Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

The Epiphany of the Lord

Jan 4, 2018


Infant Pre-Baptism Class

We have the combined Infant Pre-Baptism Class for first time parents of the St. Ann / Sacred Heart Pastoral Region on the second Monday of each month in the basement of Sacred Heart Church.  The starting time is 8:00 p.m.  Because New Year’s Day was on a Monday, the second Monday of January is the eighth.  If you need more information, please feel free to call Fr. Tharp at 858-4260, or email Fr. Tharp at [email protected]   If you already took this class when you had your first child baptized, there is no need to repeat the class, but you will need to contact me by telephone or email to schedule the baptism at either Sacred Heart or St. Ann. 


Notification of Parishioner Inpatient at Local Hospitals

Please remember that federal legislation (HIPAA) disallows notification of clergy when a person is admitted to a hospital.  Some pastoral care departments will make contact if they are asked to do so, but often do not make contact immediately.  If you or your loved one is admitted to a local hospital and would like to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, please leave a message on my direct line (513) 858-4260 or in an emergency, please leave an emergency message by calling (513) 858-4210 and choose option #2 (Fr. Tharp for an emergency).  Leaving a message on this line will alert my pager immediately. 

On weeks when I have multiple funerals or other commitments in one week, I may not be able to schedule a visit requiring a two or three hour round trip drive to hospitals located in Cincinnati or Dayton or more than an hour drive one way from Hamilton/Fairfield.  In an emergency, I will try to come during the night, but as I grow older it becomes harder and harder to be up most of the night and still be alert and functioning for three, four, or more Masses the next day.  “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weakening.”   


Reflection on Scripture

The Feast of the Epiphany is a celebration of our “catholic” or “universal” tradition that Jesus is for everyone.  In the Book of Genesis, Noah has three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  As the story goes, from these three sons, all the races and nations of the earth originate.  Although the number “three” is not specified in canonical scripture, the tradition is that the Magi represented each of these races and cultures.  Three is presumed because of the number of gifts. 

According to extra-biblical (apocryphal) tradition Caspar (green cape) descendent of Shem brings frankincense which is used in worship of God.  Caspar’s gift shows Jesus as the Son of God.  Melchior descendent of Japheth brings gold (yellow cape) which reveals Jesus as king of kings, Messiah, or Son of Man.  Balthazar (purple cape) descendent of Ham presents myrrh as a signal that Jesus must die for the expiation of sin and death. 

All three represent all the nations and ethnicities of the world coming to recognize Jesus as the newborn King of the Jews.  As members of the Mystical Body of Christ through the Most Holy Eucharist, ethnicity, race, culture, clothing, food, and all differences between peoples fade into a kaleidoscope of color in one mosaic of eternal beauty.  This is what God sees when he sees humanity.  And humanity is one saved people in Christ.   This is what “Catholic” means!


Readings for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Sam 3:3b-10, 19

1Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Jn 1:35-42


Theme:  The call of Peter












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