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June 26, 1998     The Message
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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Il II II I Rejection and non-retaliation: The cost. of discipleship By FATHER DONALD DILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for June 28, 1998: Thirteenth Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle C: Luke 9:51-62 The gospel for today has two parts. The first part continues a theme of what we would call "the ecu- menical movement," reaching out to people different from ourselves. The disciples of Jesus noticed that someone was casting out demons in Jesus' name. Nothing wrong with that except for the fact that, as the disciple John says to Jesus, "We ordered him to stop because he is not one of us." Jesus replied, "Don't stop him, because whoever is not against you is for you." Luke will enunciate that principle more clearly in one of Peter's speeches in Acts of Apostles, "...God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who reveres him and does what is right is acceptable to him." Today John continues that theme. The setting is Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. Luke leads him directly south through Samaria instead of the most frequently traveled route east of the Jordan Riven In this way Luke can strike up a favorite theme, Jesus' outreach to rejects. Jews and Samaritans were usually at odds with each other for historical reasons going back cen- turies. Generally they avoided each other. Now Luke depicts Jesus' going directly through hostile, i.e. Samaritan territory. Jesus and his disciples approach a walled town. He sends messengers, perhaps to buy food or obtain lodging. Since Jesus & Co. were en route to Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews, the Samaritansrefused admission to their town. James and John, the ever hot-tempered youths who were called "the thunder boys" for their intensity and excitable character, remember a story about Elijah the prophet. He obtained fire from heaven to destroy his enemies. They say to Jesus, "Do you want us to order fire from heaven to burn them up?" Jesus rebukes them, and they continue en route to Jerusalem. The Church-instigated torturing and killing of Jews and Eastern Orthodox Christians during the Crusades and the Church-instigated persecution, tor-. ture, murder, and legal execution of fellow-.Christians and Jews during the centuries of the Inquisition bear witness to the fact that Jesus' simple lesson of accep- tance of differences failed to penetrate Christianity. To be fair it must be said that not only the Roman Catholic Church was guilty of such crimes. When, for example, the Church of England broke away from the Church of Rome and became powerful, the same treatment was meted out to Roman Catholics. They learned only too well from the Mother Church. The great bishops of the fourth and fifth centuries, Ambrose, Augustine, John Chrysostom, all were insti- gators of persecution of Jews. Persecution of Jews by Christian Churches continued for most of Christian history. Even Martin Luther is quoted as saying that the Torah scrolls of the Jews should be destroyed, their synagogues burned down, and if there is any- thing left, it is to be trampled into the dirt. All were children of their times and this gospel did not pene- trate their brand of Christianity. Jesus utterly rejected such behavior and the Second Vatican Council finally followed his example. Pope John Paul II has perhaps done more than any Christian leader in the history of Christianity to ask forgiveness for atrocities against Christians and Jews and has extended a healing hand. The second part of today's gospel speaks of the difficulty of following Jesus. A v )lunteer comes to Jesus, "I will follow you wherever reminds him that he himself doesn't even home. To another person Jesus says, "Follow r The reply, "Lord, let me first go and bury my We may assume the father had died. with what seems and incredibly ment, "Let the dead bury the dead. You d " proclaim the kingdom of ,o . Another unteers, "I will follow you, but first I want goodbye to my parents." Again Jesus lar fashion, "No one who puts his hand and looks back is fit for the kingdom of What are we to say about unreasonable, so lacking in Jesus is using proverbs. A point but should not be pressed The point is that the following of J attention. The proverbs are intended to jolt or hearer into that realization. elsewhere approvingly quotes the including the honoring of one's parents, here advise his followers to dishonor or in death. It is true that the Lucan Jesus ed as saying that to follow him involves own father and mother and wife and brothers and sisters, and even his own life," statement must also be understood in the Jesus' demands on us precede family Perhaps a good solution is this: no escape the proclamation of God's dominioi but that proclamation includes family God gave us since we are all "Honor your father ant your mother...." Readings: I Kings 19:16b, 19-21; Gal, Luke 9:51-62. Golden Jubilarlans Roy and Helen (Niemeier) Gibson of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a family dinner on July 5. They were married July 3, 1948, at St. Philip Church, Posey County. They are the parents of five children: Janet Coleman, Carole Gibson and John Gibson, all of Evansville; their sons Thomas and Eric are deceased. They have one grandchild. Mr. Gibson retired from Emge Packing Company in 1986. Golden Jubilarians Melvin and Mary (Moers) Laymon will celebrate their fiftieth wedding on June 26. They were married June 26,1948, at St. Boni- face Church, Evansville. They are the parents of two children: Michael Laymon of Evansville and Mary Sergesketter of New- burgh. They have four grandchildren. Mr. Laymon retired from CSX Railroad in 1984; Mrs. Laymon retired from General Foods in 1984. - Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent '" \\; TRUCK A,n.O, TRA,L.ER SAL.ES James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. |OOOO STATE HW'/' 57 EVANSVILLE, IN 47732 1925 W. Franidin et 425-3187 '"'-L' ',! .... " ' _ _ L _ _ WIRELESS day or ;#e.. "1314 ( Whon; ! Denise Jones , "rn  B,II Greene Ji 301 B S.E. 21- Washington, IN, 800/206-0420 FAX FIRST