Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

August 16, 2020 - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Next Sunday:  Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time          Fr. Tharp


Please “SUBSCRIBE” to the Pastoral Region YOUTUBE Channel


Many of you have been watching Sunday Mass for some time now on the “Pastoral Region of Sacred Heart and St. Ann” accessed on Youtube.  PLEASE take a moment to hit the button which says “SUBSCRIBE.”  It is free.  It costs you nothing! BUT if we can reach one thousand subscribers, under the Youtube rules it will allow us to do so many more things VIRTUALLY!!!  (In other words, “OnLine”)    For example, instead of requiring parents to come “in person” to instructional meetings for First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, I will be posting a  VIDEO our Youtube Channel to provide this information to parents, to be viewed at their leisure. 


Please let me strongly recommend again that you not view our Sunday Mass from either parish website.  These websites are more prone to crash with high volume.  It is far easier and more secure to go directly to the Pastoral Region Youtube site.  You can always go immediately to our Youtube site by using the following link:


I suggest making this link a “bookmark” on your web browser for easy and quick access. 


RCIA means Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Schedules for the RCIA for St. Ann and Sacred Heart are available at church doors as well as on our parish websites.  Please contact me (Fr. Tharp) if you are interested in becoming a Catholic.  Because of the persistence of COVID, the RCIA classes may be able to take place “in person” in the basement of the church at Sacred Heart or they may be required to be held “virtually” using Zoom or some other platform.  We are four weeks out at this time from the first class, so it is more important than ever that you register for the RCIA by contacting me at (513) 858-4260.   This comes directly to my desk, so if I am not in, please simply leave a voicemail and I will get back to you.  Please also feel free to email me at [email protected]



Students who should have made First Communion last April or May


I wish to reiterate from former communications that as soon as we have assurance from the authorities in Ohio and from the Archdiocese that we can reduce the requirements of social distancing and masks so as to have a traditional large Group First Communion celebration, we will do so for St. Ann and Sacred Heart.  In the meantime, if any parent wishes their child who was looking forward to First Communion this Spring to have the opportunity to make an “informal” First Communion at any Sunday or Weekday Mass that I celebrate, please contact the Parish Secretary at Sacred Heart.  She has my schedule and will help you in choosing a regularly scheduled Mass when your child can begin receiving the Most Holy Eucharist.    


On the other hand, feel free to have your child wait until the group ceremony is permitted if you think that is best.  Whatever is best for your child is what I want to do.


Reflection on Scripture: Twentiethth Sunday in Ordinary Time 


Why was Jesus so mean to the Syro-Phoenician woman?  Mark’s gospel refers to her as a Syro-Phoenician.  Matthew refers to her using the more pejorative term “Canaanite.”  In the Old Testament, the term “Canaanite” is symbolic of people prone to sin and a group which is inherently evil.  Matthew depicts Jesus as engaging in prejudicial speech, racial profiling, and socially accepted bigotry.  Why would Jesus do such a thing?   


Remember that Matthew is writing his gospel specifically to the Jewish community.  He quotes the Old Testament more than any other gospel specifically for this reason.  A self-confident Jewish man would have been considered unmanly if he did not use insults as a method of conversation.  So in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is using socially demeaning words as an archetype of what the culture considered acceptable.  In other words, Jesus was displaying “culturally acceptable meanness” in order to make those witnessing the event to take a good look at how they behave.  He was putting a mirror in their collective faces and saying, “Take a good look at yourselves.”  


In the verbal joust, the woman does not flinch from the insult, but turns the insult into a logical and insightful retort.  Jesus then softens his demeanor and tells the woman that she has received the requested healing of her daughter.  Her faith has superseded the unfairness of prejudice.


How does a follower of Christ win justice in the face of socially acceptable bulling? By exacting revenge?  By giving back the vitriol in equivalent measure?  No!  Rather by steadfast and unwavering fidelity to Jesus Christ. 


Next WeekTwenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time     


Is 22:19-23

Rom 11:33-36

Mt. 16:13-20


Theme:   Quodcumque ligaveris super terram, erit ligatum et in coelis.



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