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November 6, 1992     The Message
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November 6, 1992

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._NNovember 6, 1992 The Message Monthly Commentary -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 By FATHER DONALD DILGER GOspel Commentary for Sunday, Nov. 8, 1992. Thirtv-second Sundav, Cvcle C" Luke ,,u,=2 89,,:.,..__.   . For many St/ndays Luke has taken us on Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. The Journey happens Only once in Jesus' public ministry in Mark, Matthew and Luke. In the Gospel of John Jesus up. to Jerusalem many times during his pub- . mstry. For Luke this one-time journey is an lraportant theolooical framework into which he places the ' , , education of Jesus followers to replace Jesus after his ascension. The more important Purpose of the journey to Jerusalem in Luke is to Use it as a framework to teach his own Christian community about issues and questions important for their own time Luke writes about 50 years aer the death of Jesus. UrsgetllIn ' today's gospel reading Jesus has arrived in L00ko d000cribo00 !he co0000o.ta,iOnobr; tWeen Jesus and the Jewzsh reugmus auth t lrl Jerusalem The Pharisees are the first group to .apProach Jesus. Their question was about paying [es toRome. Was it legitimate to do so or not? eS us solves the problem and Luke solves a prob- w m tor his own Church. For Luke the question .a.s not so much whether to oav taxes to Rome, uutwhethe " " a- r Chrlshans are to pay taxes at all. He aSWers in the affirmative. The next roun to annroach lesus in this se- l'ies o r- r'r" - TL ' of confrontations consists of the Sadducees. ,)us group consisted mostly of priests and espe- Confrontation in Jerusalem: Sadducees and the resurrection of the dead cially the chief priests or high priestly families. Many of the wealthy class of citizens also fol- lowed the teachings of the Sadducees. The first century historian, Flavius Josephus, writes that there were great differences between the teach- ings of the Pharisees and those of the Sadducess, that the Sadducees were able to persuade only the rich folks, while the general population fa- vored the Pharisees. The main point of disagree- ment, the point with which our reading today is concerned, is the Sadducees' denial of a resur- rection o'f the dead. As Josephus puts it: "The teaching of the Sadducees is this: that souls die with the bodies." Why did the Sadducees deny the resurrec- tion? The reason was simple. According to them there was no mention of a resurrection of the dead in the Torah of Moses, what we now call the first five books of the Bible. They claimed that the Torah mentioned nothing about a resur- rection nor even a survival of any kind after death. The Pharisees, who accepted not only the Torah proper as authoritative but also the Psalms and Prophets and other Writings as authoritative in matters of faith, vigorously defended the res- urrection of the dead. We shall see that Jesus comes down on the side of the Pharisees. The Sadducees confront Jesus with a ques- tion meant to ridicule resurrection of the dead. A woman had seven husbands successively, i.e. each one had died and she remarried six times. Whose wife would she be in the resurrection? Jesus never answers the question about whose wife she would be. In fact he asserts that in heaven there would be no marrying. He goes to the heart of the matter. Going to their own Torah he points out that God is the God not of the dead but of the living. Yet God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all of whom died long ago. So in some way these patriarchs must still be alive. Jesus won the debate because he argued from their own religious base, the Torah of Moses in which they could not find basis for the resur- rection. Luke adds that some of the scribes, the biblical interpreters, said, "Teacher, you have spoken well." Jesus gave them some ammunition for future disputes with the Sadducees. Since Luke was not writing the biography of Jesus but a book of instruction for his church, why would he include this episode in his gospel? One reason would be that he found it in his pri- mary source, the Gospel of Mark. But the more important reason would be that the resurrection of the dead was a very difficult problem for bath Jews and Christians. Only in the later writings now composing our Bible do the authors speak of resurrection of the dead. Some earlier writings of the Bible had flatly denied such a resurrection while others were very skeptical about it. Through the inclusion of this episode in the gospel the Lucan Jesus firmly teaches that there is not only survival after death but also a resurrec- tion. That affirmation is meant not only for Luke's immediate community but for us. Thus we affirm in the creed every Sunday: "We believe.., in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting." Other readings for Sunday, Nov. 8: Mac- cabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Phillppians 4:10-19. I commentaries: Excerpts for theweeks commentaries of Father Donald ished weekly, Following are ex- weeks ahead. are Ezekiel 36:23-28 (Lectionary g-15 (Lectionary #812-8], and r #815-3). Nov, 20: Christ the King, Thirty-fourth and Lst Sunday. Luke 23:35-43. Jesus on the Cross: Messiah, Chosen One, King. In the very mockeries hurled at Jesus Luke intends to teach us that Jesus is King and Savior, replacing even the Roman emperor. Nov. 27: First Sunday of Advent: Cycle A: Matthew 24:37-44. The Season of Advent: An- niversary and Judgment Day. Today we begin word is derived from the Latin word meaning coming, arrival. During this season the Church prepares for the the birth of Jesus and anticipates his glory at the end of time. Not only does Advent servance concern itself with past arrival and fu- ture return but it aIso celebrates the present, Jesus' presence with us in word (the Bible) and in sacrament [the Eucharist}, NOW AVAILABLE 1993 Yearbook of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville .. $7.50 if picked-up at Catholic Center. $9.00 if mailed. Order yours today. Call 424-5536, or write to The Message, EO. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 I II II ] IIIII I III I I I "Funeral PrPlanning Since 1940" Miller & Miller 424-9274 , i ,i u ill u  it ut . I I i EVANSVILLE SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE I I I I ] III I I I II FOR THE BEST PLUMBING SERVICE RESIDENTIAL CO}OtERGAL (FREE ESTIMATES) ,qaIes & Selce GRANT PLUMBING CO. TV & 2-Way FM 484 S. GOVERNOR AT CANAL 1916W. 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