Life and Mission

02-10-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Our language—in particular certain words—contains contradictory meanings. Context helps us to understand what the word really means. “Terrific” comes from the word that means “terror”, but terrific does not mean that at all. It means exciting, wonderful, that which draws us all in, but still leaves us nervous or wary of some unknown. We often describe an experience as terrific. We are drawn all the way in, but there is still that edge of fear. This weekend’s scripture has to do with transcendence, which is “terrific” in the dual meaning of drawing us in and also making us nervous and afraid.

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Reflect God's Love

02-03-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

I often think, and occasionally say, that “the obvious is not that obvious.” Indeed the obvious is so easy to miss seeing. We can miss what is exactly right in front us. Sometimes it is because we are not seeing what we expect and other times because we expect to see what is in front of us someplace else! We often do not believe what is in front of us is real. Today with all the changes in digitization and ultra HD monitors, etc., it is very hard sometimes to perceive what is actually real in front of us. Also, sometimes it would be easy, but we do not put the effort in to think. In today’s Gospel, we should not at all be shocked or surprised by the failure of the people in Jesus’ hometown. After all, he was so very obvious and right in front ofthem. They, unfortunately, only saw Jesus as a neighbor and not as the bearer of salvation. The question does arise of who do we see really Jesus to be.

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To Be a Follower of Jesus

01-27-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

From our Bible History classes in Religious Education (CCD or Catholic School), we may remember that Nehemiah and Ezra were the two major rebuilders of the Israelite people after the Babylonian exile. Nehemiah was then governor, the political leader. Ezra, a priest and descendent of Aaron, was the agent responsible for the restoration of the people’s religious life. We learn in our first reading this weekend that Ezra has gathered the nation to hear the holy Law and to renew the Sinai covenant.

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The Christian Art of Deep Compassion

01-20-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Have you noticed that ever so slightly there is more daylight now? Yes, we are at the worst of winter temperatures for the next three weeks, but we are in a better pattern of increasing daylight. As we are all aware, Christmas occurs in the darkest days of winter. Its calendar origin is in its placement at the end of the three-day feast of the old Roman Feast of Lights. As Christ is often referred to as “the light that came into the world”, this celebrationof Christ, the Light in the midst of darkness is most poignant and powerful.

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Live in the Light of Christ

01-13-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

We begin this Sunday with the return to the ordinary schedule of Sundays with this Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Note that the beginning of the public ministry and life of Jesus occurred with his baptism in the River Jordan and that is why we begin our ordinary Sunday time of the church year with this feast. In fact, in the three synoptic (eyewitness point of view) Gospels, namely Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this scene of the Baptism of the Lord is the first common story for all that launches the Ministry and Mission of Jesus in direct and clear ways. Ironically, as baptism signaled the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and life of faith, it also signals the beginning of ours as well.

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Open Our Doors in Welcome

01-06-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

I noticed in the news that books are a major source of gifts for Christmas. Many, many of those gifted books are biographies or auto-biographies. There is a fascination for us about the lives of others, how they lived, what they felt or thought, and ultimately knowing the secrets of their lives. Sometimes we even compare our story to theirs. Our journey may be quieter or less grand, but still we know that the human pathways of living are somewhat similar. Epiphany is an important story for us to hear of a road taken by astrologers, passing strangers who venture forth because of their hopes and dreams. In many ways this story is also ours.

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Capital Campaign Update Jan 2, 2019

01-02-2019Capital Campaign