Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons - Catholic Preaching and Homilies podcast

Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermons - Catholic Preaching and Homilies

A weekly homily podcast from Bishop Robert Barron, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

A weekly homily podcast from Bishop Robert Barron, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.

 

#999

When Your Faith Is Put to the Test

Friends, we come now to the Second Sunday of Lent, and we’re on both dangerous and very holy ground with the first reading from the twenty-second chapter of Genesis. The ancient Israelites referred to it as the “Akedah,” which means the “binding”: Abraham binds and is ready to sacrifice Isaac at God’s command. It’s hard to imagine another text in the Old Testament that has stirred up more puzzlement and opposition. I am with Søren Kierkegaard: if you don’t experience “fear and trembling” having read this text, you have not been paying attention. And it’s naming something of absolute centrality in the spiritual life. ... Read more

20 Feb 2024

14 MINS

14:04

20 Feb 2024


#998

Are Your Soul and Body at War?

Friends, we come now to the holy season of Lent. The Gospel for this First Sunday of Lent is Mark’s laconic version of the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Mark does not give us the details we find in Matthew and Luke, but we do hear this mysterious observation: “He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” We are given here a kind of icon of the union of the spiritual and the material, the soul and the body, in the human being—both the glory and the agony of human life. And a really good way to pray through Lent is reflecting on our own struggles in light of that icon. ... Read more

13 Feb 2024

13 MINS

13:34

13 Feb 2024


#997

Reaching Out to the Lepers

Friends, this week, our Gospel is the marvelous passage from Mark about Jesus curing a leper. These moments of healing stayed so deeply in the imaginations of the first Christians. What do we make of this particular healing of a leper? Let’s look at it from three angles: life on the margins of society, the shame of our own sin, and the absence from right worship. ... Read more

06 Feb 2024

14 MINS

14:15

06 Feb 2024


#996

Pray, Serve, Evangelize

Friends, the Gospel of Mark is a fascinating literary work. St. Mark seems to write in a breathless, staccato, even primitive manner, but the deeper you look, the more his Gospel appears iconic. He presents scene after scene in a very concentrated way, telling us some rather deep truths about the faith. Our Gospel for today from the first chapter is a good example of this. We see on clear display here what Pope Benedict described as the three essential tasks of the Church: it worships God, it serves the poor, and it evangelizes. ... Read more

30 Jan 2024

13 MINS

13:40

30 Jan 2024


#995

Surrender to the Holy One

Friends, the first reading from Deuteronomy today is of signal importance. Moses, speaking to the people before they enter the Promised Land, says, “A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kin; to him you shall listen.” These words haunted the mind of Israel. Moses was the supreme authority; there was no figure in the Old Testament more important. Who could be greater than Moses? We find the answer in the Gospel: Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One of God, who speaks on his own authority. ... Read more

22 Jan 2024

13 MINS

13:50

22 Jan 2024


#994

Listen to the Voice of God!

Friends, though the book of Jonah is only a few pages long, there is something inexhaustible about it. It’s a biblical commonplace that God speaks to certain people and gives them missions, as he does with Jonah in our first reading. But God also speaks to us all the time, precisely in the voice of our conscience. Do you listen to the voice of God or not? Do you listen to what your conscience is telling you or not? If you do, you become a vehicle of grace for yourself and for all those around you. If you don’t, chaos ensues. ... Read more

16 Jan 2024

13 MINS

13:51

16 Jan 2024


#993

The Voice of Conscience

Friends, we commence now with the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, and our first reading is one of my favorites in the Old Testament: the account, in the First Book of Samuel, of the call of Samuel, who as a young man hears the voice of the Lord for the first time. In the history of salvation, in the lives of the saints, occasionally God really does speak in a voice that can be heard, but I think what’s being described here is the word of God in the voice of the conscience, and what to do when we hear it. ... Read more

08 Jan 2024

14 MINS

14:43

08 Jan 2024


#992

The King of All the World

Friends, we come to the wonderful Feast of the Epiphany and the great account in the Gospel of Matthew of the journey of the three magi. This marvelous, puzzling story, which has so beguiled the poets, artists, and preachers over the centuries, bears a very profound theological truth, and it has to do with the relationship of the national and the transnational. ... Read more

02 Jan 2024

13 MINS

13:43

02 Jan 2024


#991

Go to Joseph

Friends, we come to the wonderful Feast of the Holy Family. Over the years on this feast day, I’ve certainly preached on the dynamics of the Holy Family, on Mary, and of course on the Lord, but I don't think I’ve ever focused on St. Joseph. Well, that ends today. Let’s look at four dimensions to the holiness of this greatest male saint in the history of the Church. ... Read more

