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  • The Earliest Moments of the Church

    Friends, on this Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, our Gospel from the sixth chapter of Mark is Jesus sending the Twelve out on mission. These are the very earliest moments of the Church—in a way, the “pre-Church”—so it’s important for us to pay attention to what the Lord tells them.

  • A Thorn in the Flesh

    Friends, on this Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, our second reading is from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. The focus of the reading is “a thorn in the flesh” that was given to Paul “to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.” What was it? We don’t know, but whatever it was, it wa...

  • Peace in the Storm

    Friends, our Gospel for today is Mark’s account of the stilling of the sea. We know the basic structure of the story: Jesus is in the boat with the disciples; when a storm kicks up, he’s asleep in the stern. The disciples are panicking and wake Jesus up, and once he’s awakened, he calms the storm...

  • See Things Differently

    Friends, people of faith just see things differently. They see what the nonbeliever sees—they read history and watch the news and see what’s going on in the world—but they see more than that. They see the world according to God’s plans and purposes—an ample and even peculiar vision that can often...

  • What Is Sin

    Friends, we return now to Ordinary Time, and this Sunday, the Church gives us such a fundamentally important reading from the third chapter of the book of Genesis, which is about the fall. To return to this story—written, under God’s inspiration, with stunning perceptiveness—is to discover again ...

  • The Power of Eucharistic Adoration

    Friends, we come to the great Feast of Corpus Christi—the Body and Blood of Christ. This year, as the Church in the US is going through a lengthy Eucharistic Revival, it’s good for us once again to turn to this greatest of sacraments. What I want to do today is to talk about a spiritual practice ...

  • Three Ways of Approaching the Trinity

    Friends, we come once again to Trinity Sunday. The Church has reflected very deeply on who God is, and this great doctrine of the Trinity has emerged from that speculation. What I want to do is give you, appropriately enough, three ways of approaching this profound mystery.

  • Fruits of the Spirit, Works of the Flesh

    Friends, we come to the Feast of Pentecost, the great celebration of the Holy Spirit. I want to focus on our second reading from the fifth chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, which I’ve used for years in spiritual direction. What you find there are what Paul calls “the fruit of the Spi...

  • Get to Work!

    Friends, today we come to the wonderful Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Like the disciples in our first reading, we often want to ask the Lord, “When is all of this going to come to fruition? What’s it all about? When is all of this going to make sense?” Reasonable enough questions. And we he...

  • Hints of the Holy Spirit

    Friends, we’re getting very close to Pentecost, the great feast of the descent of the Spirit. And on this Sixth Sunday of Easter, the Church gives us three readings that are hinting at the Holy Spirit—a kind of foretaste of that descent.

  • It’s Time for Some Pruning

    Friends, the Lord Jesus Christ is not a teacher from a distant age, not someone from long ago we remember fondly, not a moral exemplar; rather, he is a field of force. We don’t just listen to him or imitate him; we live in him. Our Gospel for this Fifth Sunday of Easter gives us one of the most b...

  • Three Qualities of a Good Shepherd

    Friends, we come to the Fourth Sunday of Easter, known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus says in the Gospel, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” What is it about that image that sings to us across the ages, from the pages of the Bible to the present day? What ...

  • What Happens After We Die

    Friends, this week, on the Third Sunday of Easter, we have a passage from that magnificent twenty-fourth chapter of Luke—one of the appearances of the risen Christ to the Apostles. When we’re talking about the Resurrection, we’re talking about the central point of Christian faith, the hinge upon ...

  • Do You Struggle to Believe - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon

    Friends, on the Second Sunday of Easter, we have the inexhaustible reading from the twentieth chapter of John—one of the accounts of the Resurrection appearances of Jesus. These are in many ways the core texts of our Christian faith, so it behooves us to spend some careful time looking at them. T...

  • Evidence of the Resurrection

    Friends, a very happy and blessed Easter! We come to the climax of the Church’s year, the feast of feasts, the very reason for being of Christianity. Everything in Christian life centers around the Resurrection. And the Church gives us, every year, the account of Easter morning from the Gospel of...

  • Put Yourself in the Passion Narrative

    Friends, we have the great privilege on Palm Sunday of reading from one of the Passion narratives, and this year, we read from the Gospel of Mark—the very first one written. But what I want to do today is something a little bit different: instead of putting the focus on Jesus, I want to focus on ...

  • Drinking the Blood of Christ

    Friends, on this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we hear one of the most pivotal passages in the Old Testament: Jeremiah 31:31. Jeremiah knew the long Israelite history of covenant and blood sacrifice, but he prophesies, “The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of...

  • Face Your Fears

    Friends, the Gospel on this Fourth Sunday of Lent includes one of the most famous verses in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). In many ways, this verse is the Gospel in m...

  • A Tour of the Ten Commandments

    Friends, on this Third Sunday of Lent, the Church asks us to look at one of the great texts in the Old Testament—namely, the Ten Commandments from the book of Exodus. Lent is a time of getting back to basics spiritually, and walking through the Ten Commandments is a great way to do it. Go back to...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 t...

  • 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 so...

  • 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...

  • 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 Israe...