Weekly homilies from Bishop Robert Barron, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.
Stand Strong in the Spirit
Friends, this week, our second reading is from Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy. From prison, Paul writes to Timothy—the master to the disciple, the mentor to the mentee, the old soldier to the young soldier—and tells him to have courage, but to attach his courage to the weapons of wisdom and love. When one stands courageously, with wisdom, with love, with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then one is able to face down the powers of the world. When we try to fight them on their own terms, we try to conquer evil with evil, we make no progress toward the kingdom of God.
How Are You Caring for the Poor?
Friends, Pope Benedict XVI memorably said that the Church does three essential things: it evangelizes, it worships God, and it cares for the poor. This week, the words of Amos the prophet and Jesus’ parable of Lazarus and the rich man are meant to put us on the hook when it comes to the third task. How much do we care for those who are poor? Are we living lives of self-preoccupation and self-indulgence while our own brothers and sisters are suffering and starving at our gate?
Don’t Demonize—or Divinize—the Powerful
Friends, the first and second readings this Sunday beautifully show both sides of Catholic social teaching: the balance between recognizing political, economic, and social power, and criticizing the abuse of that power. We should not demonize our leaders; we pray for them, and we recognize their importance. But we should not divinize them either; we are deeply aware of the ways that their power can be corrupted.
God Is Crazy in Love with You
Friends, in this Sunday’s Gospel, we encounter the infinite, extravagant, radical love of the Creator for his creation. Jesus paints for us, in three parables, a portrait of God: he is, if I can borrow that lovely phrase from Catherine of Siena, “pazzo d’amore”—crazy in love with us, including the lost sheep and the prodigal sons.
The Fair-Weather Fans of Jesus
Friends, there are a lot of people today who might be intrigued by Jesus. They find him interesting, remember him as a spiritual teacher, or have warm feelings about him. But in today’s Gospel, Jesus is saying to his fair-weather fans—those who are following him because he’s fascinating and charismatic—that being his disciple is not a walk in the park; it is something of supreme spiritual and moral importance.
Act Against Your Attachments
Friends, at the heart of what St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches in the “Spiritual Exercises” is the idea of detachment. If we are to do the will of God, then we have to become detached from the worldly goods to which we are addicted. A basic principle of this detachment is “agere contra,” which is Latin simply for “to act against.” The idea is simple: if you are attached or addicted to some worldly good, then the best thing is to act against it—to press, aggressively even, in the opposite direction.
I love listening and learning more about the faith. Thank you!
The question is how do you exercise your power?
Always hits it out of the ballpark
Understand each Sunday’s readings better by listening to Bishop Robert Barron. Well worth your time!