Preparing for the Resurrection

03-28-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

Our church uses the image of a "journey" during the Lenten Season. We are traveling to Jerusalem for the great events of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. During this journey we come to understand that the Passion and Death of Jesus is a necessary part of the journey and that we must share in these events in order to come to the full meaning and power of Easter Sunday and the Resurrection. We must in a significant way share in the Passion of Jesus Christ, if we are to share in His Resurrection. Although we share only in a symbolic way, it is also real and authentic for us. Our sharing requires us to go through the struggle and passion of letting go in particular of our natural narcissistic and egocentric desires, of always taking without giving, and of false pride and delusions. The great Passion of Christ calls us to become vulnerable as Jesus was vulnerable, to be actively open to being compassionate without understanding, to forgive rather than to measure and seek revenge, to advocate for unity not division and separation, and also to give ourselves over completely to live authentically.

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In the Living Heart of God

03-21-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We often have “church or religion words” that we do not use in ordinary everyday life. Church leadership tends to think that everyone knows them and their meaning, but in fact specialty words are specialty words and are not normally comprehended words or concepts. For ex- ample, the church leadership thinks that every Catholic should understand the issue of Divine Presence according to scholastic medieval philosophy. People do not. Communication needs to be clear and comprehensible and oftentimes church concepts and language are not. This is very similar to the world of computers and software and in particular the people who build, run, and maintain all this arcane and distinctive machinery and computer code. The computer world speaks about concepts with a language that most people do not really understand, but the leaders in technology expect us to comprehend. Just try and use an instruction manual! Or worse: the help question on a computer screen!

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Moving Forward

03-19-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

We are quickly approaching Palm Sunday and Holy Week. In fact, next Sunday is Palm Sunday. Our Schedule of Services and Masses has been planned in light of the restrictions of the Pandemic and the Archdiocesan Protocols and Rules and also the successful pattern of Parishioner attendance and involvement on Christmas and Ash Wednesday in our Parish.

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God Loves Us First

03-14-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In the Catholic and Christian Churches, we write and talk about Salvation so much. We announce to people that Salvation is impossible completely to comprehend and describe. We say that Salvation is an unconditional and no strings attached gift of love from God. It is really the gift of love from our God to us who have not earned this gift. In fact, this gift actually transforms our earthly life.

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A Pair of Feasts

03-12-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

Growing up in Roslindale (Boston) and attending Sacred Heart Elementary School meant that this coming week was a great week for a school student. The Feasts of Saint Patrick and Saint Joseph were both school holidays, and often the day in-between was given off. What a prize: a three-day holiday! I am not certain how my mother felt about this three day recess for us, but as students we were delighted.

I think this year with the remote and hybrid learning that most young people are experiencing for education, we as students would probably not be too happy. The prolonged isolation of young people one from another and the clear limitations of learning “by screen” would make most young people want to be in school.

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Jesus: The New Dwelling of God

03-07-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In Catholic or Christian theology, we use the word “Revelation” frequently when we are thinking about or discussing God and life. This word comes from the Latin language which uses the preface “re” to reverse the meaning of the main part of the word. Instead of covering up, it means showing. God and his sacred Word are revealed to us, i.e. God and his message are shown to us.

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A Different, but Still Fruitful Lent

03-05-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's, It is good to hear that most of our first responders and COVID face-to-face Care Givers along with many of the vulnerable folks have received their first, if not second vaccination. I know that for everyone who wants a vaccination this will take a long time for there are over 6,000,000 people in the State and also almost 36,000 in our Town of Franklin. It is also quite good that we are now starting the first week of March and better weather will soon be upon us. Winter has not ended, but the warming sunlight of Spring is not too far away. The Pandemic and all the restrictions that we have will not disappear soon, nor will life be back to “normal” any time soon, but life will be easier for we know that our weather will be getting better.

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