Welcome Christ in Others

06-28-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

Way back “in the olden days” when I was young and in elementary school, we always went from the city to my grandmother’s cottage in sunny seaside Scituate for a good part of the summer. Our first cousins and also my brothers and sisters in various configurations of age groups would be there for most of the summer. All the time we were there, lots of relatives and friends would also come to visit for the day and sometimes for the weekends. Even though at times it was very crowded and quite noisy, it was never too crowded or too noisy because loved ones were all there.

READ MORE

Fear No One

06-21-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In our first reading, we learn that the prophet Jeremiah was not easily intimidated. We also learn that his prophetic vocation was as difficult to accept as it was unambiguous in meaning: A quote found early in the first chapter describes it quite accurately: “To root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant”. Jeremiah was a prophet to the Jewish people just before the Great Babylonian Exile. This prophet loudly told them that its apostasy and infi-delity would bring it all the way down, as indeed it did. His dire and forbidding warnings, though they came to be true, were no way to win acceptance and affirmation by everyone, from the highest and grand level of the king to the lowest and poorest citizen of Judah.

READ MORE

Living Bread

06-14-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Most of us are fascinated by the beauty of the classic Latin hymn “Panis Angelicus”. Although there are many Latin hymns in our tradition, only a few are really “great”. This hymn “the Bread of Angels” is certainly one. Folks of all ages are drawn to it because of its interior melodic beauty. What is most interesting is that this “bread of angels” is really the holy bread for humans. It is Jesus who gives us his Body under the appearance of bread, not the angels.

READ MORE

A Community of Love

06-05-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian

It has often been said that no one can know someone else 100% and that there is always a little mystery in every person, no matter. This usually makes for a more interesting relationship and life. When we realize that we always have more to discover in ourselves or other people, it makes sense that there is always more mystery to be discovered in God. Certainly, the sacred mystery of the Holy Trinity, which is one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, always has some more to be discovered and understood. The depth and beauty of our God is a reality that is an unfolding mystery, which we will never cease contemplating and celebrating.

READ MORE

Courage, Kindness, Understanding

05-29-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, a very important Feast Day in our Church Faith and Tradition. The gospel account of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles is a great symbol of how the Holy Spirit will open wide the horizons of our minds and hearts. The power of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is unequaled in power in everyone's life.

READ MORE

A Daily Life of Service and Sacrifice

05-22-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We need to remember that when we read from the Gospel of John, such as this weekend, we are reading a scripture passage which is written after a long time of reflection and living experience. John wrote his Gospel sometime between 90 A.D. and 100 A.D. In art John is symbolized as an eagle, mainly because he soars so high in his thoughts, expressions, and meaning. His Gospel begins with the eloquent words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God …". We recognize that these starting words of John actually match up in theme and expression to the very first words of the Bible in the Book of Genesis. We discover in John that this special "Word" who was in the beginning with God, now begins his journey home to God. The journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem is the journey of the Word made flesh returning home by his Death and Resurrection.

READ MORE

Kindness, Patience, and Goodness

05-15-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The Gospel writer John in today's selected passage tells us that Jesus promises the Spirit. This promise is made during the very long talk that John has Jesus give at the Last Supper. The believers of then would have realized that John had assembled a whole series of quotes of Jesus and had made them prominent by placing them all together at the Last Supper. By John doing this, he is telling us to pay strict and close attention to all these words and quotes. He realizes that the various meanings of these words take power after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, John is the only Gospel writer who tells us the very important teachings and sayings which Jesus gave at the Last Supper. We know that the Apostles had heard these words, but that they needed a great deal of time to ponder and come to understand them. Do not forget that John says at the end of his Gospel that he has only written down so much of what Jesus said as there would not be enough books available for him to write into record all that Jesus said.

READ MORE

Jesus, Our Foundation

05-15-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

When I drive down Union Street to where it meets King Street, when I am stopped at the lights, I can see a big construction site just beyond the lights. In a sense I look forward to checking up on it each time I come to the lights. I get to see the progress of it all. I note how it has taken many steps and many different construction trades to build it. Of course, it starts with the General Contractor who has to put it all together. He/They are the ones who have to get the site surveyed correctly, the hole dug for the foundation, and then the forms built and poured for it all. Framers, insulators, plumbers, electricians, insulators, and all sorts of tradespeople and craftspeople have to work on this project. Lots and lots of building supplies are needed. Whether it is a big building or a house, each requires a lot of tradespeople and craftspeople and also supplies and materials. Are you aware that today's readings actually show us a similar construction plan for the church?

READ MORE

The Good Shepherd

05-01-2020Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

During these weeks that all of us are trying to cooperate as closely as possible with the Directives of “stay at home” and “social distancing”, our daily life can get a little too close and people can get a little too sensitive. Usually behavior that can be let go can sometimes, can become a major irritant. The friction of being together so much and not having our regular life can cause all sorts of problems. We can forget about the larger common good and go back to the regular narcissistic orientated culture that we had lived in and functioned in each day “What is best for me is really best for everyone.”

READ MORE