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July 19, 1996     The Message
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duly 19, 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern indiana \\; z 4 4 \\; ,,u ',1 \\;\ -- Commentary-- ' rP Three more parables: Weeds, mustard seed, leaven itary for 1996: Sixteenth Sunday: Time: Cycle .4: Matthew 13:24.43 The first parable of Matthew's collection of parables was that of the Sower and the seed. The collec- tion continues with three very brief parables, the weeds in the wheat, the mustard seed, and leaven mixed with flour to bake In the parable of the sower and seed Matthew followed his By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST SOUrce and pattern, the Gospel of lIark, rather closely but with addi- tions of his own. Now he omits a Marcan parable a.bout seed growing secretly while a farmer went about other business. Why does Matthew omit this Parable? Because Mark considered Jesus' parables a revelation from outsiders. considers parables a way of reaching out to all, not just insiders or the initiated. He therefore rewrites Mark's parable to bring all people within its reach, even if some of them turn out to be weeds rather than wheat. In the first parable, a farmer sows wheat. At an enemy sows weeds into the wheat. Weeds wheat germinate and grow together. The ployees want to pull the weeds. He cau- them to let the weeds grow with the wheat or might uproot the wheat when pulling the parables of Jesus are timeless, i.e. they apply not only to a situation in the life of Jesus other times and circumstances. If the parable from Jesus, it was probably in shorter point may have been that Jesus' message, the Good News, was going to take root amid competition and opposi- tion. Later Church catechists, preachers, and the author of the Gospel-of Matthew have given the parable a new spin. They knew that not all of Jesus' disciples had re- mained faithful to him. They knew of Peter's denial and Judas' betrayal. They knew about the very human striving of some of the leadership of the Christian community for power, wealth, glory, titles, privilege. They knew there were among them those whom others would call sinners, that the Church is not a perfect society on this earth. The parable of Jesus was expanded to deal with such sit- uations. The Church of the perfect was not possible in this world. Only at the final judgment would the weeds be separated from the wheat. Until then they must be allowed to grow together. The subject of the second parable is one grain of mustard seed, When it is sown, it is proverbially small, as the parable says, "the smallest of all the seeds on earth." Whether it is the smallest of all seeds is questionable, but individual details of para- bles must not be pressed too closely for accuracy. Im- portant is the lesson the parable intends to teach. As it continues, it relates how that smallest of grains, the mustard seed, "becomes the greatest of shrubs, becomes a tree," so large that birds build their nests in its branches. Interesting that Mark's version left the:growth of the grain of mustard seed into a mere shrub. Matthew with his tendency toward exaggera- tion has it grow first into a shrub, then into a tree. In Luke it becomes a tree without going through the shrub stage. Thus they play with the details of the original parable. If the parable originates with Jesus, the point of the parable seems to have been a message of encour- agement to his disciples who often saw both Jesus and themselves surrounded by non-acceptance and hostility. Jesus' message was as simple as ever. Don't be discouraged. This beginning which seeras so insignificant will eventually lead to great success. Church teachers and preachers gave the parable a new spin. They were influenced by a parable about a tree in the Old Testament books of Ezekiel and Daniel. In Ezekiel's parable the tree is the Egyptian Pharaoh. In Daniel the tree is King Nebuchadnez- zar. The reach of their empire is described by their attraction of birds into the branches of the tree. For the Christian Churches and the written gospels the tree which in this case grew from the tiniest of seeds is the kingdom of God or the Church. Its branches reach out to all nations. As Matthew writes: "Go make disciples of all nations .... " In the third parable a woman lmts yeast or leaven into a large amount of flour to bake bread. Despite the small amount of leaven in comparison with the flour, the leaven spreads throughout the flour. Thus it is with "the kingdom of heaven," says Matthew. Presumably in this case "the kingdom of heaven" is the Good News of Jesus or the Church. In any case the parable serves as encouragement to Christians of all times, places, and circumstances, that the work of sanctifying the world will continue until completion. It is a message of hope and promise of ultimate success. How important those small be- ginnings! Readings: Wisdom 12:13, 16.19; Romans 8:26.27. Street Pharmacy Downtown Washington Phone: 254-5141 BODY SHOP Front end alignment body rebuilding ' Radiator Service Estimates Given Call 254-5358 Washington, IN . ERMAN'S FIRESTONE ICE, INC. 140o W. Franklin Evansville, IN 424-5000 URANT D SPECIALIZING IN ELICIOUS GERMAN FOOD PRIME RIB ICHICKEN FOR PRIVATE PARTIES Special Jubilarians Carl and Catherine (Scott) Barton of Alva, Fla., will cele- brate their sixtieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving and reception at St. Benedict Church, Evansville. The couple was married Aug. 27, 1936, at St. Joseph rectory. They are the parents of Patricia Hearn, Nola Hille, Mary Barron, Carole Morris, Wayne Barron, Carl Mick" Barron, Paul Barron, Robert Barron, Catherine An- derson, Dan Barron and Elizabeth Handley. Mr. Barron re- tired from Industrial Gas, Division of Chemtron Corpora. tion, in 1973. He was also a Servel employee for 16 years. I I'R CA'IT.RING NffJ)S, CALL .00.=o4o RUXER II- .,0=s. mUD .FORD-LINCOLN-MERCURY 4IS;E;0 J / Th  All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining -,  -,, t, FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A-LA 00a00ttjo[ . .=.=.avt PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS .. 486-3977 Browse The Village Shops , |: , JUst off Hwv. 50 Every Monday Seniors receive15 '/o Off! I -' : =: Montgomery,., IN . ,, ... ,.-".. " :X;Ji I -Golden Jubilarians Norbert and Helen Goskowiez of Bloomfield will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks. giving Aug. 3 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Milwau. kee, Wis., followedby a reception. A second celebration will be held Aug. 11 in Bloomfield, following a blessing by Father Hilary Vieck. The couple was married Aug. 3, 1946, in Knowl. ton, Wis. They are the parents of one daughter, Christine Larson of Woodland Park, Colo, and two grandchildren. Funeral Homes ,, ,,, ,', j f "   _ i Four ;:: WEST-CHAF;EL Convenient Locations 3o33 w. MARYLAND ST.