The Lesson of the Prodigal Son
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 21, 2004 .
Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most memorable, carefully crafted, and inspiring stories ever told. In some ways, the whole of the Christian "thing" is summed up in this narrative. We have a God who invites us into the dynamism of his own life, and who relentlessly pursues us even when, in our stupidity and sin, we refuse to respond to the invitation.
The Adventure of Faith
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 7, 2004 .
We have a God of adventure, a God who is always out ahead of us. Faith, in the Biblical sense of the term, is not primarily the acquiesence to propositions; rather, it is an attitude of trust in the God who calls us beyond ourselves. We witness this faith in Abraham's willingness to follow where God leads, and we see it too in the disciples' willingness to follow Jesus on the path toward the cross. Do we settle for what we know and control, or do we venture into the darkness, trusting in what God promises? This is the great question that our readings for the second Sunday of Lent propose to us.
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.
The God of the Nations
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 30, 2003 .
Though the Enlightenment taught us to privatize and interiorize our religion, the Bible has a robustly "political" sense of God's activity. God's will is revealed in the movements and struggles of the nations. National sin (like personal sin) results in divine judgment. This deeply Biblical intuition is revealed in Lincoln's reading of the Civil War and in Karl Barth's interpretation of the First World War.
Zeal for your House Consumes Me
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 23, 2003 .
In cleansing the temple and announcing its destruction, Jesus shows that he himself is the new temple, the authentic dwelling place of God on earth. In the measure that we are grafted onto him, we too become temples of the Holy Spirit.
The Law of the Gift
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 16, 2003 .
Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac is a foreshadowing of God the Father's willingness to sacrifice his Son for the salvation of the world. Both reveal the terrible and wonderful law of the gift: the more you give away what you love, the more your being is enhanced.
The Angels and the Wild Beasts
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 9, 2003 .
Mark tells us that Jesus went into the desert and there was ministered to by angels while he lived among the beasts. One of the marks of sin is an aliention of the body and the spirit, the animal and the angelic in all of us. Jesus represents the proper balance between the two.
The Man Born Blind
by Bishop Robert Barron . March 10, 2002 .
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.