March 7, 2021 – Third Sunday of Lent

  1. Money Changers Taking Advantage of the Poor: The Jerusalem Temple was not merely a place of worship but also a market where sacrificial animals were sold, and a bank where the state treasury was kept (recall the poor widow who is contributing generously to the treasury in Mark 12:41–44). Jews throughout the world were obligated to pay a special tax each year to provide for the upkeep of the temple. But since Roman and Greek coins were stamped with images of their gods and the emperors, these coins could not be used to pay the temple tax. Thus, money changers congregated in the outer court of the temple and exchanged these pagan coins for Jewish coins that could be used for the temple business. The money changers and those selling unblemished animals for sacrifice were gouging the traveler and the poor, who had no recourse but to purchase what they needed from extortionists. Jesus was outraged! (cf John 2:13-25).
  2. What is a Scrutiny? The primary ritual for the elect (those who are unbaptized and seeking entrance into the Catholic Church) during this season of Lent is the celebration of three scrutinies. Each scrutiny is designed to “uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful. . .and to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good” (RCIA, 141). Celebrated on the third, fourth and fifth Sundays, these purifying, cleansing rites are so important that there is a special ritual Mass in the Missal with unique prayers. As a community journeying with our elect, we are given the opportunity to pray and reflect on what is sinful and in need of healing in our own personal lives and in the parish community.
  3. Full Time Administrative Assistant Position: I am grateful to Beni Howell for the generous service she gave to me and to our parish for almost 5 years. She tendered her resignation and her last day was February 12.  Good luck to Beni in her new opportunity! Qualifications needed: High school diploma minimally; minimum 2-3 years experience of performing office duties; must have ability to communicate effectively and cordially in both verbal and written form; experience with Word, Excel, and Microsoft Outlook; experience with online responsibilities; possess good writing and problem-solving skills; must be able to work independently and with our pastoral team, multitask, and successfully complete a criminal history and background check. Please submit a résumé to Eddy McFarland, Business Manager, Saint Stephen Cathedral Parish, 610 Locust Street, Owensboro, KY 42301 or email: [email protected].
  4. Weekend Lenten Outreach: benefits the Daniel Pitino Shelter for homeless families: blankets, pillows, and sheets are needed.  You also have the option, thanks to our Social Concerns Committee, to make a contribution using envelopes provided at church doors, send a check to office, or contribute electronically through WeShare. Next weekend’s collection is for Catholic Relief Services, the official International Outreach of the Catholic community in the United States, easing suffering and providing assistance to people in need without regard to race, religion or nationality. Catholic Relief Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. CRS is consistently rated among the top 10 best not-for-profit agencies in the world. Last week our special collection was for the Heralds of the Good News (HGN), a young congregation of priests, six of whom serve in our Owensboro Diocese. They serve in 15+ countries, “wherever there is a need.”  Of course, Father Sinoj Pynadath, our assistant pastor,  is a member of the Heralds. Your generosity is greatly appreciated for these and all our Lenten special collections and outreach opportunities. With joyful and generous hearts in imitation of the life of Christ Jesus.
  5. Communication from the Parish: If you are not receiving our regular mailings and/or our One Call messages, we might not have your current contact information. Please call the Parish Office to update your information.
  6. Humble and Historic Decision: The last day of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, February 28, 2013, was like no other in the history of the Church. In a morning meeting with the College of Cardinals, which would in the days ahead meet to discuss the needs of the Church and the leadership qualities wanted in the next world leader of the Catholic Church, and carry out the work of electing his successor. Pope Benedict pledged his unconditional support and obedience to whomever the Cardinals chose. That afternoon, he left the apostolic palace and boarded a helicopter in the Vatican Gardens. After circling the city of Rome, the helicopter took him Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome. There he addressed the gathered crowd one last time as Pope, noting he was now “just a pilgrim who is starting the last part of his pilgrimage on this earth.” At 8pm, the hour that his resignation and the “sede vacante” (vacant see) were to begin, the Swiss guard at the entrance to the Castel Gandolfo left his post, indicating that the Pope was no longer present. It was on February 11, 2013, that Benedict XVI, 85, made history with the declaration of his intention to resign from the papacy—the first pope in modern times to do so and the first to leave office voluntarily in more than 700 years. As well as historic, this decision was humble.