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September 6, 1991     The Message
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September 6, 1991

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September 6, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary I  Ma,,s Readings   ByFA'rHER  DONALD DILGER Gospel Commentary for Sunday, Sept. 8, 1991, Twenly-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B: Mark 7:31-37 In a preceding episode Jesus had spoken of the religious leadership of his own people as hyp- ocrites who confuse their external observances with true worship of God: "In vain do they wor- ship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." The story had to do with clean and unclean foods. Mark tells us that Jesus declared all foods clean. No foods would ritually defile a person, whether they were eaten with washed or un- washed hands. T'bat was last Sunday's gospel reading. In the catechesis of the early Church the abo- lition of distinguishing hetween clean and un- clean foods was also applied to people. No group of people of any origin was to be considered un- clean. And so Mark arranged his gospel so that Jesus now goes into Gentile territory. There he heals a Gentile woman. He continues his healing activity among the Gentiles in a confederation of cities settled by (;reek colonists. Mark summarizes Jesus' healing activity among the Gentiles in the cure of a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. Jesus took the man aside. He put his fingers into the man's ears. Then Jesus put his saliva on the man's tongue. Mark preserves for us the command of Jesus in Aramaic, the hmguage Jesus spoke. The command 'EPHPHATHA" means, "Be opened, ." As, was his CUstom, Mark graciously translates the Aramaic 5 I II | Jc,..,;us among the Gentiles: A deaf man is healed word into Greek for his Greek-speaking readers. Then the result: "His ears were opened. His tongue was released and he spoke plainly." The people say: "He has done all th.ings well. He makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak." By this miracle Mark has demonstrated that the healing power of Jesus reaches out beyond the confines of Judaism. He is also drawing a contrast. In the preceding episode mentioned above, where Jesus rebuked his critics, Mark quotes from Isaiah. On several occasions Isaiah speaks of the ears of his people being closed. He speaks of a time when a king will reign in righ- teousness and "the tongue of those who stutter will speak distinctly." Mark intends to say that any people, whether Jew or Gentile, if they hut listen to the words of Jesus, will be healed. There is no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile, just as Paul had taught a decade be- tore Mark wrote his gospel. The healing power of Jesus recognizes no boundaries. The procedures urged by Jesus to heal as de- scribed by Mark may reflect the practice of a healing liturgy in the Church for which Mark was writing. The use of saliva as a healing reme- dy in ancient times is known from sources out- side the Gospel of Mark. If Jesus practiced heal- ing, the Church would have imitated this practice and perhaps the methods Jesus used. Mark speaks of early missionaries practicing healing of the sick. If the use of saliva is offen- sive to us, let's remember that it was our own practice tlat the baptizing priest touched his Q own tongue, then the tongue and ears of the one being baptize(t while saying the words: "EPH- PHATHA, i.e. BE OPENED." Does the story of this miracle teach us any- thing beyond the above explanation? Jesus rea('he(l out with a loving, healing touch. He touched the deaf, the blind, the lepers, sickness of all kinds. He Ordered his disciples to do the same. We are those disciples. Though we may avoid some of the methods of healing used by ancient Christianity, we (:an still reach out to the sick through a visit and a loving touch. The visit of a compassionate person to the sick is itself a healing process. We cannot know how God may have chosen us to bring healing to another. Those who ininister to the sick, the dying, the grieving, and all other kinds of mental, spiritual, physical sickness, are fulfilling the work 9 f Jesus. Through their hands he still reaches out with his healing touch. We cannot know how God may have chosen us to bring healing to another. Those who minis- ter to the sick, the dying, the grieving, to all kinds of mental, spiritual, physical illness, are fulfilling the work of Jesus the Great Healer. Through their hands he still reaches out with his touch of compassionate low',. The praise of Jesus by the crowd applies to those who minister to the sick: "They have done all things well. They even make the deaf hear and the dumb speak." Other readings for Sunday, Sept. 8: Isaiah 35:4-7; James 2:1-5. I III L00egion of Mary An invitation to join your parish Legion of Mary organization The following personal COmmentary was submitted /or Publication by Kin] Mel- Chiors of Evansville. This past Tuesday, Aug. 27, I Was asked by members of lhe Legion of Mary at Christ n e King Church if I would lnd writing an article for i. ae Message for possible pub- ,]cation. I said yes. However, L ust admit that I've never attempted anything of this ature before therefore I put this in God's l'mnds. l.,You see, I picture myself !ke many morns in today's Church: I have three children attending Christ the King School. I work part time, and volunteer for various school and parish functions. Like many good Catholics my fam- ily attends weekly Mass and also prays grace before each meal, Sounds great, huh? I should be happy and ful- filled, right? Wrong.. Something always seemed to be missing. In March 1991 I attended one of the school's Masses. Afterwards I walked over -- I still don't know why -- to the parish center where the Le- Low, Fixed Rates For Term Life Insurance Guaranteed For Ten Years These low pramlume will remain level for 10 year,, $100,000 Face Amount Female Age Nonsmokealesmoker Nonsmoker Smoker 30 $161 $ 252 $120 $184 40 295 406 168 340 50 390 820 266 567 60 790 1.606 459 965 Cot per $1,000 decreases at higher levels of protection For additional information clip end return the coupon below. [ "1 a,rfl, p.. '# Best Time 'To' Call _"Z ve= No I kn'tt O| Ittuance Age Smokflf BTHE 101 Court Suite 211 ARTHEL Evansville, IN 47708 CALL: 423-7716 or AGENCY 1-800-879-5506 glen of Mary meets every Tuesday. The ladies of the group literally welcomed me with open arms. The rest is history and I became a per- manent member this past July. You cannot begin to imag- ine how much these ladies have taught me. There are so many things I have learned about nay Catholic faith that I will never take ibr granted. I have been trying to pass on what 1 have learned to my children and by doing so have seen some wonderful changes and many prayers answered. For example, do you know when we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary's birth- day? If you guessed Sept. 8 you would be correct. This date brings me to the purpose of this article which is to in- vite you to spend a special time with Jes3]s this Sunday and to thank him for appoint- ing his mother to be our mother, too. What better way to celebrate Mary's birthday than to spend time with her son? Legion of Mary is certainly worth your while. I guarantee it will fulfill that "empty" feeling. If you have questions about the Legion of Mary, check with your parish priest. Hope 'I have been trying to pass on what I have learned to my children and by doing so have seen some wonderful changes and many prayers answered." I also invite you to check into your parish Legion of Mary organization. If your parish does not have one, please .visit ours. If you enjoy helping others, learning about your faith and aiding your parish priest in various activities, then the to see you Sunday. Go with God. Exposition oJ" the Blessed Sacrament is scheduled in the chapel at Christ the King Church, Evansville, Sunday, Sept. 8, following the 10:30 a.m. Mass, and concluding with Benediction at 6 p.m. i i i I DEWIG BROS. PACKING CO. FRESH MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA ............ II . ii i ii i i iiiiii i I I I