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March 21, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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March 21, 1998

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Pd Qh AS CATHOLIC e.ed, s. of: 'a,Cg-h, March 21, 1998 Page 7 'lhe Lord said to Joshua,,'Today I _-,It. have removed the rel:goaqh of F'gypt from you. i' ,, _: What in the world does this! mean. .What is this "reproach of Egypt Stuff about? Even when I read the descrip- tion of the Israelites' first Passover eel- anyone 1s in Joshua ebration in Canaan, the opening pas- 5:9,10-12 Egypt" in our first reading -- were now i Sage failed to make sense. It remained 2 Corinthians simply a pail of their past. God was to a puzzle. 5:17-21 be their future. i But puzzles are meant to be solved, Luke This is what Lent is all about. i area' .L - During this ho!,y season, we try to t meye 15:1-3,1 1-32 "cross the Red Sea out of Egypt, place Joshua's people had spent almost 400 Fr. William Gould Years in Egypt All of it had been a time ourselves in God s hands, and then try of exile. The iast generation had been newal, a time in which God had lop-to cooperate with His grace. We ask Him avery, pure and simple. Then God had ingly formed them into a people of God. to do the same things with us that He eed them. Their 40 years in the desert They had passed from their old lives as did with the ancient Israelites during lind - been a tame of repentance and re- they crossed the River Jordan, and were their 40 years in the desert. As Easter a new 9 now encamped in a new land, a land of hope and promise. As they camped "at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho" they renewed their commitment to God by celebrating the Passover meal together. Egypt and all it symbolized -- called "the reproach of approaches, we confidently hope that St. Paul's words will become true in our own lives: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation The old order has passed away, now all is new!" In today's gospel, the Prodigal Son goes through a kind of Lent. His expe- riences force him to think about his at- titudes and actions, to make decisions and to change his way of living. He re- turns to his father. As he does so, he discovers that "the reproach of Egypt" has been removed by his Father's love. He has become a whole new person entering a new way of life. This can be our Lenten story, too. Father William Gould's taeekly column is sponsored by Little Rock Scripture Study. COVerin statues, crosses in purple during Lent quesfion%oncerns the practice of ferringX to the promise of the Eucharist / vering statues and the crucit'Lx in when he spoke of eating his flesh and ]/' tdOW Week or two before Easter. Only one drinking his blood. If John believed those in our area had them covered last words as we do, it's strange he did not Our liturgy committee is uncertaintell us when that promise was fulfilled. attodo Are there official Church regu- As everyone familiar with the New liras would help us? Testament knows, the Gospel according In years past the to John is quite different in a number of Crucifix and other major ways from the other three Gospels. . es in Catholic Reasons these differences occur are not thU eswere coy- always easy to find. Much has to do with the ered with purlate ?aths durinz [he teWr.eeks i fore For masons hay- fact that the fourth Gospel was apparently completed some decades after the others. An even larger reason is that John's whole approach to Jesus and his message reflects a level of theological reflection Dlease stand and recite the Epitaph of Abercius. No Catholics can, but they should be able to. The Epitaph of Abercius is the oldest monument in the world that mentions the Eucharist. As a result, it is very important in Church history. The inscriptions, discovered in 1883 by an archaeologist digging in the mideast, were written sometime century. The epitaph contains 22 verses about the life of Abercius, who was bishop of Hieropolis. According to the verses, con?posed when he was 72, he made a journey to Rome. Describing himself as "a disciple of the chaste shepherd:' Jesus, Bishop Abercius says that he met many Christians in Rome who shared with him the Lord's Supper of bread and to do with the unknown in Mark, Matthew and Luke. toward the end of the second wine. PrOper liturgical For example, another instance that occurs irit of those ys, especially of the to us particularly during Holy Week is that EaSter triduum, John is the only Gospel to tell us the mother that eu-- ..._hn Dietzen of Jesus was present at the crucifixion. ntom was The other evangelists name other ELSEWHERE IN TIME clh ._ged when the revised missal women being there, but not Mary. If she ' '- amentary) was published in 1970. was there, were they ignorant of the fact, Roman Emperor Commodus, son and successor a. At the end of the Mass for Saturday of which doesn't seem likely. Or didn't they of Marcus Aurelius, murdered...Huns invade df urth week of Lent, the Sacramentary think it was important? Afghanistan...Pope Eleuterius serves and is :ooaCates the practice "may be observed, Or did John speak of her on Calvary episcopal conference decides." because of a theological relationship be- martyred, the fate of the first 23 pontiffs... u Since the Nadonal Conference of Catho- tween her and the Church, represented 2000 c Bishops has never voted to continue by "the beloved disciple?" e practice of covering images and crosses, Thus, in the case you mention, maybe fO practice has not been permissible in John knew the story of the institution of United States for the past 28 years, the Eucharist was already well known from , As the bishoos' Committee on the Lit- the other evangelists, and he wanted to ~gy p_ . has noted (April 1995), individual explain further what the Eucharist meant. CoD.'s? li shes are not free to reinstate the prac- So he told a Last Supper story the oth- .c on their own. ers omitted: Jesus washing the feet of the Consider an alternative that offers: WhY does St. loire's C.x l not even disciples. elalt-- J ---r- at the institution of the Eucharist We probably will never know for cer- "Fovomble tax Ireatment Last Supper? We believe that, in tain, in this life at least, the answers to "Controctually guaranteed minimum return of that Gospel, Jesus was re- such questions. "Current interest at S.7 S% to 6.7 S % ,----....._.._ Pray with and enjoy Gregorian Chant by the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, a Papal audience and much morel September 14 - 25, 1998 A total of 12 blessed and exciting days! 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