Next Sunday: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr. Schmitz
This Sunday is designated Announcement Weekend for the 2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal. 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. Please listen and reflect on the Archbishop’s audio message played at all parishes this weekend, and prayerfully consider your commitment.
Prayers for Peace in our Families and the Nation
I encourage you to reference the prayerful advice of Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued on January 6, 2021 in response to the violence in the United States Capitol. He ends with the following statement: “I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.” Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
St. Ann Pleasand Avenue Front Doors
Since before Christmas we have had problems with someone propping the left (as you go out) door open and leaving it until I am done greeting the people. I have closed it before I greeted the people leaving on a couple occasions. As long as it is below fifty degrees Fahrenheit outside, I suggest that we do NOT prop the doors open!
Moral implications of COVID-19 Vaccines
Some have accused the Catholic Church of moral duplicity in its teaching regarding abortion and the use of fetal cells harvested from aborted babies in the development and testing of vaccines like the COVID-19 vaccine. The USCCB website cited below reports the following: One of the three pharmaceutical companies making the vaccine apparently did use a compromised cell line in design, development or production, but it would seem that the other two did not. Later confirmatory tests applied to this vaccine manufactured by the three companies may have used the compromised HEK293 cell line.
The entire document is available on the USCCB.org website at: https://www.usccb.org/moral-considerations-covid-vaccines.
The following statement from page 5 of the referenced document seems to sum up the advice of the USCCB regarding the moral issue associated with the vaccines. It reads, “In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.”
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: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s first reading, Jonah warns the people of Nineveh that because of their sins, Nineveh will be destroyed. (Today, Nineveh is Mosul, Iraq.) Today’s reading ends with verse ten, the end of chapter three. There are four chapters in the book of Jonah, and the fourth chapter tells of Jonah’s disappointment with God. He has been looking forward to God’s vengeance on Nineveh. He has been waiting for a good show! He is unhappy that the people of Nineveh listened to his warning, repented, and God did not destroy them. The story proves that it is easy to pray for God’s vengeance on someone we consider a bad guy (an enemy); but it is much harder to accept a merciful God who in his compassion gives a reprieve to your enemy.
In the gospel for today, Jesus calls his apostles. The word “apostle” means “sent out.” They are sent out to be “fishers of men.” The message of Jesus is a message of mercy. We sometimes believe that vengeance will give us satisfaction, but it never does. God’s mercy and forgiveness are the only antidote for a hateful heart. This is the message with which the apostles are “sent out.”
Next Week: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Cor 7:32-35
Theme: Never manipulate God’s word!