Archive of year B sermons from Bishop Robert Barron, and other featured podcasts
5th Sunday of Lent (C)
Bishop Barron Sunday Podcast
Fr. Andrew Ricci
Refuse Scapegoating Violence
Friends, this Sunday, we hear the story of the woman caught in adultery from the eighth chapter of John. René Girard thought that this story was particularly clear in showing the dynamics of what he called the scapegoating mechanism. And in the response of Jesus to the violence of the mob, we see the glory of God, who does not sanction this scapegoating frenzy, but rather meets the misery of our sin with his mercy.
- Catholics, Media Mobs, and the Culture of Contempt
- Standing Shoulder to Shoulder with Sinners
- How to Avoid Scapegoating on Social Media
Related Podcasts (2000-Present)
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In this week’s Gospel, we hear the story of the woman caught in adultery, a tale that has beguiled Christians and non-Christians for two millennia. The story displays our constant temptation to use knowledge of God’s law to hurt others, not to liberate them. We gossip, we scapegoat, we blame—and we convince ourselves that we’re just following the divine law in pointing out other people’s problems. But then enters Jesus, who affirms that the law’s primary purpose is to make us humble, to draw us to higher attainment. Without denigrating the law in the least, Jesus reaches out in mercy in order to brings sinners back to life.
This week’s scriptures present the hope of moving forward. All of us have sins and vices in our past. Christ offers us the possibility for forgiveness and a bright future in grace no matter how sinful our pasts are.
In our second reading for this Sunday, St. Paul lays out his resumé. In terms of the Judaism of his time, Paul was about as accomplished as one could hope to be: he was a defender of the tradition, steeped in the wisdom of his people, and blameless under the law. But after seeing Jesus risen from the dead, Paul said that he counted all of those achievements as loss and refuse. So we, he implies, should not base our lives on our accomplishments, degrees, social status–but rather on Christ crucified and risen.