DiscoverBishop Robert Barron’s Sermons - Catholic Preaching and Homilies
Bishop Robert Barron’s Sermons - Catholic Preaching and Homilies
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Bishop Robert Barron’s Sermons - Catholic Preaching and Homilies

Author: Bishop Robert Barron

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Weekly homily podcast from Bishop Robert Barron, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries.
813 Episodes
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This week, we hear from the book of the prophet Isaiah, and the theme of this short passage is the Word of God. How wonderful that we are hearing one of the greatest speakers of the Word precisely on this topic. How central to ancient Israelite religion was the Word! Biblical Israel knew itself to be a people to whom God uniquely had spoken. They savored his Word as it was preserved in the Torah and as it was spoken by the prophets and the sages of their religion. And the divine Word, Isaiah knows, is not a bland description of a state of affairs, but an effective principal. God’s Word makes things happen, changes things, brings life.
Our first reading for this weekend is derived from the ninth chapter of the book of the prophet Zechariah, one of the twelve so-called minor prophets of the Old Testament. The background for the prophecy contained here is that Israel saw itself as the specially chosen people of God, whose mission was to bring the light of the Lord to all the nations of the world. At the time of David, this ambition seemed more realistic, but things fell rather quickly apart. And yet, oddly, they continued to hope. God would cause Israel to fulfill its destiny, precisely by raising up a king like David.
Our first reading for this weekend is taken from the marvelous second book of Kings, and it deals with the prophet Elisha, who was the chosen successor of the prophet Elijah. The narrative is, on one level, very simple and charming, but it also presents a kind of icon of the relationship between priests and their people.
Carrying the Word of God

Carrying the Word of God

2020-06-1714:074

Today I have the special pleasure of preaching on a passage from the prophet Jeremiah, someone that we hear from relatively rarely throughout the liturgical year. Along with Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, Jeremiah is one of the so-called major prophets of Israel. This means not only that he was a great and influential figure but also that he wrote (or at least inspired) a book of some weight and importance. What was the theme of Jeremiah’s preaching and prophesying? It was terrible—which is one reason why he was known as “terror on every side.”
Supersubstantial Bread

Supersubstantial Bread

2020-06-1013:07

This is the first celebration of Corpus Christi—the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—after the Pew Forum study showing that 70% of Catholics don’t believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Vatican II said that the Eucharist is the source and the summit of the Christian life—so it is clear that something has gone seriously wrong. Therefore, it is with renewed interest and focus that we should look to the readings for today’s feast.
Today we come to the wonderful Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The Trinity: the strangest and most distinctive of all of the doctrines of Christianity; the preacher’s nightmare; the ultimate Rubik’s cube of theology. The Trinity has been characterized in a number of ways—some good, some bad—and we invoke it every single time we make the sign of the cross. Yet most of us live our practical spiritual lives as if the Trinity didn’t matter at all. So what are we to make of it? The Church sets this up by giving us some interesting readings for today.
On this great feast of Pentecost, I would like to say “happy birthday” to every Catholic listening to me, for we hold, in our traditional theology, that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. It would behoove us on this our birthday to reflect on the nature of the Church. In the Creed, which we recite every Sunday, we find the familiar phrase, “We believe in one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.” All four of these marks can be seen from the beginning, at that first Pentecost, because all four are gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We come today to the great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, which sheds so much light on who we are as Christians and what we are supposed to be about as a Church. I want to focus on the Ascension from two perspectives: the “political” and the liturgical. Both are very important to understand what it means to speak of the Ascension of Jesus.
For this sixth Sunday of Easter, I would like to continue with the first letter of St. Peter, which is our second reading for this weekend. Peter says, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” In many ways, this is the master text for theologians and apologists up and down the centuries to the present day. Something that is distinctive to biblical Christianity is that, from the beginning, it has been very interested in doctrine and expressing doctrine clearly and articulately.
An Icon of the Church

An Icon of the Church

2020-05-0615:572

For this fifth Sunday of the Easter season, I should like to return to our consideration of the Acts of the Apostles. Our passage for today is taken from the beginning of the sixth chapter of Acts, and it concerns the Church—its growth, its unity, and its structure—in a way that is compelling for our time.
Suffering for Doing Good

Suffering for Doing Good

2020-04-2914:471

For this fourth Sunday of Easter, I would like to concentrate on our second reading, which is from the first letter of Peter, a beautiful text that we consult only rarely in the course of the liturgical calendar. It seems eminently clear from the totality of this letter that it was written to a suffering, probably persecuted, Church. Therefore, how to deal with adversity, negativity, even the threat of death was an existential concern of this community. Peter gives his readers an extraordinary and deeply Christian principle: “Beloved, if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God.”
Emmaus and Genesis

