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June 6, 1997     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 tary -- us and his family: A devastating portrait In between these two unpleas- pointing to those seated around himself, he says: Sunday: Ordinary 3:20.35 liturgy fol- upon Jesus' choos- He comes down and "went home." We is at Caper- in the or not kofJesus as having his Perhaps and 1:29, where cUred Simon's mother-in- with a theology different speak of Jesus as "not having a By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST life. People crowded around esus was in such demand that he no time to eat. Now comes an found only in the Gospel of Mark. s obviously embarrassed: "When his ' aware of the situation, they went out they said, "He is out of his mind!" intent on softening frankness, omit this this story may be part of a major that Jesus was misunderstood everyone, even by those closest to indications in all four alienation between Jesus Mark may be closer to the we like to think. That and his "brothers" were those him is indicated by the soon-to-fol- attempting to see him and Jesus' of their claims. ant references to Jesus' family, Mark places an intervention. The religious authorities come down from Jerusalem to Galilee and give their own diagnosis: "He is pos- sessed by Beelzebul and casts out demons by the prince of demons." Just as Vatican authorities today intervene when they are convinced that the faith of many is endan- gered by the teachings or actions of an individual or group, so did the religious authorities of Jesus' time react to Jesus. From their point of view they had to act. Jesus had already demonstrated an unusually light attitude toward Sabbath rest. His cures, they thought, could easily be effected through demonic power. They would act according to Deuteronomy 13: 1-5, which speaks of the possibility of a prophet arising who does "signs and wonders," but leads the people in rebellion against Yahweh their God, "that prophet shall be put to death." Jesus points out the weak- ness of their reasoning. If sickness is a manifesta- tion of demonic influence or possession, as was com- monly believed at the time, the one who cures sickness cannot be said to do so by the power of the very demons who caused the sickness. This would be case of a house divided against itself, i.e. destroying itself. Mark adds the difficult statement about an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit, thus leav- ing us an unsolvable problem. The usual interpreta- tion speaks of the sin of final unrepentance. Mark now returns to his treatment of Jesus' family. Jesus' mother and brothers were standing at the edge of the crowd calling to him. The people crowded around him said, "Your mother and your brothers are asking for you.." Jesus' reply is devas- tating. "Who are my mother and.my brother?" Then "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother." By the context into which Mark places the earlier episode with Jesus' family, the attempt to seize him because they thought him to be quite crazy, he put the family into the same category as the authorities from Jerusalem. Their diagnosis of his mental state was one of diabolic possession. This second episode with his family seems to be Jesus' reply to his family. They rejected his work. Now he rejects them. We cannot be satisfied with such an explanation. The gospels are not biography. They are theology. Mark is making a profound reli- gious or theological statement. Anyone can be a member of Jesus' family if they do the will of God. His earthly family is not excluded from his spiritual family, but the spiritual family is of greater impor- tance. Luke is aware of the harshness of Mark's pre- sentation of this episode. He omits Mark's portrayal of what seems to be Jesus' rejection of his relatives and writes: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." Because of Luke's other portrayals of the mother of Jesus, for example, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word," we may assume that Luke interprets Mark as also including the family of Jesus in his spiritual family, i.e. among those who do the will of God. Nevertheless, even Luke emphasizes the greater importance of spiritual family over physical family. When a woman in the crowd shouts to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that gave birth to you and the breasts that nursed you," Jesus replies," Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" Thus a principle: a family or relationship of nature is perfected when it also becomes a Spiritual family or relationship. Readings: Genesis 3:9.15; H Corinthians 4:13.5:1. !! Princetc Patoka Bill Green adio 91.5 Golden Jubilarians Robert and Martha (Adcock) Tornatta will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary June 21. The couple was mar- ried June 21, 1947, at St. Agnes Church, Evansville. They are the parents of three children: Martha Gump of Mesa, Ariz., Patricia Eble of Newburgh, and Robert Tornatta of Evansville. They have four grandchildren, and three step- grandchildren. Mr. Tornatta is retired from the Evansville Police Dept.; he also served as president of the Warrick Bev- erage Corporation. Mrs. Tornatta served as secretary/trea- surer of the Warrick Beverage Corporation. i i i Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 I)onahi }. Travlor President ..... Phone: 486-3285 i i i ] ... ; la . . i .... Golden Jubilarians Cletus and Alberta (Strobel) Boehm of Jasper will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks. giving at 10:30 a.m. June 8 at Holy Family Church, Jasper. A dinner for family and invited guests will be followed by an Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Home, Jasper. The couple was married June 10, 1947, at St. Joseph Church, Dale, by Father Ralph Lynch. They are the parents of three daughters: Sharon of Indianapolis, Phyllis Reckelhoff of Jasper, and Bonnie Begle of Mooresville, N.C.. They have three grandchildren. Mr. Boehm retired from Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative after 41 years. ]1 i i . i RUXER FORD - LINCOLN - MERCURY JASPER 1 n ,, - i , ,,,, , .....