We All Need to Be Prophets

09-30-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

When we think about it a bit, we come to realize that the great Liberator Moses was a surprising leader in many, many ways. Unlike most senior leadership people, this great man did not desire the role in the first place and he did not get to pick his assistant. God selected Aaron for him. It appears that Moses was humble enough to accept help from any source or person. Moses also had the additional help and gift from God of the seventy elders, for example, who received the gift of God’s spirit, which made it possible for them to prophesy.


What Jesus Proclaims as Success

09-23-2018Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

We all know the saying “Success is often in the eye of the beholder.” The Gospel this weekend speaks to what Jesus proclaims as success. Keep this in mind as you reflect on the scriptures.

Our first reading, from the Book of Wisdom, speaks about the trials the “just one” must endure. In the story the plotters resent the person who dares point out their mistakes. They clearly ponder if the just one would stand for God and against threats of condemnation and death. We consider this to be a prediction of the Passion, which Jesus himself announces in today’s Gospel reading. We note that this is Jesus’ second prediction of his passion in the Gospel of Mark.


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.


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.


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.