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October 24, 1997     The Message
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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana The end of the journey: A blind man By FATHER DONALD DILGER Columnist Gospel Commentary for October 24, 1997: Thirtieth Sunday" Ordinary Time: Cycle B Mark 10:46-52 Mark allots to Jesus a ministry of only one year's duration. Matthew and Luke adopt the same plan, while the Gospel of John has approximately a three- year ministry. It is clear that the authors of our four gospels felt free to use traditions about Jesus as they saw fit. In Jesus' one-year ministry in Mark, he had spent most of the time in Galilee, his home province in northern Palestine. At the beginning of chapter 10 Jesus leaves Galilee and heads south toward Judea. The usual route from Galilee to Jerusalem crossed the Jordan somewhere north or south of the Sea of Galilee. Thus Mark writes in 10:1, "He left there (Galilee) and went to the region of Judea, but beyond the Jordan." To travel south to Jerusalem on the west side of the Jordan, Jews like Jesus would have had to pass through Samaria. Relations between Jews and Samaritans were unfriendly. Jesus does pass through Samaria, but only in the Gospel of John and perhaps in Luke 17: 11. Jesus' journey to Jerusalem in Mark follows the route east of the Jordan. Many Jews, especially men, would go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year on the three great religious feasts, Passover, Pen- tecost and Booths. Only in the Gospel of John does Jesus go up to Jerusalem many times. In Mark he goes up once, i.e. after the close of his ministry in Galilee. This one-time journey is at the feast of Passover. In Mark's plan, Jesus is accompanied by his closest disciples and uses the time to instruct them more closely. The main plan of instruction centers on Jesus' suffering and death.Three times he predicts what is to happen to him, and three times the disci- ples reject or misunderstand what Jesus is talking about. We have seen their reactions in our Sunday gospels. Peter rejects Jesus' first prediction and Jesus calls him "Satan" for this rejection. All the disciples misunderstand the second prediction and argue about who is most important among them. After the third prediction Mark portrays general misunder- standing by the ambitious request of James and John to have the most important positions in his coming kingdom. They obviously expected the revolution to begin when Jesus reached Jerusalem. It did, but not in the way they expected, i.e. through Jesus' death. At the end of all this misunderstanding Jesus and his disciples reach the point where they cross from the east side of the Jordan to the west side to go up to Jerusalem Their route to Jerusalem lay through the city of Jericho situated about 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem and five miles west of the Jordan. As they are on the point of exiting from Jericho, a blind man, Bar Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. He heard that Jesus was passing by and cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" When bystanders told him to keep quiet he kept shouting the same words. Jesus stopped and called him. The blind man made his way straight to Jesus.-Jesus asked him the same question he had asked James and John, "What do you want me to do for you?" The man replied, "Master, let me receive my sight." Jesus grants his request and adds, "Your faith has saved you." Mark adds significantl "Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the way," i.e. on the way to Jerusalem. The reason for the review of this section given above is to show the context into which Mark places the cure of blindness. Jesus' predictions of suffering and death in Jerusalem had been met by his disciples only with rejection and misunderstanding. The blind man is placed as a contrast or antithesis to the disciples. They see but are blind. The latter is blind but sees. The disciples have no faith or a misdirected faith. The blind man has true faith and therefore is said to immediately follow Jesus "on the way," i.e. to his suffering and death. Mark contrasts the readiness of the faith with the disciples of whom he had 10:32, "... going up to Jerusalem... Jesus ahead of them, and those who followed were - What is this Marcan arrangement recall that Mark is writing for and s Christian community that has recently devastating persecution. We can ima me the nation of these Christians during the especially the survivors whom Mark through his depiction of Jesus" His Christian community lived in exf Jesus' triumphal return from heaven to rescue t It did not happen. A crisis of faith in Jesus happened. Mark intends to compare them disciples who misunderstood and rej message of Jesus' life, the road to glory is ous road. They have to follow the same Jerusalem" that Jesus walked if they wis h disciples. The blind man who sees is of the importance. Like Peter, he recognizes Jesus ah butby a different title, "Son of David faith rather than ambition. Like James and asked the blind man, "What do you want me for you?" He did not ask for power. He as understanding, "Let me receive my s,, promised the cupand baptism of suffering, no clue as to its meaning. The blind they were afraid, he followed unafraid, The Gospel of Mark continues to teach every generation. For those who wish to the cross is unavoidable, whether it be death, etc. A Christian is asked to misunderstand, but to ask, "Let me sight," and follow on the way to the cross. promised not only the cross, but als( That is how each misunderstood and prediction ended, "On the third day he will again." Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-9;Hebrews 5ii-6. Main 217 E. Main St. . Phone: 254-5141 C0ant OU I medical any time day Special Jubilarians Urban and Bertha (Lechner) Beck of Jasper will celebrate their seventieth wedding anniversary OcL 25. A dinner for family and invited guests will be served at the Knights of Columbus Club, Jasper. They were married OcL 25, 1927, at St. Joseph Church. Father Fintan Baltz officated. They are the parents of two chil- dren: Kenneth Beck and Patricia Schwenk, both of Jasper. They have four grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. They both reside at Good Samaritan Nursing Center;, 2515 Newton Street; Jasper, Indiana. II I II I I I II I I I i Iii RUXER FORD-- LINCOLN-MERCURY I 482-1200JASPER 1 , ..... , , ,,, ,,,i . .,i In Ill Ifll II I I ] I II IIII I I I I Golden Jubilarians Dale and Mary Martha (Bertsch) Miller of Jasper will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary Oct. 25. To celebrate their anniversary, 26 members of the Miller famiiy spent a weekend together at Spring Mill Inn in Mitchell, In. The couple was mar- tied Oct. 25, 1947, at SL Elizabeth Church, Cambridge Ci, In. They are the parents of Mark of Kingsford, Mack of Marietta, Ga., Carol of Waterbury Center, Va., Sue Ann Namias of Indi- anapolis, Teresa of Bloomington, Carl of Car),, N.C., Dean of Jasper, Karen of Indianapolis, and Craig of Cary. They have seven grandchildren. Mr. Miller is a retired Dubois County Extension Agricultural Agent. Mrs. Miller is a retired teacher with the Southeast Dubois School Corporation. I i I I COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 un i II |11 I i I iii f ] "Over 50 Semi Loads in', 36" cov. #1 white from i (' #2 metal ....... ', #3 metal ....... $ 5V and 1-1/'Z'galv. In Over 300 in Stock 9 x 7 Insulated, TRUSS RAFTERS Any size POST BUILDING Any Size -- Call for Free i