Paul the Apostle
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 2, 2004 .
During the Easter season, we are reading from the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Though John, Philip, Peter, and James are all featured in Acts, the "star" of the text is clearly Paul, missionary and evangelist. Who was this extraordinarily important figure, the man that many say, after Jesus himself, was most influential on the development of Christianity? For the next three weeks, I will be exploring the life, thought, and work of Paul the Apostle.
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 Lessons of Nehemiah
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 25, 2004 .
Our first reading for this week is taken from the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. Nehemiah returned from exile in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and to preside over the reconstitution of the Israelite nation. The Church, the new Israel, is a people with an identity grounded in tradition, law, word, and sacrament. When we allow those foundations to be destroyed, we are in danger of losing ourselves.
More on Christ and the World Religions
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 11, 2004 .
Last week, I spoke of the many "family resemblances" between Christianity and the other great religious traditions. This week, I look at the other side, all the points of disagreement. How do we balance all of this? Both the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord provide clues.
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.
Commemorating the Faithful Departed
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 2, 2003 .
The Catholic Faith inculcates in us a deep sense of our connection to the dead. They are present to us in memory of course, but also through their prayer, guidance and loving concern. We too pray for them inasmuch as they stand in need of purification before being ready to share fully the divine life. This co-inherence between us the living and the holy souls is what we celebrate on All Souls Day.
The Rich Young Man
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 12, 2003 .
The Gospel story of the conversation between Jesus and the rich young man is one of John Paul II's favorites and is featured in many of his writings. The Pope sees three great moral themes in this narrative: the objectivity of the good, the indispensiblity of the commandments, and finally, the call to radical self-gift. The rich young man accepts the first two but balks at the third--and this is his tragedy. How radically are we willing to live the moral life? Will we follow Jesus, or walk away sad?
Thou Art Peter
by Bishop Robert Barron . August 25, 2002 .
The Church of Jesus Christ is governed, not by popular opinion polls, nor even by the holiness of the saints, but by the strange grace that comes to the successors of St. Peter. Hardly the brightest or holiest of Jesus disciples, Peter was nevertheless the one who saw and understood.