Sermons

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  • 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...

  • A Fire in the Heart

    Friends, our first reading for this weekend is from the twentieth chapter of Jeremiah. There is so much spiritual wisdom in Jeremiah, but more than any of the other prophets, we come to know his personality and his life. And in this passage, all the texture of being a prophet is on display: both ...

  • When God’s Ways Are Confusing

    Friends, I do a lot of debating and dialoguing with agnostics and atheists, and very often, when they attack the faith, it's along the lines of: How could an all-knowing and all-good God allow (fill in the blank)? Why does he allow childhood leukemia, or natural catastrophes, or animal suffering?...

  • Chosen for the Sake of the World

    Friends, our Gospel today from Matthew 15, the famous story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman, is one of those Gospels that bothers and unnerves people. How should we read it? It is not that Jesus was grouchy after a tough day of ministry, and this plucky woman speaks truth to power to get wh...

  • In the Storm? Look to Christ

    Friends, our Gospel for today is Matthew’s account of the calming of the storm and the walking on the water. This is an event that reached very deeply into the hearts and minds of the first Christians. And the iconic representation in the Gospels shows us the theological and spiritual implication...

  • The True King Has Come

    Friends, it’s a wonderful grace that the Feast of the Transfiguration this year falls on Sunday. The first reading the Church gives us from the seventh chapter of the book of Daniel might strike you as curious, but it’s very apropos. Daniel has a vision of four beasts rising from the sea, symboli...

  • A Wise and Discerning Heart

    Friends, our first reading is from the First Book of Kings, and it's one of my favorite passages in the entire Old Testament. If you're going on a retreat, spending a Holy Hour, or just wanting to get in touch with the Lord at the end of the day, it's a wonderful little passage to focus on. The s...

  • The Parasite of Evil

    Friends, we are reading during these weeks of summer from the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, which contains many of the great parables of Jesus. But I want to focus just on one today because it’s so rich both theologically and spiritually: the parable of the wheat and the weeds. Jesus’ s...

  • God Has Spoken; Are You Listening

    Friends, our first reading and our Gospel today are about the word of God, both from God’s side as he speaks, and then from our side as we receive. God has spoken through creation, the prophets, the Scriptures—and, in the fullness of time, the very Word of God. If you open your mind and heart to ...

  • Enter the Inner Life of God

    Friends, the Gospel for this weekend from the eleventh chapter of Matthew contains a passage that has been called “Matthew’s most precious pearl.” “No one knows the Son except the Father,” Jesus exclaims, “and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him....

  • You Can’t Be Neutral About Jesus

    Friends, there is no religious figure anywhere in the religions or philosophies of the world who is stranger, more demanding, more relentless, and more unnerving than Jesus. And therefore the religion attached to Jesus is the strangest of them all. Exhibit A is our Gospel from Matthew 10. What Je...

  • Be Not Afraid

    Friends, the readings for today are really magnificent, and they are all about something central to the spiritual life—namely, fear. Years ago, I was on a retreat, and the retreat director said that there are two basic questions always to ask. First; Deep down, what do you want? Second: Ultimatel...

  • Shepherds, Warriors, Healers

    Friends, as we resume Ordinary Time, I want to talk to you about vocations—specifically, vocations to the priesthood. Our Gospel for today from Matthew shows us the call of the priest: to be a shepherd of lost sheep, a warrior against unclean spirits, and a healer of sin-sick souls—one that teach...