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May 2, 1997     The Message
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May 2, 1997

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana tary-- son, Christian: The binding force of love tary for May Sunday of Easter: 15:9.17 g is a col- attributed to Jesus. immediately upon the and the branches on that theme of last the necessity of as the source of divine just as member- was a source of this idea John ]t symbol for , a vine and its branches. Jesus as perfecting and/or stament institutions, Jesus is por- and his adherents as the They become branches when Jesus as Son of God, King of Israel, in John 1:47-49. Such are says John. was the overriding theme of love of Jesus and one another theme of this week&apos;s gospel. The has for his Son is a major Last Supper discourse or sermon love does not stop with Jesus. He "As the Father has loved you." How is the love and Sondemonstrated? "I have kept Therefore I abide in Lion is required for the Pass on to his disciples: "If you keep my By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST commandments, you will abide in my love." John passes on to the next logi- cal question: What are the com- mandments that Jesus requires to be kept as a proof of our love for hm? There is only one "... that you love one another as I have loved YOU." And how has he loved his disciples? "Greater love than this no one has, than to lay down one's life for one's friends." In other words, as Jesus' life centered on the service of others, so any follower of Jesus, all Christians, must lead a life of service to others. The thought is then summarized: "You are my friends, if you do what I command you." Next John speaks of the distinction between a friend and a servant or slave. "No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father." This sentence is somewhat amaz- ing for two reasons. First, this gospel, just like the other three gospels, insists on the status of servant- hood for Jesus' disciples, see e.g. 13:16 and 15:20. In fact, another theology, that of Luke in his Acts of Apostles, often refers to Jesus himself as "servant" of God. Luke bases this concept on Second Isaiah's songs about a suffering servant of Yahweh whose life is given for his people. Luke interprets those songs of 540 BC as songs about Jesus. If a servant of God can also be the Son of God, then servants of Jesus can also be friends of Jesus in the sense John intended, those who know all about Jesus. This brings us to the second point, that Jesus says: "I have revealed to you everything I have heard from my Father." But in the next chapter Jesus will say: "I have yet many things to tell you but you cannot bear them now." He then assures them that the Holy Spirit soon to come upo them will guide them into the truth. Frequently what seem like contradictions in the Gospel of John can be attributed to different authors and/or editors. The form in which we now have the Gospel of John is not from one hand or even one theology, but a mixture of three or four different authors and edi- tors. The final point that John makes in today's gospel is how one becomes a servant or friend of Jesus: "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." Like all of God's gifts, this gift is also freely given. It cannot be earned, even if one can later show appreciation for it. That appreciation is shown in this: "I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should endure." A reward is promised: " that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give it to you." Has this been our experience? If not, the rea- son may lie in what is asked. In the context of this saying in John petitions seem to be limited to that which would contribute to "bearing fruit that endures." The final sentence is more specific: "This I command you, that you love one another." The meaning seems to be that Jesus chooses us and appoints us to live our lives for others, just as he did. Whatever we ask the Father in Jesus' name to achieve that end, "He will give it to you." Readings: Acts 10:25.26,34.35,44.48; I John 4:7.10. 9 BlNcoitP services 47501 'SOUrce/ ladio ews, 91.5 e at '47441 INC. Golden Jubilarians Kenneth and Alvina (Gadlage) Schnell will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. May 11 at St. Peter Celestine Church, Celestine. A dinner for family and invited guests will be held at the Celestine Community Club. An Open House will follow from 2 to 4 p.m.. The couple requests no gifts. They were married May 6, 1947, at St. Celestine by Father A.C. Schnellcnberg- er. They are the parents of Mel Oeding, Ruth Gehlhausen and Peggy Merkel, all of Jasper, Kathy Knust of Schnellville, and Steve Schnell, Keith Schnell, Karen Kuper and Nancy Schroering, all of Celestine. They have 21 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. One granddaughter is deceased. SCHNEIDER HEATING & A/C. INC. 24 HR SERVICE 428-2665 118 W. Franklin St., Evansville, IN I I Golden Jubilarians Marcellus and Valeria (Luigs) Elpers will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 6:30 p.m. May 5 at St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh Coun, ty. A reception with family members will be held at a later date. The couple was married May 6, 1947, at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel, by Father Roman Vollmer. Their recep. tion was held at the home of Valeria's parents, which was the site of the first Mass celebrated at St. Wendel parish in Octo- ber, 1839. They are the parents of seven children: Doris Beckerle, Karen Pritchett and Brendan Elpers, all of St. Wendel, Teresa Herrmann of Evansville, Leonard Elpers and Michael Elper both of St. Joseph, and Kevin Elpers of St. Philip. They have 24 grandchildren; one grandchild is deceased. Mr. Elpers retired from Sears Roebuck and Co. in 1983 after 35 years of service. I I I II NAAS & SONS, INC. Excavating & Trucking Backhoe *Dozing *Trenching ,Stone .Gravel *As :flt Complete Septic System & Water & Sewer Lr,4s -Reserttial an' ortl,ercl 768-6450 "l'ry Our Service" tarot at 768-5806 Sce 6 FAX 812-768-5518 Mark at 867-7789 RadDispatched RR.#I (2 rndes W on 68). Haubslad, i. Tom al 768500<J I I I IIIII I I I III L