First Sunday of Advent (Year B)

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] Soon we will welcome a New Year. We celebrate and mark the procession of time by making resolutions to help us […]


Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] The title “King” weaves throughout Matthew’s Gospel: “Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? We have […]


Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] If we would search out one line of thought in the readings for this week it might be an answer to […]



Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] Take note of the way Lady Wisdom is described in today’s first reading! She is resplendent, desirable, and attentive. Finding her […]


Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.] The readings for this week form a kind of sandwich: the text from Malachi and the Gospel point up the negative […]


Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] Throughout the last several weeks, we have been exploring through the readings the theme of thinking and acting like God, allowing our minds to be transformed so that we conform ourselves […]


Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] In this week’s Gospel, Jesus does more than simply avoid being trapped by the Pharisees. He also provides us with a reminder about the relative power and importance of earthly rulers. […]


Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] The image this week is the eschatologial banquet, an image of abundance and well-being that signifies the absolute sovereignty of God and the ultimate salvation of his people “on that day.” […]


Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] We continue this week to explore the theme of God’s ways versus human ways and in particular the question of “fairness.” In the reading from Ezekiel, God responds to the accusation […]


Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] Last week’s readings suggested that when we allow our minds to be transformed so that we think as God does, we will have to make sacrifices. This week’s readings focus on […]


From the Editor – September/October 2017

People in public life ― actors, television personalities, politicians, and the like ― often keep their religious beliefs private or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes become outspoken critics of organized religion and its adherents. For this reason, it was refreshing to run across Sam Polcer’s interview of the noted British actor Ian […]


Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from Emmanuel. Brother John R. Barker, OFM, is a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.] Over the next few Sundays, the readings invite us to consider the theme of divine versus human ways of thinking […]


From the Editor – July/August 2017

In Evangelii Gaudium, his November 2013 apostolic exhortation on the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis sets forth a very clear vision of Christian service: “The Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their […]


From the Editor – May/June 2017

The first months of the Trump era have been “interesting.” Political rumblings emanate almost daily from Washington as the new national leadership attempts to define and implement a very different vision and priorities for the country. Among the things we have learned about the 45th President ― apart from his penchant for “tweetstorms,” governance by […]


From the Editor – March/April 2017

The church where I served for ten years as pastor in New York City regularly included Tenebrae in its Good Friday schedule. Early in the evening, as darkness fell, the pews filled with people who came to participate in this reflective service from the Church’s monastic tradition. Tenebrae, Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” consists of […]



From the Editor – November/December 2016

Thank you for subscribing to Emmanuel, “The Magazine of Eucharistic Spirituality,” in this Jubilee of Mercy. Remember that a gift subscription to Emmanuel makes a thoughtful Christmas gift for priests, deacons, religious, and Catholic laity. Sixteen and a half-years ago when Pope John Paul II canonized the Polish nun and mystic Maria Faustina Kowalska, Catholics […]


From the Editor – September/October 2016

Thank you for subscribing to Emmanuel, “The Magazine of Eucharistic Spirituality,” in this Jubilee of Mercy. In mid-May, I participated in the ordination liturgy of the Diocese of Cleveland at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist during which five deacons were ordained as priests. It was a beautiful celebration before an overflowing assembly. As […]


From the Editor – July/August 2016

Thank you for subscribing to Emmanuel, “The Magazine of Eucharistic Spirituality,” in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. Glenn Beck, the conservative radio host, television personality, political commentator, and author, once famously advised his listeners: “Look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church website. If you find it, run as fast as […]