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November 25, 1994     The Message
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9 "- Commentary .__ The end times: Luke corrects Mark GOspel commentary for F[r;SY, November 27, 1994, unday of Advent, Cycle C, Luke21:23.36. fSu. The gospel reading for the first y of Advent is always taken esus last sermon called "the eschatological disc ==oL .... ourse. The word real'"'lglcal" is derived from the m,::L'_nguage and means no '. -an some words about the last things, the end of time. The Same theme was struck in the gospel two Sundays ago. Then the gospel was taken from Jesus' ser- mon inMark in Luke. Today it is taken from Jesus' sermon Luke had to deal with even a -:-"   . a problem, perhaps Gosnel ]is o lalth. We may assume that the aboui , vlarK originated in Rome. Mark wrote ROe a e Year 70 A.D. The Christian Church at ..,_ :=u alreaay evolved into one of the most im- e,Lant Christian communities for various rea- son. Rome was the center of th R m andafi_ e o an Empire 1 .... erce persecution of Chris ians had taken  nere. Among the victims of tthat persecution ere Peter and Paul doctune, . Therefore any Chnstmn io  " coming from that Church took on major tmT. 'Lance, even more so because the Gospel of ;?arl seemed to be the final word before the end of ti. Mark see "- theft; .... ms to have worked under the convic- tegetler  the persecution of the Church at Rome, ternlle m,_le" With the destruction of Jerusalem and the the inlne]V A.D., could only bee herald or sign of di Ju not' ,ae return of Jesus As we know Jesus return. Before many years elapsed people Were Scoffing abo, utlthe Christian conviction of the By FATHER DON DILGER COLUMNIST immediate return of Jesus. No doubt, many pious Christians were scandalized and shaken by the lack of fulfillment of what they had heard from the Gospel of Mark. With great care Luke tackles what seems to have been a crisis of faith. While Mark had con- nected the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the temple with the de- struction of the universe at the end of time, Luke carefully sepa- rates what had happened 15 to 20 years earlier in Jerusalem from what was expected to happen at the end of time. Where Mark writes that the time had even been shortened, Luke omits the phrase. Mark ends Jesus' sermon with a final word: "WATCH!" Instead of following Mark's leads Luke takes the opportunity to add a little sermon to take care not to indulge in a wild life and drinking, nor to be too concerned with the cares of this life. A typical Lucan approach! Nevertheless, Luke does not give up on the idea of the ultimate return of Jesus. It's going to be a long time and may come suddenly "like a snare...upon all who dwell on the face of the earth." He "urges his readers to watch at all times, and to pray (a typical Lucan touch) for the strength to escape what will take place at the end, and for the strength "to stand before the Son of man." The "Son of man" is the title of a sym- bolic person in the Book of Daniel written about 165 B.C. In that book the Son of man symbolizes the victorious kingdom of the Jews which ulti- mately replaces that of all their former perse- cutors. Two hundred years later Christian theol- ogy applied to Jesus all that was said of that symbolic Son of man in the Book of Daniel, that he was given "dominion and glory and kingdom that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him  in an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed. Like Mark, Luke depends heavily on Old Testa- ment ideas and vocabulary to write Jesus' last ser- mon or discourse. Undoubtedly the discourse con- tains genuine sayings of Jesus but they are interwoven with statements by Christian prophets and with a description of events of the last third of the first century, for example, the destruction of Jerusalem and the great Jewish temple. For lan- gnage to describe the end of time Luke turns to a wide assortment of Old Testament authors, espe- cially the prophets. The prophets often imagined a "day of the Lord," when Yahweh would decisively in- tervene in human affairs to give ultimate victory to his chosen people. The words of the ancient prophets about "the day of the Lord" are redirected by Luke to describe "the day of the Son of man," that is the re- turn of Jesus as final and victorious judge. What can we learn from this highly imaginative and creative story? It is a reminder of our total vul- nerability to humanly engineered or natural cata- strophe. In our comfortable lives we may not be as aware of our vulnerability as are people in Bosnia, Haiti, or those caught in recent natural disasters in Italy. Awareness of our own helplessness comes more from the sudden loss of a friend or relative, people about whom we care deeply. In our shock we realize that it could have been ourselves rather than another. And so with Luke we pray that we "have strength to escape all these things." But if we don't escape, then we pray with Luke "to have the strength to stand before the Son of man.  Readings: Jeremiah 33:14.16; I Thess 3:12-4:2. MILLER. & MILLi00R "Funeral Pro-Planning Since 1940": 424-9274 D-O'W'N'T.O'W'N 301 M)tlN ST. VINCENNES, IN 47591 Celebrating the 50th Anniversary with the Interested in a Master of Arts or certificate in :  Pastoral Ministry, Theology or Religious Education? Classes beginning next semester in Evansville, and Daviess County. Call Jim Corr, Director of Religious Education, at 812-424- 5536 or 1-800-637-1731 Information meetings will be held on Tuesday, November 29, 1994, at Rivet High School, Vincennes, at 7:00 p.m. (EST) and Tuesday, December 6, 1994, at Catholic Center Councils Room, Evansville, at 7:00 p m. (CST). 1947 Lutz =TOtl Families:  351 ll Parishioners: 1,100 , i Catholic Diocese of Evansville Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Deliverf Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Bob and Norma Duncan Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 iiiiii i i Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 i I PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 i Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 ,,=, Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescript Specialts Hwy. I and N. W Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS. Prop. i ] [ 68.Mon,omeo,nd,.n.,2 Donald ]. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 [ I II II I I I I