The Five Act Drama
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 16, 2006 .
For the next several weeks, we are going to be reading from Paul's magnificent letter to the Ephesians. In our passage for today, we learn that we are situated within the context of a great theodrama, written and directed by God, and designed to lead us to eternal life. The Biblical drama has five acts: creation, the fall, the formation of Israel, Jesus Christ, and the Church. We read the Scriptures in order to discern the contours of that drama and, more importantly, our place within it.
The Mass and Sacrifice
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 18, 2006 .
For this feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, I reflect on the Mass as a sacrifice. Sacrificial language runs right through all of our readings for today, just as it runs through the whole of Israelite history. In Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, God's fidelity unto death finally meets a human obedience unto death--and in that meeting, the covenant is fully realized, and salvation is accomplished. The Mass is the re-presenting of that world-changing event.
God’s Cleansing Anger
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 26, 2006 .
God sometimes expresses his anger at his people Israel. This is not an emotional snit into which God falls; rather, it is a way of expressing his passion to set things right. So God permits the destruction of the Temple and the carrying off of Israel into exile in order to purify and cleanse. When catastrophe befalls us, we should trust in the strange providence of God. God is always about the business of enhancing life.
Speaking to Moses and Elijah
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 12, 2006 .
For a Jew of Jesus' time, Moses and Elijah would symbolize the Law and the Prophets, the two major divisions of the Scriptures. Jesus' conversation with them during the Transfiguration symbolizes something that is emphasized throughout the New Testament, namely, that Jesus fulfills, brings to completion, both the Law and the prophets. He fulfills the promise implicit in the Old Testament.
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.
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.
Zechariah’s Strange Prophecy
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 3, 2005 .
We hear in our first reading from the prophet Zechariah. This post-exilic figure is trying to reassure the people that their Messiah will come and will restore their fortunes. But then he specifies the nature and quality of this hero: he will enter Jerusalem, not on an Arabian charger, but on the foal of a donkey--and he will effectively disarm the nation, destroying horse and chariot! What could this possibly mean? No one really knew until a young rabbi, some five hundred years later, rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey and mounted the victorious throne of a Roman cross.
The New Israel
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 12, 2005 .
In our first reading from the book of Exodus, we hear the wonderful promise of God to Moses and his people that they would constitute a holy nation, a nation of priests. For the first Christians, this promise was fulfilled in Jesus and in the twelve apostles that he gathered round him. Peter, James, John, Thomas and their companions--with all of their faults--became the core of the renewed Israel. We the baptized are, in turn, their spiritual decendants, and we have, accordingly, the same purpose: to bring the whole human race into friendship with God.