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March 26, 1993     The Message
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1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 entary -- The resurrection of Lazarus: Jesus as author of life ml commentary for 1993, Fifth Sunday of Cycle A: John 11:1-45. Once more Jesus took refuge I his enemies to escape arrest pe the fate of John tile disciples we rare in the east of the Jordan 'Where both he and John the at one time conducted t Scorn to have been compet- d ministries. A mes- r arrives from two sisters, and Mary, who lived at was west of the and close to Jerusalem. Their brother Was sick. Jesus did not rush to Bethany ited two days. Then he announced to his that they were returning to Judea, west , The disciples knew of the attempts esus life and protested. Jesus tells them not Then he told them that Lazarus had would make the trip. A worried "Let's go die with Jesus." Jesus gets to Bethany Lazarus in the tomb four days. The time is ira- cause an opinion of that time was that d around the body for three death. After that there was no hope of There could be no loopholes in this mira- they approach the city of Bethany, eats Martha first. There is a dialogue be- Jesus. She makes a profession of "I believe that you are the Christ, 1 of God, who is coming into the world." comes Mary's turn, another dialogue. BJN FATHER DILGER COLUMNIST When she meets Jesus she falls at his feet. In both the Gospels of Luke and John Mary either sits at Jesus' feet or falls on her face at his feet. That seems to be her place. Martha is always active. Mary, like Martha earlier, seems to scold Jesus for being late. Jesus shows deep emotion. The Greek verb seems to describe anger. He asks for the location of the tomb. They go to the tomb where Jesus orders the stone over the entrance removed. They object that Lazarus already stinks. Jesus tells them they are about to see the glory of God. Jesus prays to his Father who always hears him. Within the prayer he says that the prayer is not because it is needed but for the benefit of tile many friends and relatives of the family who are standing by. Loudly he calls: "Lazarus] Come out!" Lazarus, who is wrapped hand and foot like a mummy, shuffles out. Jesus orders them to untie him and let him go. Then John adds what he considers the real result. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that many Jews believed in Jesus because of the miracle. The bad news: spies went to report to the religious au- thorities what had happened. John is the only gospel that records this stu- pendous miracle. The others know nothing about it. In the other three gospels the immediate cause of Jesus' arrest is his riot in the temple. John puts this riot or cleansing at the beginning of Jesus' ministry to make room for the story of the rest[r- rection of Lazarus. For him this miracle is the climax of seven miracles or, as John calls them, "signs." They are signs because they signify something much greater than the physical mira- cle itself. With most of the signs John adds a long dis- course or sermon that explains what he wants that miracle to mean or signify. In the feeding of the multitude the sermon explains that Jesus' teaching is the bread of life, that Jesus himself is the bread of life. The curing of the paralytic both in body and in spirit signified that Jesus has full authority to bestow both spiritual and physical health and to do so even on the Sabbath, a pre- rogative of God only. The giving of sight to the blind demonstrated Jesus to be the light of the world. And finally, the resurrection of Lazarus demonstrates and wraps up what has been im- plied earlier in the gospel: Jesus is in total charge of the final judgment. It is his power that calls the dead back to life, not only physical life but eternal life. This is the third of three lengthy stories or signs that were used in the ancient Church to in- struct catechumens. We look within the story for some connection with the baptism for which they were preparing. It was their final exam. They were to be baptized during the celebration of Jesus' resurrection, Easter Sunday. The topic was the resurrection of Jesus and his power to raise them from the dead. The illustration of it was the resurrection of Lazarus. At the end of the explanation, a question: "Do you believe this?" the same question asked of Martha by Jesus. The answer: "You are the Christ, the Son of God, who has come into this world." Thus the catechu- mens responded in their final exam! Other readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11. ic groups join coalition urging universal health care N (CNS)- ,concerned care reform ranging coali- personnel, in- and health urging Pres- take swift ac- Universal health coy- not need to recite about the grow- of uninsured and people," said a to Clinton more than 180 or- do want to force- our shared con- the crucial ele- care reform is health coverage Jrehensive benefits