by Bishop Robert Barron . December 9, 2007 .
John the Baptist sums up the Advent season. He lives in the desert, the place of no distraction, and he speaks a message of repentance and the confession of sin. Advent is a great time to clear away all that separates us from Christ. It is a time of repentance.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 2, 2007 .
Advent is from the latin word adventus, which means coming or arrival. Some arrivals are positive; others are downright threatening. The Gospel for today paints a somewhat dark picture of the coming of the Son of Man, likening it to the flood of Noah. When Christ comes, we have to change, and that's often wrenching.
The Inexhaustibly Fascinating Figure of Mary
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 24, 2006 .
On the final Sunday of Advent, the Church invites us to consider the inexhaustibly fascinating figure of Mary. The Mother of God is a figure of faithful Israel, the people who for so many centuries waited for the coming of the Messiah. She is, accordingly, the new Eve, the new Moses, the true Isaiah and Ezekiel. In meditating upon her, we come to a deeper appreciation of the Christ she bore.
What Should We Do?
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 17, 2006 .
Our Gospel for today centers around a question that is bracing in its directness and simplicity. A group of people come to the Baptist and ask "what should we do?" The spiritual life is about a set of behaviors and practices, focused, as John the Baptist specifies, around the work of justice.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 10, 2006 .
In our first reading for this week, we hear the prophet Baruch predicting the return of the children of Israel to Zion. God will level the mountains and fill in the valleys so as to make a highway for them. In the Gospel, John the Baptist announces a similar preparation for a similar return, but this time it is the return of Israel from the exile of sin and death, facilitated by the coming of the Messiah.
The Second Coming
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 3, 2006 .
The readings for this first Sunday of Advent focus, not on the historical coming of Jesus at Bethlehem, but rather at his eschatological coming at the end of time. Knowing that all of history tends toward and culminates in Jesus changes radically the way we live now.
David and Mary
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 18, 2005 .
For the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church asks us to juxtapose stories of David and Mary. David decides that he wants to build a temple for the Lord, but God does not favor his plan; Mary hears what God wants to do through her, and she acquiesces. It is always a matter of following the promptings of the divine will and not our own desires, even when we are convinced that those desires are good and holy. Thomas Merton said, "Lord, the fact that I think I'm following your will doesn't mean that I am in fact doing so..." That acknowledgement takes great humility and spiritual perception.
To Heal the Brokenhearted
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 11, 2005 .
Our first reading for this Sunday is an especially sacred one in the Christian tradition, for it was precisely this passage from Isaiah that Jesus chose to comment upon when he first rose to speak at the beginning of his public ministry. Using Isaiah's imagery, Jesus spells out for us the meaning and purpose of his work: to heal the brokenhearted, to declare liberty to captives, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.
The Gospel of Jesus
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 4, 2005 .
In the very first line of his Gospel, St. Mark tells us that he is going to share with us Good News, Glad Tidings, about Jesus, the Son of God. In many ways, the rest of the text is but a playing out of the implications of that statement. In this homily, I explore the meaning of the phrase "Good News" in connection with Jesus.
O How We Need a Savior
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 27, 2005 .
Lent is, of course, a penitential season, but Advent is as well. We get in touch with our sinfulness during Advent precisely because we want to prepare ourselves for the coming of a Savior. If there is nothing to be saved from, then there is no point in rejoicing at the arrival of Jesus the Lord. The prophet Isaiah offers us a number of powerful images for sin in our first reading for this Sunday. It behooves us, as an Advent spiritual exercise, to meditate on them.