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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
April 4, 1997     The Message
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April 4, 1997

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 " Commentary -00ubting Thomas'. Purpose of the Gospel UO;lh Octave Day of Easter: Sec- : Year B: first part of today's gospel the gospel for Pente- It speaks of Jesus' ascension, which in of John happens on the i0r his resurrection. A of this part of the Oft of the Holy Spirit disciples. We are to think of Jesus' ascen- after his resurrection and his send- upon the disciples ten days middle of a violent storm. But that is In the Gospel of John Jesus ;. Holy Spirit while personally present to same day as the resurrection There is no violent wind, only a gen- the Feast of Pentecost. of today's gospel is chosen .t said to take place "eight days later," i.e. the resurrection, ascension, and giv- Spirit. That may not be the only rea- an opportunity for Christians to profession of faith in the risen Lord. Thomas had been absent on a week earlier. The other disciples t. He would not believe this appari- tion to be Jesus unless he sees the wounds of the nails in Jesus' hands and the wound of the lance in Jesus' side. This is meant to be a classic case of a lack of faith, because faith rests not on sight but on the word of another whom we trust. Jesus is ready to meet Thomas' conditions. Eight days later he returns. Thomas is present this time. The usual "shalom" is given." Then Jesus invites Thomas to do exactly what he demanded: "Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." We are not told if Thomas did what he was invited to do. Instead, Thomas answers: My Lord and my God!" Now some would say that Thomas is merely saying what many of us might say in response to an appari- tion of someone who is supposed to have died: "My God!" or "My Lord!" Such an explanation does not work in the Gospel of John, where almost every sentence breathes in some way the lordship and the divine character of Jesus. The first sentence of this gospel included this statement: "And the Word was God." The last sen- tence affirms the purpose of the gospel, i.e. to nourish faith that Jesus is Messiah and Son of God. Thus Thomas' words cannot be taken as an expression of surprise but as an act of faith to be imitated by every Christian who demands proof but ultimately yields to the gift of faith The response of Jesus to Thomas makes that clear. Thomas believes because he has seen Jesus, but "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe," says Jesus. These are Jesus' last words in the original ending of the Gospel of John and are therefore of major importance. Faith is not a matter of proof, but of acceptance of truth from God revealing and the Church proposing that truth for our acceptance, whether that truth is proposed in a written form in the Scriptures or in the gradual unfo!ding of oral tradition. Both were formed by the Church and or a gift of God given through the Church. This brings us to the summary attached by the author or an editor following the story of unbe- lieving, then believing, Thomas. "Jesus did many other signs (miracles) not written in this book, but these are vmtten that you may believe.that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believ- ing this you may have life in his name." There are two points to be made from this statement. First, not all of revelation is to be found in Scripture. The authors of our gospels selected material important to them and the Christian communities for which they wrote in the first century A.D. Much of what Jesus said and did was left unwritten, some of it handed down in oral tradition. Secondly, the gospels are not written as history or biography but as teaching tools or catechisms intended to teach who and what Jesus is and to give birth to and nourish the faith that springs from such knowledge. Readings: Acts 4:32.35; I John 5:16. How can a girls' school prepare young wome-n for the real world? By letting them take charge of their own world first. INC. 426-1440 rs Do you have trouble breathing? 8933 Outer Lincoln Ave.. Newburgh. IN 47630 Bothered by dust ... pollen ... allergies'? Let us purif3' your air Mother Natm'e's way! Eq/oy motmtain:fi'esh air all year long. Call now for a free home trial and start breathing healthier. RandCorp Mountain Air (812) 853-9186 MARIN HEIGHTS ACADF" FFRDINAND. INDIANA lndepoMz:, Guho&-affliatedgir'boardinganddyschool. grades 9-12 College prepanttor)" intentisciph.a U 7,rricuhon: 6:1 student/teacher ratio Value-centered education in an intercultund enviromnent Founded in 1870: situated on 190 rollitg acres in southern bMiana I Open House: ] April 26, 1997 j Ask about the Explad,n 11 Summer enrichment program for girls entering grades 7-10 July 6-18. 1997 For more in]brmation or to arrange a visit, call the Office of Admkdons at 812-367-1431 or 800-467-4MHA Web Site: bttF// "E-Mai EAST CHAPEL Golden Jubilarians William and Mary Agnes (Gardner) TenBarge 1 celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Ma Thanks- giving at 12".30 p.m. April 13 at Holy Rosary Ch, Eans- ville. A reception will follow in the parish hall  4:30 p.m. Friends are welcome; the couple requests nos, They were married April 12, 1947, at St. joseph Chuy Father Urban Sunderman. They are the parents of four daughters: Carolyn Putnam, Alice Jenkins and Darlene Linberg, all of Evansville, and Bette Dick of Van Cleave. Mr. TenBnrge retired from Whirlpool Corp. in 1983 after 43 years of ser- vice. Mrs. TenBarge also retired in 1983 from the Evansville Store. All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining . FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A-LA CARTE - BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS 486-3977 Just off Hwy. 50 in Mont :mery, IN Browse The Village Shops Every Monday Seniors receive  5% off!