Works of Mercy
by Bishop Robert Barron . July 22, 2007 .
Paul says in our second reading that he "makes up in his own sufferings what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ." This means that Paul-and all of us-have the enormous privilege of participating in the act by which Christ saved the world, an act of suffering love. How do you interpret your own pain? Might it be a participation in the salvation of Christ?
What Should We Do?
by Bishop Robert Barron . December 17, 2006 .
Our Gospel for today centers around a question that is bracing in its directness and simplicity. A group of people come to the Baptist and ask "what should we do?" The spiritual life is about a set of behaviors and practices, focused, as John the Baptist specifies, around the work of justice.
Carrying Souls to Christ
by Bishop Robert Barron . February 19, 2006 .
In the wonderful Gospel story for today, the paralytic gets to Jesus only because there are four friends willing to carry him to the Lord. Are there people around you--friends, co-workers, family-members--who are, for various reasons, paralyzed in regard to their relationship to Christ and the Church? And are you willing to carry them? That is the evangelical question that this Gospel poses.
Peter Maurin and Matthew 25
by Bishop Robert Barron . November 20, 2005 .
Peter Maurin, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, took Jesus' words in our Gospel for today with consummate seriousness. He felt that the corporal and spiritual works of mercy constituted a sort of socio-economic program. Following the exhortation of Jesus, Maurin wanted to create a society in which "it is easier for men to be good." His example is still a challenging and compelling one today.
The Greatest Commandment
by Bishop Robert Barron . October 23, 2005 .
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind--and your neighbor as yourself." This is the way that Jesus summed up the law and the prophets. Finally, it is a matter of love, and the love of God and neighbor are tightly intertwined. I try to illustrate this principle by telling the life of Rose Hawthorne, a woman who loved God precisely by loving some of the most ostracized people of her time.
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.
The Conversion of Matthew
by Bishop Robert Barron . June 5, 2005 .
Our Gospel for this week is a literary and theological masterpiece. It subtly yet powerfully tells the story of the conversion of Matthew from tax collector to disciple. The call, the response, the rising up to a new form of existence, the radical re-creation of a human being, the primacy of grace, the introduction into a life of celebration: all of it is on display. Enter into this story, for it is yours.
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.
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.
by Bishop Robert Barron . September 26, 2004 .
We hear from the prophet Amos in our first reading for this Sunday. Amos stands at the very beginning of the great prophetic tradition of social justice. He sees that the very heart of the law is our collective concern for the orphan, the widow, the stranger, and the needy. This emphasis is continued in the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and it comes to particularly rich expression in the words of Jesus the prophet. We must listen with attention to Amos and allow ourselves to be deeply challenged by him.