27 Dec 2023

15 MINS

15:19

27 Dec 2023


#990

He Will Rule Forever

Friends, we come to the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, falling this year on the very day before Christmas. And today, the Church invites us in our readings to think about David. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Torah, the fulfillment of the temple, the fulfillment of all of the longings of the prophets and patriarchs of Israel. And he is, perhaps above all, the new and definitive David, the King and Priest who will “rule over the house of Jacob forever.” ... Read more

19 Dec 2023

13 MINS

13:15

19 Dec 2023


#989

The Voice of One Crying Out in the Desert

Friends, for this Third Sunday of Advent, the Church asks us to focus on John the Baptist, who of course is one of the great Advent figures. It’s as though John stands on a kind of frontier or border: all of the human longing for God, in all its various expressions over the centuries and across the cultures, is summed up in this man. “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist.” Yet what does he say? “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’” At the limit of human religiosity, summing up all that we can bring to the table, this figure looks to another. ... Read more

12 Dec 2023

12 MINS

12:40

12 Dec 2023


#988

Confronting the Powers That Be

Friends, great writers, from Aristotle to Shakespeare to Melville, put a lot into their opening line, which often sets the tone for the whole work. This week we have the privilege of hearing the very opening of the Gospel of Mark, which, by scholarly consensus, is the first of the Gospels written: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” In the manner of those great writers, this line matters a lot; in fact, every bit of it matters. And what sounds to us like familiar spiritual language was, in the first century, an edgy proclamation of the true Emperor to the powers that be. ... Read more

05 Dec 2023

13 MINS

13:47

05 Dec 2023


#987

You Can’t Save Yourself

Friends, we come to the First Sunday of Advent—the liturgical new year. I've said this before, but Advent is a time to get back to basics. Can I suggest we start with that familiar Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”? Until we get into the spiritual space opened up by that hymn, we are not understanding Advent—and more to it, we are not understanding Christianity. We are beggars asking Emmanuel—“God with us”—to come and “ransom captive Israel.” You're in chains; you’re held captive. What can you do to save yourself? Nothing—except to cry out, “Come, come, someone, save me!” ... Read more

01 Dec 2023

16 MINS

16:38

01 Dec 2023


#986

Classic Sunday Sermons: The One True King

Friends, Christ is the King of all things. His rule is characterized not by totalitarianism or despotism, but rather by loving kindness and sacrifice. He constantly reaches out his hands to defend the weak and sick, going to the limits of godforsakenness to bring back those who have wandered. We can cooperate with our King by being his ministers of mercy to the world.       ... Read more

21 Nov 2023

14 MINS

14:06

21 Nov 2023


#985

Classic Sunday Sermons: The Enemy of Melancholy

Friends, we must develop a theology and spirituality of work. Meaningful labor awakens our desire to collaborate in God’s creativity. Viewing work in this way—as spiritual and moral action—conquers our melancholy, gives us dignity, and brings us into unity with the purposes of the Lord. ... Read more

14 Nov 2023

14 MINS

14:26

14 Nov 2023


#984

Classic Sunday Sermons: You Must Rethink Your Spiritual Life

Friends, there’s a great temptation for us to turn the Lord into a distant spiritual entity or a difficult moral taskmaster. We incorrectly believe that we have to crawl our way to the divine by our own heroism, merit, and effort. But this is not the case. In actuality, God, in his wisdom, hastens to make himself known. He reveals himself to us, even before we’ve begun to see. In fact, our seeking is predicated upon the fact that we’ve already been found. To understand this is to understand the Bible as the story of God’s quest for us. ... Read more

07 Nov 2023

16 MINS

16:04

07 Nov 2023


#983

Classic Sunday Sermons: Your Life is Not About You

Friends, there’s only one real sadness in life—not to be a saint. But what does it mean to follow this path of righteousness? To follow the will of God, and God wills that we habitually direct our actions and thoughts to the good of others. Jesus says blessed are the merciful, the peacemakers, the pure in heart. Following Christ’s Sermon on the Mount leads to our beatitude; living in this way leads to sainthood. ... Read more

31 Oct 2023

14 MINS

14:28

31 Oct 2023


#982

Classic Sunday Sermons: God’s Rules for Life

Friends, the Books of Moses teach that the three types of Israelite law—liturgical law, ritual law, and moral law—shape and direct God’s people toward holiness and purity. While the liturgical laws have been carried over and the ritual laws largely set aside, the moral laws remain unchanged, for they represent those great abiding intuitions by which our lives should be structured. ... Read more

24 Oct 2023

14 MINS

14:40

24 Oct 2023


#981

Classic Sunday Sermons: Does It Matter What You Believe?

Friends, a great theme of the Bible is that of God’s chosen people. At the same time, we also see that God’s salvific plan has to do with all of humanity—and indeed with all of creation. God chooses Israel—and the New Israel, the Church—precisely for the sake of the whole world. Remembering this helps us keep the delicate balance between bland spiritual relativism and a dangerous religious tribalism.       ... Read more

18 Oct 2023

14 MINS

14:43

18 Oct 2023