Falling in Love With God
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 3, 2005 .
So many of us skeptical moderns--intellectual heirs of Descartes-- identify with doubting Thomas. We too struggle with faith, ask tough questions, want proof. And to some degree, this is praiseworthy. But the trouble with systematic and persistent doubt is that it precludes the possibility of love, for love is always a surrender. "How blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed," because they have allowed themselves to fall in love with Jesus Christ.
The Infinite Thirst
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 27, 2005 .
We are made for God, and therefore our hearts are restless until they rest in him. This longing is symbolized in the thirst of the woman at the well. Directing her away from all earthly goods, Jesus draws her to himself: "I will give you water springing up to eternal life." We hear the same invitation to the font of grace.
Light of the World, Salt of the Earth
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 6, 2005 .
The purpose of the Church is essentially extraverted. It exists for the sake of sanctifying the world. Thus Jesus tells his followers to be light for the world--that which illumines and clarifies the deepest truth of things--and salt for the earth--that which preserves, spices up and frees what is best in creation. We are most fully ourselves when we are a beacon for everyone else.
They Abandoned Everything
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 23, 2005 .
Our Gospel passage for today, taken from the 4th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, recounts the story of the call of the first disciples. When they encounter Jesus, the Capharnaum fishermen drop everything and follow him. This represents the compelling nature of Jesus' call: nothing is more important than conforming oneself to the Word made flesh.
Called, Set Apart, Sent
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 16, 2005 .
Cultural commentator Robert Bellah has characterized the typical American approach to religion as individualistic and driven by the desire for personal fulfillment. But this type of religiosity is inimical to the Biblical vision. Just listen to the opening line of our reading from Paul's first letter to the Corinthians: "Paul, called by God's will to be an apostle of Christ Jesus." Paul is not actualizing his own agenda, but rather utterly turning himself over to the higher authority who has called him, claimed him, and sent him.
Magi Came From the East
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 2, 2005 .
We see in the visit of the Magi to the Christ child the first hint of the internationalism of Christianity. Precisely because Jesus is the Word made flesh, the very personal presence of God, he speaks to all nations and all peoples. The Christian message is meant to overcome all of the petty divisions that characterize the human race: "In Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no man or woman."
Celibacy: An Eschatological Sign
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 7, 2004 .
There are celibates in the church because of what Jesus said in our Gospel for today. In the world to come, the Savior specified, people will not marry or be given in marriage but will rather be like angels, experiencing a communion so intense and complete that even the richest communion here below will be as nothing. It is according to God's providence, therefore, that there be certain people who, even now, live in accord with that eschatological hope. This is why the celibacy of priests and religious is a gift for the whole people of God.
Will the Son of Man Find Faith on the Earth?
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 17, 2004 .
Our Gospel for this week ends with one of the most haunting lines in the New Testament. Jesus says, "when the Son of man returns, will he find faith on the earth?" The Christian faith has faded away, even in lands where it was once vibrant: Egypt, Turkey, North Africa, etc. Will it endure in Western Europe, in our country? The cultivation of the faith is obviously God's work first, but it is also ours. What are we doing to make sure that the Christian Gospel is successfully passed on to the next generation?
No Cowardly Spirit
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 3, 2004 .
We hear this week from St. Paul's second letter to Timothy. Paul, the old warrior, is passing on to his young disciple words of advice and encouragement. He tells Timothy that he has received "no cowardly spirit," but rather a spirit of boldness and confidence. Throughout the ages, in the saints and the martyrs, we have seen evidence of this courageous spirit that comes from the risen Christ. Did you know that the 20th century had more Christian martyrs than any other century? We can all still benefit from Paul's words.
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 26, 2004 .
We hear from the prophet Amos in our first reading for this Sunday. Amos stands at the very beginning of the great prophetic tradition of social justice. He sees that the very heart of the law is our collective concern for the orphan, the widow, the stranger, and the needy. This emphasis is continued in the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and it comes to particularly rich expression in the words of Jesus the prophet. We must listen with attention to Amos and allow ourselves to be deeply challenged by him.