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The Sending of the Spirit, “Another Advocate”: Readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 05.22.14 |

Paul Laying Hands

We are about the celebrate the last Sunday before the Feast of Pentecost. The lectionary readings for this Sunday, therefore, are meant to lead us to reflect on different aspects of the Spirit’s work.

This Sunday’s readings are also important for understanding Catholic sacramental theology, in particular, the sacrament of confirmation. Indeed, confirmation (or chrismation) is closely linked to Pentecost.…  [Continue Reading]

“The Good Shepherd”: The Readings for the Fourth Sunday after Easter

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 05.06.14 |

Good Shepherd Catacombs

This Sunday the lectionary turns our attention to John 10, where Christ describes himself as both the “door” of the sheepfold and (perhaps more famously) as the good shepherd.

These two images are key to understanding the selection of the first and second readings, which focus on (1) Peter’s speech, highlighting the way salvation is found in Christ and (2) a reading from 1 Peter which climaxes in…  [Continue Reading]

Thomas Aquinas on John 6:53 (“the flesh is of no avail”)

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 02.26.14 |

St. Thomas Aquinas with Pen

The Bread of Life discourse in John 6 has Jesus emphasize over and over again that it is necessary for believers to “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood”.

Is this passage about the Eucharist?

There are good reasons for thinking so. First, the imagery of “eating” Jesus’ “flesh” and “drinking” his “blood” seems closely linked with the Last Supper, the only other place where such language is clearly…  [Continue Reading]

Historical Questions about the Resurrection of Jesus: Special Easter Post and Podcast

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 04.02.13 |

Jesus Resurrection

St. Paul makes it clear that Resurrection is an essential aspect of Christian faith. He states,

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.” (1 Cor 15:16–19).
The importance of this feast is also reiterated…  [Continue Reading]

Ratzinger on Scripture and Revelation:

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 03.11.13 |

God's Word

“. . . you can have Scripture without having revelation. For revelation always and only becomes a reality where there is faith. The nonbeliever remains under the veil of which Paul speaks in the third chapter of his Second Letter to the Corinthians. He can read Scripture and know what is in it, can even understand at a purely intellectual level, what is meant and how what is said hangs together—and yet he has not shared in the revelation. Rather, revelation has only arrived where, in addition to the material assertions witnessing to it, its inner reality has itself become effective after the manner of faith. Consequently, the person who receives it also is a part of the revelation to a certain degree, for without him it does not exist. You cannot put revelation in your pocket like a book you carry around with you. It is a living reality that requires a living person as the locus of its presence.

—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “The Question of the Concept of Tradition: A Provisional Response,” originally published in Offenbarung und Überlieferung (Revelation and Tradition, [1965]), republished in God’s Word: Scripture—Tradition—Office (eds. P. Hünermann and T. Söding; trans. H. Taylor; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008), 52. [emphasis added]

Leroy Huizenga on Hildegard of Bingen, a New Doctor of the Church

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 01.15.13 |

TSP Podcast Logo

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI made headlines when he added a new name to the official list of figures given the title “Doctor of the Church”: St. Hildegard of Bingen. Who was she? Why did the Holy Father choose to declare her a doctor of the Church at this time?

In this episode of The Sacred Page Podcast I am joined with Leroy Huizenga who has done a good deal of work on St. Hildegard.  At the Society…  [Continue Reading]

The Heavenly Liturgy in Judaism, the New Testament and the Eucharistic Celebration

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 07.16.12 |

CBD2

I’m currently teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses on Liturgical Theology and so I’ve been doing a lot of work in the study of worship. In the most recent podcast of “The Sacred Page” I thought I’d share some thoughts on the topic.

In the first Eucharistic Prayer of the Catholic Mass, the priest makes reference to an altar in heaven: “command that these gifts be borne by the hands of your…  [Continue Reading]

Jesus as Prophet, His Prophetic Signs and the Last Supper (Podcast and Outline)

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 07.09.12 |

TSP Podcast Logo

In this episode I look at Jesus’ role as a prophet, a much overlooked aspect of his ministry. In addition, I look at the role of “prophetic acts”, other first-century Jewish figures, and, for good measure, the Last Supper. This is podcast is jam-packed.

Click here for a .pdf of the outline with all the references cited. Note the extensive footnotes. I covered much of this material in my doctoral dissertation, so this is an area in which I’ve done a lot of work.


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  • Dr. Michael Barber