From the Desk of Father Tharp
Special Thank You to all Volunteers for Christmas
I wish to offer a special and sincere “Thank You” to all volunteers and staff whose in front of and behind the scenes work made Christmas at St. Ann and Sacred Heart this year a genuine success. Many staff and volunteers you have seen in choir and other ministerial functions at the Masses. Many more did their work behind the scenes in relative anonymity. I am genuinely grateful to each and every one at both parishes.
Pastor out of Commission for two or three Days
Some Tuesday after the middle of January, I must have cataract surgery. Once I am scheduled, I will indicate which Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday I will be unable to have Masses or Funerals. Hopefully the recovery time will only keep me out Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I hope we can schedule funerals around this one and a half to two day absence.
I apologize for the inconvenience to both parishes, but I don’t think I can put the surgery off two more years until I retire. So when you see me with a patch over my left eye, it is simply the result of necessary surgery that comes from being old.
Reflection on Scripture
The story of the Epiphany is found only in Matthew’s gospel. We don’t really know who the Magi were. All we know for sure is that (for Matthew) the Magi represent all the non-Jewish people of the world. Recall that in Genesis 9:18 Noah has three sons. From these three come all the races of the world. Shem is the father of the European races. Ham is the father of the African races. Japheth is the father of the Asian races. In the statuary used in the Nativity scene, Balthazar is depicted as African, Melchior as European; and Gaspar (probably from India) representing Asia. These would have represented all the continents surrounding Jerusalem on every side; in other words, the whole world.
Matthew’s gospel is directed to a culturally Jewish audience. In the Magi, the image Matthew employs is that the “whole world” is coming to recognize Jesus as the Son of God, the Savior of the World. He is, by analogy, asking his Jewish audience why they have not “jumped on the bandwagon” as well?
Next Weekend: Baptism of the Lord
Is 40:1-5, 9-11
Ti 2:11-14, 3:4-7
Lk 3:15-16, 21-22
Theme: Jesus makes the water holy!