Archive of year B sermons from Bishop Robert Barron, and other featured podcasts
6th Sunday of Easter (C)
Bishop Barron Sunday Podcast
Fr. Andrew Ricci
Friends, in many ways, the second reading for this Sunday is the climax of the entire biblical revelation. We find a detailed description of the heavenly Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven to earth. There is no temple in this city because the whole city has become a temple. What began in the book of Genesis now comes to its fulfillment: the marriage of heaven and earth—the beautiful, integrated place of right praise.
On this sixth Sunday of Easter, we are coming to the end of the book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible. We are approaching, in a word, the climax of the Biblical revelation, the point toward which the entire story had been tending. And we hear of the heavenly Jerusalem, a city with no temple—for the city itself, in its entirety, has become a temple, a place of right praise.
In this week’s reading from the Book of Revelation the narrator describes the arrival of the Holy City of the New Jerusalem. The visionary sees a great city and notes that there is no temple because the whole city has become a temple, a place of right praise. God created the whole world to shine in the divine light, and the visionary sees the fulfillment of this hope.
The first reading for this Sunday, taken from the fifteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, is about the Council of Jerusalem that allowed Gentiles into the Church. This Council, like all councils, is full of disputes. But it must never be forgotten that the Holy Spirit is guiding and directing the Church.
Last week we explored the central teaching of St. Paul: to live in Christ Jesus. This week, we draw out four implications from this teaching: the corporate nature of the church, a sacramental imagination, the gifts of the Spirit, and the acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord. In emphasizing these themes, Paul gave shape to the whole of Christian theology through the ages.
The book of Revelation features plagues, earthquakes, disasters, famines, and battles both in heaven and on earth. All of this mayhem is meant to signal two very basic spiritual facts: the world is under divine judgment and the church of Jesus Christ will always be opposed by the power of sin. The great good news of the book of Revelation is that God’s judgment conduces to a transformed world and that the church of the risen Lord will triumph. Despite all of the darkness of history, God is writing a divine comedy.