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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
May 3, 1996     The Message
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May 3, 1996

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tary-- Jesus' departure: the way to the father commentary for May home with him. They know the way not follow me now, but you will follow me after- 14:1.12 is part of the or sermon of of this long depar- esus by means of his and return to whole process in is called Jesus' /#hen the Church Supper dis- turgy of a Sunday  emphasis is on as it is celebrated liturgi- days after his resurrection. We esus ascends to heaven the resurrection only in Luke's Acts pel of Luke and in the Gospel ascends to his Father on the very day In Matthew and Mark there is Jesus. At most it is only implied. the ascension of Jesus is on Luke's Acts of Apostles, call into service the Gospel of John- consists mostly of dialogue between He begins with a reassur- arts be troubled. Believe in in me." This is the theme of depar- from his closest friends. He as- t there are many rooms in his Fa- ]s going home to prepare a place for ly return and take them DBNFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST and the destination. From these ex- pressions is derived the concept of heaven as a place, but apparently this is not what John intends to teach. Therefore he portrays the disciple Thomas saving: "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way to get there?" To which Jesus responds: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father ex- cept through me. If you knew me, you knew my Father also. From now on you know him and have seen him." Thus we do not have a description of heavenly geography but a theology of the unity between Jesus and his Father. This unity has been a major theme of the whole Gospel of John. But there are some questions about the meaning of some of Jesus' statements. For example, why does John distin- guish between believing in God and believing in Jesus? This seems to be a very important state- ment, a kind of headline, since it begins the whole dialogue. Some have used this statement to deny the divinity of Jesus. In fact, it seems to say the contrary: faith in God and faith in Jesus are the same faith. It is the first assertion in this dialogue of that major theme mentioned earlier, the unity be- tween Jesus and the Father. An objection: when Jesus speaks of rooms in his Father's house and of preparing a place for oth- ers, it does seem to imply a geographical area, heaven as a place? Just before this dialogue begins Jesus had said to Peter: "Where ! am going you can- ward." Where Jesus was going was his return to the glory that he had with his Father before the world was made, John 17:5. Peter was not ready for glori- fication. He had a temptation, a crisis, a test, to Un- dergo. He failed the test but the result was that he was a better person, now able to lead, and above all to love with the humility that failure can teach. He was then ready for his glorification, that is a share in the unity that exists between Jesus and his Fa- ther. That is the meaning of "the place" that Jesus will prepare for his disciples. When Jesus speaks of preparing a room for his disciples it should therefore be understood that he himself must first complete his own glorification process. Afterward they too will go through their process of cleansing through adversity and failure. Jesus had already told them: "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit .... Those who want to serve me must follow me (i.e. my exam- ple), and where I am, there shall my servant also be. Those who serve me my Father will honor." This invitation extended to the disciples at the Last Sup- per was written long after the event. John was talk- ing to his Christian community just as he is talking to us today. The reassurance: "Do not let your hearts be troubled," the remedy for troubled hearts, "Believe in God. Believe also in me," and finally the promise of"a room" in his Father's house, are all spoken to us just as much as they were spoken to Jesus' immediate disciples. We too will share that glory in an indescribable and eternal unity with God. Readings: Acts 6:1.7; I Peter 2:4.9. SHOP )uilding 3e PKGS. Packages for METAL annelburg. Golden Jubilarians Robert and Najla (Macksoud) Grotius celebrated their fifti- eth wedding anniversary with a surprise celebration April 27 at the home of their daughter, Cheryl Hunt, in Lexington, Ky. The couple was married April 25, 1946, in St. George Church in Birmingham, Ala., by Msgr. Andrew Hallak. Their children also include Dianne Berry, Bobble Schutz, Joe Grotius and Gregory Grotius, all of Evansville, and Terese McKannan of Princeton. They have 12 grandchildren. Mr. Grotius taught for 35 years at Ivy Tech and at Rex Mundi High School in Evansville. Mrs. Grotius is a professional singer and piano player. She sang with many bands in the USO during World War II. Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hw. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 425-4422 Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Bob and Norma Duncan Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2345 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Golden Jubilarians Urban H. and Betty (Goebel) Will of Evansville celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks, giving April 27 at St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh County. A celebration followed in the home of Chris and Patti Will at St. Joseph; this is the original home of the Goebel family and the site of their 1946 wedding reception. The couple was married April 27, 1946, in St. Joseph Church. They are the parents of three children: Kathy Funke, Frank J. Will and Chris L. Will. They have nine grandchildren. Mr. Will, a World War lI veteran, retired from Peerless Pottery. Mrs. Will works at Weinbach Department Store. i SCHNEIDER : HEATING & AIC. INC. 24 HR SERVICE 428-2665 118 W. Franklin St., Evansville, IN