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.
Four Reasons to Love Your Enemies
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 22, 2004 .
One of the most challenging and disconcerting of Jesus' commands is to love our enemies. In this sermon, I will explore four reasons why this moral demand makes sense. First, it helps us to test the quality of our love; second, it tells us a great deal about ourselves; third, it makes us see that sometimes our enemies might be right; and fourth, it allows us sometimes to win our enemy back.
The Strange Path of Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 1, 2004 .
Our second reading for Mass this weekend is one of the most beautiful and oft-quoted in the Biblical tradition: Paul's hymn to love in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. Love--willing the good of the other--must undergird everything else in Christian life. Even the strongest faith, if it is unformed by love, is nothing; even the greatest pastoral outreach, if it is not for the sake of love, means nothing; even the most spectacular spiritual gifts, if they don't conduce toward love, are worthless. In light of this reading, we have the criterion by which to assess the quality of our lives.
The Great Wedding
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 18, 2004 .
The prophet Isaiah expresses the conviction of ancient Israel that God wants to marry his people, which is to say, to share his life fully with them. This espousing God becomes flesh in Jesus and hence it is altogether appropriate that the Lord's first public sign in John's Gospel takes place at a wedding. He has come that we might have life and have it to the full. The ""good wine"" of the wedding feast at Cana is now the ""good wine"" of the Eucharist by which all of us become partakers of God's inner life
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 14, 2003 .
The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday, Rejoice! Sunday. God is a community of joy and the purpose of creation and redemption is to share that joy. Everything in Christian life--from law and ritual to doctrine and moral praxis--is meant to lead us into deeper joy.
The Steadfast Love of God
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 7, 2003 .
Everything in nature, culture, and the cosmos is passing away. Nothing here below finally lasts. Though certainly sobering, this is not, ultimately, bad news, for it orients us toward the one power that does last: the steadfast love of God. In the Gospel for today, the Word of God comes not to the mighty and powerful of the world, but to John who is living a life of renunciation and prayer in the desert. How important this message is for the setting of our priorities.
Feast of Christ the King
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 23, 2003 .
The final Sunday of the Liturgical year is dedicated to Christ the King. One of the earliest forms of Christian proclamation was "Jesus is Lord." This was meant to be provocative, since Caesar was customarily described as Lord of the world. The first Christians were saying that Jesus is the one who must in every sense command, direct, and order our lives. Is Jesus truly the King of your life? That's the hard question which this feast raises.
The End of the World
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 16, 2003 .
In our rather apocalypic Gospel for today, Jesus is not so much predicting the end of the space-time continuum as he is showing that a new world arrives through his death and resurrection. Apocalypse means literally "unveiling," and what is unveiled, revealed in the Paschal Mystery is none other than the end of an old way of being and the beginning of a new one.
A Ransom for the Many
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 19, 2003 .
What does it mean to say that Jesus died for our sins? How precisely does his cross save us? The first Christians saw sin as a sort of imprisonment, like being held for ransom, and in the dying and rising of Jesus, they experienced freedom. What freed them was God's solidarity with them in their fear, even their fear of death. How do you experience the power of Jesus' death on the cross? How does it set you free?