The Natural Law
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 15, 2007 .
What the church calls "the natural law" is, as Moses suggests in our first reading, close to us, in fact, written on our hearts. Thomas Aquinas said that this natural, moral law is a reflection of the eternal law of God and is, in turn, the ground for all of our positive laws. When the relationship between God's law, the moral law, and political law is lost, our society suffers.
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 1, 2007 .
Our readings for this weekend are completely counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. We put a huge premium on freedom and self-determination in regard to choosing our careers. But this is not the Biblical perspective. Elisha accepts the mantle of prophecy, simply because God commands him, and he leaves everything behind. Jesus tells a man to follow him, even if that means not attending his own father's funeral. In the determination of the meaning of your life, what, or better who, finally matters?
The Paradox of Walls
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 21, 2007 .
Nehemiah, the 5th century governor of Judea, has an important spiritual lesson for us today. Nehemiah led the project of re-building the walls of Jerusalem after the return from exile. Walls, which set a community apart, are essential for identity and clarity of purpose. If the church is to be a world-transforming agent, it must, first, know clearly who she is and what makes her distinctive.
Pilate and Jesus
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 26, 2006 .
In the confrontation between Pilate and Jesus we see, according to Benedict XVI, a clash of two visions of politics. Pilate, who cynically dismisses any claim to know the truth, allows Jesus' fate to be determined by the will of the majority. But Jesus reminds Pilate that his legitimate political authority comes to him, not from the people, but ""from above,"" that is to say, from certain moral values rooted in God."
Law and Laws
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 3, 2006 .
Whatever we reverence--baseball, good music, golf, the spiritual life--we are surrounded with laws. Law is meant to preserve and enhance the integrity of certain basic goods. But law also carries with it a shadow side, namely, a certain legalism and fussiness. Our readings for this weekend explore these various aspects--positive and negative--of religious law.
God Is Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 11, 2006 .
On the feast of the Trinity, we reflect on the uniquely Christian definition of God: God is love. Love is not something that God does, or an attribute that God has; love is what God is. This means that God must be a play between lover, beloved, and love--between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Da Vinci Code (Part 2 of 2)
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 28, 2006 .
This week I discuss two more themes that emerge in the Da Vinci Code: the Gnostic Gospels and anti-Catholicism. Much of the storyline of the Da Vinci Code flows from the controversial Gnostic tellings of the life of Jesus. These are, in fact, far less historically reliable than the canonical Gospels--not to mention less theologically sound. And the book as a whole should be classed in the genre of anti-Catholic screed. We shouldn't be hysterical about American anti-Catholicism, but we also shouldn't be naive about it. I promise that this is my last word about the Da Vinci Code! Next week we're back to the Scriptures.
The Da Vinci Code (Part 1 of 2)
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 21, 2006 .
I don't like departing from the Scriptures in these homilies, but the appearance of the movie based upon the wildly popular novel The Da Vinci Code warrants a response. The central claim of the book--that Jesus is not divine--stands directly opposed to the central and defining claim of the Church. The Da Vinci Code argues that the divinity of Jesus was a fourth-century invention. Nothing could be further from the truth. This week and next, I will address this question and some others that arise from the Da Vinci Code.
Carrying Souls to Christ
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 19, 2006 .
In the wonderful Gospel story for today, the paralytic gets to Jesus only because there are four friends willing to carry him to the Lord. Are there people around you--friends, co-workers, family-members--who are, for various reasons, paralyzed in regard to their relationship to Christ and the Church? And are you willing to carry them? That is the evangelical question that this Gospel poses.