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August 12, 1994     The Message
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4 II II --- Commentary-- The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 12,191 II I III I II III I I I Mary, a model of Christian faith The feast of the Assumption prompts personal memories for me. On that day in 1950, during the height of the age of Marian devotion, I became a Jesuit. It was the very day that Pope Plus XII solemnly de- fined the dogma that Mary, soul and body, was taken into heaven upon her death. Mary's role as believer is developed in the New Testament and provides us a pattern for Christian faith. Readings for this feast day focus on the tradi- tional aspects of Mary as the mother of Jesus and the mother of all believers. The first, from Revelation (11:19; 12:1-6,10), is filled with extravagant symbolism depicting the struggle of God's people against evil. Adorned with images of the sun, moon, and stars - images from Genesis 37 - a woman representing "old" Israel is pursued by a terrifying dragon who seeks to devour her newborn son. The son, symbolizing the new Is- rael, is saved and "caught up to God and his throne." The woman flees into the desert, Israel's origin and refuge The second reading, from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 15:20-26), develops the meaning of Christ's resurrection for all believers. m Paul describes Christ as the "first- fruits" of those who have fallen asleep. Firstfruits are the first sheaves of grain offered in the temple in thanksgiving, represent- ing the consecration of the coming harvest. Christ's resurrection is not an end in itself. Its finality h the harvest -- is our salvation. For Paul, Christ's personal victory over death completely destroys the power of sin. The gospel reading, Luke 1:39-56, presents parallel images. First, the author pictures angels announcing the births of John the Baptist and of Jesus, then he describes the birth, circumcision, and presentation of the two. This selection brings together the mothers of both John and Jesus and links the two annunciation stories. With Elizabeth's proclamation, "Blessed are you who have believed," the author portrays Mary as a believer. Her pure faith stands in contrast to the disbelief of Zechariah, father of John the Bap- tist, in the preceding chapter. Mary's faith is pre- sented as a model for all Christians. She is pre- sented as the mother of the Lord, but responds with the humility of a servant. The canticle of the Magnificat may have been I SPECIAL TO THE MESSAGE By FATHER FRANCIS T. GILGNAC, SI. an early Christian hymn or the author ma:hav e composed it of phrases from the Greek Old Testa- ment. This psalm of praise announces themes found elsewhere in this gospel: joy and exultation in the Lord; the lowlysingled out for God's favor; the rever- sal of human fortunes; and the fulfillment of Old Tes- tament promises. In these beautiful stories of the annunciation, birth, and early years of Jesus, Mary his mother is constantly presented as a model believer. Sheis also the only adult mentioned in Luke's infancy narra- tives who reappears later in any gospel. And she is also mentioned at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles as being in the upper room in Jerusalem along with the apostles and others after the resurreC" tion, devoting themselves in one accord to prayer.: We celebrate Mary's assumption with joy and hope. If we imitate her faith, we will one day share the glory she has received through her son. Jesuit Father Francis T. Gignac is a professor : and chairperson of the Department of Biblical stua" ies at The Catholic University of America in Wash- ington, D.C. ----. Washington Letter ,, Health care approaches a vote, but what does it look like By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Like a huge Rube Goldberg machine, a final health care re- form bill is gradually being pieced together on Capitol Hill. A universal coverage plan here, a concession on tax as- sessments there, expand Medicare in this part, stretch the accommodations to small business over here, offer states single-payer options on that page, string it all together with a cost control system. With votes in both houses of Congress scheduled before the I Perspective Perspective, the weekly column by Paul R. Lein- gang, Message editor, does not appear in this edi- tion. Leingang was attend- ing the funeral of his mother-in-law earlier this week and was not able to write his column. His col- umn will appear in the August 19 issue of the Message. ii ii i i The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville. IN 47720,0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville .............. Bishop Geral K GetteSnger Editor,.,..:... ................................... Paul I. Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Ci ................................... Amy Housman Adveffng .................................... Paul Newla Slafft ter ............................ Ma, Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. PoStmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Copyj 1994  Press of Ele end of August, congressional staff, lobbyists, presidential advisers and average Ameri- can voters are in a final press to influence the creation of a health care bill that will meet the greatest number of inter- ests and still stand a chance of passing. But until all the finagling would be too expensive, too dif- ficult to manage or turn med- ical care into socialism. Bills drafted by House Ma- ' jority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., and Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, differed, among other ways, in their ap- and negotiating is finished, there's no way of knowing whether sticking points like mandated inclusion of abortion and universal coverage will be resolved in a way that will earn it approval from Catholic organizations. Other health care issues also are important to church-re- lated interest groups like the U.S. Catholic Conference and the Catholic Health Associa- tion, but covering all Ameri- cans and excluding abortion in any tax-supported'plan are their common bottom-line min- imum standards. Franciscan Sister Laura Wolf spoke in Washington at an Aug. 2 rally for universal coverage. President of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Health Care Ministry in Manitowoc, Wis., she spoke on behalf of the nation's hospi- tals and as a member of the Catholic Health Association. "Every day we see people en- tering the health care system later than they should and at the most expensive point," she said. Because so many people lack insurance to cover basic or preventative care, they put off seeking treatment until their problems require hospitaliza- tion, which puts the patient at greater risk and costs the hos- pitals more, she explained. Her religious order operates hospi- tals in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio. "Health care reform without universal coverage simply will not work," she told the audi- ence of health care workers, members of Congress and re- porters. First lady Hillary Rod- ham Clinton also addressed the group, countering argu- ments that universal coverage Thank you To the editor: Last winter I won the quiz featured in the Message. I chose a free night at the Radis- son Inn but didn't use the coupon until June 26. It was a very nice prize and I wanted to say "thank you." I thoroughly enjoyed the stay there. Thank you! C.R. Matthews Montgomery Editor's note: Special issues of the Message published with information about Synod "93 contained a "Catholic Quiz." Winners were drawn at ran- dom from among "correct en- tries. Well done, good and faithful servant To the editor: My morning started a little earlier than usual today. I went to the 7:30 a.m. Mass this morning for a special celebra- tion, it was both the birthday and the twenty-fifth ordination anniversary of my pastor, Fa- ther David Nunning. There are a number of things that I would like to say about you David, but I would like to focus on your service to St. Wendel Parish. There are a lot of duties and proaches to universal coverage and the degree to which changes would be mandatory or voluntary. An alternative bill being hammered out by the House Democratic majority was due to be submitted to the Rules Committee Aug. 8. House de- bate on health care was sched" uled to start Aug. 15, while Senate debate was to begin Aug. 10, At the Aug. 2 rally, Gepha rdt h said the various health b lls ;s were filled with "cul de sacS' of 1 See WASHINGTON page 5 ; e C responsibilities assigned to a parish priest: Mass on week- days and Sundays, Baptisms, Weddings, First Communions, and ministry of all the other sacraments. Plus the commit- tee meetings you sit in on: You give so much time and talent to us in the parish. And as if that is not enough you make time for individual one-on-one guidance with anyone in the parish. you here with us today! _ _ David, I could go on and: but this is the bottom line. "i love you and I pray God w!J protect you and guide yotl iv your ministry throughout yota life. And when this life is d e': that he will welcome yo:; eternal life by saying done Good and Faithful Set rant." l David, this morning in your pat  cltittl homily you made mention of Wendel pdSl*| your parents I thank God for St. St. Wedel [ them, because of them we have schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. I I