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.
What Are You Afraid Of?
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 19, 2005 .
"Who or what are you most afraid of?" is, I submit, a very important spiritual question. To answer it honestly is to know how and why your life is structured the way it is. The simple message of the the Gospel for this week is that one should fear, above all, the loss of friendship with God. More than the loss of money, health, power, the esteem of others, life itself, one should be afraid of losing intimacy with God. If that is truly your greatest fear, you are not far from the Kingdom of Heaven.
The New Pope and the Trinity
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 22, 2005 .
In my course on the Trinity here at the seminary, I have, for many years, been using Joseph Ratzinger's book Introduction to Christianity. In the pages of that text, our new pope presents the Trinity in terms of three theses: God's transcendence of the unity/diversity polarity; God's radical personhood; and the metaphysical primacy of relationality. In this sermon for Trinity Sunday, I will spell out briefly the meaning of each of these assertions.
The Falling of the Fire
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 15, 2005 .
On this great feast of Pentecost, we reflect on the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit has given to each baptized person some gift for the upbuilding of the church. When one finds that gift, he should center his entire life around it. There are three paths to the discernment of one's charismatic gift: prayer, listening to the church, and the stirring of the acorn. To find out what that last one means, listen to the sermon!
A Royal Priesthood
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 24, 2005 .
St. Peter tells us in our second reading that all of us--all the baptized--constitute a royal priesthood. This means that we perform sacrifices, acts which reconcile divinity and humanity. The entire life of a disciple should be a sustained act of bringing people to God and God to people. We are bridge-builders, reconcilers, royal priests.
On the Road
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 10, 2005 .
The story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is one of the best-loved in the Biblical tradition. It speaks to us of the manner in which we come to see the risen Jesus. When we look through the lenses of the Biblical revelation and the Eucharistic mystery, Jesus comes into clear focus. This, of course, is the structure of the Mass, with its liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist. The late great John Paul II understood this dynamic in his bones--which is why he travelled so widely to speak the word and make present the Eucharist.
Falling in Love With God
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 3, 2005 .
So many of us skeptical moderns--intellectual heirs of Descartes-- identify with doubting Thomas. We too struggle with faith, ask tough questions, want proof. And to some degree, this is praiseworthy. But the trouble with systematic and persistent doubt is that it precludes the possibility of love, for love is always a surrender. "How blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed," because they have allowed themselves to fall in love with Jesus Christ.
Lazarus, Come Out
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 13, 2005 .
Our God hates death. Through the prophet Ezekiel, he said, "I will open your graves and have you rise from them." Jesus came to end the reign of death, to wrestle death to the ground. In the raising of Lazarus--which anticipates his own even more glorious resurrection--he fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel, calling the dead man from his grave.
The Man Born Blind
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 6, 2005 .
Blindness is a great Biblical symbol of spiritual blindness, the darkening and distortion of our vision. Jesus salves and washes the blind man in John's Gospel in order to restore his sight. In the same way, he washes us (in Baptism) and salves us (in the other sacraments) so that we might see with his eyes.
The Infinite Thirst
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 27, 2005 .
We are made for God, and therefore our hearts are restless until they rest in him. This longing is symbolized in the thirst of the woman at the well. Directing her away from all earthly goods, Jesus draws her to himself: "I will give you water springing up to eternal life." We hear the same invitation to the font of grace.