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May 17, 1991     The Message
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May 17, 1991

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May 17, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary 5 Jesus returns to his disciples auff ority to forgive sins Gospel Commentary for Sunday, May 19, Pentecost Sunday, Cycle B. 1 John 20:19-28 On the evening of the resurrection, i.e. on Sunday evening, the disciples were gathered somewhere in Jerusalem. They were hiding out of fear that they too would be arrested for their asso- ciation with Jesus. He had told them at the Last Supper that they would all abandon him and be scattered. He told them of their sadness at their separation from him, but that their joy would be restored. The time for restoration of joy has re- turned. Jesus enters the room although the doors are locked and barred. In this way John demonstrates the different quality of a risen body. Jesus greets the ,, disciples: "Peace be with you!" (Hebrew: Shalom alacem!") There was a need for restora- tion of peace. Judas betrayed him. Peter denied him. All but the beloved disciple, who was proba- bly one of the twelve, abandoned him. Jesus takes initiative to restore peace. Later on he will deal directly with Peter's denial and restore him to his love. John notes that the disciples were glad when they saw Jesus. Their joy is restored. Jesus shows them his hands and his side. We may recall that only in the Gospel of John does the soldier pierce the side of Jesus with a spear. It is walmost certain that this is of John's way accomo- dating two Scripture texts, one from Isaiah, the other from Zechariah. These texts refer respective- ly to a man being pierced for our faults and they ill look upon him whom they have pierced. Washington The authors of the gospels depend heavily on Old Testament texts to fill out details of Jesus' life and death. Whether or not these details were historical was not important to them. They were writing theology, not history. It is doubtful that any of the four gospel authors were present at the cross or were followers of Jesus during his life- time. John says nothing about the feet of Jesus. He showed only his hands and side. It is not certain that the feet of Jesus were nailed to the cross. Luke implies that they were, but this may be an accomodation to Psalm 22:16: "They have pierced my hands and my feet." In 1968 archae- ologists found on the Mt. of Olives a skeleton of a crucified man. Nails were driven through the wrists rather than through the hands, while the legs were nailed against each other to the cross through the ankles. The legs were broken. Jesus repeats the greeting, "Shalom!" Then he reminds them that as he was sent by the Fa- ther to accomplish his mission, so he will send them to continue that mission. Next they are era-, powered to do so. He breathes on them as a sym- bol that they are now granted the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide them in their work. John uses the breath of Jesus as a symbol of creation. In Genesis the Spirit or breath of God moves over creation and life begins. In Ezekiel the breath of God moves over a valley full of dry bones. They begin assembling themselves and the breath of God restores life to them. In this scene of the Gospel of John the Church is created with the Continued from page 1 Provide a cleansing area for Water to rid itself of harmful ollutants," he said. If wet- ands aren't preserved, the Pollutants "end up in rivers .and streams and eventually in somebody's drinking AUTO o HOME BUSINESS 0 FARM INSURANCE SERVICES SINCE 1913 water," said Evans. Although he said it was "to be expected," the theology professor was disappointed with the encyclical's tying of environmental concerns with "human ecology." In the encyclical, Pope INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 Low, Fixed Rates For Term Life Insurance Guaranteed For Ten Years DENNIS K. 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For example, Mary Magdelene and the sisters Martha and Mary are depicted as disciples of Jesus. The question of who was present is perhaps important since those present were given the au- thority to forgive sins. Nor do the other gospels help us determine who was present at Jesus' first appearance to his disciples. Since Thomas was absent, did he receive authority to forgive sins? The obvious solution is to say that the authority over sins was given to the Church, although John never uses the word "Church." The Church desig- nates certain people to exercise this authority. Various New Testament authors do not agree on who exercised this authority in early Christianity. The Sacrament of Reconciliation as practiced today is the end product of a long evolution. What the Church has formed under the guidarme of the Spirit can also be reformed under the guid- ance of that same Spirit both according to its form and who administers it. Other readings for Sunday, May 19, 1991: Acts 2:1-11; I Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 John Paul wrote that while people are right to be con- cerned about "preserving the natural habitats of the various animal species threatened with extinction," too little ef- fort is made to safeguard the "moral conditions for an au- thentic "human ecology."' Evans said he would like to see church documents urge caring for the environment "simply because it's part of God's creation." Instead, the recent encyclical frames care for the planet "in terms of human needs," he said. In a pastoral letter on ecol- ogy released last October, Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer of San Agelo, Texas, called care for the environment the ultimate "respect life" issue and said that "a theology of ecology" linking creation and redemption was needed to save "spaceship Earth." He asked the people of his diocese to conserve water, use low-wattage light bulbs, recycle, walk or use bicycles instead of driving short dis- tances, plant gardens, grow trees "to shade your home and help process greenhouse gases," and buy energy-effi- cient appliances. Father Thomas W. Berry, a priest noted for his work in ecology who heads the Riverdale Center for Religious Research in New York, told Catholic News Service that the church had "failed to sig- nificantly protest" the "dev- astation of the planet" by the "industrial-commercial pro- cess." Father Berry said it was time for the pope to issue a "comprehensive encyclical" on ecology, noting the church already has "a multitude of social encyclicals." Phone: 254-5141 '1 For 425-2726 ' DELICIOUS GERMAN FOOD PRIME RIB CHARBROILED STEAK COUNTRY FRIED'CHICKEN SEAFOODS * S/CAD BAR BANQUET ROOM FOR PRIVATE PARTIES ,K  ]'OtIIt CA TBG NEBIS, CALL 14800'2004d m Hwy 16i S. 3g 3rd Ave., lasper, IN