Emmaus and Genesis

2020-04-2114:042

It is my privilege this third Sunday of Easter to preach on one of the most magnificent texts in the New Testament, a masterpiece within the masterpiece: the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. I would like to offer a somewhat novel interpretation, one that takes its inspiration from the style of the Church Fathers and draws a correlation between this narrative with the third chapter of Genesis.
All throughout the Easter season, we will read at Mass from the wonderful Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke’s description of the adventures, challenges, and achievements of the early Christian community. His purpose is to show what “Apostles,” people sent by the risen Jesus, were doing. This is why it is so important that we, their distant spiritual descendants, should pay close attention. Our passage for today is from the second chapter of Luke’s work. We hear this pithy account: “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.” I have written before of Joseph Ratzinger’s characterization of the three basic tasks of the Church, and they are on evidence here.
Easter Sunday represents God’s great yes to humanity. Throughout history, humanity has turned its back on God, but the Lord has constantly sent rescue operations to bring us back into community with him. The Resurrection of Christ is the definitive rescue operation and is our great hope for salvation.
On Palm Sunday, we are privileged to listen to one of the great Passion narratives. In Matthew’s account, we see Jesus as a still-point in the maelstrom, as God’s fidelity amidst a cacophony of sin. In the course of the Passion, Jesus confronts betrayal, laziness, violence, untruth, abuse of power, self-destruction, and wanton cruelty—the whole panoply of human dysfunction. And he takes away this sin precisely by his obedience and his mercy.
Let Him Go

Let Him Go

2020-03-2514:012

The great Lenten readings for Cycle A move in a kind of crescendo from thirst, to blindness, to death—all metaphors for spiritual dysfunction. This Sunday’s Gospel deals with death through the story of Lazarus who, after four days in his tomb, represents someone who is totally sunk in sin, totally dead spiritually. The voice of Jesus calls Lazarus, and all of us, back to life—no matter what we've done, and no matter how dead we are.
Our first reading for this weekend gives us a glimpse of one of the most powerful texts in the Bible—indeed, one of the truly great literary works that has come down to us from the ancient world. I’m talking about the story that we refer to as first and second Samuel. At the heart of this narrative—rich in theology, psychology, history, politics, human relationships—is the figure of David, who along with Abraham and Moses is one of the most important characters in the Old Testament. And as we look at this passage and meditate upon his story, a number of very important Lenten spiritual themes emerge. 
By the Waters of Meribah

By the Waters of Meribah

2020-03-1114:213

Our first reading for today is the famous quarreling of Israel by the waters of Meribah in the book of Exodus. We find the chosen people in the midst of the desert—which is to say, in the process of conversion, on the way from the slavery of sin to the freedom of God. But all conversion takes time; those on the way always tend to look back. And so we hear: “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?” Here in the very middle of Lent—our own season of conversion—are we finding it hard, annoying, frustrating? Would we rather go back? Probably. But this is the decisive moment: Do we head back to Egypt, to slavery? Or do we trust that the Lord is guiding us?
Last week, we looked at the familiar material from the third chapter of Genesis. God’s human creatures fell, precisely in the measure that they stopped listening to the voice of God and listened to the voices of the tempter and their own desires. This week, in chapter twelve, we see the beginning of God’s great rescue operation. And just as the trouble began when God’s human creatures refused to listen to the divine command, the solution began when one human being—a kind of new Adam—listened.
We enter once more into the very holy season of Lent: a time of preparation; a desert time; a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; a time to return to the basics. And so how wonderful that the Church gives us, for this first Sunday of Lent, a passage from the very beginning of the Bible, a story of universal and enduring significance. We hear of the creation and fall of mankind. But we will not properly understand this epic tale until we see that it has to do with us.
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Comments (13)

Christopher McNally

Very interesting, insightful and inspiring.

Apr 22nd
Reply (1)

Christopher McNally

Is there further support for the intended historicity of the Gospels comes at the opening of Luke 1:1-4: "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us, according as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed." Is it likely - or even possible - that a group of people who advocated and practiced a radical system of ethics, including radical honesty and truthfulness, would have succeeded by founding the Church upon a lie? And a lie told, literally, in the first sentence of the first paragraph of its history?

Apr 11th
Reply

Joe

"Because Jesus is who He says He is, what He says is."

Mar 29th
Reply

Debra Andrus

Bishop Barron: Thank you, thank you for your depth of insight into the Word, and for the passionate delivery that holds my wandering mind. You give me hope that someday I'll be able to read Scripture with an iota of understanding.

Mar 26th
Reply

E J

Love this podcast

Jan 24th
Reply (1)

E J

Very informative episode. I had no idea that Herod was hunting Joseph. That's terrible. Herod didn't want Jesus to have a chance to live. I wonder why I am so surprised by this?

Dec 26th
Reply (1)

E J

If you are interested in being happy, this guys sermons might help.

Dec 12th
Reply (1)

Gerry Castellani

Fr. Barron Thank you for this sermon. I often feel a sort of frustration with friends and others who challenge my Catholic faith. I empathize with them and yet out respect for the other I find myself tip toeing around their belief in what they think the bible says to them. In the end, I pray for enlightenment from heaven above for myself and others. And so I wait, but often I'm pushed to exhort another's opinion and I attempt to point with my words and deeds to truth of our one holy catholic church. Most of my attempts are then met with anger, resentment and ultimately a friendship or relationship devoid of charity. What in the world is the bridge of unity? I am seeking unity but unity is not the others intent. I'm training in apologetics, studying the bible, attending mass, adoration, and praying the rosary mostly daily and waiting....Have a beautiful day Fr. Barron I appreciate your Institute, sermons, and show. You picked a gem in Brandon Vogt. I enjoy his gentle yet determined spirit to evangelize. I recently read the book of Job and in the end I come to realize that I may not be the ideal evangelizer but our Father in heaven is faithful and keeps His promises even when I don't get it. Shalom

Feb 13th
Reply

Donovan Kira Burrell

awesome

Jul 27th
Reply
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