Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Fifth Sunday of Easter


Sunday Morning Masses     May 6, 2018          Celebrant: Fr. Schmitz     




Gift Card Sales


Gift cards are sold both at Sacred Heart and St. Ann for the benefit of each respective school.  Purchasing a $25 dollar gift card costs you $25.  The companies sell these gift cards to the churches at a discount.  The volunteers sell them to you at face value, and in each case, the earnings go to the schools, either through the PTS at Sacred Heart, or directly into the fund used for the school at St. Ann.  This is “free money” for both parish schools.  If you know you are going to spend “x” number of dollars at a particular vendor; why not pay for it with a gift card and help direct this “free money” to your respective school.


Vacation Bible School


This year Sacred Heart will join St. Ann in our Pastoral Region Vacation Bible School to take place at St. Ann.  We are now looking for interested teen volunteers who will help with this joint program.  I am asking teen volunteers from Sacred Heart and St. Ann to consider this your “home parish” Vacation Bible School   For additional information, see notices in this bulletin.


Reflection on Scripture


“I am the vine, you are the branches.”  A branch is dead as soon as it is cut from the vine or center stem.  If you cut all the branches off of a spruce tree, you have a stick pointing vertically into the air, but you no longer have a living tree.  In winter and spring I get special joy when I cut vines that stem from poison ivy roots.  When trimming deciduous trees, one must be careful to leave enough limbs for the leaves necessary to feed the tree during the summer.  Science confirms what every farmer and gardener knows.   Most plants grow from the rooted stem.  A limb or branch cut off from its rooted stem is sure to die. 


Jesus makes it clear that it is the same for us.   Jesus is the revelation of God.  Hope for eternal life comes only through Jesus.  Just as it is obvious that nutrients and all life for plants comes from the roots, so also all hope for eternal life and resurrection come only from Jesus.  When we receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist, we receive the real presence and we become the Mystical Body of Christ.  We are not grafted to the vine.  We grow from it.  Therefore if one cuts himself off from the Eucharist, his fate is sealed by his act of disbelief.  The Church does not really exist without the Eucharist.  The Mystical Body of Christ does not exist without the Eucharist. 


So why do fallen away Catholics and other groups of faith filled but Eucharist deprived believers give such minimal importance to the Eucharist?  I suggest that they do not realize what they have.  When my mother was young, she told us that she saw morel mushrooms in the spring, and not knowing what they were, she played with them and tore them apart.  Anyone who hunts morels will tell you that such an act is unthinkable.  But she used to explain to us that she did not know any better. 


If we are the Mystical Body of Christ, we must give evidence of it.  If the Eucharist is our connection to the life giving vine, then we need to live that priority.  We don’t want Jesus to say to us on judgment day, “You knew better!   Why did you not show others?” 


Readings for Sixth Sunday of Easter


Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48

1 John 4:7-10

John 15:9-17


Theme:  “Remain in my love.”



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