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Evansville, Indiana
June 14, 1996     The Message
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June 14, 1996

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, , The. Message' .for Catholics of Southwestem Incliana "" Commentary-- The compassion of Jesus: Healers and teachers Gospel Commentary for 16, 1996: Eleventh Sunday: r C y le A: 9:36-10:8 h There are three occasions en Matthew refers to the com- esus. All three occa- concerned with the feed- multitude. The three are: the first mission of disciples, 9:36; the first loaves and fishes, ; the second multiplication of fishes, 15:32. Matthew's does not seem to be an ac- DB(NFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST )tion of what happened but the impor- /mbolism. The first occasion, the send- lout of the twelve disciples sets the theme for the two. That theme is the propagation or spread- the mission or work of Jesus among hu- mission of teaching and healing. a the sending out of the twelve disciples the is clear. In the feeding of the multitudes with on two occasions the theme or sym- ]s not immediately clear. Matthew explains 16:5-12, where he indicates that the five five thousand and the seven loaves for r thousand symbolized Jesus' teaching as op- the teaching of other Jewish religious lead- time. This explanation is followed ent or commissioning of Peter. He the authority to make binding decisions for of the faithful, to do so in the name atthew separated the two *works of Jesus, teaching, with great care. On the first occasion on which he cites the com- passion of Jesus, the gospel reading for today, the disciples are sent out not to teach but only t o work spiri- tual and physical healing, "to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and every infirmity." On the other two occasions at which he cites the compassion of Jesus, Matthew's explanation of these acts of compassion result in the commis- sioning of Peter, i.e. the power to teach authoritatively in the name of Jesus. But in Matthew's plan that power is held in reserve by Peter until the end of the gospel when it is shared with the rest of the now eleven disciples. As ]ong as Jesus was physically present, the disci- ples were sent only to heal. In Jesus' new spiritual presence, "I am with you all days, etc.," they become also teachers. To set the tone for the healing mission of the twelve, Matthew, as usual, reaches back into the Hebrew Scriptures. He portrays Jesus as the new and ultimate Moses who has given the final and complete interpretation of the Torah in the Sermon on the Mount. As Moses arranged for his work to be continued after his death, so Jesus must arrange for his work to be continued. Moses said to the Lord: "Let the Lord... appoint a man over the congrega- tion who shall go out before them and come in be- fore them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep without a shepherd," Numbers 17:27. In today's gospel reading, after Matthew notes the compassion of Jesus who saw the multitude as ha- rassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd, he puts these words in the mouth of Jesus: "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out labor- ers into his harvest." The words of Moses resulted in the appointment of Joshua. The words of Jesus resulted in the appointment of the twelve apostles. In today's gospel Matthew again carefully sepa- rates the time of Jesus from the time of the Church after Jesus' resurrection. The disciples are told to go only "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," not to other people but to Jews only. This reflects the his- torical situation that Jesus was a Jew among Jews, sent to his own people, and that the first mission of his disciples was to their fellow Jews. Later they would be sent out to the world. This puts the Church of Jesus squarely within its Jewish roots. It also expresses the pattern envisioned for the Jewish people by many of the later prophets - that God works through a group chosen not for its own ability or because they deserve to be chosen, but they are always chosen for others. There are two points to be made. The first: healing begins at home. The second point: as we scan the names of the twelve apostles that Matthew presents to us today, it should be noted that Jesus then and now may or may not choose the best and brightest to be shepherds of his Church. The twelve failed sometimes: we fail sometimes. In the end there must be forgiveness and rehabilitation, not re- jection. That duty is incumbent on every member of the Church so as to continue at least in a spiritual sense the words of Jesus: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." Readings for 11th Sunday, A: Exodus 19:2. 6a; Romans 5:6.11." t" Street cy Downtown Washington 254-5141 i) S INC. Refinishing Pick-ups, & Semis Rd. gton, IN red D. Craney 254-6412 /ING iIFAI)QUARTERS STORE Washington Lot References PKGS. neered packages for S Size to 100' DOORS Stock Our Prices Sq. In Stock Cut To Inch CO. METAL Cannelburg. Golden Jubilarians Kelvia and Katherine (Hollingsworth) Bennett will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary June 22. The couple was married June 21, 1946, at St. Joseph Church, Evansville. They are the parents of four children: Mary Beal and Francis Bennett, both of Evansville, Anna Volz of Orlando, Fla., and Kathy Fulton of Morgantown, Ky. They have eight grandchildren. Mr. Bennett retired from Whirlpool, and Mrs. Bennett retired from Deaconess Hos- pital. i "Where customers send their friends!"  Open nightly til 9 p.m. hop & Son Geo toYotA OLD US 231 SOUTH, JASPER, IN 482-2222 1-800-937-USA1 i ,Jv,uu00"M"n a u,ur, ns'u""-"a'- ". .... " Charles and Ruth (Kidwell) Folz of Evansville will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving June 15 at Sacred Heart Church. The COUo pie was married June 19, 1946, at St. Joseph Church, Bramble. They are the parents of three sons: Keith Folz of Groton, Ct., and Kenneth Folz and Kevin Folz, both of Evansville. They have two grandchildren, and five step. grandchildren. Mr. Foiz is retired from Continental  Emsco. Mrs. Folz is retired from Woolworth's and now works at Subway.