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 […]


Third Sunday of Easter

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] In this third week of Easter, the implications of the resurrection continue to unfold. In his Pentecost speech at the beginning of Acts, Peter affirms for the startled crowd that Jesus the Nazarene […]


Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy)

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter present us with three images of the fledgling church that emerged after the resurrection. Each reading illumines different aspects of our new life in Christ. […]


The Resurrection of the Lord: The Mass of Easter Day

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] Now in Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ – the vindication of God’s servant and Messiah and the promise of our own resurrection and life in the world the come. Christ is […]


Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] On Passion Sunday, we are confronted with images of profound suffering and degradation. Yet from the midst of the pain and humiliation emerges an image of Christ – and thus the God he […]


Fifth Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] The story of the raising of Lazarus begins with an odd statement: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two […]


Fourth Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] So far this Lent many of the Sunday readings have focused on death and God’s promise of new life. Freedom from bondage to sin, fertility from barrenness, water in a rocky wilderness: these […]


Third Sunday of Lent

[Excerpted from the March/April 2017 issue; by John R. Barker, OFM, a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint John the Baptist] This week we find ourselves with Israel in the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has made good on the promise to deliver their children from […]