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April 21, 1989     The Message
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April 21, 1989
 

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April 21, 1989 Commentary The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i 5 '  Mass Readings By FATHER DONALD DILGER Judas initiates Jesus' glorification: Christian love Gospel commentary for Sunday, April 23, 1989 Fifth Sunday of Easter  John 13:31-35 The setting is the Last Supper. Jesus has predicted his betrayal. The curious, aggressive Peter wants to know who it might be and motions to the disciple next to Jesus to ask him. Jesus answers, "The one to whom I reach the bread after I have dunked it." He hands it to Judas. Judas takes it, we are not told that he ate it, and John adds: "Satan entered into him." Jesus then gives an order to Judas, "What you are going to do, do quickly!" Judas leaves and John adds an ominous note: "And it was night." Jesus' response to the situation: "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and in him God is glorified." The glorification of Jesus is a process beginning with his betrayal. To us this seems a strange theology indeed, but not to John. The theology of this gospel is very different from the mixed theological understanding we are accust- - omed to form by reading the passion narratives of Mark, Matthew and Luke. In John it can hardly be said that Jesus suffers. For John the glory or glorification of Jesus is a series of acts which make visible the majesty of God. The acts of the Passion are part of that visibility and are therefore acts of glory rather than acts of suffering. Even the Passion predictions in John, three of them as in the other gospels, do not predict suffering but a "lifting up" or enthrone- ment of Jesus. John is consistent throughout. 'The whole Passion narrative in John is not something that is done to a hesitant and sometimes an unwill- ing Jesus as in the other gospels. Jesus orders things to be done and all of it is under his control. Thus he orders Judas in this gospel only: "What you are going to do, do quickly." There is little opportunity throughout the year to examine this peculiarity of the Gospel of John. Let's take this brief opportunity to see some other examples of John's glorification theology of the Passion. When the "Judas Gang" comes to arrest Jesus, there is no kiss of identification. Jesus takes the initiative and asks them their purpose -- to ar- rest Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus replies by identifying himelf as the "I AM," the ancient name of Yahweh. The arrestors fall to the ground in unwill- ing recognition of his divinity. Then Jesus orders them to arrest him, all under his control. In Mark and Matthew the disciples flee. In John the arrestors are ordered to "Let these men go!" The disciples can walk away. At the trial before the high priest Jesus speaks boldly with the high priest in defense of his teaching. Jesus is clearly in charge. Before Pilate, it is Pilate who is on trial before THE KING. Jesus makes it very clear to Pilate that his power over Jesus is only by divine permission. While in the other gospels Simon of Cyrene carries the cross, in this gospel "he went out, bearing his own cross." This is not the suffering Son of Man of the other Gospels. This is the Son of God who is in need of no help what- soever. On the cross he calmly makes his last will and testament and then cries out: "It is com- pleted." Nor does he die. Rather, he "bowed down his head and handed over his spirit." This is in line with what Jesus had said in John 10:17-18: "I lay down my life, that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me...but I lay it down free- ly...and I have power to take it up again." At the end of today's gospel reading we have the statement: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another." Even though for John's peculiar theology this meant only fellow-Christians, his statement must be taken with the universal command to love one's neighbor as found in Matthew's "Sermon on the Mount" and Luke's "Sermon on the Plain" to love even one's enemies. Above all it is to be inter- preted by the "Parable of the Good Samaritan." The love of Christians knows no boundaries of family, church, community, creed, color, or na- tionality. This universality is the mark of a true Christian. To act otherwise results in the ever pre- sent scandal of Christianity, that Christians hate and even kill for the love of God. Other readings for April 23, 1989: Acts 