Next Sunday: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Celebrant : Fr. Tharp
DO NOT FALL FOR SCAMS!!!!
Remember I NEVER solicit funds, donations, favors, or any request of any kind over the telephone, text, email, carrier pigeon, drone, etc. NEVER! Do not allow yourself to be taken in by scammers. Even if they have my recorded voice, it is computer generated! It is not me!!!
Considering a “Men’s Retreat Program?”
Over the next month, we will be posting information about a rather challenging ascetic retreat option for adult men from St. Ann and Sacred Heart Pastoral Region, soon to be a Family of Parishes. The program is called Exodus 90. Here are the personal comments of one of our parishioners who has some experience with the program:
The goal of Exodus 90 is spiritual freedom. We are all attached and/or addicted to sins or material things that are holding us back from being the men God created us to be. Going back to the roots of the Christian Faith through the ancient traditions of the Church of prayer, penance, and community helps us to free ourselves so that we can be the husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and leaders that we are meant to be.
The outline of the program is simple and built on 3 pillars prayer fraternity and asceticism. In short it requires commitment to one hour of prayer a day. Weekly meetings with a small group and fasting from foods on certain days, and giving up certain luxuries like sweets, a sedentary life, warm showers and a commitment to exercise. It’s difficult. But today in our culture maybe we need something a little difficult.
Please keep an eye out for more information and feel free to email any questions in anticipation of an informative meeting which we plan on having a few weeks before Lent. You know how the TV stations post a teaser announcement to gage interest. Well, that is what this is!
Anniversary of Roe vs Wade
In 1973 (January 22 to be precise) the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe versus Wade and effectively legitimized the practice of aborting unborn children in the United States. As believers in Jesus Christ, let us be ever more vigilant in our quest to show respect for human life in all its stages. Immersed in a secular culture of death, exercise every opportunity to proclaim the value of human life in all you say and do.
(The Archdiocesan coordinator for the Worldwide Synod on Synodality has asked that this be posted in all bulletins:
The Holy Father has called a synod inviting ALL the Baptized to come together to discuss and discern how we can walk together in accomplishing the Mission of the Church. He wants ALL those who make up the Church to participate: elderly, youth, religious orders, clergy, lay faithful, poor, disabled, divorced, migrants, those who no longer practice the faith, etc. It is my understanding that the gathering for our deanery is scheduled for Saturday, January 22 at Queen of Peace Church in Millville. Further details are available in this bulletin.
Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children
If you are a volunteer classroom parent in the school, a coach, drama club volunteer, scout volunteer, etc. please note that you should have been moved to the Safe Parish program. Fulfillment of this requirement is mandatory for anyone working with children. Please contact your parish safe environment coordination if you are uncertain whether you are registered or approved.
Please be aware that failure to register with and complete the requirements of Safe Parish will result in your inability to continue to work with or around children in any parish and/or school setting. We have been informed by the Archdiocese that there can be NO EXCEPTIONS.
Live Streaming a precept Mass from St. Ann and Sacred Heart each week
Since I live stream both the 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart and the 5:15 p.m. at St. Ann; I usually manage to live stream both, but on rare occasions the internet is out at one or the other location. If this happens, be assured that I will make every effort to correct the malfunction before the next weekend.
Please remember to access the Sacred Heart / St. Ann Pastoral Region You Tube site by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLLqbEY5hKWinwz069MVcg
Reflection on Scripture:
The story of the Wedding at Cana is recounted only in the second chapter of the gospel of St. John. Although it owns only one reference in one gospel, it is one of the stories unique to St. John which was so important in battling the heresy of Gnosticism. As many pagans who had their cultural origins in the Hellenistic Empire were welcomed into the Church after their conversion, some of these brought with them the philosophical paradigm of Platonism. Plato was a dualist who postulated a world of forms and ideas as well as distained world of matter. These Platonistic Christians could not envision a Jesus was both fully human and fully divine (the hypostatic union). They said that Jesus was divine, but never really human. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean that humanity was never really saved by Jesus appearing to die on the cross. Gnostics claimed that Jesus was never really human.
In the first half of John’s gospel known as the Book of Signs, John focuses every sign on the institution of one or more of the sacraments in its very “human” context. Thus in the Wedding at Cana story (the first of the seven signs) a very human mother, Mary; explains to a somewhat annoyed Jesus that the Bride and Groom have embarrassingly run out of wine. Jesus, having a good time with his friends, basically asks Mary, “What am I supposed to do about it?” Nevertheless, like any dutiful son (who happens to possess diving powers); he fixes the situation by turning water into wine. This is of course an obvious Eucharistic reference.
In his gospel, John references “personal” recollections not refined kerygma. He often comments, “I know this to be true because I was there.” John thereby validates the Sacraments of very human sentimental human gifts left for us by the “Divine” Son of God. Only Jesus can make the naturally human also fully divine.
Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
1 Cor 12:12-30
Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21
Theme: Jesus is the fulfillment of all Sacred Scripture