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April 22, 1994     The Message
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9 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 00ary -- Yahweh as true shepherd: Jesus as true shepherd COmmentary for April 24, Fourth Sun- Cycle B, John Lhe purposes of the to demonstrate to from Judaism in their former religion is found anew C in fuller form in hristianity. We may first century as longing for the secu- :roots in Judaism, the , the Prophets, all of which we call the Old Testa- of sacred tradition often spoke of Yahweh toward his people. used for that lov- image of Yahweh as a shepherd cares for his sheep. the most detailed narrative of Yahweh in the Book of Ezekiel, chapter Was with his people who were living in (today in Iraq) in the early part of B.C. Terrible things had happened seems to blame the misfor- on religious and civic leadership destruction of the conquest of their L the exile of many of its people. He of Israel in the customary way, of Israel." Lord comes to Ezekiel to speak of Israel in this manner: Aren't :SUPPosed to feed their sheep? They lived #(N FATHER DILGER COLUMNIST off their sheep but did not feed them. They did not strengthen the weak, heal the sick, assist the handicaloped, bring back the strayed, nor look for the lost. They ruled with force and harshness. The sheep were scattered and be- came food for wild beasts. They wandered with none to search or seek for them. The prophet then condemns the shepherds: "I am against the shepherds.., and I will put a stop to their feeding the sheep." But who will replace the shepherds? "As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some are scat- tered, so will I seek out my sheep. I myself will be the shepherd of the sheep. I will seek the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the injured, strengthen the weak" Yahweh becomes the true shepherd of his people. The Gospel of John presents Jesus in this very role, Yahweh as shepherd of his sheep. For the author of this gospel and the early Christian- ity made known to us in our New Testament, Jesus fulfills the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings. Especially in the Gospel of John what is said of Yahweh in the Old Testament can be said of Jesus in the New Testament. Not only does Jesus fill the role of Yahweh as shepherd of his people, but he bears the very name of Yahweh, "I AM." But the prophet Ezekiel did not speak of Yah- weh laying down his life for the sheep as the Gospel of John says of Jesus as Shepherd: "The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep." The background to this view of Jesus comes from Sec- ond Isaiah's poems called "The Servant Songs." All our gospels and Paul saw Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah's Servant Songs. As John's Jesus is said to lay down his life for his sheep, so Isaiah says of the Ser- vant of the Lord: "He was cut offout of the land of the living. He poured out his soul to death." John speaks of Jesus receiving the command from his fa- ther to lay down his life and to take it up again. Of the Servant of the Lord Isaiah says: "Yet it was the will of the Lord to bruise him. He has put him to grief." And concerning the resurrection of Jesus, John found these words in Isaiah: "Behold, my servant shall prosper. He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high." The Scriptures imPart not only knowledge but also guidance. Thus far we see what John teaches us about Jesus in the parable of the Good Shepherd. What does he teach us about ourselves? Who are the shepherds today? Our minds turn first to the Christ- ian clergy, pope, bishops, priests, deacons, pastors, etc. How do they measure up to their role model, Jesus, whom John presents not only in the role of Yahweh as loving, caring, feeding his flock, but one whose life is consumed by that work? But let's not limit this parable to the clergy. Ezekiel was speaking to both religious and civic leadership and John can be interpreted in the same way. Thus we judge also our civic leadership by this parable and, closer to home, parents, teachers, school administrators. All of these are in the role of Yahweh, of Jesus, as loving, caring, life-giving servant. Readings: Acts 4:8.12; I John 3:1.2. TAL 70 MOBILE ED, FL info, call :ANT FOOD S CALL eel Appraisal RANCE Golden Jubilarians Earl J. and Mildred (Steinkuhl) Hoefiing of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving April 25 at St. Joseph Church, Vander- burgh County. A dinner will be held April 30. The couple was married April 25, 1944, at St. Anthony Church, Evans- ville. They are the parents of six children: Larry, Diane Wunderlich, Kenny and Mark, all of Evansville, Karen Breunig of Germantown, Tenn., and Kathy Schmitt of St. Wendel. They have 10 grandchildren; one grandson is de- ceased. Mr. Hoefiing is retired from Whirlpool Corp. and farming. l!00y.Low Wgvo BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214.E. 7th North Chapel, 33rd NewtOn: i i KREMPP LUMBER CO. WHOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DIS- TRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6939 II II JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER II Golden Jubilarians J.B. and Dorothy (Roby) Fulkerson of Rockport cele- brated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving April 16 at St. Bernard Church, Rcmkport. A dinner, hosted by their children, was held in the parish hall. The couple was married April 11, 1944, at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Owensboro, Ky. They are the par- ents of eight children: Fred of Owensboro, Sharon, Norbie and Rick, all of Rockport, Bertie of Huntingburg, Danny of Alabama, Jeff of Texas, and Mike of Tennessee. They have 13 grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Fulkersen both re- tired from Medley Distilling Co in Owensboro. IIII I I I II DON'S LAWN CARE MOWING CLEANING PRUNING TRIMMING GUTTERING- CLEANED AND REPAIRED, ii.00 479-3536 II III II II1[ [ _Jl[