Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - The Heavenly City
Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
The Heavenly City
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.
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Gospel: Jn 14:23-29
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in Christ’s name, will teach his disciples everything. The Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son. We have access to this holy heart of God only because the Father sent the Son into the world, into our dysfunction, even to the limits of godforsakenness—and thereby gathered all of the world into the dynamism of the divine life.
Those who live in Christ are not outside of God as petitioners or supplicants; rather, they are in God as friends, sharers in the Spirit. And this spiritual life is what gives us knowledge of God—a knowledge, if you will, from within.
When the great masters of the Christian way speak of knowing God, they do not use the term in its distanced, analytical sense; they use it in the biblical sense, implying knowledge by way of personal intimacy. This is why St. Bernard of Clairvaux, for one, insists that initiates in the spiritual life know God not simply through books and lectures but through experience, the way one friend knows another. That knowledge is what the Holy Spirit facilitates.