God Is Love
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 11, 2006 .
On the feast of the Trinity, we reflect on the uniquely Christian definition of God: God is love. Love is not something that God does, or an attribute that God has; love is what God is. This means that God must be a play between lover, beloved, and love--between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Pentecost and the Tower of Babel
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 4, 2006 .
All the Jews in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost heard the disciples preaching in their own languages. This miracle of the Spirit is the reversal of the Tower of Babel, when God scattered the nations and confused their languages. The Holy Spirit is the solution to the spiritual problem of the one and the many. In God alone can the many come together fruitfully as one.
The Da Vinci Code (Part 1 of 2)
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 21, 2006 .
I don't like departing from the Scriptures in these homilies, but the appearance of the movie based upon the wildly popular novel The Da Vinci Code warrants a response. The central claim of the book--that Jesus is not divine--stands directly opposed to the central and defining claim of the Church. The Da Vinci Code argues that the divinity of Jesus was a fourth-century invention. Nothing could be further from the truth. This week and next, I will address this question and some others that arise from the Da Vinci Code.
Jesus the Slave
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 25, 2005 .
Our second reading, from Paul's letter to the Philippians, contains one of the oldest texts in the tradition, a "hymn" that Paul received and adapted for his purposes. It speaks of a fully divine Jesus who was, nevertheless, willing to empty himself utterly and become a slave on our behalf. All of the drama, poetry, and power of Christianity is contained in that paradox.
The New Pope and the Trinity
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 22, 2005 .
In my course on the Trinity here at the seminary, I have, for many years, been using Joseph Ratzinger's book Introduction to Christianity. In the pages of that text, our new pope presents the Trinity in terms of three theses: God's transcendence of the unity/diversity polarity; God's radical personhood; and the metaphysical primacy of relationality. In this sermon for Trinity Sunday, I will spell out briefly the meaning of each of these assertions.
The Baptism of the Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 9, 2005 .
John the Baptist, the last and greatest of the prophets, correctly discerns that Jesus is the Son of God, but what he finds disconcerting is that this God-man comes to him for baptism: "I should rather be baptized by you." This reversal--still stunning 2000 years later--is indicative of the Incarnation's purpose: God's desire to enter into the state and condition of the sinner out of love.
The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 5, 2004 .
In the eleventh chapter of the book of the prophet Isaiah, we find a description of the gifts of the Holy Spirit with which the Messiah will be embued. They include wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fear of the Lord, piety, and fortitude. The good news is that these gifts are given to all of the baptized, all those who participate in the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. What precisely are these gifts and what difference do they make in our lives? Listen in order to find out.
The One Thing Necessary
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 18, 2004 .
Both our first reading and Gospel for this week speak of the importance of keeping our attention riveted on God. The three angels visit Abraham, and he drops everything in order to receive them with hospitality; Jesus comes to her home, and Mary sits at his feet, listening to his words. When God is the absolute priority in our lives, everything else that we are worried about about falls into place. Augustine said, "love God and do what you want." This implies that once God is the unambiguous center of our lives, we can confidently arrange and respond to all of our particular concerns.
The Three-Personed God
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 6, 2004 .
This weekend, we celebrate the Trinity, a mystery which stands at the very heart of the faith. The doctrine of the Trinity is a technical way of stating what St. John said in his first letter, viz. that God is love. If God is love, then there must be within God a play of lover, beloved, and love. This is the relationality that obtains among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Ascension of the Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 23, 2004 .
The feast of the Ascension is meant to awaken hope. In Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, our lowly human nature participates in the very life of God. In the light of the ascension, therefore, we are permitted to hope for a way of being, elevated and perfected beyond our imagining.