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

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 03.30.15 |

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]

Aquinas: The Biblical Approach of the Model Catholic Theologian


Today is the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas! In honor of that, I thought I’d cover some ground I’ve been over before, namely, Thomas’ role as a model of Catholic theology and his primary focus on Scripture. Perhaps most striking—at least to some—is Thomas’ insistence on the priority of the literal-historical sense of Scripture.

In short, for Thomas Theology is a Scriptural enterprise. Since he’s…  [Continue Reading]

“Come, Receive Grain and Eat”:

The Feeding of the Five Thousand, the Eucharist, and the Hope of Israel
(18th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 07.31.14 |

Feeding 5000

This Sunday the readings highlight the way the Kingdom of God is present sacramentally. Specifically, hopes for the restoration of Israel are linked to a miracle of Jesus, the feeding of the five thousand, which is clearly understood eucharistically.

I’ll be speaking on this topic this weekend at the Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas. Hope to see some of you there!

FIRST READING: Isa 55:1-3…  [Continue Reading]

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]

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]

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