Next Sunday: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 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. Please prayerfully reflect on the mailed materials which should be arriving in your mail very soon and thoughtfully 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 been closed it before I greet the people leaving church on a couple occasions. As long as it is below fifty degrees Fahrenheit outside, I suggest that we do NOT prop the doors open! Please ask whoever is doing this to stop.
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: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
A true prophet must speak the truth. The word prophet comes from two Koine Greek words “pro” and “phero.” Combined the word stands for one who bears or carries the truth before all. Prophecy is not clairvoyance. It is not future telling nor fortunetelling. The truth a prophet speaks has its origin from God. He or she must proclaim it without personal manipulation. If I hear the truth and proclaim it in a way that is beneficial to me, I have falsified the message and slandered God. If I conceal part of the message so I am not embarrassed or confronted, I have insulted God. A prophet must bear the “whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help him/her God.”
Many today would seek to scandalize the world for their own personal gain or power. They ridicule their competition in the conversation rather than offering intellectually honest questions. They call upon God as their lord and master, even while they teach the world to dismiss God and morality as archaic and outmoded. These are today’s false prophets, and when they face God’s ultimate judgment, they may regret their treachery.
God is ultimate truth. If you live your life in truth and let the light of your faith shine in the darkness, you too may be a prophet. If, on the other hand, your allegiance is to a secular world filled with treachery, you will never know the fulfillment of truth. There used to be a game show on TV called “Truth or Consequences.” The message in the first reading today is: “Live the truth or face the consequences.
Next Week: Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23
Theme: Salvation is not a popularity contest