Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
October 28, 1994     The Message
PAGE 9     (9 of 12 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 9     (9 of 12 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
October 28, 1994

Newspaper Archive of The Message produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

_October 28, 1994 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana IIII II II II I IIII II "- Commentary m A series of debates: The friendly scribe Gospel commentary for Oct. 30, 1994, Thirty.first Sunday, Ordinary Time, Cycle B, Mark 12:28.34. #(N FATHER DILGER COLUMNIST I Jesus is in Jerusalem for the last phase of his one-year ministry in the Gospel of Mark. A series of debates takes place. The first is with some men, (Mark calls them Pharisees and Herodians), who try to trick Jesus into giving a politi- cally incorrect and dangerous an- SWer about paying taxes to the ROman government. Next Jesus is approached by a delegation of UpPer:caste priest s called Sadducees. These ques- tthi.m about the resurrection of the dead, some- g m Which they did not believe Jesus duly cor- rects them. The third encounter, one could hardly call it a debate, is with a rather friendl Scri ture scholar ,,- - Y P . nese scholars were called scribes by sarakPharisees by Matthew, and lawyers (schol- u eacaers of the law of Moses) by Luke. In Mark the encounter- between Jesus and the scribe is a friendly one. It ends in mutual comple- ments. In Luke and Matthew it becomes a testy en- Unter. The story in Mark: a scribe a roaches esus and asks which might be the m pp important atandent of all. Jesus quotes the Jewish act I'Iebre lled "the Shemah," from its first word in Sheraah" ae word "Shemah" means "Hear." The of Goa,':l? mrms oneness of God and the obligation -,=oe'"-' ''bein.auman creatures_, to love him wi t h their s. ae hemah is quoted from Deuteron- omy 6:4-5. The Marcan Jesus adds from Leviticus 19:18 the commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself. These two form one command- ment, Jesus says. The scribe re- sponds: "You are right, Teacher," and repeats Jesus' words Jrom Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Then he asserts that love of neighbor is superior to all the animal and other sacrifices offered to God in the temple. Jesus complements him: "You are not far from the kingdom of God." Thus ends the encounter with the scribe. All four of our gospels contain negative state- ments about Jews and Judaism. The earliest of the four, the Gospel of Mark, seems to be least in- fected with this prejudicial tone. As time went on, however, and the rivalry and bitterness=between Jews and Christians took a turn for the worse, the later gospels reflect that bitterness more than Mark does. Unfortunately God did not deprive our gospel authors of their human prejudices when he inspired them to be the conveyers of his revelation. Sometimes we need to look behind this outward veil of prejudice to see what God might be revealing through these very human au- thors. When a gospel reading does not reflect bitter- ness between first century Jews and Christians, it is all the more important to seize the opportu- nity to point out that this is the way things ought to be. Such is the case with the encounter be- [ tween the scribe and Jesus. It is a friendly debate. Many such debates were carried on between the various scribes and their schools of thought and be- tween Jesus and the different schools of thought. Both Matthew and Luke, reflecting the development of antagonism between Jews and Christians, turn this story of Jesus and the scribe into a confronta- tion and delete Jesus complementing the scribe for being close to the kingdom of God. Relying on Mark we need to point out that Jews and Christians are one family. Especially to all the members of this one family the words of Jesus are directed: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Another point to be made in this gospel reading is derived from the statement of the scribe: " love one's neighbor as oneself is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." In other words, those who hate others cannot expect to have their sacrifices, their service, their worship, ac- cepted by God. A similar thought is expressed in the Sermon on the Mount: "If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there be- fore the altar; first be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift? The First Letter of John puts it more bluntly: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, that man is a liar? Like ourselves, our four gospel authors had great diffi- culty with the practice of love of neighbor, yet they insisted on this as part of the commandment to love God with our whole being. How difficult it is! Readings: Deuteronomy 6"2.6; Hebrews 7:23.28 i i i IIII I II I II I I Peoples DUBOIS COUNTY BANk v, ust Company MEMBER OLD NATIONAL BANCORP Member FDIC SOUTH MAIN STREET YOUR FIVE STAR SERVIC E BANK P oBox 9 ...... LtNTON, INDIANA 4744" t A Name You Know .... A Name You Can Trust I have dedicated my career to representing victims of violent crime. This type of experience is needed in our judiciary to ensure that Evansville and victims are treated fairly in the criminal justice system. My family and I would appreciate your support. Brett Niemeier Paid for by CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE. D Faughn, Treasurer !