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Elijah, You’re Fired!

by Bishop Robert Barron . June 27, 2004 .

In the stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha we clearly see the great Biblical theme of vocation and election. Our lives our not about us; it is not finally our autonomy that matters. Rather, we are claimed and chosen and sent by God, and only in the measure that we accept this divine mission do we find true joy. When he resisted God's will and sought to justify himself, Elijah was summarily fired; when Elijah put his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha, Elisha dropped everything and followed the will of God. If you want your whole world turned upside down, read the 18th and 19th chapters of the first book of Kings!

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.

Blessed Detachment

by Bishop Robert Barron . February 15, 2004 .

Detachment is a key theme in the spiritual masters. It means that we must detach ourselves from all of those created goods--sex, money, power, pleasure--that are not our ultimate good. When we do this, we experience a spiritual freedom that actually enables us to enjoy those things more. Luke's version of the Beatitudes is, I submit, all about this detachment.

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.

More on Christ and the World Religions

by Bishop Robert Barron . January 11, 2004 .

Last week, I spoke of the many "family resemblances" between Christianity and the other great religious traditions. This week, I look at the other side, all the points of disagreement. How do we balance all of this? Both the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord provide clues.

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.

John Paul the Great

by Bishop Robert Barron . November 9, 2003 .

On this feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica, I would like to focus on the extraordinary man who has occupied the seat at John Lateran these past twenty-five years: Karol Wojtyła. The papacy of John Paul II is extraordinary not simply in its length but in its breadth and depth. I can hardly begin to do justice to the Pope’s achievements, so I will limit myself to reflecting on three elements of his papacy and person.

An Icon of the Trinity

by Bishop Robert Barron . January 13, 2002 .

The scene of the baptism of Jesus described in the Gospel of Matthew is a theophany, a showing forth of the being of God. The Father crying out from heaven; the Son standing in the water with us sinners; the Spirit hovering.

The Wedding of Heaven and Earth

by Bishop Robert Barron . January 14, 2001 .

When Jesus appears at the Wedding Feast of Cana, he signals the marriage of heaven and earth. When God moves into our experience, he transfigures humanity, elevating art, philosophy, science and politics into bearers of the sacred. He changes the water of earth into the wine of heaven.

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