Browsing From the desk of Fr. Tharp

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Aug 25, 2017



The Schedule for RCIA and RCIC for 2017/2018 is available at the church doors.  The classes begin on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Basement Room RH 2 & 3.  At the first class, those interested in participating will be asked to fill out a registration form which will help me define the canonical route that would be necessary should the applicant choose to become Catholic. 


If you have any questions, please call me (Fr. Tharp) at (513) 858-4260 or email questions to me at [email protected]


Fr. Tharp away on Tuesday Afternoons


For the past eight years, I have been given the opportunity to teach a class at the Seminary on Pastoral Administration.  I teach a three hour class once each Tuesday until Christmas.  Therefore, from now until Christmas, I will be unavailable by telephone and out of my office on Tuesday afternoons. 


Reflection on Scripture


Have you ever used a metaphor or analogy to explain some abstract concept to someone, and then asked them if they understand?  Has their response revealed to you that the person has missed the point of what you were trying to say entirely?  In today’s gospel, Jesus is asking his disciples if they have a clue as to who he is.  The initial response of the disciples is to report what others are saying about Jesus.  Asked directly by Jesus what they were thinking, Peter is the one who has the courage to speak the unspeakable.  For a good Jew, it would have been beyond comprehension that Jesus could be the “Son of the Living God.”  The Jewish view of God at this time would have been so transcendent that even language would fail its descriptive capacity.  And Peter says that Jesus is both the fulfillment of the messianic promise, the “Christ” or “the anointed one” and is as well the full communication (the Son) of God himself.  It is doubtful that Peter fully understood the “Incarnation” as articulated in John’s Gospel many years later, but he was catching on. 


As a result of Peter’s profession of faith, Jesus gives him apostolic authority symbolized by the “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.”  In the first reading today from Isaiah, the royal steward Shebna (short for Shebnayahu) uses his “power” (keys) to influence Hezekiah against the advice of Isaiah and against the Jewish tradition of reliance solely on God and not on political affiliations.  Thus he loses his authority.  Authority given by the king, lasts as long as the king’s reign.  Authority given by the Son of God, lasts as long as God is God, in other words “forever!” 


Readings for the Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jer 20:7-9

Rom 12:1-2

Mt 16:21-27


Theme:  Are we thinking like a saint or thinking like a sinner?













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