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July 5, 1996     The Message
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fS&apos; 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 Commentary-- ion to disappointment: A thank you and an invitation GOspel Commentary for 1996: Fourteenth Sun- ry Time; Cycle A: 11:25.30 gospel reading con- parts. The first part is prayer of thanksgiving to Father. Five times in this Prayer of thanks Jesus ad- his Father with the affec- c term "Abba." A1- that Matthew the traditions about andthe words of Jesus in a order and places them !ijki, By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST a certain context, we must ask why Matthew of Jesus at this particular junc- gospel? What is the context? What pre- in the Gospel of Matthew? The questions determines what lesson is teaching his readers at this point. the prayer of Jesus, Matthew ar- a series of rejections and humiliations in- Jesus. First, he places the sending out apostles on their first missionary journey. r vaission is to be restricted to "the lost sheep of of Israel." Whereas in Mark and Luke the return to Jesus and report all they have Matthew they never return. We may take way of indicating the failure of Next comes a message from John the :who is in one of Herod's prisons. He seems doubts about Jesus: "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" Does Jesus respond with a denunciation of John because of this doubt? Instead he gives John's disciples a civil answer, a list of the good works he has done. Thus he indicates that he is indeed "the one who is to come." No need to look for another. And when John's disci- ples are gone, Jesus heaps lavish praise upon John. The third episode preceding Jesus' prayer of thanksgiving cen- ters attention on the fickleness of public opinion. No matter what John and Jesus did, says Matthew, they found little acceptance: "We played music and you would not dance. We wept loudly and you did not mourn with us." He notes that because of John's life of severe fasting people accused him of demonic possession. Jesus lived a more normal life and of him they said: "He is a glutton and a drunk," and a friend of those rejected by proper society. Finally, Matthew adds a list of cities where Jesus had worked many miracles but his message was re- jected. What is Jesus' response? "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth .... "He thanks his Fa- ther in particular because his message, while not accepted by the powerful of this earth, is neverthe- less accepted by the powerless, the poor, and those society considers outcasts. In this prayer, Jesus calls them "little ones." They are contrasted with "the wise and understanding." We may assume that Matthew means the educated, the powerful, and those who have high status in society. There are two points to be made from Matthew's context thus far. The first, when rejected, humiliated, and ren- dered powerless, a Christian responds with thanks- giving to God for the good that may have resulted. The second point, a warning to the powerful who use their power to practice injustice toward the powerless, that God's first love is for "the little ones." The second part of today's gospel is an invita- tion of Jesus: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest." The invitation speaks of Jesus' gentleness and humility of heart. Just as in the preceding prayer of Jesus, attention is on those oppressed by the powerful. The words of Jesus refer to a yoke, a frame of wood put on the shoulders of oxen to enable them to be hitched to a plow or oxcart. In the context of the Gospel of Matthew those who Place the yoke on oth- ers' shoulders are the wealthy and powerful of reli- gious society, "who bind heavy burdens and lay them on people's shoulders .... "In contrast Jesus says: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Not only does Jesus' invitation show a special affection for the poor, the laborers, and those suffering from oppression of any kind. It also is a warning to those in any given society who are sustained in power by the sweat of others to live the life-style of him who said: "I am meek and humble of heart," and "My yoke is easy. My burden is light." Other readings: Zachariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9, 11-13. i Services e Distributor :ky !of Coffees and Teas WE CAN MATCH IT Washington 254-4409 Evansville 422-1833 JONES BODY SHOP Front end alignment Complete body rebuilding Radiator Service Estimates Given Call 254-5358 207 E. South -- Washington, IN Miller & Miller Colonial Chapel Supports the Knights of Columbus MEMBERS Bernie Miller Gerald Miller Jon Miller Grog Betz i1 FIRST FEDERAL Savings and Loan Association Washington 8, Loogootee i i i i Peoples Trust ..... Company SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. BOX 191 LINTON, INDIANA 47441 i i i ,111 iii it i t Fresh Flowers. Silk Arrangements Gift Items 207 N.E. 5th Street Washington, Indiana 47501 (812) 254-7200 .v& 1P.n..t  11,= 486-3977 st off Hwy. 50 =tgomery, IN All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining , FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A-LA " CARTE , BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS Browse The Village Shops Every Monday Seniors receive 15% off! :!!i K. FELDHAU,< Class of '70 INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 GEORGE P. HELFRICH Mater Dei Class of '69 JAMES A. NIEMEIER Mater Dei Class of '69 "'We support Catholic Education" Golden Jubilarians Adolph and Mary Lou (Sharp) Schultz of Newburgh cele- brated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a surprise dance June 15 at St. Joseph Church, Evansville. The cou- ple was married June 15, 1946, in Vincennes. They are the parents of three children: Judy Crooks and David Schultz both of Evansville, and Bill Schultz of St. Charles, Mo. They have nine grandchildren. Mr. Schultz retired from Whirlpool Corp. and Hazelton Industries. m i . = i iii t t i n imt00port Catholic schools by using the Tradition Card. A percentage of each purchase you make using Tradition Card goes to support Catholic education. Call 464.3322 or 1-800-777-3949 ext. 3322 for details Issued by Citizens Bank.