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Non-Violence

Detachment Again

by Bishop Robert Barron . January 22, 2006 .

The familiar theme of detachment runs right through all three of our readings for this week. Paul tells the Corinthians who are married to carry on as though they were not married and those who buy and sell as though they were not buying and selling. The point is that one should orient one's life totally to the absolute good who is God. When that orientation takes place, everything else--from spouses to material goods--can be let go of, can be seen in proper spiritual perspective. This detachment is, I argue, the conversion that Jesus speaks of in his inaugural address, which is our Gospel for today.

A Baby Born in Straw Poverty

by Bishop Robert Barron . December 25, 2005 .

Recently, I read an interview with Bono, the lead singer of the group U2. Asked about his religious beliefs, he replied, "I think that there is a love and a logic that lies behind the universe. So I believe in God. I also see, as an artist, the poetic appropriateness of that unspeakable power manifesting itself as a baby born in straw poverty. And that's why I'm a Christian." My sermon for today is just an elaboration of Bono's wonderful Christmas sermon.

To Heal the Brokenhearted

by Bishop Robert Barron . December 11, 2005 .

Our first reading for this Sunday is an especially sacred one in the Christian tradition, for it was precisely this passage from Isaiah that Jesus chose to comment upon when he first rose to speak at the beginning of his public ministry. Using Isaiah's imagery, Jesus spells out for us the meaning and purpose of his work: to heal the brokenhearted, to declare liberty to captives, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.

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.

Zechariah’s Strange Prophecy

by Bishop Robert Barron . July 3, 2005 .

We hear in our first reading from the prophet Zechariah. This post-exilic figure is trying to reassure the people that their Messiah will come and will restore their fortunes. But then he specifies the nature and quality of this hero: he will enter Jerusalem, not on an Arabian charger, but on the foal of a donkey--and he will effectively disarm the nation, destroying horse and chariot! What could this possibly mean? No one really knew until a young rabbi, some five hundred years later, rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey and mounted the victorious throne of a Roman cross.

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.

Redemptive Suffering

by Bishop Robert Barron . April 17, 2005 .

We hear this week from the Apostle Peter, speaking to the Christian community about redemptive suffering. This is the suffering that comes from doing what is right, even in the face of opposition. What it accomplishes is redemption, that is to say, "buying back" for God the one who perpetrates the injustice. No one in our own American tradition understood this principle--and put it into practice--more thoroughly than Martin Luther King.

Light of the World, Salt of the Earth

by Bishop Robert Barron . February 6, 2005 .

The purpose of the Church is essentially extraverted. It exists for the sake of sanctifying the world. Thus Jesus tells his followers to be light for the world--that which illumines and clarifies the deepest truth of things--and salt for the earth--that which preserves, spices up and frees what is best in creation. We are most fully ourselves when we are a beacon for everyone else.

They Abandoned Everything

by Bishop Robert Barron . January 23, 2005 .

Our Gospel passage for today, taken from the 4th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, recounts the story of the call of the first disciples. When they encounter Jesus, the Capharnaum fishermen drop everything and follow him. This represents the compelling nature of Jesus' call: nothing is more important than conforming oneself to the Word made flesh.

The Word Became Flesh

by Bishop Robert Barron . December 26, 2004 .

The words of Thomas Jefferson defined our nation; the words of Abraham Lincoln strengthened its resolve at a time of unprecedented crisis; the words of Martin Luther King effected a moral revolution; the words of Winston Churchill turned back an evil empire. Words--even puny human words--pack enormous power. Imagine the power of God's Word, made flesh in Jesus Christ. It unleashed a force that, 2000 years later, continues to change the world. Christmas is the day when we celebrate that power.

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