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August 30, 1996     The Message
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August 30, 1996 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 -- Commentary--. The crushed rock: What kind of messiah? Gospel Commentary for , ities. This idea is behind the use of 1996: Twenty.Sec- : : ! '\\; the term "Son of man" for Jesus in September 1, ond Sunday: Ordinary Time:  today's gospel reading. Cycle A: Matthew 16:21-27 The ancient Christian Church had a problem. If Jesus was this In the immediately preceding son of man, this royal prince, de- story Simon Peter had professed scendant of David, how does one Jesus to be "the Messiah, the son explain his having been condemned of the living God." Whether or not and executed as a criminal? Where Matthew understood "son of the ...... were the victories? Where was the living God" in the full sense of By FATHER empire? Jesus had not even been later development in Church DON DILGIR accepted by the great mass of Jew- teachings is debated. The empha- COLUMNIST ish people as their messiah. How sis here is on Jesus as messiah. In were the problems caused by Jesus' at least one form of expectation of apparent failure to be explained? deliverance of the Jewish people The answer lies in that small core from oppression the messiah was to be a new of Jews who had become not only disciples of Jesus David, a son, i.e. descendant of King David. As but believers in his resurrection from the dead. His David and his successors were called "son" of God victory was not political nor did his empire have in the Psalms and other Old Testament references, geographical boundaries. His victory was over Psalms 2:7: 45:6; II Samuel 7:14; lsaiah 7:14; 9:6, death and his empire was indeed universal but was so the messiah, as son or descendant of David, was a spiritual empire. Nevertheless, the disgraceful thought of as "son of the living God." end to which he came, death by crucifixion, needed What kind of Messiah was this descendant of explanation, a biblical basis. David to be? There were no doubt various schools Christian teachers turned to the prophet we of thought on this subject. The prevalent idea in call Second Isaiah. About 540 BC this Jewish late Old Testament times seems to have been that prophet arose among the Jewish exiles in Babylon. this royal prince would be a religious and political In poetic and triumphal language he spoke of their leader sent by God to restore freedom from political return from exile and of the glory that would sur- and economic depression and bestow everlasting, round this return. He described his suffering and universal empire upon the Jewish people. This idea that of the whole Jewish people as part of a divine is perhaps best expressed in Daniel 7:14, where plan. In what we now call the Songs of the Suffer- "one like a son of man" is given dominion, glory, an ing Servant this prophet describes a servant of God everlasting kingdom, and to be served by all peo- who suffers for the sins ofhis people. They would ple, nations, and languages. In Daniel this son of reject him. This rejection together with his ensuing man is a symbol of the whole Jewish people. Later suffering and death would be a healing for his peo- interpretation changed this symbol into an individ- ple. In turn it would lead to his own exaltation. ual human liberator with at least semi-divine qual- This is the biblical background to the statement made in today's gospel by the Matthean Jesus "that he must suffer many things.., and be killed, and on the third day be raised up." Jesus becomes the suffering servant of Second Isaiah, one sent by God, who was rejected, suffered, died on the cross, and exalted through his resurrection. Matthew was not the first to reach this solu- tion. It is already found in Mark and must have been debated over decades until finally written down in our gospels. Matthew now puts the form of the debate into these terms. The same Simon Peter who acknowledged Jesus as "the messiah, the son of the living God" now rejects Jesus' statement about suffering, death, resurrection. "No," Peter would have said, speaking for those opposed to the concept of a suffering messiah. But Jesus vehe- mently rejects Peter's objection. He and those who cannot accept Jesus as a suffering and spiritually triumphant messiah are the enemy: "Get behind me, Satan!" The rock on which the Church was founded has suddenly been turned into crushed rock! "You are not on the side of GOd but of men!" The traditional idea of a political, triumphant messiah and empire is totally rejected. Not only has the role of Jesus as messiah now been defined but those who wish to be part of his triumph must undergo suffering, rejection, cross, just as he did. Life itself may be forfeited in the process, But Matthew ends with a note of ultimate triumph. The rejected, suffering, executed messiah will re- turn as the gloriously triumphant "son of man" of Daniel 7:14. He will be surrounded by his army, the angels, and will then reward those who took up the cross as he did. There is empire indeed but it is spiritual and all are invited to become its citizens through the cross. Readings: Jeremiah 20:7.9; Romans 12:1.2. RESTAURANT SPECIALIZING IN DELICIOUS GERMAN FOOD PRIME RIB CHARBROILED STEAQK COUNTRY FRIED CHICKEN SEAFOODS SALAD BAR BANQUET COOM FOR PRIVATE PARTIES FOR ALL YOUR CATERING NEEDS, CALL ,,v, I 482.2640 ]  Hwy, 162S. 393 3rd. Ave., Jasper, IN Main Street Pharmacy 217 E, Main St.. Downtown Washington Phone: 254-5141 '"Over 50 Semi Loads in Stock" #1 white from $41.95 sq,& up (13 colors slightly higher) #2 metal.,.,..$26.95 to $37.95 sq. metal ....... $18,95 to $29.95 sq. 5V and 1-1/2"galv. In Stock OVERHEAD DOORS Over 300 in Stock x 7 Insulated ................. $239,81 Special Jubilarians Robert and Ardella (Schuetter) Rowekamp of Jasper cele- brated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving Aug. 25 at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. Dinner for the immediate family followed at the Holiday Inn. The couple was married Aug. 25, 1931, at St. Joseph Church by Father Basil Huesler. They are the parents of three chil- dren: Betty Englert, Marge Gadlage and Ron Rowekamp, all of Jasper. They have nine grandchildren, 14 great-grand- children, and two step-great-grandchildren. Mr. Rowekamp worked at the Dubois Flour Mill in Dubois, then at Indiana Chair Company in Jasper, before his retirement in 1970. Mrs. Rowekamp was an employee at Jasper Glove Company, and manager of the A & W Root Beer Stand. After her re- tirement, she worked at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center as a volunteer in the gift shop and information booth until 1990. Golden Jubilarians Gervase and Martina (Schipp) Gaesser will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 8 at St. Ferdinand Church, Ferdinand. Dinner for family and invited guests will be served at the C K of A Hall in St. Henry. An Open House will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. The couple requests no gifts. They were married Sept. 10, 1946, at St. Ferdinand Church lay Benedictine Fa- ther Chrysostom Coons. They are the parents of five chil- dren: Martha Gagne and Kathleen Dorsam, bth of Juper, TRUSS RAFTERS " - ..... : ', : .... ,  " :i I'll Anyszeu to ,00'span " -:-.[]r .....|ea.[on.i:;.ah..: :' MaryWehrofBretzville, and DavidGaeuerandLawrenee , P i ...... : .,.. -:. ......... ,:.'.:  ,,:,,',.r:: .,.-:,-. :.. ,.  ........ :': Gaesser, both of Ferdinand. They have nine grandchildren. I I POST BUILD NG PKGS - - ! ....... ' ...... 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