The One Thing Necessary
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 18, 2004 .
Both our first reading and Gospel for this week speak of the importance of keeping our attention riveted on God. The three angels visit Abraham, and he drops everything in order to receive them with hospitality; Jesus comes to her home, and Mary sits at his feet, listening to his words. When God is the absolute priority in our lives, everything else that we are worried about about falls into place. Augustine said, "love God and do what you want." This implies that once God is the unambiguous center of our lives, we can confidently arrange and respond to all of our particular concerns.
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 Adventure of Faith
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 7, 2004 .
We have a God of adventure, a God who is always out ahead of us. Faith, in the Biblical sense of the term, is not primarily the acquiesence to propositions; rather, it is an attitude of trust in the God who calls us beyond ourselves. We witness this faith in Abraham's willingness to follow where God leads, and we see it too in the disciples' willingness to follow Jesus on the path toward the cross. Do we settle for what we know and control, or do we venture into the darkness, trusting in what God promises? This is the great question that our readings for the second Sunday of Lent propose to us.
The Strange Path of Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 1, 2004 .
Our second reading for Mass this weekend is one of the most beautiful and oft-quoted in the Biblical tradition: Paul's hymn to love in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. Love--willing the good of the other--must undergird everything else in Christian life. Even the strongest faith, if it is unformed by love, is nothing; even the greatest pastoral outreach, if it is not for the sake of love, means nothing; even the most spectacular spiritual gifts, if they don't conduce toward love, are worthless. In light of this reading, we have the criterion by which to assess the quality of our lives.
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.
The Risen Jesus
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 4, 2003 .
The risen Christ makes two basic moves: he shows his wounds and speaks a word of peace. In so doing, he reminds us of our sins and he assures us of his forgiveness. In this a new world opens up, for we know that nothing can finally separate us from the love of God--even the act of killing God!
You Have Revealed to the Merest Children
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 7, 2002 .
There is nothing anti-intellectual about the Catholic tradition. It has reverenced great minds from Augustine to John Henry Newman. But the Lord reminds us that the mind can easily become arrogant, self-important, bullying. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, had, by all accounts, the soul of an innocent child.
The Demands of Discipleship
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 30, 2002 .
Jesus tells his followers that those who love their mothers and fathers more than him are not worthy of him. This shocking claim is not meant to encourage hatred of one's family! It is meant to force us into a clear prioritization of values: God must be first, without condition, compromise or cavil.
Fear No One
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 23, 2002 .
The Christian disciple is truly free in the measure that he is not afraid. Thomas More couldn't be compromised, precisely because he couldn't be frightened by the loss of earthly goods. Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid even of those who can kill the body. In faith, we are connected to that power which transcends space and time, life and death.