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September 26, 1997     The Message
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16 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September 26, 1, :t The outsider-exorost'". Scandal in the churcll 1 statement indeed in view of the forgiving Jesus M portrays otherwise, for example his patience with : Simon Peter who denied him publicly, but whom  Gospel Commentary for Sep- tember 28, 1997: Twenty-Sixth Sunday: Ordinary Time: Cycle B: Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48 Mark continues his list of corrective instruction by Jesus for his disciples. Last Sunday's gospel ended with Jesus' correction of their ambition to lord it over each other. The corrections are intended by Mark not for the disciples of Jesus' time, but more probably for the leadership of the Church of his own time. In turn they can be applied to the Church up to our time. There are two parts to today's gospel reading. The first deals with relationships outside the Christian community. The second part speaks of relationships within the Christian community. In thedst part of this gospel John addresses Jesus by the title, "Teacher," always an important point for Mark because the Marcan Jesus continues to teach the Christian community long after Jesus' little group of disciples had vanished from the scene. Mark may have wanted to include a correc- tion for John just as he earlier had included a cor- rection for Simon Peter. Tradition seems to have associated Simon Peter and John as is obvious from the Acts of Apostles and from Paul's letter to the Galatians. John now reports to Jesus that an exorcist who was not a disciple of Jesus was casting out a demon in Jesus' name. Other Christian literature, both biblical and non-biblical speaks of exorcism contests between Christians and non-ChrLstians, for example, Acts 19:13-20, where the non-Christian exorcists were held up to ridicule by the author of Acts. Such however was not the reaction Jesus teaches the Church through Mark's story olF this By FATHER outsider-exorcist. The disciples had forbidden the DONALD DILGER exorcist to act in the name of Jesus, but Jesus Columnist responds, "Do not forbid him, since anyone who does a mighty work in my name cannot soon after- Jesus singles out to receive the peace of his resurre wards speak evil of me. Those who are not against tion, Mark 16:7. us are for us." Mark adds various drastic This is one of the most ecumenical statements in dal by any member of the Church. He uses the i the gospels. One wishes that the Church had metaphors of hand, foot, eye. If any of these observed it throughout history. It would have saved one to sin, they are to be cut off or torn out and us the embarrassment of a long history of Christian thrown away. Better to have only one hand, one violence and atrocities against Jews and non-Catholic one eye, than to have be thrown into "Gehenna" Christians. The Second Vatican Council rejected all all one's parts intact. There have been Christians anti-Judaism just as recent popes have done. The Sec- took these statements literally and removed ond Vatican Council also initiated the practice of members they blamed for temptation to sin. referring to non-Catholic Christians as our "separated stafements attributed to Jesus seem rather to have' brethren." Pope John Paul II has apologized to both meant removal from the Christian community for Christians and Jews for atrocities committed against those who cause others to sin. Today we them by members of the Mother Church and by offi- excommunication. Mark gives us no exam cial Church policies beginning at the highest levels. Matthew 18:15-23 expands on this matter and Mark closes this episode with the statement that even mends ultimate forgiveness. Paul g" [ a cup of water given in the name of the Messiah will shunning or excommunication in I Corinthians I be rewarded. An important statement for Mark but there too the separation is done "so because this includes all Jews. They act in the name may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." of the Messiah whom they still await, while we Chris- Thus we seem to have conflicting theologies tians act in the name of the one we claim to be the within a small section of Mark's gospel, t Messiah, Jesus. toward outsiders, but no tolerance toward t Now Mark turns to scandal within the Christian Some might say this sets a pattern sometimes p community. Terrible threats of punishment are hurled ticed by Church authorities in our own time. at those who cause "the little ones who believe in me flicts within a gospel and between our four to sin." Who are "the little ones"? New Testament are not uncommon. Both theology and church usage of this term indicates that it was used for the ship capable of making authoritative decisions members of the Church who were outside the power evolving. The authors of our New Testament structure. It distinguishes Christians who were not in and letters show themselves as sometime authority from Christian leaders who forget that they Christians' as much as Christians of today. Whet are servants of the powerless rather than kings, lords, tolerance or intolerance is proclaimed I masters. Mark urges such leaders to be removed by theme of the New Testament is forgiveness, f the metaphor of having a millstone put around their I neck and have them thrown into the sea. A strange Readings: Numbers 11:25-29; James 5:1-6 FLOWERS & Complete Floral FREE--'I SERVICING TY-WlDE I LIVERY  (812) 424-893' 1 Bob Jacobs 1000 West Franklin CORRESSELL, II HEATING REFRIGERATION Commercial- Industrial- Alan Corressell Golden Jubilarians Jerome and Laverne (Durcholz) Sermersheim of Ireland will cel- ebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanks- giving at 10-.30 a.m. Sept. 28 at St. Mary Church, Ireland. A din- ner for invited guests will follow at the Jasper OutdoOr Recreation Club. An Open House will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. at the club. The couple was married Sept. 25,1947, at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. They are the parents of seven sons, Re 8 of Miami, Fla., Daryi of Boise, Idaho, Gary, Duane, Jeff, Mark and Nick, all of Ireland; four daughters, Connie Helming of Jasper, Bonnie Keusch of Ireland, Carla Mathies of Huntingburg, and Lori Arvin of Washingt n. Th .'y have 28 grandchildren, and two great- grandchildren. Mr. Sermersheim is a retired farmer; he works part-time at Jasper Engines. Mrs. Sermersheim works part-time at Sten's in Jasper. Golden Jubilarians Leroy and Mary (Fromme) Fuhs will celebrate their fiftieth wed- ding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. SepL 28 at Holy Family Church, Jasper. A dinner for invited guests will follow at the Knights of Columbus Home in Jasper. The couple requests no gifts. They were married Sept. 30, 1947, at St. Peter Celestine Church, Celestine. Father A.C. Schnellenberger offi- cared, They are the parents of five children: Julie Burress of Jasper, Dave Fuhs of Naperville, Ill., Jerry Fuhs of Santa Claus, Bob Fuhs of Indianapolis, and Kevin Fuhs of Chrisney. They have six grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and two step great-grandchildren. Two children and one grandchild are deceased. Mr. Fuhs is retired from the National Guard Armory; Mrs. Fuhs is retired from G.T.E..