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September 24, 1993     The Message
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September 24, 1993

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September 24, 1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 --- Commentary-- Parable of the two sons: Four interpretations Gospel commentary for Sunday, Sept. 26, Twenty.sixth Sunday, Ordinary Time, Cycle A: Matthew 21:28-32 Two sons are asked by their father to go work in his vineyard. The first says he will go but does not. The second says he will not go but does. Jesus asks his audience: "Who did the will of the father?" The answer is the second one, the one who refused but then changed his mind. Let us attempt to inter- pret this parable in four ways: how did Jesus use it: how was it used by the Church after Jesus; how was it used by Matthew; and some possible meanings for us today. Jesus addresses the religious leadership of his time. He appeals to them to see themselves in the son who outwardly obeys his father but inwardly refuses. This is the second son of the parable. The first son asked by the father, who answers, "I will not," and then repents or changes his mind and does the will of his father represents the ones re- garded by the religious establishment as "sinners." These are the ones who do not always keep the whole law of Moses, others who work for the Roman government as tax-collectors among their fellow Jews, prostitutes, and almost anyone of the ordi- nary working people who were called "the people of the land" by the ruling classes. DBNFATHER DILGER COLUMNIST Jesus befriended and associ- ated mostly with these "lower classes" of people. He invites the re- ligious and ruling elite to follow the example of the poor, the dispos- sessed and sinners who seem not to do the will of God but through re pentance do so. This would have been very difficult medicine for peo- ple who consider their privileged position to be a reward for their at least outwardly good life The use of this parable in Church teaching and preaching after Jesus probably had something to do with the division in Christian- ity between Jews and non-Jews. The latter were called "Gentiles" or simply, "the nations." The na- tions would be represented by the son who first re- fused his father but later repented and went into the vineyard. The son who seemed to obey his fa- ther but did not would have represented the Jew- ish people as a whole who did not accept Jesus as Messiah and thus did not enter the vineyard. As a vineyard was a symbol of ancient Israel, so it be- came a symbol of the Christian Church who consid- ered themselves the true Israel, the people in whom the genuine Israel was to be found The parable would have been used to demonstrate that Jesus already was aware that his future followers would come mostly from among the Gentiles. When Matthew adopts this parable for use in his gospel, it becomes part of an attack on Jewish religious leadership of the time of Jesus and of his own time in the middle 80s of the first Christian century. There was much bitterness between Ju- daism and Christianity at that particular time. Matthew 23 is the strongest expression of such bit- terness in this gospel. Matthew condemns Jewish religious leadership for rejecting the message of Jesus, i.e. not doing the Father's will, at least as Matthew interprets that will. At the same time he justifies through this parable the fact that those who accepted Jesus were predominantly Gentiles, i.e. those who at first said "No," then repented. Finally, we can interpret the parable for our own use. Since its original message was directed to religious leadership, that message endures. Being in positions of leadership in the Church does not make a man or woman closer to God. The gospels indicate that God is more interested in the poor, the powerless, the underprivileged, and "sinners." The parable invites Church leadership to imitate the simplicity and humility of ordinary people. Not only does the parable speak to Church leadership but to all of us. We are asked to examine our own life. Are we like the son who outwardly seems to honor his father but does not? Would itnot be bet- ter to be like the son who says "No," as we often have, but repents and honors the will of the Fa- ther? Other readings: Ezekiel 18:25.28; Philippi. ans 2:1.11. Iletin from page 6 tpslRetreats Evening on Parenting, 30, 7 p.m. Mulberry Evansville. Conference 101-A. Speaker: Louis B. ady, M.D., child, adolescent adult psychiatrist at Mul- Center trained at the Clinic in Rochester, Min- Topic: "Teenagers and Priceless Treasure, Pro- ." Refreshments. reservations by September (812) 473-0029 or (812) 426- The Legion of Mary Spon- Retreat, October 8 -- 10, ,n October 8, 6 -- 7 ,m. Sarto Retreat House. $55 full retreat. Comuters wel- day rates for commuters Retreat Master: Fa- er Eric Lies. For information L. HAUBSTADT ELECTRIC _j . Licensed Bonded Insured ,.uustrial, Commercial and Residential P.O. Box 405 TONY NAZARIO Haubstad, IN 47639 812-768-5207 1-800-766-2787 N h american ational Bank Bicknell - Sandbom Vincennes Drive-in Facilities. Member F.D.I,C. A Full Service Bank FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 ,LOW call Mary Lou Schmidt (812) 476-9741 or Josephine Alvey (812) 422-8445 One Day Workshop, October 13, 9 a.m. -- 2:30 p.m. Sarto Re- treat House. Offered by Father Dilger. For information call (812) 424-5536. Kordes Enrichment Center, Ferdinand. Come to the Quiet: Pon- dering the Word With Mary, October 16, 19, 9 a.m. m 3 p.m. Betty Drewes, O.S.B., Licensed counselor and experienced edu- cator. $15; lunch $5. For information call (812) 367- Katie Stratton dies September 12 tion School, Evansville. Eleven-year-old Poseyville The drive drew 383 people. resident, Kathryn L. "Katie" She is survived by her par- Stratton died Sept. 12 at St. ents, Daniel and Susan Strat- Youth Jude Children's Hospital in ten ofPoseyville; a sister, Kim- Rappin', September 27, 7 w Memphis, Tenn. Katie, who berly and a brother Kaleb, both 8:30 p.m. Tii-State Regional Re- was diagnosed in February at home, grandparents, Ray habilitation Hospital, Evans- with myelodysplasia, under- and Edna Stratton of ville. Speaker: Kathy Schoettlin, went a bone marrow trans- Poseyville and James and Coordinator of Disaster Services' plant in July.  Betty Voelker of Evansville, and Volunteer Relations w She was a member of St. and a great-grandfather, Syl American Red Cross. Topic: "Preparation for MOCK Disas- ter-Introduction to Disaster." (American Red Cross Class) Free pizza and cokes. For information call (812) 473-0029 or (812) 426- 2640. 2777. Please send information for BULLETIN BOARD to Amy Housman, The Message, Yard Sale P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN Resuon School 47724-0169. The deadline is 9 Eighth GradeYard Sale, Octo- a.m. the Friday before ber 2, 8 a.m. -- 1 p.m. Resurrec- publication. FRIED CHI(:KEN WITH DUMPLINGS ex R L THE FIXIN$ SUNDRY, OCTOBER 3 11:30 - 2:DO ROULT -'$5.00 WZI'ITE MERT RO0 SO] CHILDREN UNDER 10 '-- $1.00 BIBLE STUDY GROUP BEGINS IN OCT. MASS FOR THE DEAF SAT. 5:00 P.M. NATIVITY 3635 POLLACK AVE. EVANSVILLE, IN 476-7186 I Ii1" I " ' II Francis Xavier Church in Poseyville Following her diag- nosis, the church held a blood drive seeking a marrow donor. Voelkerof Evansville. Services were held Sept. 16 at St. Francis, with burial in the church cemetery. I I II lll l I SEPT. 26th ca,'ryout begins at 8:30 a.m. cafeteria begins at 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Men's Club - St. Philip's Parish St. PHILIPS. IND. 6 miles west of Evansville o,t Upper ML Vernon Road or out the Penns)/vania Expressa:, o St. PHIL|P'S sign Bri M your ovt n container for carryouts or e ha, ,mtzr at imlnt charge! i| .....