The Virgin Shall Be With Child
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 19, 2004 .
The fourth and final Isaian image for this Advent season is the most powerful and the most mysterious: the virgin shall be with child. Never underestimate what God can do. As the angel said to Mary, "nothing is impossible with God." Even from our emptiness, God can bring forth salvation.
Training in the Divine School
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 22, 2004 .
In the years following the Second Vatican Council, we became very hesitant ever to invoke the category of the divine punishment. Yet, this motif can be found throughout the Bible, both Old Testament and New. How do we properly understand it? Our second reading from Mass, taken from the letter to the Hebrews, gives us some important guidance. It places God's punishment in the context of love and discipline. God punishes us, not capriciously and arbitrarily, but out of a desire to bring us to deeper life, much as a parent will, from time to time, punish a child. I'm eager to hear your reaction to these reflections on a tricky but important theme in Biblical theology.
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.
Being in Christ
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 9, 2004 .
Last week we looked at the life and times of Paul, the person who, after Jesus himself, is the most influential figure in the formation of the Christian church. In this week's sermon, I look briefly at Paul's central teaching, which I identify as "being in Christ." The phrase "en Christo," in Christ, appears 83 times in the letters of Paul, indicating how central it is to the Apostle's teaching and preaching. Christ Jesus is a new energy field, a new power, a new way of being, and the idea, as far as Paul is concerned, is to get into it--so that ultimately you can say, with him, "it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
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.
Three Advent Lessons
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 21, 2003 .
The readings for the final Sunday of Advent present us with three essential lessons. First, in the Biblical perspective, great things come from the small; second, never ever give up hope; and third, trust always in the power of God. These are the lessons of Micah, Elizabeth, and Mary.