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July 30, 1993

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/ 1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 Commentary -- feeds five thousand: l00lq)ses, Elisha, 00anwen, Revelation,, Eucharist Gospel commentary for Aug. Eighteenth Sunday, Or- Cycle A: Matthew [1 four gospel authors in- a story about Jesus feed- five thousand men (males). alone adds, "besides and children." Whatever is of history in this story, to say that Matthew ht. On the other hand it is who has a tendency to the deeds of Jesus as them described by For example, the Marcan cures one demon-possessed man in a ceme- while the Matthean Jesus cures two. The restores sight to one blind man, in Matthew the same incident has Jesus sight to two blind men, and not only in Matthew, but twice. Are we reading history when we read this r? There is no reason to doubt that there is a core, a real event at the basis of the z. It is also clear that all four gospels present a logy or religions view of Jesus that transcends over and above the history of Jesus. Their in- is in telling their readers what this or that nifies about Jesus, what it says about his what it fulfills from tile Hebrew Scrip- or. as we call them, the Old Testament. is considerable Old Testament back- to this miracle. Christian theologians and DBc]NFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST teachers of the first Christian cen- tury saw Jesus as a new Moses. As ' Moses fed the Israelites in the : wilderness so Jesus feeds them in the wilderness. This point is also made by the reference to 12 bas- kets left over. The 12 baskets rep- resent the 12 tribes of Israel de- scended from the 12 patriarchs. In three of our gospels the 12 new patriarchs, the Apostles, are or- dered to distribute to the people. Our gospel authors see this crowd as the new Israel. No small role is played in the formation of this story as we now have it by the story of the prophet Elisha feeding a large number of men with insuf- ficient food. The story is found in the Second Book of Kings 4:42-44. Like Jesus in the gospels, the prophet orders his servant to feed the men. The servant questions the lack of food for so many. Elisha says: "Give it to them so they may eat .... They shall eat some and have left." The author adds: "They ate and had some left." A third influence is Ezekiel 34. There Yahweh speaks through the prophet Ezekiel vehemently denouncing the religious leaders or shepherds'of Israel for not caring for their flock. Neglecting to feed the sheep they themselves got fat from their food and rich from their wool. The sheep were scattered and became food for wild beasts. Yah- weh says: "I myself will seek the lost, bring back the strayed, bind up the crippled, strengthen the weak. I will feed them in justice." Corresponding to this background Matthew writes that Jesus saw the great crowd and had compassion on them and healed their sick. Mark added: "For they were like sheep without a shepherd." Our authors therefore see Jesus in the role of Yahweh feeding and healing his flock. A further expansion on Jesus in the role of Moses is in the words of the Book of Deuteron- omy that the manna from heaven with which Moses fed the Israelites actually symbolized the revelation Moses brought to them from Yahweh. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 16:5-12 will interpret the feeding of the five thousand as symbolic of the teaching of Jesus replacing that of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Finally, the most common interpretation of the story of feeding five thousand is that it represents Jesus' giving of himself in the Eucharist. That this story and the story of institution of the Eucharist influenced each other in oral and written tradi- tion is obvious. This cross-influence is most obvi- ous in the description of Jesus' actions: "He took bread, looked up to heaven, blessed, broke, and gave... " When in three gospels Jesus orders the disciples to distribute to the crowd, it is the com- mand of Jesus to the Church of all time: "Do this in memory of me." With all this before us, we get some idea of the richness and fullness of the gospel message. With St. Paul we sav: "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" Other readings: Isaiah 55:1-3: Romans 8:35, 37-39, ambassador to Vatican arrives like cyclone CITY (C, NS)- to his word, the new to the Vati- Flynn, arrived like a small cyclone. ambassador soon found lelf defusing potential over U.S. actions in pumping up expec- the August meet- Pope John Paul II Bill Clinton, about possible o places like southern nd of activity during the Vati- SUmmer dog days of dy, when Pope John Was out of town and Curtal offices were ng down. But Flynn Was im'portant to hit running if he was ambassador's posi- a more "activist" job President Clinton Flynn Goes to the Vat- ican" opened under the media glare of a Boston press contingent, which accompa- nied the former mayor on his trip to Rome July 15. Two days later, Flynn presented copies of his credential letters to the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo So- dane. The unusual move al- lowed him to function as am- bassador before his official accreditation ceremony with the pope, expected in Sep- tember. Flynn's talks July 17 with Cardinal Sodano and Arch- bishop Giovanni Battista Re, assistant secretary of state, were not perfunctory. Cardi- nal Sodano raised the issue of Somalia "immediately.'" Flynn said in an interviewaf- terward. The Vatican was an early supporter of Operation Restore Holm in Somalia. but more recently had criticized U.S. and U.N. military ac- tions there. Cardinal Sodano said the Vatican was concerned whether the United States was moving away from its original goal of guaranteeing relief and felt the issue needed to be clarified. Flynn, who had discussed the matter with Clinton before getting on the plane to Rome, assured him that the aim of the U.S. mission was still to "bring peace and humanitarian aid to those starving people." Cardinal Sodano said it was "very, very important" to hear that message, Flvnn re- counted. The two also discussed the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegov- ina and the unsuccessful U.S, efforts to find European sup- port for more forceful inter- vention there. Flvnn empha- SERVICE SHOPPING GUIDE 'FOR THE BEST SERVICE GOVERNOR AT CANAL Ph. 424-2441 Cleaning MASTER For Free Estimates Call 428-0900 Wet Heat 1 Co. Inc. Osoo Boilers, Fumaces olacment BI. F Orn Sales & Service "IV & 2-Way FM 1916 W. FRANKLIN STREET PHONE (812) 423-7849 Herman Goebel Motor Co. NEW OR USED CARS Where the Ues! Oeals are made Trade up or down Bank Financing 2001 W Delaware 423-7759 M&s Fire & Safety Equip. Co. inc. Over 25 years sales and sewt in t Try- state 670 E Franklin sized that if the Vatican wanted clarification on any U.S. policy, he had access to "the highest officials in the U.S. government" and could get them an answer. The other major topic in his talks with Cardinal Sodano and a theme of his remarks to just about everyone Flynn met in Rome- was the "'common ground" shared by Clinton and the pope on is- sues of social and economic justice. When the two leaders meet in Denver Aug. 12. they will haw,  a "'historic opportunity" to send a message of hope to th world, especially to young people l:lvm said, I , .= Golden Jubilarians Walter Joe and Rita (Vieck) primus of celebrate their fiRieth weddin 8 Thanksgiving at I p.m, Aug. 7 at Old reception will be held from Z to 4 p.m. at St parish center. The reception will be I and their spouses: Charles and Lawrenceville, William and Anita Nelson of Peoria,lll.; Harold and Karen Bradford of Casey, IIL, Louis and:Merry Primus of Lawrenceville, and Roy and Nancy Columbus, Ind. The couple was marrmd Jan. 5, 1944,'t:t :" Thomas Church by Father Cornelius Sahm. They hha, even grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, two children, and five step-greatgrandchildren. All relatives are invited to the Mass and reception. The quests that cards, pictures and notes of special given to the couple. Cards and notes may be maiht i Box 337. Lawrenceville. IL 62439. I II II MILLER & MILLER  "'Funeral Pre-Ptannino &nce t 9a0'" " 424-9274 I I I I J I I I Ell I I I I t I= ,