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May 15, 1998     The Message
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May 15, 1998

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14 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Divine indwelling: The paraclete By FATHER DONALD DILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for May 17, 1998 Sixth Sun- day of Easter: Cycle C: John 14:23-29 The Last Supper discourse of Jesus continues from last Sunday's gospel. Basically a farewell speech, it often refers to Jesus' trarisition to glory. It also serves as a last will and testament of Jesus and therefore pro- vides for the security of those he leaves behind. Both these themes are part of this Sunday's gospel. Just as in the Old Testament S&iptures a promise of life was attached to the keeping of the commandments of the Torah, so also in the New Testament Scriptures. Thus Jesus begins with this statement, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them. We will come to them and make our home in them." The indwelling of the life by which the divinity itself lives is here promised to those who keep the "word" of Jesus. What is that "word"? We heard it last Sunday, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have loved you .... "On the neg- ative side Jesus warns those who do not keep his word that "the word which you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me." Just so an ambas- sador of our day would warn that she is speaking not just for herself but for her country. Next the discourse turns to provision for those Jesus leaves behind. After noting that he has told them certain things while still with them, he informs them that they still have much to learn, "The Para- clete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and recall to your mind all that I have said to you." The term "par- aclete" is of Greek origin. It can mean a lawyer for the defense, a consoler, and here certainly a teacher. We should recall that John composes this discourse of Jesus towards the end of the first century. The eyewit- nesses and earwitnesses of Jesus were gone by this time. They had been the living chain between Jesus and the growing Christian movement. How was their function to be continued? John's answer: Jesus is still with the Christian community because his place was taken by the Holy Spirit who continues to teach Jesus' disciples as Jesus himself had taught them. Also, when Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD., the Christian communities guided by Paul and the Gospel of Mark expected Jesus to return soon. He did not. Expectation began to pale. John's solution: Don't lose faith in the return of Jesus because many of the features associated with the parousia or return of jesus are already present in Christian life through the presence of the Paraclete and through divine indwelling. In a certain way Jesus had returned and would be with them at all times. A third reason for assurance of the presence of the Holy Spirit is that the Church had to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. The presence of the Spirit who "will teach you all things and recall to your mind what I have said to you," gave the Christian community the confidence needed to adapt. Then the discourse turns to "shalom." Jesus promises peace to his disciples, a peace which the world cannot give, the security that comes with the assurance of the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding decisions. He adds encouragement, "Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor let them be afraid." The theme of departure occurs again, "I go away, and I will come to you." Thestatement seems contradictory, but it is not. Even though Jesus leaves, he returns in the presence of the Holy Spirit, the who represents him to the disciples: to the world ..... The discourse of Jesus reco feeling of loss the disciples the realization that he would no them, talk with them, yet asks them is leaving, because he is returning to thel reason is given later in 17:5, Jesus is to glory which I had with you ( world was made." But a more rejoicing at Jesus' return to the in chapter fourteen, "because the than I." This has been a cross for important heresy of the fourth used this statement as one basis that Jesus is hot divine, but Perhaps the best explanat his human nature Jesus is less than divine nature he is equal to the Father.: Today we are so far removed of the early Christians. How absence of Jesus, and even more so had seen and heard Jesus also the assurance of the presence of the Church is as valid now as it was difficult at times to see the decisions or policies of the Church local, nor should every dc work of the Spirit. The human sent in the Church. Nevertheless, eventually work out, because both vidual Christian have been promised lawyers, the Paraclete. Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-23; John 14:23-29. Golden Jubilarians Lawrence and Mary (DeVous) Keller of Evansville celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on April 17. They were mar- tied April 17, 1948, in Equality, Ill. They are the parents of five children: MaDonna Reynolds of Bloomington, Christine Long of Newburgh, Rose Montrastelle and Gregory Keller, both of Evansville, and Susan Oeth of Newburgh. They have nine grand- children. Mr. Keller is retired from Feigel Construction Compa- ny. Mrs. Keller worked at Stewart's Department Store. Golden Jubilarians Cletus and Matilda (Schenk) Rexing of Chandler celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary on May 9. They were married May 11, 1948, at St. Philip Church, Posey County. They are the par- ents of six children: Janet Hurm and Diana Wade, both of Evans- ville, Joan Ambrose and Debra Naas, both of Haubstadt, and Donald Rexing and John Rexing, both of Chandler. They have 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. The Rexings are retired farmers. i i i I Illll Ill |l T FS Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 i11 i ii iii i iiiii T HEATING'  i