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October 11, 1996     The Message
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October 11, 1996

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1996 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 9 Commentary.-- Condemnation and call: The marriage feast Gospel Commentary for 1996: Twenty. Eighth Sunday: Ordinary Time: iCycle A: Matthew 22:1.14 A feast is an often used metaphor for the kingdom or reign of God among his people or among all the nations of the earth. A well known example from the Old Tes- tament is Isaiah 25:6-9. It describes a feast on the mountain of the Lord. All nations are invit- ed. Even the menu is given. It will By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST a time when God will take away disgrace from his people. Death will end. Tears will be dried and there will be great oicing. It ends with a condemnation of the ene- of Israel. They will be thrown out into a Matthew wrote the parable of the mar- .age feast as it now appears in his gospel, it had a S . perhaps the form in which Jesus used Uch forms are found in the Gospel of Luke and of Thomas. There is a banquet in Luke, no marriage. In Thomas it is only a dinner. One ser- vant is sent out in both gos-els to call the lests All make excuses In the Go ' -" " h, . s el of Thomas the rover of t,. umner t P " "who- hen sends one servant to invite Stra::r you happen to meet on the streets." b y ne author excludes businessmen and merchants. Whether this last a Jesus is  ..... p rt originates with . _ uuuDtIul. The preceding form of the parable would have been the wa Jesu appeal to " - y s taught it, as an , , als hearers not to oppose his outreach to ae street-people,, but loveto th,, . to join him m showing God s ....... ms was the essence of the Good News. Luke's form Of the parable is very similar to the Thomas form of it. The differences are these: the giver of the dinner becomes angry. He then sends one servant into "the streets and lanes of the city to bring in the poor, the handicapped, the blind, and the lame." This is Luke's touch. He is always interested in those Classes of people. But there is still room. The servant is sent another time to force anyone he finds into the house where the dinner is to be given. Instead of excluding businessmen and merchants as Thomas did, Luke excludes only those first invited. Our concern is Matthew's form of.the parable. He has turned it into allegory. For him it is not a dinner or banquet but a marriage feast given by a king for his son. The king is Yahweh. The son is Jesus. The marriage feast recalls the Old Testa- ment concept of the bond between Yahweh and Israel as a marriage. Not one but many servants are sent to call the guests. All refuse. These are the prophets with the ever-recurring call to repentance and return to Yahweh. He sends more servants. The invited guests disgrace and kill the servants. These seem to represent not only Jesus but Christian mis- sionaries persecuted as "heretics" by Jewish author- ities. The king sent an army, destroyed the murder- ers and burned their city. This is Matthew's reference to the conquest of Jerusalem and the burning of the temple in 70 A.D. by the Roman army. He thus recalls another Old Testament con- cept that a heathen army was used by God as a tool of vengeance upon his disobedient people. Matthew places the blame for this tragedy of fifteen years earlier on the wrath of God brought on by the "addressees" of this parable, "the chief priests and the elders." These represent the form of Judaism in contention with Matthew's Christian Judaism. The king now sends out servants to the main crossroads to gather in anyone they find, good and bad. The "bad" is only to prepare for the little para- ble which Matthew adds to the main parable. The servants do as told and the house is filled with guests. Thus Matthew justifies the influx of Gen- tiles into the Church. But in such a large influx there are bound to be some problems. The addition- al parable of the man without a wedding garment represents those of whom Matthew wrote in the sermon on the mount. They claimed to be disciples of Jesus but were so only superficially. To them Jesus says in Matthew 7:23, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawless people." Now we understand how Matthew reformed the traditions he received so that they would serve his sometimes not so noble purposes, the indict- ment of his enemies. Here we find no hint of Matthew turning the other cheek, as he advises in 6:39. When he writes, "Many are called but few are chosen," it must not be understood as the predesti- nation of only a few, but an expression of the expe- rience of the Church persecuted before Matthew wrote. Here and elsewhere he shows his awareness of what happened, that during the persecution of Christians by the Roman Emperor Nero many denied being Christian and betrayed others. This is why Matthew writes in 24:10-12, "Many will fall away and betray one another and hate one anoth- er," and "The love of many will grow cold." Readings: Isaiah 25:6.10a; Philippians 4:12-14, 19.20. Have You had difficulty qualifying for standard life insurance? Catholic Knights of America introduces BENEV(00LENT LIFE Graded Death Benefit 1OO% 60% 30% * Unlike some "Guaranteed issue" policies, coverage begins at issue and increases annually for permanent coverage up to $5,000 * Yr 2nd yr 3rd yr Annual Premiums beginning as low as $50 Annual Premiums for each $1,000 of coverage MALE FEMALE Age 50 44.59 35.81 Age 60 71.46 55;55 Age 70 119.42 95.15 Available ages 0-80 I, r . Ore information call our "rational Office at 1-800.844-3728 or our area represenative: III I I I 111111 I I II I 11111 IIIII I II 11111 IL I I I II II Francis Schutte Golden Jubilarians Robert and Virginia (Williams) Toy of Loogootee will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 5:15 p.m. Oct, 12 at St. John Church, Leo. gootee. A reception will follow at St. John Center. All friends and relatives are invited; the couple requests no gifts. They were married Oct. 12, 1946, at St. John by Father Thomas Mindrup. They are the parents of six children: Roherta Williams, Bill Toy, Bob Toy and Kay Summers, all of Leo. gootee, Mike Toy of Dale, and Dan Toy of Huntingburg. They have 20 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Mr. p.o. Box 20 Englefleld, Indiana 47618 and Mrs. Toy were, co-founders of Toy'sAuto Parts. t t t t II t (812) 867-6342 T F $ Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President " Phone: 486-3285 t ttttittHttit i t t t i t]tiHt!t