Fate of the Prophet
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 18, 2019 .
Our readings for today develop a theme that is uncomfortable. Authentically religious people, authentically spiritual people, will almost always be opposed. The logic behind this is simple and unanswerable: we live in a world gone wrong, a world turned upside down; therefore, when someone comes speaking the truth to us, we will think that they are crazy and dangerous. Jesus’ word is meant to burn things up, to reduce things to cinders, to clear things out. A get-along attitude is never what Jesus is calling for. I know that we are uneasy with this idea, but the Bible isn’t. To love is to will the good of the other. Therefore, to love necessarily involves passionate opposition to what works evil in the other. True love destroys the false forms of order and community in order for the true community to emerge.
Boasting in the Cross
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 7, 2019 .
St. Paul tells us in our second reading that he boasts in the cross of Jesus. To any of his hearers in the first century this would have sounded like madness. Paul can boast in this shameful thing precisely because God has raised Jesus from death and thereby placed the world—the realm of hatred, violence, and division—under judgment. Now we must have the courage to leave the world and enter into the new creation, which is the Body of Christ.
Misery and Mercy
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 7, 2019 .
In this week's Gospel, we hear the story of the woman caught in adultery, a tale that has beguiled Christians and non-Christians for two millennia. The story displays our constant temptation to use knowledge of God’s law to hurt others, not to liberate them. We gossip, we scapegoat, we blame—and we convince ourselves that we’re just following the divine law in pointing out other people’s problems. But then enters Jesus, who affirms that the law's primary purpose is to make us humble, to draw us to higher attainment. Without denigrating the law in the least, Jesus reaches out in mercy in order to brings sinners back to life.
All Sinners Are Welcome!
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 24, 2018 .
While I was in central Georgia, filming the Flannery O’Connor episode of my Pivotal Players series, I saw a sign on the outside of a church, which would have delighted the famously prickly Catholic author: “All Sinners Are Welcome!” I thought it was a wonderfully Christian spin on the etiquette of welcome that is so pervasive in our culture today. In a time of almost complete ethical relativism, the one value that everyone seems to accept is inclusivity, and the only disvalue that everyone seems to abhor is exclusivity. What I especially liked about the sign in Georgia was that it compels us to make some distinctions and think a bit more precisely about this contemporary moral consensus.
¡Bienvenidos Todos Los Pecadores!
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 23, 2018 .
Mientras estaba en Georgia, filmando el episodio de Flannery O’Connor para mi serie Pivotal Players, vi un cartel a la salida de una Iglesia que le hubiera encantado a la famosa y escabrosa escritora católica: “¡Bienvenidos todos los pecadores!” Me pareció que era un precioso giro cristiano al lema de acogida que impregna nuestra cultura actual. En un tiempo de casi total relativismo moral, el único valor que todos parecen aceptar es la inclusividad, y lo único que todos parecen aborrecer es la exclusividad. Lo que me gustó especialmente del cartel en Georgia es que nos obliga a hacer ciertas distinciones y a pensar con un poco más de precisión sobre el consenso moral de nuestros tiempos.
Judgment and Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 10, 2017 .
If there is one absolute in our secular culture today it is non-judgmentalism. Some people, seeking to defend this point of view from a Biblical perspective, will point to Jesus’ famous enjoinder: “Judge not and you will not be judged.” But what should be clear is that this cannot mean that we never point out moral failures—for Jesus does that all the time. How should we navigate the ways of judgement and love? Our second reading, from Paul to the Romans, is eminently helpful here.
Choosing the Way of Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 12, 2017 .
What a privilege we have in this week's readings to hear from the book of Sirach, composed by an ancient sage who was deeply immersed in the Torah, the law, and the rituals of the Temple. As such, he delivers one of the deepest truths of the spiritual life: God so respects our freedom, that he will allow us to experience life or death, good or evil. He will give us what we choose and, more to it, we will become what we choose. Each day, every moment, choose the path of love, and you will become the kind of person fit to live in heaven.
The Narrow Gate
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 17, 2016 .
To gain eternal life is to participate to the fullest degree possible in the very life of God. It is to walk the path of love, surrendering to grace and allowing this grace to flow through you to the wider world. Is this an easy task? No. The Gospel of Luke tells reminds us that the gate is narrow precisely because it is in the very shape of Jesus Himself, and entrance through the gate involves conformity to his state of being. The path of love is traveled by taking up one's cross every day.