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May 6, 1994     The Message
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1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 Commentary -- The role ofparents:Greater love no one has for May Sixth Sundayof Easter, John: 15:9.17. By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST ;is a contin- parable of the vine The parable spoke of n Jesus and his That union is as intimate as the union be- branch on the vine. survive when , from the vine. Our opens with a statement that God Father and is a pattern for the love and his disciples. Jesus is their fa- Gospel of John addresses his disci- obey their parents not out of fear Jesus points out the connec- obedience The pattern for to Jesus is the obedience of Father. A relationship of love-obedience may be in you and your joy the disciples asked to obey Jesus? one another as I have loved you." disciples of Jesus from servants Hearers of the words, "I no longer call friends," would immediately have Old Testament Scriptures and those "Friends of God." Of Moses it is speaks to him face to face as a man Isaiah 41:8 the Lord speaks of ." The true background for the statement that the disciples have become friends of Jesus rather than servants is found in the Book of Wisdom, where it is said of God's wisdom: "In every genera- tion she passes into holy souls. She makes them friends of God and prophets." Friends are chosen carefully. Thus Jesus says: "You did not choose me but I chose you." Then the purpose of that choice: "that you may go and bear fruit and your fruit will endure. In other words, friendship with Jesus reaches out to others. And so John ends this section of his gospel with the words: "This I command you, that you love one another. That love is a reflection of the love between Jesus and his friends and between Jesus and his Father. Love is not afraid to ask for what is needed Jesus assures his friends of the power of love: "Whatever you ask the father in my name, he will give it to you." Has that been our experience? If it hasn't, might it be that our love is not strong enough? The most appealing statement in today's gospel is this: "Greater love than this no one has, than to lay down his life for his friends." It is said first of all of Jesus and is then expected also of his friends. But there is an application of this state- ment that brings it closer to home. It expresses the love of parents toward children. Today we honor such parents by celebrating Mother's Day. Their love toward their children reflects the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Fa- ther, the love of Jesus for his friends and the love ^, of his friends for Jesus. Such love expresses itself in external acts John gives us an example in his version of the Last Supper. Jesus washes the feet of his dis- ciples and says: "I have given you an example that you should also do as I have done to you." In early Christianity the washing of feet was re- garded as a sacrament, an external action that pro- duces and increases God's life within us. Our Church uses seven external actions of this kind. As the Church is our mother,so those external actions re- flect what happens in our own families. Parents bring new life into the world as the Church does through baptism. The nurturing and training par- ents give their children is signified through Confir- mation. When children stumble or fall or get sick, the parents are there to help as the Church is pre- sent with the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick. The ultimate outcome of the nurturing that parents give their children is in the production of new life when the children become par- ents. Our Church provides for this transition in the sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders. On this Mother's Day families gather for a meal to honor their mother. As the parents look around the table at their children, their own flesh and blood which they nurtured and fed for so many years, they can say with Jesus at the Last Supper. "This is my body. This is my blood.  As the Eucharist is the sign of supreme love and self-giving, so children are the ultimate sign of the self-giving love of parents whose whole life is centered on the well-being of their chil- dren. "Greater love than this no one has." Readings: 6th Sunday of Easter, Cycle B'.4cts 10:25.26, 34.35, 44.48; I John 4:7.10. (Mick) Wright of Bloomfield will cele- wedding anniversary with a Mass of at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 15, at Holy eld. An Open House, hosted by their held from 2 to 4 p.m. at Bloomfield Odd Fel- 157 N. The couple requests no gifts. March 4, 1944, in Lawton, Ok. They are children: Sandra Jean Blackwell, Bar- Joseph Franklin Wright. They have four great-grandchildren. COUNTY BANK OLD NATIONAL BANCORP Member FDtC STAR SERVICE BANK Miller & Miller Colonial Chapel Supports the Knights of St. John MEMBERS , Miller Gerald Miller Miller Greg Betz SUPPORT CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS IN THE DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE MAY 14-15 You can make it possible for millions of people to see and hear God's word in television shows, videos, and the Catholic press. Help share the Good News. Please give generously to The Catholic Communication Campaign collection in your parish. THE CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN  I[ll I IIII II]l IIII II Illllll  , I .