Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

March 3, 2024 - Third Sunday in Lent

Next Sunday:  The Fourth Sunday of Lent           Celebrant:  Fr. Tharp   

RCIA    First Scrutiny


The first scrutiny takes place the Third Sunday of Lent at the 11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart.  The prayers are all about the symbol of water and baptism.  Those to be baptized and those to be received into full communion are invited to remember the waters of creation brought to life by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus who met the woman at the well and gave her the gift of faith.  As in the past, we will only reference the “Cycle A” readings.  We will use the ordinary readings for Cycle B. 


Lenten Devotions


Sometimes people like to “give up” something as a self-imposed penance during Lent. It is also possible to “do something special” as a Lenten practice. I will have Stations of the Cross and Benediction at St. Ann on the Friday evenings of Lent at 7:00 p.m. (Good Friday of Holy Week is different) and Stations of the Cross during Lent on Sunday Afternoons at Sacred Heart at 3:00 p.m. (No stations on Palm Sunday)  Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is every Friday at Sacred Heart from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.  Embrace to the degree you can without hurting yourself the dietary restrictions on the Friday’s during Lent.  As we all live the discipline of Lent, we experience being the Body of Christ as the Church suffering.  As we engage the discipline of Lent together, we hope in the promise of Easter.


On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, we will celebrate the scrutiny for that week at one of the weekend precept Masses.  At all precept Masses during the petitions, we will prayerfully remember all of our RCIA elect catechumens and candidates. 




As of last Sunday, Sacred Heart is at 164% of target with 319 families participating.  St. Ann is at 92% of target with 109 families participating.  Remember that when any parish exceeds target, a percentage of the money over target comes back to the parish. 


Thanks to all who have pledged or contributed.  Thank you for prayerfully considering a donation or pledge to this year’s CMA.  I will report each week the results I have in the bulletin.


Beacons of Light Phase Two


 As we move through February, St. Ann and Sacred Heart will be conducting meetings and discussion sessions regarding the process for “visioning for the future.”   At present this has been done through Parish Council and some of the various committees.   Soon this will expand to include ideas for worship enhancement, stewardship (Finance Committee), evangelization, and an all-inclusive look at charitable outreach (aka Love in Action). 


We must also recognize that Beacons expects our two parish schools (St. Ann and Sacred Heart) to abandon the stance of “maintaining” what traditionally has been, and embrace a more forward looking (all encompassing) approach.   To use an analogy; we have become accustomed to swimming in our fresh water lake.  Now we must learn to swim in the ocean. 




I keep running this article because there are new scams everyday


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, be assured it is computer generated fake!  It is not me!!!  


Reminder for volunteers who work with or around children


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 for Precept Masses


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:


What is Jesus so angry about?  He makes a whip of cords and chases out the money changers.  What were the money changers doing?  They were exchanging Roman coins like the denarius for a faceless coin like the Jewish shekel.  Remember that Jewish law required “no graven images.”  This was especially true in the Temple.  So the money changers were ripping off their own people by charging them more than the exchange rate for shekels they could use in the Temple.  Jesus is not reacting to the Jewish tradition.  He is reacting against the injustice of Jews taking advantage of other pious Jews; ripping them off when all they want is to worship God. 


Thank goodness there is nothing happening like that nowadays!    Wait a minute; we have thieves all over the internet and social media trying to scam the elderly out of their social security.  We have artificial intelligence creating ways to steal your identity faster than security programing can be implemented.  We have countries inviting Americans to come on vacation so that they can be kidnapped and held for ransom.  Sadly man’s inhumanity to man is still alive and well. 


So what would Jesus say to the level of deceit perpetrated against the innocent in today’s world?  I think he would be outraged and probably making a bigger whip.  I think he would challenge us to stand up against injustice.  Call out business policies that let thieves win because it may cost less in the long run.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for truth.  Yes, it may make you the target of the bully, but think of Jesus’ use of the whip made of cords.   It is not wrong or judgmental to call a “crime” a “sin.”   It is not judgmental to call injustice a sin.  Don’t be taken in by the slick!  Accept only the truth.    


NEXT SUNDAY  The Fourth Sunday in Lent


2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23

Eph 2:4-10

Jn 3:14-21



Theme:  The Son of Man must be lifted up so all may have eternal life.













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