December 10, 2017 – Second Sunday of Advent

[by Barbara Shanahan] Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85: 9-10, 11-12, 13-14; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1: 1-8 Beginnings and endings give a shape to the readings for this week. How timely as we end an old year and begin a new one. How often in life are endings just new beginnings and beginnings clear endings […]


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 […]


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 […]


Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] Scripture, faith, and life do not allow us to stay long in any one place. This pattern of change and growth is evident in the readings for today’s celebration. We pick […]



Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] What did Moses see when God passed before him? God came down in a cloud, but no description is given. The account related in the reading from Exodus takes place well […]


Pentecost

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] What one can readily sense in each of the readings for this Pentecost Sunday is the transformative effects of the Spirit-presence on individuals and the assembled church. It is a pure […]


Ascension Sunday

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] A statue of the resurrected Christ would appear in the sanctuary of the parish church after Easter. For the feast of the Ascension, billowing clouds of cotton batten would form the […]


Sixth Sunday of Easter

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] What is it that convinces us of the truth another speaks or convinces us of the credibility and authenticity of the person’s witness? Is it that we sense a deep-seated conviction, […]


Fifth Sunday of Easter

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] “The only constant in life is change.” We have heard this bit of proverbial wisdom and likely handed it on to others. Life, growth, and change are part of a cyclical […]


Fourth Sunday of Easter

[Excerpted from the May/June 2017 issue; by Barbara Shanahan, an alumna of CTU, who has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992] The faith of the early church took shape gradually. Early Christians wrestled with understanding who Jesus was in ways that we do not. To find meaning, they looked to the tradition […]