cans," they Signers of the letter in- cluded the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Jesuit-run Center of Concern in Washington, the Columban Fathers Justice and Peace Office, the Na- tional Office of Jesuit Social Ministries, the National Council of Catholic Women, and Network, which is the national Catholic social jus- tice lobby. Other signers with religious ties were the American Jew- ish Committee, American Jewish Congress, B'nai B'rith Women, Congress of National Black Churches, Washington office of the Episcopal Church, National Council of Jewish Women, Southern Christian Leadership Confer- ence, Unitian Universalist Service Committee and Arts hn One 477-1532 ,ue aM Gutzweiler Delivery S Riverside Governor 422-9981 's Pharmacy e Delivery J(h- 413 Locust Street "and JUdy Stratman : 425-5293 PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping.Center Fast Prcdption Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Welnbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 425-4422 Women's League for Conser- vative Judaism. The ,joint ,letter was orga- nized by Families USA, a consumer group concerned about health care costs, which said each signing group would contact the pres- ident about its own specific concerns regarding health care. "Our united message, how- ever, is that each and every American must be assured that he or she can count on having comprehensive health care coverage," the letter said. "Otherwise the reforms will be deemed a failure." Among the largest organi- zations signing the letter were the American Medical Asso- ciation, the American Hospi - tal Association, the Health In- surance Association. of America, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Blue Cross & Blue Shield As- sociation, the Consumer Fed- eration of America, Chil- dren's Defense Fund, Alzheimer's Association and several major unions, includ- ing the Service Employees In- ternational Union and the Steelworkers. "Doctors, hospitals, insur- ers and consumers may seem like strange bedfellows on health reform," said Ron Pol- lack, executive director of F ,amilies USA; "' : ""  '":'; ",.-:.,) " ' But we come together-on: .... this key issue: the most cru .... cial element of health reform r" is guaranteeing comprehem sire health coverage to all Americans and doing it " quickly," he added. President Clinton has named his wife, Hillary Rod- ham Clinton, to head a task force drawing up a compre- hensive health care reform plan. The task force hopes to complete its work by late spring. Salvador archbishop condemns amnesty for war criminals SAN SALVADOR (CNS) w Archbishop Arturo Rivera Damas of San Salvador said an amnesty for war criminals passed by E1 Salvador's con- servative ruling party was a maneuver to sweep 12 years of atrocities under the rug. The amnesty is "a desper- ate government maneuver to throw a blanket of forgetting and, as such, impunity" over the worst crimes of the civil war, Archbishop Rivera Damas said in a March 21 homily. President Alfredo Cris- tiani's ruling ARENA party and its allies pushed the blanket amnesty through the Salvadoran legislature March 20, only five days after the United Nations issued a re- port on human rights atroci- ties. Those convicted of war crimes are now expected to walk free shortly. Among them the five military men convicted of raping and mur- dering three U.S. nuns and a lay worker in 1980. The U.N. report reopened the wounds left over from the war, which ended last year with a U.N.-brokered peace accord signed 15 months ago. On March 15, the U.N.-ap- pointed Truth Commission report said the army was guilty of most of E1 Salvador's war crimes. The report blamed a string of massacres on the army. De- fense Minister Gen. Rene Emilio Ponce was cited for ordering the 1989 murder of six Jesuit priests, their house- keeper and her 15-year- old daughter at Central American University in San Salvador. ARENA deputies and right- wing groups have accused the commission of trying to de- stroy the armed forces, ARENA's insistence in pushing through an amnesty was widely seen as an open challenge to the U.N. spon- sors of the Truth Commis- sion, headed by former Colombian president Belis- ario Betancur. "Some reject the (U.N.) re- port. Others, unable to reject it. take away its power with other measures," Archbishop Rivera Damas said. The Truth Commission re- port cited late army Maj. Roberto D'Aubuisson, ARENA's founder and still a hero to its rank-and-ilia, for ordering the murder of Arch- bishop Oscar Remora in 1980 and as a mastermind of the death squads that killed thou- sands of suspected leftists in the 1980s. Among those to benefit from the amnesty law were Col. Guillermo Benavides and Lt. Yusshy Mendoza, both serving 30 years in prison for their part in the Jesuit mur- ders. Rebels serving time for the murder of four U.S. Marines at a care in San-Salvador in 1985 and facing charges for killing two downed U.S. air- men in 1991 also were to be