14:21-27; Revelation 21:1-5. State legislature approves 3 farm aid bills By ANN WADELTON Indiana Catholic Conference f The counseling program for inancially troubled family ,farmers could receive up to a half million dollars this bienium under a bill, HB 1591, igned into law by Governor Van Bayh. That is one of three b!lls of special interest to In- Ulan ' s farm commumty whmh have been approved by the legislature. Another bill elevates the state's agricultural interest to a commission within the Depart- ment of Commerce, a long time goal of farmers. And a third will improve housing conditions for migrants employed within the state. HB 1591, the farm counseling bill, permits the Lieutenant 00Dubois County Bank CLOSE TO YOU WITH 8 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS Miller & Miller 424-9274 ,00LinCo Coffee Services Total Beuerage Distributor Indiana -lllinois - Kentucky I'O.MAllC EQUIPMEN'r CHILLy WILIJF..E E,il.enl & Sym I. CATAL. W,wWnr k, C'.are. I.aumln). & Matewc Ilu mmem, r MOTEL cew =tony.ms oA.01 mlr:m(mne COC4OLA  SYSlrlBS Ulmco. DINE.mOll & ITIOuL olvntAclrs IJNCO. DINE.MOR. ERIOR. KONA. FOLGEI & COMIEUAN CO'IEI CIIEAMEII.'SUGARS.  & alOOBI.AIllm I'VlIOFOAM.  & W CmqD & UDS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR NAME WAS BUILT ON QUAUTY AND SERVICE . 46 Varieties of Coffees and. Teas tlATEVER YOUR TASTE, WE CAN MATCH IT All Types of Beverage, Dishwashing and laundry Equipment Supplied and Maintained Washington (812) 254-4409 Evansville (812) 422-1833 Governor to allocate up to a half million dollars in the coming biennium to a program which was authorized last session with $200,000 appropriation and begun in November, 1988. His decision is to be based on need within the farming community. The target of the bill is the family farmer. "In the past, farmers seemed to find out about their options after the fact," said Dr. M. Desmond Ryan, executive director and lobbyist for the Indiana Catholic Conference. The counselors explain and explore all of the options, he said. rH-DOYL LUMBER COMPANY 104 WOOD STREET HONE 295-2400 LOOGOOTEE Counseling offices are located in Indianapolis and Bloomington. Both operate through Legal Services Organizations and are under the direction of the state At- torney General. Between their beginning in November, 1988, and mid-January, 1989, the of- fices received 340 telephone calls from financially troubled farmers. They met personally with 58 farm families to assist them with restructuring documents and loan applications. The need was particularly acute during that period because the Farmers Home Ad- ministration had sent delin- quent notices to over 2400 Hoosier farmers in mid- November. That included 12 forms to be completed and returned within 45 days. Money problems continue for Hoosier farmers, compounded PASTORAL MINISTER OPENING Full-time position is open for a PASTORAL ASSOCIATE to minister primarily to the elderly with some responsibility for other parish ministries. Contact by May 8th FR. EARL ROHLEDER 704 1st. Avenue Evansville, Indiana 47710 812-423-5209 by last summer's drought, ac- cording to the counselors. The $500.000 appropriation under the new law would allow the program to expand, hopefully with additional of- rices in northern and southern Indiana. Many farmers must travel long distances to meet with the counselors. SB 428, approved unanimously by both the House and Senate, will elevate agricultural interests to a com- mission within the Department of Commerce with an 11 member panel to serve as ad- visors. Lieutenant Governor Frank O'Bannon will head the commission. Farm groups have lobbied for such a commission for many years, seeking recognition of farming's position as the number one industry within the state. The commission is a welcome "first step" toward further development of In- diana's rural potential and small communities. In addition to Lieutenant Governor O'Bannon, the ad- visory panel will include the governor, the dean of the school of agriculture at Purdue Univer- sity and eight citizen members. Their task is to develop a long term state plan for agriculture and rural development. Citizen members must be familiar with farming, farm organizations, consumer issues, agribusiness, banking or education. A third bill which has moved through the legislature with unanimous support would upgrade living conditions for migrants and their families by improving sanitation, alleviating overcrowding and making clean water more easily available. Similar legislation was introduced in the past two sessions without success.