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April 30, 1993     The Message
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11993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 Commentary -- Two parables: The door and the shepherd commentary for the of Easter, May 2, John 10:1-10. We have two brief parables )el of John for our In the first one states that those who do not pfold through the 0r gate are thieves and rob- The0ne who enters through the shepherd of the is followed by another. The voice of the shep- s each one by its name. They know his voice follow him, but the voice of strangers d By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST them." sheep would not recognize them. Only the shepherd could enter by the door because he has the key. Now Jesus says: "I am the door. Those who enter through me will be saved. They will go in and out of the sheepfold with se- curity and will find pasture." He adds that thieves come only to kill and destroy the sheep, while Jesus himself has come to bring life and security to the sheep: "I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly." Earlier Jesus had said: "All who came be- fore me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep paid no attention to not follow. author or editor now adds a note to the audience did not know what he about, but this is merely his way of explanations that now follow. may or may not explain the typical F parishioners in our time to their pas- homily. The first parable will be ex- gospel. The second one is ex- parable of the genuine or good gospel for next year's fourth Sun- We will therefore concentrate only 'irst of the two parables - Jesus as gate or ffold. was a pen marked off by a low either on a hillside or an enclosed area front of" a house. The entrance to the was through the gate or door. We may that this door was usually barred or at night when the sheep were inside. and robbers would gain access to the pen over the low stone fence, but the Who are these thieves and robbers? We can rule out the patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets. John has already told us that "your father Abraham longed to see my day; he saw it and was glad." He already told us: "If you be- lieved Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me." He also told us: "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." So we can rule out any of the above as the thieves and robbers in this parable. But who are they? The parable is addressed by Jesus not to the disciples but to the religious leaders of his time. John uses two terms here, thief and robber. In another context, 12:6, he will speak of Judas as a thief. This will not help us here. In 18:40 Barab- bas is called a robber. Neither is this a help for interpretation of this parable. There is Old Testa- ment background to this parable. Jeremiah 7 is an anti-temple sermon of the prophet. In 7:11 he accuses his audience of making the temple a den of robbers. The other three gospels use this text of Jeremiah in their story of the cleansing of the temple by Jesus. The robbers are the priests who run the temple as a business and get rich by doing so. Inthe Gospel of Mark Jesus accuses other religious leaders, the scribes, of devouring the houses of widows while pretending to be prayerful men. We can therefore conclude that when Jesus spoke this parable it was directed at the religions leadership of his time. They were the thieves and robbers who had come before him. They were the ones of whom the parable says, "but the sheep did not listen to them." The author of the Gospel of John directs the parable at the Jewish religious leadership of his time. The gospel indicates that he was at times in vehement controversy with them. There was great animosity between Chris- tians and Jews towards the end of the first cen- tury when this gospel was written. John has just referred to them as blind and guilty. Care must be taken not to transfer to our own time John's ani- mosity. But parables do reach across the centuries to our time. The parable of Jesus as gate or door with its reference to thieves and robbers is a warning.to ministers of religion. Do they rob wid- ows of their houses by never-ending appeals for money? Have they made the churches a front for theft and robbery by living luxuriously on money that was given by those who had little to give and gave for truly religious purposes? There have been enough cases in recent years to tell us that this parable still applies. The gospels repeatedly challenge us to examine the motives and style of our ministry. Other readings: Acts 2:14, 3641; I Peter 2:20-25. !CTOR FOR FORMATION: of Lafayette-In-Indiana is seeking a full-time the Pastoral Office for Formation. As a member of let, responsibilities include coordination of d to carry-out the Bishop's vision of Areas of responsibilities include: worship; sacra- Preparation; initiation; evangelization; catechesis; and schools The director will be responsible for ng vision, goals and priorities along with the adminis- nunication for the Pastoral Office. include recent Masters in the theology, divinity studies; church leadership experience. Salary Submit resume and references by 5/21/93 to: 1Centmlttee, Diocese of Lafayette-M-Indiana, 260, Lafayette, IN 47902. UFFET May9.11AM-3PM t,= Its "" $12.95 Senior Citizens -- $11.95 ","lren (3-10)- $5.95 (under age 3) FREE (plus tax and gratuity) " Cheese & Broccoli Soup CaeSar Salad Tomato Mint Salad aese & Fruit Display Prime Rib Lemon Stuffed Sole "Chicken Cynthia ' Fettucine Florentine Almandine Oriental Blend es Whipped Potatoes with ;raw Wild Rice Assorted Homemade Breads ,SSorted Desserts R FOR EVERY MOTHER 3N INN, EVANSVILLE North- 867-7999 local III II PASTORAL ASSOCIATE POSITION AVAILABLE St. Anthony, a central city parish in Evansville, is seeking a Pastoral Associate to work in team ministry. Applicant should have Master's Degree in Pastoral Theology or related area. Desire to work as Spiritual Director for RCIA and Small Church Communities a must. Send resume and two letters of recommenda- tion by May 15, 1993 to: Mr. James West Chairman, Search Committee St. Anthony Parish Office 704 First Avenue Evansville, IN 47710 I I i I II I . 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