Sermons

Share
  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 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 ...

  • 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 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 t...

  • 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...

  • 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 un...

  • 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 ...

  • 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.

  • You Must Rethink Your Spiritual Life

    Bishop Barron will return with all new sermons (and a new set!) in time for December 3, the First Sunday of Advent.

    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 t...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Classic Sunday Sermon: The Summit of the Christian Life

    Friends, the mountain is a great image throughout the Bible. It is the place where we go up and where God comes down to meet us. Today’s first reading from Isaiah orients us to three holy mountains of the Lord: first, the historical Mount Zion; second, its fulfillment in the heavenly Mount Zion; ...

  • Classic Sunday Sermon: The Key to Human Flourishing

    Friends, in biblical imagery, the vineyard symbolizes the people of God. The Lord nourishes us as our caretaker, but he desires (even demands) that we bear good fruit. The Mass, the Eucharist, the teaching office of the Church, priests and bishops—through these means and through the Church, God c...

  • Classic Sunday Sermon: Becoming a Brick Wall of Integrity

    Friends, our own wickedness and virtue belong to oneself. Though our communities and background stories affect our mind and will, nevertheless, the individual stands alone in the presence of God. We show God and the world who we are by the integrity of our moral acts. What we do defines who we ar...

  • How Not to Think About Heaven

    Friends, the parable at the heart of our Gospel today from Matthew 20 is one of those passages in the New Testament that really bothers people. It proves that this parable is not just conveying correct information about God; it is reaching into our souls and doing spiritual work, shining light up...

  • Enter the Adventure

    Friends, today in our second reading, St. Paul says, “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.” In many ways, the whole Bible, the whole of revelation, i...

  • Are We Saved by Faith Alone

    Friends, they say that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Well, today I’m going to rush in to some stormy waters by looking at the central issue of the Protestant Reformation: this issue of faith and works, or faith and the law. Martin Luther famously said that what he discovered in Paul i...