They Shall Look on Him Whom They Have Pierced
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 20, 2004 .
The book of the prophet Zechariah provides a sort of interpretive key for the life and ministry of Jesus. It tells us what the Messiah would do and what kind of figure he would be. The passage that we read from Zechariah for Mass this week emphasizes that the Messiah, curiously enough, would be "pierced." In our Gospel, Peter correctly identifies Jesus as the Messiah, but then he (and we) are given a lesson in what that means: the Son of Man must be rejected, persecuted and put to death. Jesus the Messiah saves the world precisely by being killed. To understand that is to understand everything about Christian faith.
Jesus Yesterday, Today, and Forever!
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 13, 2004 .
Paul tells us that whenever we eat the body and drink the blood of the Lord, we proclaim his death until he comes. This means that the Eucharist involves a wonderful compression of time, past and future meeting dynamically in the present. When we gather around the Lord's table now, we call to mind the breakthrough moment of the Paschal Mystery and we anticipate the culminating moment of the end of time. In doing this, we charge the present with meaning and purpose.
The Ascension of the Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 23, 2004 .
The feast of the Ascension is meant to awaken hope. In Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, our lowly human nature participates in the very life of God. In the light of the ascension, therefore, we are permitted to hope for a way of being, elevated and perfected beyond our imagining.
Paul’s Basic Message
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 16, 2004 .
Last week we explored the central teaching of St. Paul: to live in Christ Jesus. This week, we draw out four implications from this teaching: the corporate nature of the church, a sacramental imagination, the gifts of the Spirit, and the acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord. In emphasizing these themes, Paul gave shape to the whole of Christian theology through the ages.
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 11, 2004 .
Easter is the dawn of a new creation. St. John tells us that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early on the morning of the first day of the week. This is meant to call to mind the first day of creation, when God said, "Let there be light" and brought order out of chaos. From the meaninglessness of death, God brings eternal life. This is the central and revolutionary message of Easter.
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.
The End of the World
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 16, 2003 .
In our rather apocalypic Gospel for today, Jesus is not so much predicting the end of the space-time continuum as he is showing that a new world arrives through his death and resurrection. Apocalypse means literally "unveiling," and what is unveiled, revealed in the Paschal Mystery is none other than the end of an old way of being and the beginning of a new one.
Commemorating the Faithful Departed
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 2, 2003 .
The Catholic Faith inculcates in us a deep sense of our connection to the dead. They are present to us in memory of course, but also through their prayer, guidance and loving concern. We too pray for them inasmuch as they stand in need of purification before being ready to share fully the divine life. This co-inherence between us the living and the holy souls is what we celebrate on All Souls Day.
A Ransom for the Many
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 19, 2003 .
What does it mean to say that Jesus died for our sins? How precisely does his cross save us? The first Christians saw sin as a sort of imprisonment, like being held for ransom, and in the dying and rising of Jesus, they experienced freedom. What freed them was God's solidarity with them in their fear, even their fear of death. How do you experience the power of Jesus' death on the cross? How does it set you free?