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March 25, 1994     The Message
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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Lenten series-- Lenten reflection: Christ crucified Following is the "sixth and last of a series of articles taken from Father John Buckel's book, "Free to Love: Paul's Defense of Christian Liberty in Galatians," distributed by W.B. Erdmans, Grand Rapids. Father Buckel teaches New Testament Stud- es at St. Meinrad School of Theol- ogy. The death of Christ plays a cru- cial role in Paul's argumentation in the Letter to the Galatians. Modern day Christians are so far removed from the mind set of those who lived in the first century, that much of the forcefulness of Paul's discussion tends to be lost on the contemporary reader of this epistle. Moreover, contemporary Christians are so accustomed to viewing the crucifix as a sacred object and referring to the day that Christ was killed as "Good Friday," that they often forget the tremendous amount of suffering and humiliation that accompanied this form of capital punishment. Crucifixion was an extremely cruel form of exe- cution. It resulted in an agonizingly slow death. This was due, in part, to the fact that no vital or- gans were damaged by the nails that affixed the victim to the cross. Once a person was firmly bound to a cross, a cramping of the muscles took place. Since the lack of movement decreased the flow of By FATHER JOHN BUCKEL St. Meinrad Seminary blood in the lungs dramatically, air could enter the lungs but could only be expelled with a tremen- dous amount of effort. Only by pushing one's self up on one's feet, which obviously resulted in terrific pain as the feet were nailed to the cross, could one expel the air. As the body grew ever weaker, one had less and less strength to lift oneself up and thus experienced even greater difficulty in breath- ing. A crucified person eventually suffocated. Jesus' death on the cross in- volved unthinkable physical pain. Moreover, he must have also experienced a great deal of emotional trauma. Even before he was ar- rested, Jesus seems to have had an inkling of the suffering that yeas in store for him. (Matt 26:38: "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death."). His closest companions deserted him when he needed them the most, including one who betrayed him and another who three times denied even knowing him. Jesus may also have felt abandoned by God Him- self. (Mark 15:34: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"). Nevertheless, in spite of his great physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, Jesus con- tinued to put his trust in God. According to St. Luke, the last words of Jesus on the cross demon- strated his tremendous faith in divine providence. "Father, into your hands I commend (Luke 23:46). Sacrificial Love Our primary focus, concerning Jesus, should not be on the intense anguish that he experienced but I great love that God has shown lowing His Son to die for us value we must have in the eyes of God considers us worth undergoing such our attempt to grapple with the suffering death of Jesus, we also condition," namely, that every cope with pain, hardship, and death. The resurrection of that suffering and death do not word. God's all-encompassing thing. The crucifixion of Jesus is in terms of redemption instead cause of the resurrection of Jesus, we look upon the cross as a instrument rather as a sign of divine love. Paul argues in Galatians dom is never to be taken for granted' liberation'from sin and death treasured as a precious gift, one that for us at a great price, namely, Christ. :: ,ii Golden Jubilarians James and Margaret (Downey) Schutte of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 1 p.m. April 9 at St. Agnes Church, Evansville. A reception will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at St. Agnes cafeteria. The couple was married April 11, 1944, at St. Boniface Church, Evansville. They are the parents of nine children: Sandra Hatfield, Gary Schutte and Sue VanBibber, all of Evansville, Wayne Schutte of Wflming. ton, N.C., David Schutte of Evansville, Sara Paulin of Mount Vernon, Steven Schutte of Indianapolis, and Michael Schutte and Sylvia Groves, both of Evansville. They have 21 grandchildren and three great-grandchil. dren. Mr. Schutte retired from BristolMyers in 1985. 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Tme Factory Hwy. 2: {8 NOW AVAILABLE Vincennes Catholic 1792 -- 1992 Two hundred years of permanent Catholic education in Knox CountY, Purchase your copy today. You will receive this 120 page 200 years of Catholic education in Knox and sketches complement the text,which hsS by Dr. Walter Rinderle and Richard tance of Dr. David Grundman, Carol Sanders and Ed Schnautz. This attractive book was the Christian Educational Foundation Send me my personal copy of Vincennes Catholic Schools: I have enclosed $20 to cover the cost of the book, shipping NAME ADDRESS ITY STATE ZIP Mail this coupon and $20 to the Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evansvi] *i  !i