Whole Again

03-31-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Are you aware that our faith tradition, the Judeo-Christian tradition, is historically based in many, but not all ways. When we think about it, the written words of the bible help trace and express the development of our relationship and experience with God. This particular way makes us distinct from a singularly nature-based religious tradition. This weekend our scripture very much deals with the issue of nature and the arrival of Spring at the vernal equinox. The scripture is addressing the newness of life which occurs around this time. On this day of true balance, daylight and darkness are equal, and each day thereafter, the daylight is greater than the darkness. This is Spring for us and this is the time for nature to recreate the dormant world. For many of us this is also a time for the re-creation of our human spirit. Lent is now half way through and we can sense that we are becoming part of a new creation as our Spring starts to suggest.


Reach out with Mercy

03-24-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

Our Church theological view is that as Christians we are a people who survive on the mercy of God, not solely on our own merit. In this papacy Pope Francis proclaims mercy in its various modes as our motto and also to be lived in our daily lives. Mercy must be the singular hall-mark of all who follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. For Christians, mercy must become our point of view in looking at our world. This certainly does not mean looking at the world and offering shallow sympathy. Instead, it means looking at our world and embracing it, living in it with its struggles and sufferings, and showing compassionate kindness to one and all.


Experience Transformation

03-17-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The pre-story of this Old Testament reading is that Abram is greatly despairing because he and Sara are unable to have children. God now answers him, inviting Abram outside to view the beauty of the night sky. There, bathed in the starlight, God speaks and offers an unbelievable covenant to Abram. This is a strong and dramatic contrast to the usual covenant. The covenants of that time required the weak to be obligated to the powerful; in this special covenant, the great and all-powerful God is willingly obligated to the very powerless Abram. Note how God also makes it crystal clear that Abram does not have to do anything to earn God’s generosity. Indeed the only true requirements that Abram has to have are faith and trust that God will act on his behalf. Notice the balance: God promises, Abram trusts—thus the covenant is fulfilled.


A Gift from God

03-10-2019Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian F. Manning

The Season of Lent has begun with this Sunday and the readings address the major topic of the need for faith in our lives. The theme is in many ways trust in God as a strength, for we can rely on Him. Indeed, the message is simple and clear, but hard and difficult to live: trust in our God and do your best and all will work out accordingly.

Our Old Testament reading drives home the constant mantra of the Israelites that their God would never forget or abandon them no matter what they have done or failed to do. He will also rescue them when they call upon him for help. These lines of scripture today are critical to the Jewish faith and also are included in the Passover Haggadah.