The Three Temptations
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 25, 2007 .
As we once again commence the penitential season of Lent, it is good to get back to basics. We journey with Jesus into the desert, and with him, we confront the three basic temptations: sensual pleasure, power, and glory. Only when we set aside our obsessions with these three things can we be free to serve the Lord.
The Master Has Need of You
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 9, 2006 .
The donkey upon which Jesus rides into Jerusalem is a wonderful image for discipleship. He is a simple, humble, unassuming creature--and he is pressed into service because the Master has need of him. We like to organize our lives according to our projects and plans, but the key is allowing ourselves to be used according to Christ's needs and purposes. The whole point is to become, like the humble Palm Sunday donkey, a Christopher, a Christ-bearer.
God’s Cleansing Anger
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 26, 2006 .
God sometimes expresses his anger at his people Israel. This is not an emotional snit into which God falls; rather, it is a way of expressing his passion to set things right. So God permits the destruction of the Temple and the carrying off of Israel into exile in order to purify and cleanse. When catastrophe befalls us, we should trust in the strange providence of God. God is always about the business of enhancing life.
Speaking to Moses and Elijah
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 12, 2006 .
For a Jew of Jesus' time, Moses and Elijah would symbolize the Law and the Prophets, the two major divisions of the Scriptures. Jesus' conversation with them during the Transfiguration symbolizes something that is emphasized throughout the New Testament, namely, that Jesus fulfills, brings to completion, both the Law and the prophets. He fulfills the promise implicit in the Old Testament.
Angels and Wild Beasts
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 5, 2006 .
Our readings for the first Sunday of Lent highlight the cosmic and universal nature of God's redemptive purpose. The covenant of Noah was made, not just with Noah and his family, but with "all living things." We see this universality on iconic display in the Gospel. Jesus goes into the desert and he is "waited on by angels and accompanied by wild beasts." Jesus' redemption affects all dimensions of creation, seen and unseen.
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.
The Mystery of Light
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 20, 2005 .
On his way to Jerusalem, where he will be crucified, Jesus is transfigured before three of his disciples. This manifestation of glory, says Thomas Aquinas, was designed to encourage the disciples during the difficult days that would follow. It gives hope to us too. On the sometimes painful journey through this life, we see in the Transfiguration of the Lord a sign of what awaits us: a glorified life with God.
Getting Back to Basics In the Spiritual Life
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 13, 2005 .
On this first Sunday of Lent, the Church asks us to get back to the spiritual basics. We are compelled to consider once again the story of the Fall. God wants us to be fully alive, but fullness of life comes ultimately only as a gift of grace and not an accomplishment of the will. When Adam and Eve grasped at godliness, they violated the law of the gift: your being increases in the measure that you give it away. This sin is reversed in the Gospel story of the temptation. Jesus consistently resists the devil's suggestions and makes the Father's will the center of his concerns. In Jesus' resistance, the momentum of Eden is reversed.