Who do you say that I am?

08-27-2017Pastoral ReflectionsFather Brian Manning

Our readings from the Old Testament and our Gospel this weekend both focus on the role of the one who holds the keys, or more so today the one who knows the passwords. We learn in our first scripture reading that Shebna, the holder of the palace keys at the capital, is in deep trouble because Isaiah delivers the bad news that Shebna is not a trustworthy. Isaiah tells him clearly that he will be thrust down and a new keeper will replace him. What caused Shebna's downfall was that he went along with the king's decision to form military alliances with other nations. This was expressly counter to the will of the Lord, for the joining of nations meant many bad things. It meant ultimately the dilution of the religion of Israel, the introduction of other gods and most importantly the betrayal of the covenant established on Mount Sinai and renewed with David. Thus the symbols of the office - the robe, sash, and key - would be placed on another's shoulders according to Isaiah. Bear in mind that the key of the House of David recalls the Davidic covenant, which would last forever.


God is about openness and welcome.

08-20-2017Pastoral ReflectionsFather Brian Manning

This weekend's scriptural passages makes it very clear to us that we all are "strangers" who are indebted for our "chosen-ness" to God's openness and all-inclusive love Indeed God calls all of us and we are exclusive to Him. By our every being, we are not exclusive and better than other people

The reading from Isaiah reminds us about "insiders" and "outsiders." It reminds us that sal­vation is not based on membership in a chosen club or people, but instead depends on a person's attitude of faith. Anyone and everyone who embraces the faith of Israel will receive the salvation God has promised. God does not exclude. God is all about openness and welcome. God's house is indeed called "a house of prayer for all peoples."


The Transfiguration of the Lord

08-06-2017Pastoral ReflectionsFather Brian Manning

From literature, from the theatre, from the cinema or from our own personal experience, we know that some experience can happen that will be a major or a transforming influence, This "happening" could have just recently or years ago, but its power and meaning are still strongly in our memories and in our lives. The great event is long over, but its influence and power remains until today and will be with us in our future. Today's Gospel story about the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor is certainly one of these experiences that will remain active in the memories and lives of the apostles. As they live life and dream about the future and remember the past, the insights and understandings that they will have and gain will sustain them throughout the many days of their lives.