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July 10, 1998

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14 Ju,y The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana The great commandment: The good Samaritan By FATHER DONALD DILGER Gospel Commentary for July 12, 1998: Fifteenth Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle C: Luke 10:25-37 A lawyer approaches Jesus with a question, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" The word usually translated as "lawyer" in the Gospel of Luke is a biblical scholar. The other gospels refer to them as "scribes." The term "lawyer" is used in refer- ence to their expertise in the Law of Moses, the Torah or Bible. Jesus responds with a question to determine the man's expertise in the Law of Moses, "What is written in the Law?" The man quotes Deuteronomy 6:5, "The Shema," the basic profession of faith in one God, Lord of all, a creed used by Jesus and his con- temporaries, and used to this day by every faithful Jew, "You shall love the Lord your God, with your whole heart, soul, mind, strength." The lawyer adds a second commandment from Leviticus 19:18, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus compli- ments the lawyer on his knowledge. This is the basic story which Luke found in the Gospel of Mark, where the story is used as part of the confrontation between Jesus and the religious authori- ties in Jerusalem in the final week of Jesus" life. Luke changes the story somewhat, removes it from Mark's context, and places it as the introduction to the para- ble of the Good Samaritan. By doing this, Luke can once again take up a major theme of his gospel, Jesus' outreach to the predominant society's rejects. The society of which Jesus was an intimate part is Jewish society of the first century. In the north and south of Palestine were Galilee and Judea respectively. Their population was predominantly Jewish. Between these two provinces lay Samaria. Its population was Samar- itan. Jews and Samaritans were traditional enemies. Even though Jesus complimented the lawyer, the latter wants to continue the discussion. He asks Jesus, "So who is my neighbor whom I should love as myself?" Jesus answers with a parable. A man travels from Jerusalem to Jericho. He is attacked by robbers. They beat him up and take everything from him including his clothes. The story seems modem. First a priest comes by, sees the man, and ignores him. A Levite does the same. The purpose of the story requires that a reader knows that these two gentle- men just came from serving the temple at Jerusalem. Finally an outsider, a Samaritan, comes by. Even though the stricken man is a Jew, the Samaritan com- passionately picks him up, treats his wounds, and takes him to an inn. There he pays the innkeeper to take care of the wounded man. Jesus asks the lawyer/scribe/scripture scholar who was truly a neighbor to the man? The lawyer, bound by the prej- udice of his people against Samaritans, cannot bring himself to say, "The Samaritan." Instead he says, "The one who showed mercy on him." Jesus' response is so simple, yet so profound, "Go and do likewise!" No statement could more truly summarize Jesus' work and Luke's moral theology. If we were to transpose this parable into our own time, whom would Jesus use in place of the compas- sionate Samaritan? Genuine Samaritans are extremely rare today, although there is still a small group of them surviving at Nablus in the Holy Land. Who are the Samaritans of our society? The parable of the Good Samaritan seems especially appropriate for participants in the war crimes in Bosnia. If Jesus were speaking this parable to Catholic Croatians or Ortho- dox Serbians, the Samaritan would be a Muslim. If to Bosnian Muslims, the Samaritan would be a Croat or a Serb. Ghandi used the same principle Hindu expressed his sorrow for having F in a massacre of Muslims, Ghandi's advice was to adopt a Muslim orphan and raise that child as a: devout Muslim. Shall we come closer to home? The European settlement of what is today the States began as predominantl 3 Protestant, male-dominated. If Jesus had s parable in Salem, Massachusetts, during the craze of the seventeenth century, the g of his parable would have been a woman witchcraft. Subsequent waves of immigrants nationalities and religions were often looked with suspicion, sometimes despised, s secuted; for example, the Irish C this country because of the Irish potato famine. despised of all were native Americans, and ly the descendants of African accumulate wealth for the dominant Native Americans were deprived, and hunted down like wild beasts. African slaVeS were used, abused, and brutalized by the society. Many of their descendants to this day the consequences of what the white man their ancestors and continues to afflict u throt/gh ethnic jokes, ridicule, discrimination kind. If Jesus were telling his parable to and Catholic Christian "rednecks" of our society whose children unknowingly and gradually  and act out the prejudices of their elders, the Samaritan would be a compassionate who would come to the aid of a fallen The priest and the Levite might be any one Readings: Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Colo siatt 1:15-20; Luke 10:25.37. Golden Jubilarians Henry and Jeanette (Paul) Wildeman of Mount Vernon will cel- ebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with reception from 7 to 9 p.m. July 18 at St. Philip Conservation Club. Family and friends are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were mar- tied July 7,1948, at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. They are the parents of Steve Wildeman of New Harmony, Dan Wildeman, Roger W'fldeman and Henry "Buddy" Wildeman all of St. Philip, Chris Wildeman, Kevin Wildeman, Jane Wittman and Susan Lutz, all of Evansville, and Mary Jones and Ellen Dausman, both of Mount Vernon. They have 30 grandchildren, and four great- grandchildren. Mr. Wildeman is retired from construction; Mrs. Wildeman is retired from Helfrich Vending. II I ii r KnigMs of ColumbuS Council 565 2901 W. Maryland St., Evansvllle, Ind. Phone: 423-2734 15 p,m. to 9 p.m. every Friday July 10th and 24th PubUc welcome! :;: ASSISTED LIVING. Where Life Goes On. There's one thing that doesn't change with age: the d  to live life on your own terms. : Atria Assisted Living is a senior community where yoU can live in your own luxurious, maintenance-free furnished with your personal belongings. And, our AtriaCare TM Plan will ensure you get nutritious and extra help when you need it - all in balance your desire for independence. Atria is not a nursing home. It's a place get care and assistance with life's'daily activities, choices are resl:ected. Call today. Come see how Atria can make life for you and the ones you love. 00Atria Newburgh An Assisted Living CommurtiV/ (812) 479.5585 5311 Rosebud Lane Newburgh, Ind [EIR m \\; TRUCK AND TRAILER SALES I(DOO STATE HrY 57 EVANSVILLE, IN 47732 i i i I ii I ii Indusi& TONY NAZARIO 812-768-5207