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May 17, 1996     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary--- Easter season ends: Jesus' final prayer pel 1" Commentary for , 1996: Seventh Sunday Cycle A John 17:1 - 11 the final ter season ends of Jesus' Last Sup- It is time to go. The return of Jesus to his at hand. He has made a i which he disciples to adhere to do what he had all they were faith to him as to God, that they must other as he loved them; i.e., with a totality or devotes one's life to and for others. the Gospel of John, the Old Testament his deeds and his words, were up- mind of the authors/editors of this farewell address to the Israelites prayer. Jesus' farewell address follows Pattern. Constructs this final prayer so that the oil Jesus. Jesus asks for a re- t he had with his Father before the raade. On what basis? As ambassador of to the human race he had been given the t himself as God's representative presence on earth. The purpose of that t' Was to make God known on earth. That gave human beings the ability through the eternal life of God. Jesus king" God on earth. "To glorify" By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST means to make known with the re- sulting recognition and praise of God by his human creatures. Jesus reminds his Father that he has done precisely that work. Now it is time for wages: "I glorified you on earth. I accomplished the work you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Fa- ther, in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." It is a prayer for vin- dication. His return to the Father through his ascension was to prove to the world the truth of his mis- sion. The prayer of Jesus next cen- ters on the disciples. He reminds his Father of his disciples. They were the Father's gift to Jesus. He made his Father's name known to them to the ex- tent that they realized the total unity between him- self and his Father. What is that "name" he made known to his disciples? In the theology of the Gospel of John Jesus repeatedly is cast in roles that Yah- weh personally assumed in the Old Testament, for example, creator, healer, shepherd, lawgiver. Above all these other titles and roles John assigns to Jesus the name above all other names and does so repeat- edly in many ways, e.g. "Before Abraham came to be, I AM." "When you have lifted up the Son of man. then you will know that I AM." It is the name that is assigned to God in the Old Testament, in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Second Isaiah. After reminding his Father about the disciples and what Jesus had done for them in fulfillment of his mssion, Jesus turns to a prayer of petition for them, but it takes him a while to get to the petition. First there is the additional reminder that the disci- ples belong to the father just as they belonged to Jesus. One feels an implied statement that the Fa- ther is therefore obligated to protect them as his own. Jesus is about to leave, so he turns them over to his Father's protection. Then the petition: "Keep them in your name, that they may be one, just as we are one." There are other petitions for the disci- ples to follow but our gospel reading for today erds on this petition for unity. Unity among Jesus' fol- lowers is based on the total and perfect union be- tween Jesus and his Father, "that they may be one, as we are one." This is a very human prayer, and that is a problem. Did Jesus need to pray like this? If he and the Father are one to the extent that he even bears the divine name, I AM, why would he need to peti- tion at all? The answer is found in John 11:42, where Jesus says: "Father I thank you for hearing me. I knew that you always heard me, but I have said this (prayer) on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you sent me." In other words. Jesus' prayer shows us how to pray. We know that GOd always hears us but like the human Jesus we are unwilling to let it go at that. And so, we first thank God for what God has done in us. We cannot be as certain as Jesus was that we have accomplished our mission, but we have tried. So we ask to share in God's glory, reminding God that this would be a good reflection on his own glory. With the introductory petition out of the way, we turn to the needs of others. Readings: Acts 1:12-14: I Peter 4:13.16. e Experts Over Years Appraisal and Counsel /Buyers Closing INSURANCE 1913 STEAQK CHICKEN PARTIES " JtlPer, IN Golden Jubilarians Paul P. and Alma T. (Rexing) Schapker of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 3 p.m. May 26 at St. Joseph Church, Vanderburgh County. A dinner and dance for family and friends will follow. The couple was married May 23, 1946, at St. Joseph Church by Father Fredrick Niehaus. They are the parents of five children: Beverly A. Jones, Phyllis M. Scheller, Kenneth P. Schapker, Randal J. Schapker and Paul A. Schapker, all of Evansville. They have eight grandchildren. Mr. Schapker retired from Whirlpool in 1989, after 50 years of service. Mrs. Schapker retired from Crescent Plastics in 1985. DEWIG BROS. PACKING CO. MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, ,INDIANA Golden Jubilarians .... ' Cletus and Florence (Gries) Rexing of Dale will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks. giving at 10 a.m. June 2 at Mary Help of Christians Church, Mariah Hill. Friends and relatives are invited to an Open House from 2 to 5 p.m. at the parish hall; the cou- ple equests no gifts. They were married June !, 1946, at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. They are the parta ,of nine children: Larry of Lafayette, MarilynPayneof Da!e, Steve of Dale, Gerald of Pickerington, Ohio, Joan Efflnger of Plainfield, Erwin "Rex  of Bradenton, Fla., Brenda of indianapolis, and Connie of Charleston, S.C. Their daugh- ter Barbara is deceased. They have 16 grandchild. Mr. Rexing retired from Holland Dairy and farming i L987. Mrs. Rexing works part-time in the cafeteria at David Turnham Educational Center .......