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June 18, 1993     The Message
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June 18, 1993

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1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 -- Commentary -- Mission instructions: Security in persecution Gospel commentary for June 20, Twelfth Sunday in Or- rlinary Time, Cycle A: Matthew 10:26.33. Matthew includes five major discourses or speeches in his gospel. The first of these dis- COUrses is the Sermon on the Mount. The second one consists if Jesus' mission instructions to is disciples. Our reading today !s part of this mission discourse. Matthew places these instruc- tions in a significant setting. Jesus has completed his Sermon the Mount in chapters five seven. In chapters eight and nine assembles nine miracles in groups of with material about discipleship. es are intended to prove the validity of Sus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. The aterial about discipleship prepares the reader for the choosing of Jesus' 12 closest disciples. b " After choosing disciples Jesus instructs them Store sending them out He had taught them. He had displayed the power of his words through airacles Now he shares the power of his mira- cles witl the disciples. They are told not only to also to "heal the sick, raise the dead, )ers, and cast out demons." Careful in- follow as to their equipment and con- during the mission. The disciples are about the threat of persecution and told i to cope with it. If Jesus aroused opposition, to expect the same. What should be toward opposition and persecution? uBcNFATHE R DILGER COLUMNIST Our gospel reading concerns itself with the answer to this question. The ministry of preaching be- fore a possibly hostile audience is frightening. Yet, the disciples of Jesus are not to be afraid. Every- thing Jesus has taught them must be publicly proclaimed. Those who oppose them can only kill the body, but not the spirit. They should rather fear those who can destroy both body and spirit. Spiritual death is considered far worse than physical death. Jesus assures his disciples with an interesting comparison. Whatever happens to them, they are under his Father's care, just like the little sparrows that are sold for food in the market- place for only a penny. This seems to us a rather strange comparison. It is, however, a fact, that sparrows and other small birds were sold for food in ancient times. In the fourth century of the Christian era the emperor Diocletian regu- lated the price of sparrows at 16 pennies for 10 sparrows. At this point we see an interesting differ- ence in the mission instructions as presented in Luke. This is only one of the many differences and even contradictions in the mission instruc- tions as they were passed on to us in three gospels. While Matthew's Jesus speaks of two sparrows sold for a penny, Luke's Jesus speaks of five sparrows sold for two pennies. Do we have here the echo of a sparrow-war among ancient groceries? The differences must rather be attrib- uted to the fact that, whatever mission instruc- tions Jesus originally gave, they were changed to reflect the circumstances of the times and places in which the difference gospels originated. The point about the sparrows is a serious one. The meaning is that those who oppose Christian missionaries sometimes will consider their lives to be of as little value as the cheapest food. The truth of this statement is evident throughout the history of persecution even to our own day. Examples are the Jesuit priests killed for political convenience in Central America, the Sisters from Illinois killed in an African country even while they were doing acts of mercy toward the native people. Their lives were of no or little value to the persecutors. Despite the ever-present threat of martyr- dom, Jesus' mission instructions end with a promise and a warning. Those who publicly pro- claim or acknowledge Jesus will be acknowl- edged by Jesus in the presence of his Father. Those who deny Jesus publicly will be faced with an "I don't recognize you" by Jesus before his Father. What are we to learn from all this? In one way or another all of us have the obligation of Christian mission, to bring the message and heal- ing love of Jesus to those around us. We may not face martyrdom for doing so, but we may at times be thought of as fools and be ridiculed for our public proclamation of Christian principles and Christian way of life. The warning made by Jesus is still valid, but the promise he made to his faithful ones is still available. Other readings: Jeremiah 20:10.13; Romans 5:12-15. ' i[ r Jubilarians ia (Niemeier) Horstman St. of St. Philip will their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a buffet hosted by their children and their spouses P.m. June 27 at St. Philip Center. All friends and invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were 23, 1943, at Sacred Heart Church, Evansville. parents of nine children. They have 12 grand- three great-grandchildren. He is retired from ce; she worked at Fendrichs and is a home- 00.00Onal Bank '" tll, ikmer F O i c  I:um Sq er  FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389"2418 I II I [ your local00pro4ife MILLER & MILLER --. ,,,,'"  Funeral PP/anning Since 1940 i00TERN00 THE CHURCH TEACHES FORUMpresents Most Fiev. James S. Sullivan, D.D., Most Fiev. ,Jerome Hastrich, D,D. Fit. Fiev. Edmund F. McGaffery, O.S.B., O.D. and Father John A. Hardon, S.,J. with co-sponsors THE CARDINAL MINDSZENTY FOUNDATION and CATHOLICS UNITED FOR THE FAITH SATURDAY, JUNE 26, 1993 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Gait House Fourth Ave. and the River THEME: The Most Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Devotion 9:00 a.m. Prayer and Greeting -- Rt. Rev. Edmund E McCaffrey, O.S.B., O.O. Presiding -- Theodore H. Amshoff, Jr. Esq. Welcome -- Most Rev. Chades G. Maloney, D.D. Introduction -- Eleanor Schlafly, Executive Director, C,M.E 9:15 a.m. Perfect Worship: The Miracle of Transubstantiation Rt. Rev. Edmund F. McCaffrey, O.S.B., D.D. 10:30 a.m. Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 11:45 a.m. Luncheon 1:00 p.m. Presences of Christ: Creation, Church, Eucharist Most Rev. James S. Sullivan, D.D. Presiding -- Thomas P. Monaghan, Esq. Introduction -- Rt. Rev. Edmund R. McCaffery, O.S.B.. D.D. 2:15 p.m. Personal Relationship with Je= Most Rev. Jerome Hastrich, DD. Introduction -- Thomas P. Monaghan, Esq. 3:30 p.m, Understanding the r,,ehadst: The Greatest Need in the Church Today Father John A. Har,,o,,, S.J., S.T.D. Introduction -- James Likoudis, President, CUF 4:25 p.m. Closing -- James Likoudis, President, CUF Rosary; Priests Bossing; Adjournment NOTE TO PRIESTS: Please. advise: Secretary, p.o. Box 757, Bardstown. KY 40004, (502) 348-g4i you plan to concelebrate. Bring alb and stOle.  For Information phone 423-6097 or 1-482-5411 -- ALL TIMES EASTB00N