.34; He. brews 5:7.9. addresses, phone num- dates, offices, direc- Schools, institutions, financial statistics, ts  they are all Yearbook of the Catholic of EVansville. may PUrchase your copy at Center for $7.50. For include $1.50 for anci handling. "9900 J J ml i!iii;! J h.: ge Catechism in English to come out June 22 By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) The long-delayed English ver- sion of the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" is to be avail- able in U.S. bookstores June 22. The release date was an- nounced March 15 by the U.S. Catholic Conference's Office for Publishing and Promotion Ser- vices, publishing coordinator of all U.S. editions. Fifteen other publishers have joined the USCC as co- publishers of the single text, which will run about 750 pages with 3,500 footnotes and cita- tions. It will cost $29.95 in hard cover and $19.95 in pa- perback. The "Catechism of the Catholic Church" is a com- pendium of what Catholics be- lieve, structured around four thematic sections: the creed, the sacraments, the command- ments, and the Lord's Prayer. According to the USCC, the catechism venture is the first time so many U.S. publishers have come together on a single project. The first press run is ex- pected to be around 400,000. Publishers had ordered more than 250,000 copies over a year ago and a number Of them have said they plan to increase their orders before the final first-run deadline. Of the major Western lan- guages, English is the last in which the catechism will appear. Vatican officials overseeing the project considered the Eng- lish draft translation that was submitted more than a year ago too free a rendering. They decided to redo it to make it conform more closely to the original French version. The English draft's use of in- clusive language whenever : possible to refer to people was one of the areas in which Vati- can officials found problems. But they also objected to some other techniques for smoother-sounding translation involving what they considered excessive departures from the literal meaning of the French text. The idea for an official cate- chism for the whole church the first since the 400-page "Catechismus Romanus" is- sued in 1566 following the Council of Trent  was ap- proved by the 1985 world Synod of Bishops after Cardi- nal Bernard F. Law of Boston gave a speech suggesting such a text. In 1986 Pope John Paul II set up a commission of cardi- nals and bishops to draft the text. A first draft was sent to the world's bishops in 1989, and they responded with some 24,000 amendments and com- ments. In June 1992 the pope aP- proved a definitive text and that December he formally is- sued it in French, the first of the catechism's five official modern languages. Other officially recognized translations are German, Spanish, Italian and English. The Latin text, which is still being worked on, will become the primary or normative text for all others when it is com- pleted. The Vatican Polyglot Press holds the copyright on the cat. echism. It granted the USCC, a national agency of the U.S. bishops, all publication rights in English in the United States.