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May 26, 1995     The Message
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May 26, 1995

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.... iii 1995 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 "" Commentary -- The end of Jesus' homily: A prayer for unity ttarT for May Seventh Sunday of Cycle C, John 17:20-26. When authors and editors of the assembled the various of this gospel, they ended upper homily with a prayer for his disciples. They found a for such an ending in the address of Moses to the Is- in the Book of Deuteronomy. st Supper prayer he for himself for a return to the with his Father before was made. Secondly, he immediate disciples, BJNFATHE00 DILGER COLUMNIST Ler may make them holy and keep them evil. Thirdly, he prays for those who come to through the preaching of the disciples. This for Christians of all time is the subject of ,pel reading. among his future disci- all may be one, as you, Father, are and I am in you,.., that they become per- Unity among Christians is to be a re- unity between Father and Son, a per- Imity. The ideal is there, but the reality is e. The hundreds of Christian are witness to the fact that Jesus' prayer has a long way to go before it is fulfilled. among Christians is a scandal that has anity from its very beginning. Paul already had to deal with serious divi- fledgling Christian community at in the fifties of the first Christian century. new Christians were beginning to attach various leaders. The Gospel of John contend with various factions in the commu- which it arose. There were basic dis- about the identity and mission of Jesus. Name-calling and condem- nation as "anti-Christs" were al- ready common. Thus it is no sur- prise that the Gospel of John ends Jesus' last discourse with a prayer for unity. From the beginning until today, most Church docu- ments are written to deal with a specific problem. And so it was with the Gospel of John. The theme of unity is a major theme. The purpose of unity is clear from Jesus' words. They are to be one "so that the world may believe that you have sent me." In other words, the lack of unity among Christians undermines the claim that Jesus was sent into the world by his Father. Conversation with people who have rejected Christianity and joined other religions indicates their distress over inter-Christian bickering as a major factor in their decision to leave Christian- ity. They see Jesus' will for unity betrayed and consider Christian unity practically unattainable. At least up to now history seems to confirm such a conclusion. It cannot be denied that there has been progress toward Christian unity in our time. Per- haps the time will come when the peace Jesus wishes to his followers in last Sunday's gospel will be achieved. That peace is to come from the movement of the Holy Spirit within the Christian community, who will bring to mind all the things that Jesus taught. A lot of work remains for the Spirit to accomplish. Christian Churches all be- lieve, teach, and act with the conviction that they are right, that they have the truth, yet they con- tradict each other in very basic matters. How and who is to determine what and who is correct? One answer is that ultimately there must be some kind of human, authoritative teaching direc- torate which we trust to be guided by the Spirit to teach the truth that Jesus taught. In the Roman Catholic Church we call such a teaching directorate "the Magisterium" of the Church. This Magisterium or teaching authority evolved in response to a dire need. Christianity was fragmenting from the beginning. Christians who do not accept a teaching authority other than their own private interpretation of Scrip- ture continue to break into pieces. Roman Catholics accept such a teaching author- ity in the pope and bishops. It must be obvious that this Magisterium is exercised by fragile and very fal- lible human beings. Their humanity is sometimes a scandal. We cannot forget that in being designated by the Church as sharers in the Magisterium, they still remain human beings, and this despite all the royal prerogatives that have accrned to them since early times. We can also not forget that Jesus com- mitted his Church to the first fragile and stumbling group with a promise that the Spirit would be with them to guide them into all truth. It is this pomise of Jesus that convinces us to put our trust in those who we believe are called to "bring to mind all that Jesus has taught." Christian unity is a slow process, an evolution. Christian Churches have begun to learn from each other and to accept correction from each other. Until they together arrive at a perfect understanding of reve- lation, fragmentation may be God's will. In the Old Testament, when a king of Judah set out to unite a people of God broken into two, the Lord sent a prophet with this message: "Do not go against your own family .... This thing [the division] is! me.  Like the adult members of any family who' their individual way, so Christian Churches day enrich their family reunion with their weal different experiences and traditions. Readings: Acts 7:55.60; Revelation 16-17, 20. Vincennes Bicknell Sandborn Princeton, Patoka Member F.D.I.C. RCOMPLETE SERVICE INC. LLVILLE, IN 389-2418 Services .= Distributor of Coffees and Teas YOUR TAST C MATCH IT Washington 254-4409 EvansvUle 422-1833 in Street STEAOK "SALAD BAR A few places still available! Golden Jubilarians John and Rosella Lankford of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on May 26. The couple was married May 26, 1945, at St. Thomas Church, Vin- cennes. They are the parents of four children: Beckie Deer of McLeansboro, Ill., and Steve Lankford, Marcia Wilde- man and Connie Scheller, all of Evansville. Mr. Lankford is retired from A & H Truck Lines, and Mrs. Lankford is retired from Mater Dei High School, Evansville. I Ill I I HOLY LAND 10-DAY PILGRIMAGE with Fr. Philip Kreilein and M.ary Jo Holmes July 31 --- August 9, 1995 WALK IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS! Bethlehem; Nazareth; The Galilee; Capernaum; Mount of Beatitudes; Mount Tabor, Jerusalem; Mount of Olives; Garden of Gethsamane; Via Dolorosa. Visit many beautiful churches and shrines venerating jesus, His disciples and Mary. Fr. Philip Kreilein Mary Jo Holmes P.O. Box 156 825 Maryland Street Ferdinand, IN 47532 Ferdinand, IN 47532 Phone: 812-367-1212 Phone: 812-367-1343 Golden Jubilarians Victor and Maggie (Deuser) Reimann of Evansville will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Man of Thanksgiving and renewal of vows at 10 aan. June 4 at Cor- pus Christi Church, Evansville. A reception, hosted by their nieces and nephews, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at Corpus Christi cafeteriL The couple was married June 5, 1945, at St. Boniface Churcl Mr. Reimann retired from the U. Post Of. rice and the Federal Employees Credit Uniom I ] I I I ] II I I I I H I _ DUBOIS COUNTY BANK MEMBER OLD NATIONAL BANCORP t FO,C YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK I iHll ,Hi r , , . .................... IIIIIII I I III H ] I!1 I II I II I I MILLER & MI00R "A family name you can trust" 424-9274 II I[I II i i