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.
The Great Reversal
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 28, 2003 .
Jesus turns upside-down a world turned upside-down by sin--and thereby sets it right. This subversive quality of the Lord is disclosed in the Luke's magnificent Christmas story. It is not to Caesar Augustus--in his pride, power, comfort, and freedom--that we should look, but rather to the humble, poor, and non-violent King, born in a stable in Bethlehem. The question that Christmas poses to us is this: which King do we follow, Caesar or Christ.
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.
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 14, 2003 .
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice! Sunday. God is a community of joy and the purpose of creation and redemption is to share that joy. Everything in Christian life--from law and ritual to doctrine and moral praxis--is meant to lead us into deeper joy.
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.
Feast of Christ the King
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 23, 2003 .
The final Sunday of the Liturgical year is dedicated to Christ the King. One of the earliest forms of Christian proclamation was "Jesus is Lord." This was meant to be provocative, since Caesar was customarily described as Lord of the world. The first Christians were saying that Jesus is the one who must in every sense command, direct, and order our lives. Is Jesus truly the King of your life? That's the hard question which this feast raises.
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.
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?
The Rich Young Man
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 12, 2003 .
The Gospel story of the conversation between Jesus and the rich young man is one of John Paul II's favorites and is featured in many of his writings. The Pope sees three great moral themes in this narrative: the objectivity of the good, the indispensiblity of the commandments, and finally, the call to radical self-gift. The rich young man accepts the first two but balks at the third--and this is his tragedy. How radically are we willing to live the moral life? Will we follow Jesus, or walk away sad?