Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Aug 21, 2017

St. Ann Future Project

I hope most everyone has seen and discussed the plat drawings on display in the vestibule showing how we could theoretically replace the old rectory, the old convent (current parish office), and garage building with a multipurpose building that would serve as a gymnasium and “parish multi-purpose center” for meetings, gatherings, etc.  Professional speculators have predicted that the total cost could exceed three million dollars, although specific cost estimates are still being revised. 


Archdiocesan policy requires steps that must be followed in a building or restoration project.  At this point, the parish must decide if we are ready to spend money on the next step which would be a “professional feasibility study” to determine if there is adequate funding to keep the parish operational needs being met, and still amortize any construction debt incurred with donations from our donor base.  In other words, the professional study would answer the question; “Can we afford it?” 


The study itself is not cheap, so we must determine if as a parish we wish to spend the money for the feasibility study now or wait to see if the parish can and will operate in the black for the next year or so.  I will explain in future articles how we will conduct the vote among contributing members in September or October.  “To delay the feasibility study (and its cost) or not to delay the feasibility study?” that is the question on which you will vote.


Reflection on Scripture


The moral of the story of the Canaanite Woman’s request to Jesus can only be fully understood when viewed in cultural context.  The Canaanite woman was not a Jew, either by blood or by culture.  Jesus was considered a great Rabbi by the people.  Had he greeted the woman fondly, or even courteously, everyone would have seen him as a “turncoat” to the Jewish tradition of having nothing to do with such lowly Gentile annoyances.   So Jesus treats her with distain, as was the expectation for a good Rabbi.  She in turn disregards his insults as opportunities to show the depth of her faith.  When referred to as a “dog” she counters that even dogs get the scraps from the table. 


How much embarrassment are we willing to suffer in the name of Jesus?  Does it tempt us to think that Jesus has forgotten us?  In old school pugilism training, the boxer was expected to get hit repeatedly in the gut with a medicine ball.  It trained him to “take a punch.”  Are we willing to take a punch for Jesus and still remain loyal like the Canaanite woman?  Can we view being spit upon for the name of Jesus as a badge of honor?  How will Jesus see it on judgment day?


Readings for the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time


Is 22:19-23

Rom 11:33-36

Mt 16:13-20


Theme:  “But who do you say that I am?”


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