The Voice of Ambition
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 22, 2006 .
James and John want to sit at Jesus' right and left when the Lord comes into his glory. What they don't realize is that his glory is the moment of his crucifixion. To be at his right and his left at his enthronement is, therefore, to be crucified with him, to be willing to give oneself totally away. Be careful what you ask for!
The Two Become One Flesh
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 8, 2006 .
Our readings for this week are all about marriage. In the Catholic understanding, a married couple do not so much receive a sacrament as they become a sacrament. They realize that their marriage is not about them; rather it is a vehicle through which God's purposes are being worked out.
The Warfare Within; The Warfare Without
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 24, 2006 .
We have been reading for the past several weeks from the letter of James, which is a treasure-trove of practical wisdom. James tells us this week that outer conflicts flow from a war of passions within each individual. How do you find the inner peace that will conduce to outer peace? Listen to the sermon!
The Master Has Need of You
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 9, 2006 .
The donkey upon which Jesus rides into Jerusalem is a wonderful image for discipleship. He is a simple, humble, unassuming creature--and he is pressed into service because the Master has need of him. We like to organize our lives according to our projects and plans, but the key is allowing ourselves to be used according to Christ's needs and purposes. The whole point is to become, like the humble Palm Sunday donkey, a Christopher, a Christ-bearer.
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.
David and Mary
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 18, 2005 .
For the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Church asks us to juxtapose stories of David and Mary. David decides that he wants to build a temple for the Lord, but God does not favor his plan; Mary hears what God wants to do through her, and she acquiesces. It is always a matter of following the promptings of the divine will and not our own desires, even when we are convinced that those desires are good and holy. Thomas Merton said, "Lord, the fact that I think I'm following your will doesn't mean that I am in fact doing so..." That acknowledgement takes great humility and spiritual perception.
The New Israel
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 12, 2005 .
In our first reading from the book of Exodus, we hear the wonderful promise of God to Moses and his people that they would constitute a holy nation, a nation of priests. For the first Christians, this promise was fulfilled in Jesus and in the twelve apostles that he gathered round him. Peter, James, John, Thomas and their companions--with all of their faults--became the core of the renewed Israel. We the baptized are, in turn, their spiritual decendants, and we have, accordingly, the same purpose: to bring the whole human race into friendship with God.
The Falling of the Fire
by Bishop Robert Barron . May 15, 2005 .
On this great feast of Pentecost, we reflect on the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit. God's Spirit has given to each baptized person some gift for the upbuilding of the church. When one finds that gift, he should center his entire life around it. There are three paths to the discernment of one's charismatic gift: prayer, listening to the church, and the stirring of the acorn. To find out what that last one means, listen to the sermon!
A Royal Priesthood
by Bishop Robert Barron . April 24, 2005 .
St. Peter tells us in our second reading that all of us--all the baptized--constitute a royal priesthood. This means that we perform sacrifices, acts which reconcile divinity and humanity. The entire life of a disciple should be a sustained act of bringing people to God and God to people. We are bridge-builders, reconcilers, royal priests.
The Beatitudes: A Spiritual Program
by Bishop Robert Barron . January 30, 2005 .
In the great opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus lays out, in short order, his ethical and spiritual program. It turns all of our customary expectations and prejudices upside down. To be "happy," fulfilled, we must empty the self, become meek, learn how to sorrow, hunger not for egotistic satisfaction but for justice, work for peace, and become the objects of persecution. Strange, puzzling, unnerving, counter-intuitive--and the key to joy.