The Gift of Peace

05-22-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

We learn in the Gospel of this weekend that Jesus gave his apostles the gift of peace. When trying to describe this gift of peace and what peace is, we learn that it is not a lack of disagreement and is more than a feeling of tranquility. When we discover that Jesus used the word shalom and that it means the fullness of the messianic blessing which is salvation, our understanding radically shifts. This gift of peace is a special gift from God and it suffuses the apostle’s hearts on the night before Jesus died.

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05-20-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

During this wonderful season, we all take delight in congratulating our young and (even older) people who are graduating from school. Completing educational or vocation programs is a major achievement in life. For most folks, this is the closing of a chapter of special growth and starting a new chapter in life. For some of the graduates, they will continue on to higher education whether it be a Bachelor’s Degree or a Graduate Degree and for some a specialized learning for a skill or role, and also for others it will mean their first “job”  in their chosen profession or work area and in addition for others, it is an advancement in their work position.

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Light of Christ Always Overcomes the Darkness of Life.

05-15-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

There are lots of “farewells” or “goodbyes” in life. There are the simple ones of every day when we leave home, work or a place where we meet other people. We never really think about what this “good bye” may mean. It is often simply said as the proper polite words as one leaves. We never think this may be for some extraordinary reason the last time we actually see and say “good bye” to that person. Most of us know the hurt and sorrow that comes from saying a final “goodbye” to someone we have loved. Saying “goodbye” to a dying spouse, parent, child, brother, sister, or any relative or friend can be most painful. This weekend our Gospel passage is about the “farewell” or “good bye” of Jesus. It is in fact a long discourse or passage. This “farewell” is actually an accumulation of many of the sayings and words of Jesus and placed at the Last Supper All of this passage is the last testament of Jesus before He died on the cross.

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05-13-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,

I understand late this week we will be enjoying temperatures around 80 degrees. How wonderful those days will feel after the cold and long winter we all endured. Being New Englanders we sort of lean into winter and accept it, but I think many of us yearn for the sunny and warm days of summer. Having the four seasons with their ups and downs and their extremes, we become philosophic people. Living in New England with its weather helps make us people who have substance and strength. I suspect also the unexpected and also both sudden and rapid changes in our weather through the year helps us to face change and unpredictability in life. With our faith as a foundation in life, we are able to live life with some peace of heart and strength of person.

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Announce the “Good News” of our salvation in Jesus Christ

05-08-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Unfortunately in our contemporary society, shepherds are seen as “romantic figures” that gently and happily care for sheep on mountainsides. The extreme danger, painful isolation, and great risks which existed for shepherds in the time of Jesus cannot be appreciated by us today. When we hear the words of Jesus about shepherds, we need to shift our understanding of what a shepherd is to the common understanding which existed over two thousand years ago. Shepherds were courageous, ever vigilant, and self-sacrificing for their flock.

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05-06-2022Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Mary Parish,
Last weekend’s First Communion Mass was quite spiritual and touching. I am certain this weekend’s First Communion Mass will be as moving and beautiful. Attending First Communion certainly fills our hearts with beauty and joy. The brilliant sunlight and warmth of the air with the blossoming shrubs and trees provided a larger setting of beauty for all of us. Pray for the children’s parents that they be models and examples of faith to their children. Parents are the primary teachers of their children and what they say and do, or fail to say or do truly matters in their children’s lives.

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How well am I responsible for being a Follower of Jesus Christ?

05-01-2022Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

The major theme of the scriptures this weekend is about authority, in that all authority comes from God. It is made clear in the Old Testament reading that only God ruled over Israel and the kings held authority as a delegate of God. Sadly many of the kings of Israel forgot this simple truth. We also learn of the power and authority of Jesus in his ministry among the people. He certainly displayed unique power and authority. According to Matthew, the Gospel writer, when He says his “farewell”, He reminds them that “all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me” and that He now instructs his disciples to go “make disciples of all the nations”.

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