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October 11, 1991     The Message
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October 11, 1991

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f0rl 3 ill'l Jal' ? lib, ,t.VlJ I )urBil tlto I detl tie0 I ncler I tOP" I b e I IV I m8 r" I i000ti tlaa i cl re;[ It l tle i V! oo'! fete[! tlo011 io0el '@ I ber 11,.1991 . .The. Message .... -- for,.. Catho!its. . . . , of. ,, ,S .o,.u,hwestem .lpdiana Commentary .5  Maas Readings By FArHER DONALD DILGER Gospel Comlnentary for Sunday, Oct. 13, 1991, Twentv.eiebth SundaF Of Ordinary Time, C  u _ _ Ycle B: Mark 10:17-30 Mark uses this chapter, under the heading of !he Journey to Jerusalem, to treat various subjects maportant to his Church. He uses traditional ma- terial, casting it in the form of Jesus teaching his disciples'. Today the question is: What should be the Christian attitude toward wealth'? A man runs up to Jesus, kneels before him ned asks: "Good Teacher, what must i do to in- rit eternal life?' Mark generally prefers to pre- Sent Jesus as teacher. Jesus responds: "Why do ou call me good? No one is good but God alone." his may seem to us as a strange response but tMhark a purpose having Jesus respond has in in ms way. At the beginning of his gospel he had f'stated that ,lesus is Son of God. Jesus' answer reef lrms that claim of divinity. Jesus then lists the commandments that re- ate to ones neighbor" "Do not kill, do not commit adultery, honor father and mother, etc " The man affirmsth ..... . . ut ne nas always observed these com- rnandments Mark then writes one of his emotion- ! responses of Jesus (omitted by both Luke and hatthew): "Jesus looked at him and loved him." _ hen Jesus told the man he, lacked still one thing. he to perfect, Go, you wanted be sell what ave and give to the poor, and you will have trea- SUre in heaven, and come follow me." Now the /nan's face became sad. He walked away, Mark Writes, because he was very wealthy. He just Washington page 4 .Sauveur-Cange in Port- nee, Haiti, wrote in the 9 issue of America, a t nmgazine, that the U.S. "was felt in every ct and institution of an society." once proud army was One and remade bv the ines. The country"s fi- :es Were also taken over Americans, who spon- Renunciation of wealth: Reaction of the disciples could not give it up. Then comes a frightening statement hy Jesus: "How hard it will he for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God." The disciples are shocked by this statement. There is much evi- dence in the Old Testament that riches are a sign of God's favor, a blessing from God. This is how they were used to thinking about wealth. Jesus does not back off but reaffirms: "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." The shock is even greater. Such a statement was contrary to the accustomed way of thinking that wealth is a blessing from God. The disciples ask: "Then who can be saved," i.e. if not even those blessed with wealth can be saved? Jesus answers: "Humanly speaking this is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God." What is the meaning of these statements? Some have tried to get around the true meaning, the impossibility of buying one's way into the kingdom, by saying that in the wall of Jerusalem there was a gate called "The Needle's Eye," through which a camel could pass with consider- able effort. Anothersolution proposed is that the word translated "camel" originally read "rope." Neither solution is appropriate. The true meaning is that entrance into the kingdom is a free gift of God, granted to both poor and rich. The wealthy have no advantage. All their wealth cannot buy the entry ticket to the kingdom of God. But what does Mark suggest by this story that wealthy Christians do with their wealth7 IF they sored a series of centralizing puppet govermnents. "Also grating was the racism of many Marines, who (tisdained equally the elite and tim poor. At first, well-to- do Haitians responded l)y glo- rifying all that was French and refined, and opposing it to all that was American and vulgar. It was during the oc- cupation, for example, that French was declared the "offi- INSURANCE SERVICE Autol Home! Fire & Lifel Your Personal Service Agent dames L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 19,28 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 Fixed Rates For =rm Life Insurance teed For Ten Years 'l'hete low premiums will remain level for 10 years. $100,000 Face Amount Age" ,, Male Female 30 onsmoker Smoker Nonsmoker Smoker 40 $161 $ 252 $120 . $184 50. 208 406 1t58 340 60 390 820 266 567 790 1,806 459 988 Per $1,000 decreases at higher levels of protection Its' adclllional information clip and return the coupon below. i I I I , a.m. p.m. I " I Best T,me To Ca,, I i THE-- .... 10'Court Suite 211 i R AR'l'tr=,. Evansville, IN 47708 i l D--_ "L'''' CALL: 423-7716 or " AGENCY 1-800-879-5506 want to be perfect, "go, sell and give to the poor...and come follow me." Some call this ad- vice an "evangelical counsel." It is to be regarded as similar to another piece of advice, this one found only in Matthew: "There are some who make themselves eunuchs, (i.e. practice celibacy), for the sake of the kingdom of heaven." But this, too, is not meant for all. Matthew hdds: "Those who are able to accept this, let them accept it." Just before this Matthew had'written as a heading: "Not all can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given." And so it is: with 'material wealth. Not all can give it all up, norshofild they do so. We are re- minded of the advice of ancient rabbis who rec- ommended that one should strive to do nothing but study the Law. To such advice we might re- spond: "Who will pay for the material needs of those who do give up all to study the law?" Corre- sponding to this we might ask: "Who will support those who give up all to follow Jesus?" There are different ways of following Jesus. Some may be called to give up all material wealth to devote themselves to the spread of the gospel or even the pursuit of personal holiness. But that call does not and cannot go out to all. The advice that is given to all is part of the answer Jesus .gives the man who sought perfection: "Give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven." Other readings for Sunday, Oct. 13: Wis- dom 7:7-11; Hebrews 4:12-1. cial language' of Haiti " wrote Farnler. "The ahsurdity of su(:h a move in a country in which 90 percent of the popuhttion did not speak French was evi- dent to many intellectuals, who eventually responded with "indigenisme,' a literary and political movement that elnbraced, however ambiva- lentlv, Haitian popular cul- ture,'; he said. Out of this movement, Farmer noted, came a young physician named Francois Duvalier. 1957, Duwdier enforced loy- alty and submission to Iris de- mands with a personal secu- rity force called the "Tontons Macoute." Kozyn said U.S. policy was supportive of Haitrs dictator- ships until the presidency of Jimmy Carter, when hunlan rights for the first time be- came an important foreign policy agenda item. Jean-Claude "Baby Dec" Duvalier, who succeeded his father, was "quite pleased" to see former President Ronald Reagan elected, said Kozyn. Named president-for-life in Reagan's easing of pressure army-rigged elections in on nations committing hu- I the: r00l[eSs00ge In Store Bakery & Dell 200 S. E. 21st. St. & Hwy. 50 East. ntans rights abuses "embold- ened" Bahy Dec, said Kozyn. With last year's election by 70 percent of the voters of Fa- ther Aristide, known in Haiti as "the prophet" and a vocal defender of the nation's poor, a long string of oppressive dictatorships came to an abrupt end. 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