The Risen Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 30, 2006 .
Luke paints a fascinating portrait of the risen Jesus in our Gospel for today. He stands in the midst of his disciples, gathering them as the new Israel; he shows them that he is densely, physically real, even going so far as to eat a piece of fish in their presence. Jesus is not a phantom or a dream or a disembodied ideal; he is a living person in whom we find peace.
Angels and Wild Beasts
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 5, 2006 .
Our readings for the first Sunday of Lent highlight the cosmic and universal nature of God's redemptive purpose. The covenant of Noah was made, not just with Noah and his family, but with "all living things." We see this universality on iconic display in the Gospel. Jesus goes into the desert and he is "waited on by angels and accompanied by wild beasts." Jesus' redemption affects all dimensions of creation, seen and unseen.
Giving God the Glory
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 12, 2006 .
In our second reading, St. Paul tells us to do everything--even such simple acts as eating and drinking--for the glory of God. We should make sure that the light shines, not on us, but on God. And here's the wonderful paradox: since God needs nothing, whatever we give to him comes back magnified to us. This is why the saints shine with a special radiance, a luminosity greater than anything they could have produced on their own.
A Baby Born in Straw Poverty
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 25, 2005 .
Recently, I read an interview with Bono, the lead singer of the group U2. Asked about his religious beliefs, he replied, "I think that there is a love and a logic that lies behind the universe. So I believe in God. I also see, as an artist, the poetic appropriateness of that unspeakable power manifesting itself as a baby born in straw poverty. And that's why I'm a Christian." My sermon for today is just an elaboration of Bono's wonderful Christmas sermon.
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.
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 2, 2005 .
In this striking parable of the vineyard, Jesus lays out both God's vision for the world as well as his plan of redemption. The Lord wants us to be fully and dynamically alive, and to assure that this happens, he gives us his only Son as a redeemer. In the course of my homily this week, I try to "decode" this wonderful story.
Walking on the Water
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 7, 2005 .
Often in the Bible, water functions as a symbol of chaos and sin: the waters at the beginning of creation, the waters of the Red Sea, the waters of Noah's flood, etc. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the abyss in the beginning, so the Son of God walks on the waves. This signals God's lordship over all of the forces of destruction that confront us. As long as we look to Jesus, we can walk on those same waters with him.
The Irresistable Word
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 10, 2005 .
Our first reading, from the prophet Isaiah, shows that God's word is not so much descriptive as creative: it produces what it says. In the very intelligibility of the material world, we can sense this reality-producing power. We can also sense it in the Biblical word, an invitation into divine friendship. But we encounter it most powerfully in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. To what extent do we permit this reality-changing Word to take root in us? That is the challenge of our readings for today.
The Conversion of Matthew
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 5, 2005 .
Our Gospel for this week is a literary and theological masterpiece. It subtly yet powerfully tells the story of the conversion of Matthew from tax collector to disciple. The call, the response, the rising up to a new form of existence, the radical re-creation of a human being, the primacy of grace, the introduction into a life of celebration: all of it is on display. Enter into this story, for it is yours.