Weekly homilies from Bishop Robert Barron, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.
The Ordering of Love and the Awful Story of Abraham and Isaac
Friends, if the intention of an author is to convince people to read and think about what he’s written, the author of Sunday's first reading has done his job well. We hear the deeply troubling story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. How do we reconcile God’s love with his asking Abraham to kill his own son? How should we take the fact that Abraham was willing to follow through with it? And what does this mean for how we must order our own lives?
Pray, Fast, Give Alms
Friends, Lent is a marvelous opportunity to deepen our lives of prayer, to temper our desires for food and drink, and to engage in a graced time of alms giving. Let’s use this season to get our bodies and our behavior patterns in order, to show our love and service in very concrete ways.
Go Tell the Priests
Friends, today’s Gospel centers around Jesus’ healing of a leper. Although there aren’t many lepers around today, there are plenty of people that we treat as outsiders or pariahs. We should welcome them as Jesus does.
How to Evangelize
Friends, in this Sunday's readings, St. Paul highlights the significance of evangelization. The Church, by its very nature, evangelizes, going out to the ends of the world with its good news. And woe to us if we fail to do this! Paul urges us to organize our lives around mission, and to even move out of our comfort zones to do so.
A Prophet Greater than Moses
Moses is, without a doubt, the greatest figure in the Old Testament. He heard the voice of God from the burning bush; he was given the Ten Commandments; he was permitted to talk to God as to a friend.
But Moses speaks of a prophet who is to come, who is “like himself” and who should be listened to. Jesus is this prophet who has the legitimate personal authority to speak the divine word and bring healing to creation.
Accepting Our Mission from God
In today’s first reading, we find the story of Jonah, a narrative about the acceptance (or rejection) of God’s mission. We are all called to difficult things, and so most of us sinners, most of the time, do everything we can to avoid our mission. In Jonah’s case, it was physical flight, but for many of us it’s choosing to ignore what God has said, a giving in to every other voice, taking the path of least resistance, making excuses, pleading our own sinfulness, settling for spiritual mediocrity. What would happen if every single person in our society commenced to embrace his or her mission from God? One man converted the entire city, from the King to the very animals. Nothing is impossible for God and for those whom God has empowered.
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Why was this episode not labeled “Don’t be Afraid to Ask?” It’s confusing to have two different names for the same sermon. One in the email and the other here. Could you please make them the same?
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Bishop Barron always has insightful spiritual advice from the Sunday readings