Come, Holy Spirit
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 30, 2004 .
The two great symbols of the descent of the Holy Spirit are wind and tongues of fire. Wind is powerful, unpredictable, destructive, like the Spirit which seizes us and takes us where we would rather not go. Tongues of fire signal impassioned speech on behalf of the Good News, a willingness to announce the Gospel publicly and even in the face of opposition. With the whole church around the world, we pray on this great feast of Pentecost for the coming of that troublesome and wonderful Holy Spirit.
Being in Christ
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 9, 2004 .
Last week we looked at the life and times of Paul, the person who, after Jesus himself, is the most influential figure in the formation of the Christian church. In this week's sermon, I look briefly at Paul's central teaching, which I identify as "being in Christ." The phrase "en Christo," in Christ, appears 83 times in the letters of Paul, indicating how central it is to the Apostle's teaching and preaching. Christ Jesus is a new energy field, a new power, a new way of being, and the idea, as far as Paul is concerned, is to get into it--so that ultimately you can say, with him, "it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
The Lesson of the Prodigal Son
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 21, 2004 .
Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most memorable, carefully crafted, and inspiring stories ever told. In some ways, the whole of the Christian "thing" is summed up in this narrative. We have a God who invites us into the dynamism of his own life, and who relentlessly pursues us even when, in our stupidity and sin, we refuse to respond to the invitation.
The Adventure of Faith
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 7, 2004 .
We have a God of adventure, a God who is always out ahead of us. Faith, in the Biblical sense of the term, is not primarily the acquiesence to propositions; rather, it is an attitude of trust in the God who calls us beyond ourselves. We witness this faith in Abraham's willingness to follow where God leads, and we see it too in the disciples' willingness to follow Jesus on the path toward the cross. Do we settle for what we know and control, or do we venture into the darkness, trusting in what God promises? This is the great question that our readings for the second Sunday of Lent propose to us.
The Lessons of Nehemiah
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 25, 2004 .
Our first reading for this week is taken from the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Nehemiah returned from exile in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and to preside over the reconstitution of the Israelite nation. The Church, the new Israel, is a people with an identity grounded in tradition, law, word, and sacrament. When we allow those foundations to be destroyed, we are in danger of losing ourselves.
The Great Wedding
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 18, 2004 .
The prophet Isaiah expresses the conviction of ancient Israel that God wants to marry his people, which is to say, to share his life fully with them. This espousing God becomes flesh in Jesus and hence it is altogether appropriate that the Lord's first public sign in John's Gospel takes place at a wedding. He has come that we might have life and have it to the full. The ""good wine"" of the wedding feast at Cana is now the ""good wine"" of the Eucharist by which all of us become partakers of God's inner life
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 14, 2003 .
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice! Sunday. God is a community of joy and the purpose of creation and redemption is to share that joy. Everything in Christian life--from law and ritual to doctrine and moral praxis--is meant to lead us into deeper joy.
The Steadfast Love of God
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 7, 2003 .
Everything in nature, culture, and the cosmos is passing away. Nothing here below finally lasts. Though certainly sobering, this is not, ultimately, bad news, for it orients us toward the one power that does last: the steadfast love of God. In the Gospel for today, the Word of God comes not to the mighty and powerful of the world, but to John who is living a life of renunciation and prayer in the desert. How important this message is for the setting of our priorities.
The Rich Young Man
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 12, 2003 .
The Gospel story of the conversation between Jesus and the rich young man is one of John Paul II's favorites and is featured in many of his writings. The Pope sees three great moral themes in this narrative: the objectivity of the good, the indispensiblity of the commandments, and finally, the call to radical self-gift. The rich young man accepts the first two but balks at the third--and this is his tragedy. How radically are we willing to live the moral life? Will we follow Jesus, or walk away sad?