What is Good Discipleship in Jesus?

09-12-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The overarching theme of the readings this weekend is “what is good discipleship in Jesus.” The Suffering Servant is the image which launches our scriptural readings. This servant is a symbol for Israel. The servant’s faith never wavered despite the blows, insults and sufferings that were imposed. The servant knew that his faith had to do with the future. His faith had a most noble and just purpose, and life and energy were not to be wasted.

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See Anew and Be Renewed

09-09-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

In speaking, the prophet Isaiah uses contrasts. The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the one who cannot move will win foot races, the one who is without words will be full of words - songs even. The very land itself will come alive: sands will be watered, deserts will flower. Our Gospel passage matches this. For through Jesus, God’s power reverses the condition of the man (symbol for anyone) who cannot hear and therefore cannot speak.

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Honest Expressions of Respect and Love

09-02-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

We know from studying epidemiology that more knights in shining metal armor died because of the very dangerous armor itself than from combat injury. The shining armor was so constricting, so suffocating, and so cumbersome that the knight would be overcome by heat exhaustion and drop dead of a heart attack. We can forget that at times the usually good rules and customs of a people can become a deadly suit of armor. They can cause the death of a person’s heart. And Jesus knew this.

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A Clear Decision to Serve the Lord

08-26-2018Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

In our first reading from the Old Testament, Joshua has made a choice, a clear decision, to serve the Lord and now invites the people to do the same. They also affirm their fidelity. This stopping at Shechem marks a definitive end to the desert journey and start of a very new beginning. They now cross and enter into the Promised Land with a new life before them. The second reading addresses a life immediately after it has begun. The marital imagery helps us to understand that life is lived in loving relationships.

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Saint Rocco Festival and Feast

08-19-2018Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

This past weekend brought to conclusion the “in the field” Feast of Saint Rocco. On this Fortieth Anniversary of the Feast we are making a transition to a different way of celebrating in faith the Feast of Saint Rocco. As the original founders have told me many times “we started this as a faith and parish event, not as a money maker.” We are going to continue this beautiful heritage of faith and community each August in the coming years with a special Mass of Healing through the Intercession of Saint Rocco for all those who seeks his assistance in seeking healing and hope with a special Luncheon for those guests who are usually sick, ill, homebound or physically limited, much like “the Mass in the field” on the Saturday of Rocco weekend.

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Do We Know How Great This “Bread of Life” is?

08-12-2018Pastoral Reflections

Saint Rocco: This morning at 10:30am we welcome Fr. Frank Campo, formerly a Parochial Vicar here at Saint Mary’s as the main celebrant of our Closing Mass of the Saint Rocco Festival. Almost ten years ago, Fr. Frank obtained for our Parish a relic of Saint Rocco. Every year since he gave this holy gift to our Parish, we have used this relic at the special Mass of Anointing and Healing “in the field” and at the Closing Prayer Ceremony at the outdoor statue of Saint Rocco.

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The Bread of Life

08-05-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

From our first reading, we learn that things were not going that well for the Israelites in the desert after God had set them free from Egypt. Following their pattern, when things got bad, they complained to God. He heard them and sent them foodstuffs, quail, and manna from heaven. They, however, were not satisfied and questioned God. Moses, smartly pointed out to them that the manna was the answer to their prayers.

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