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.
The Compulsion to Evangelilze
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 5, 2006 .
St. Paul tells us in our second reading that preaching the Gospel is not a matter of choice for him; it is a compulsion, a necessity. In the homily for this week, I talk about St. Peter and St. Edmund Campion, two Christians who, 15 centuries apart, felt that same pressing obligation to proclaim Jesus Christ. Do we have it?
Christ and the Nations
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 8, 2006 .
Jesus Christ is God's love made flesh, a gift to all the nations. As such, he transcends the disputes and squabbles that so often characterize the relationship between nations, cultures, and peoples. This boundary-transcending quality of Christ is expressed beautifully in the story of the journey of the Magi.
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.
Peter Maurin and Matthew 25
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 20, 2005 .
Peter Maurin, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, took Jesus' words in our Gospel for today with consummate seriousness. He felt that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy constituted a sort of socio-economic program. Following the exhortation of Jesus, Maurin wanted to create a society in which "it is easier for men to be good." His example is still a challenging and compelling one today.
Burying the Talents
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 13, 2005 .
All of us believers have been entrusted with a treasure: our faith. What do we do with this treasure while we await the return of the Lord? We must make it grow, precisely by giving it away. We must evangelize. The very worst thing that we can do is to bury it away in the secrecy of our hearts, endeavoring to "keep it safe." Privatizing the faith is the key to losing it. A challenging message for all of us this week!
The Trouble With Religion
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 30, 2005 .
At its best, religion orients our lives to God and moves us away from the terrible preoccupation with our own egos. But at its worst, religion reinforces the ego and actually blocks our access to God. In his great polemic against the pharisees, Jesus warns us against this dysfunctional side of religious belief and practice.
Jesus the Slave
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 25, 2005 .
Our second reading, from Paul's letter to the Philippians, contains one of the oldest texts in the tradition, a "hymn" that Paul received and adapted for his purposes. It speaks of a fully divine Jesus who was, nevertheless, willing to empty himself utterly and become a slave on our behalf. All of the drama, poetry, and power of Christianity is contained in that paradox.
Offer Your Bodies as a Living Sacrifice
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 28, 2005 .
Paul tells the Christians in Rome to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice of praise. I suggest that this Pauline image provides a very good context for thinking about the moral life. We want our bodies--our lives--to be pure offerings to the Father. We don't want to give the Lord lips that have spoken calumny, hands that have reached out in violence, feet that have walked away from the poor and needy. The moral life should be seen not primarily in a legal framework--but a liturgical one.