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.
Woe to You Pharisees
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 3, 2002 .
The problem with the Pharisees is not what they teach. It is that they use religion--the very thing that is meant to take us out of ourselves--as a means of aggrandizing the ego. Law, custom, practice, religious dress, titles--all of it becomes a way of trumpeting the self.