Jesus is Tempted in the Desert
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 29, 2004 .
Jesus is driven by the Spirit into the desert in order to be tempted by the devil. The three temptations--to sensual pleasure, to power, and to pride--respresent three fundamental ways that all of us can be distracted from the path that God wants us to walk. It is therefore a salutary Lenten exercise to attend carefully to the texture of Jesus' responses.
Four Reasons to Love Your Enemies
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 22, 2004 .
One of the most challenging and disconcerting of Jesus' commands is to love our enemies. In this sermon, I will explore four reasons why this moral demand makes sense. First, it helps us to test the quality of our love; second, it tells us a great deal about ourselves; third, it makes us see that sometimes our enemies might be right; and fourth, it allows us sometimes to win our enemy back.
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.
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.
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.
John Paul the Great
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 9, 2003 .
On this feast of the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica, I would like to focus on the extraordinary man who has occupied the seat at John Lateran these past twenty-five years: Karol Wojtyła. The papacy of John Paul II is extraordinary not simply in its length but in its breadth and depth. I can hardly begin to do justice to the Pope’s achievements, so I will limit myself to reflecting on three elements of his papacy and person.