Next Sunday: Third Sunday of Lent Fr. Tharp
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati asks every parish to do its part to fund essential programs and services in the Archdiocese that are beyond the capacity of any individual parish or pastoral region, but can be funded if all the parishes pool their resources and provide the services on a diocesan-wide basis. The “fair share” target that has been set by the Archdiocese for St. Ann is $21,210. At the time I am writing this on Monday, February 22, St. Ann has achieved 24% of target, but with less than 1% of parishioners donating.
Please prayerfully reflect on the CMA materials which you should have already received in the mail. Please consider your commitment. If you did not receive the mailing from the Archbishop, there will be plenty of additional pledge cards and envelopes available at the church doors. Even a very small gift increases our percentage of participation. Please help bring this number up.
I have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. (Palm Sunday excluded)
Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. Mass…Church opens at 6:15 a.m.
During the Lenten Season more people are attending the Monday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. Mass. Please note that the sacristan who in the past came very early to open the church is unable to do so at this time. I will therefore open the church at 6:15 a.m. I have been doing this for a few months now and there is still plenty of time for me to make preparations for Mass and start on time.
Dietary Rules of Lent
During Lent, Catholics are asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent, and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence simply means “abstaining from meat.” The flesh of mammals and birds (essentially any animal that is warm blooded) is considered meat. The flesh of reptiles, fish (cold blooded), bird “eggs” and cheese are not considered meat. The chicken itself is warm blooded and thus is considered meat. Anyone fourteen years of age or older who will not be physically harmed by the diet is asked to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays during Lent.
We define fasting for Lenten purposes as meaning eating only one regular meal and two smaller meals or snacks, with no eating between meals. Fasting only applies on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then only to those between the ages of 18 and 59 who have no medical problem aggravated by the practice.
Communion on the Tongue
Please remember as I stated in recent articles, until the threat of COVID is over; if you wish to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, you must come to me (Fr. Tharp) ONLY and you must be sure you are at the end of my line. Please do not present yourselves to Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers for communion on the tongue! If on Sundays, you see that I am going to be at St. Ann, then you must come to St. Ann that Sunday if you want to receive ONLY on the tongue. I am not willing to ask Fr. Schmitz or any of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers to take a risk with which they are uncomfortable. Be assured, I will follow all the protocols necessary to administer on the tongue safely.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region youtube site by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Reflection on Scripture: Second Sunday of Lent
The transfiguration story recounted in Mark’s Gospel allows us to recognize who Jesus really is. He gives Peter, James, and John this insight so they can keep the disciples hopeful and of one mind even when faced with the crucifixion of Jesus. The story of the transfiguration is a bit like reading a fictional novel in which half way through the book, the hero is confronted with seemingly insurmountable odds that he or she will even survive. One may flip to the last page of the book to see if the hero rides off into the sunset. If so, one then returns to the middle of the book and can read with comfort that it is all OK at the end. That’s what Jesus does for us in the transfiguration. He shows us he is the Son of God; and God always wins.
In the first reading from Genesis, Abraham is willing to lose his only chance for progeny in Isaac. Remember that for Abraham, God’s promise could only be fulfilled in Isaac. How would God fulfill the promise if Isaac is dead? The answer is trust in the Lord.
Today’s readings remind us that obedience to God exceeds the limitations of human logic. God’s request of Abraham flew in the face of human logic. Thinking Jesus could be divine flew in the face of human logic. Human logic is the basis for all modern science. Today’s readings teach us that sometimes God’s laws seem to fly in the face of human logic. This is why we need faith when logic fails.
Next Week: Third Sunday of Lent
1 Cor 1:22-25
Theme: Jesus is unhappy with unethical business in the temple.