The Risen Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 30, 2006 .
Luke paints a fascinating portrait of the risen Jesus in our Gospel for today. He stands in the midst of his disciples, gathering them as the new Israel; he shows them that he is densely, physically real, even going so far as to eat a piece of fish in their presence. Jesus is not a phantom or a dream or a disembodied ideal; he is a living person in whom we find peace.
Carrying Souls to Christ
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 19, 2006 .
In the wonderful Gospel story for today, the paralytic gets to Jesus only because there are four friends willing to carry him to the Lord. Are there people around you--friends, co-workers, family-members--who are, for various reasons, paralyzed in regard to their relationship to Christ and the Church? And are you willing to carry them? That is the evangelical question that this Gospel poses.
Peter Maurin and Matthew 25
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 20, 2005 .
Peter Maurin, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, took Jesus' words in our Gospel for today with consummate seriousness. He felt that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy constituted a sort of socio-economic program. Following the exhortation of Jesus, Maurin wanted to create a society in which "it is easier for men to be good." His example is still a challenging and compelling one today.
The Wedding Banquet
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 9, 2005 .
God the Father has prepared a wedding banquet for his Son, and we are all invited. That is the poetic summary of salvation that can be found in the parable that Jesus tells this week. The urgent point is this: we must respond to the invitation, and we must don the proper wedding garment. Failure to do one or the other means we miss the celebration.
Offer Your Bodies as a Living Sacrifice
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 28, 2005 .
Paul tells the Christians in Rome to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice of praise. I suggest that this Pauline image provides a very good context for thinking about the moral life. We want our bodies--our lives--to be pure offerings to the Father. We don't want to give the Lord lips that have spoken calumny, hands that have reached out in violence, feet that have walked away from the poor and needy. The moral life should be seen not primarily in a legal framework--but a liturgical one.
The Conversion of Matthew
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 5, 2005 .
Our Gospel for this week is a literary and theological masterpiece. It subtly yet powerfully tells the story of the conversion of Matthew from tax collector to disciple. The call, the response, the rising up to a new form of existence, the radical re-creation of a human being, the primacy of grace, the introduction into a life of celebration: all of it is on display. Enter into this story, for it is yours.
The Liturgy: A Play of Priest, Congregation, and Ritual
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 29, 2005 .
On this feast of Corpus Christi, I would like to reflect on the sacred liturgy, the central prayer of the Church. According to Msgr. Francis Mannion, good liturgy is the result of a balanced play between priest, people, and rite. When the first becomes exaggerated, we find the clerical abuse of the liturgy; when the second is overstressed, we encounter the congregationalist abuse; and when the third is exaggerated, we have the ritualistic problem. What counts is the balance!
Habemus Papam (Part 2 of 2)
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 8, 2005 .
This week I continue my exploration of the life, career, and work of our new Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. In the years after the council, a split occured in the ranks of the Conciliar progressives, some calling for deeper and broader reform and others calling for a more careful appropriation of Vatican II. Joseph Ratzinger, along with Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Karol Wojtyla, belonged to this latter group. The commonality between Ratzinger and Wojtyla led to John Paul II's choice of Ratzinger as his Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Habemus Papam (Part 1 of 2)
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 1, 2005 .
This week and next, I reflect on the life and work of Joseph Ratzinger, the man who now leads the church as Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger was strongly shaped by his Bavarian Catholicism, by his struggle against Nazism, and by the "nouvelle theologie," the new theology inaugurated by Henri de Lubac and others. This set of influences made him a unique and powerful voice at the Second Vatican Council. More on his post-conciliar career next week.