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July 31, 1998     The Message
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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July 3 On hoarding possessions: A greedy By FATHER DONALD DILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for August 2, 1998: Eigh- teenth Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle C: Luke 12:13-21 is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs." Sirach 5:1 warns, "Do not give your heart to money!" With a second saying of Jesus Luke adds the reason to avoid greed, "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." As a commentary on these two sayings Luke now adds a parable of Jesus There was a rich man whose farm produced great abundance. Plans had to be made. He would tear down his storage barns, then build bigger barns. He will gather all his crops and everything else he has and store them. Compliment- ing himself on his wealth, he will say, "Friend, you have a lot of good things that will last you for years. Take it easy, eat, drink and party." It seems someone was watching this whole business. God said to him, "You fool, tonight you will die, and who gets what you prepared for yourself?" Then comes the punch line, "So it is with anyone who piles up treasure for himself but is not rich with God." The above is a summary. When one reads Luke's account, the impression is clear that the man was completely self-centered. 'T' and "my"' are his favorite expressions, and he speaks only to himself Like Narcissus of ancient mythology, who was so in love with his own reflection that he lost all sense of reality, the rich man has no due as to the purpose of wealth, which is, "to be rich with God" The vanity or emptiness of owning more than one needs is shown by the ever-present threat of death. Life hangs only by a thread, "Tonight you will die," is the sentence the rich man hears. Even the disposal of one's possessions does not always turn out the way we would like to arrange. That already became clear in the opening dispute of the man who asked Jesus to order a brother to split the inheritance with the one who complained about The twelfth chapter of Luke's gospel is a pot- pourri of topics that he wanted to include in his cate- chism but seems to have had no other place to put. Luke writes up these topics in such a way that they seem to be part of a biography. For example, he begins one topic with the words, "in the meantime," and even under that beginning he has collected say- ings of Jesus that are unconnected to each other. For a lesson about the Christian attitude toward posses- sions, he composes a little story about a man who came out of the crowd to Jesus and said, "Teacher, order my brother to divide the inheritance with me." It may be that Jesus was often faced with requests of this kind. People frequently asked the great teachers of that time to take on the responsibility of arbiter of disputes. Anyone who has reached adulthood knows that inheritance is one of the great destroyers of fami- ly unity. Jesus would have been too smart to get involved with siblings fighting over inheritance, and replies, "Man, who made me judge and divider over you?" A superb answer! This is a great opening for Luke to pick up two sayings of Jesus about greed and complete them with a parable or story. The first saying,'"Beware of cov- etousness." One of the ten commandmentsalready warned against coveting the possessions of others, and there are frequent warnings against greed throughout the New Testament. For example, I Timo- thy 6:10, "The love of money is the root of all evils. It r # his brother. The parable revisits this subject, things you have prepared, whose Ecclesiastes 2:18-19, "... all my work toiled under the sun... I must leave to comes after me, and who knows will be wise or a fool. Yet he will be master of which I have worked and used my wisdom sun. This too is emptiness!" But what does Luke mean, "to be (toward) God?" A major theme of Luke gospel is God's special love toward the poor,  icapped, the lower rungs of society, the From the Song of Mary, in which God proud, put down the mighty, empty, and filled the hungr 3 death of Jesus on the cross, dis t clothes, Luke has struck this theme. born homeless and in a stable, social casts, and declares himself to have lay his head. Only Luke follows his form of the tudes with this judgment, "Woe to you rich, have had your consolation." Only Luke religious leadership of his time as Only Luke has the parable of the rich fool. Lucan Jesus suspected that Luke noticed huge rich and poor in the Christian community. obligated to treat this subject. Fortunately he another side of the picture but not till the ministry. Zaccheus, a very rich man, becomes the example for wealthy Christians, when Luke him as saying, "Half my possessions I give to and if I have cheated anyone, I repay q be "rich with God" is to share what we dc Readings: Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23; 3:15, 9-11; Luke 12:13-21. Golden Jubilarians Leander and Edna (Lange) Tempel will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Aug. 9 at St. Joseph Church, Dale. An Open House and recep- tion will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish Center. All friends and relatives are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were married Aug. 7,1948, at St. Henry Church, St. Henry. Father Mathias Schmitz officiated. They are the parents of nine children: Larry Tempel of Brazil, Ind.; Kathleen Tempel of Evans- ville, and Lucy Meunier, Bill Tempel, Steve Tempel, Phillip Tem- pel, Paul Tempel and Jim Tempel, all of Spencer County. Their daughter, Beth Tempel, is deceased. They have 31 grandchildren. Golden Jubilarians Anthony and Theresa (Schutte) Wildeman of St. Philip will cel- ebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks- giving at 3 p.m. Aug. 2 at St. Philip Church, St. Philip. A recep- tion will follow at the St. Philip Conservation Club. Friends are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were married Aug. 7, 1948, at St. Agnes Church, Evansville. They are the parents of 10 children: Benedictine Sister Rose Wildeman, Father Richard Wildeman, Thomas Wildeman, Melvin Wildeman, Gerald Wilde- man, Evelyn Wildeman, Patty Wildeman and Pauline Wassmer, all of Evansville, and Francis Wildeman and Randy Wildeman, both of Mount Vernon. They have 13 grandchildren. Mr. Wilde- man retired as a bricklayer;, Mrs. Wildeman is a homemaker. ii i COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE [ Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 425-3187 1925 W. 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