12th Sunday of Ordinary Time – sermon

I am at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Manhattan right now.  The pastor, Fr. Murray, kindly asked me to preach today.  

The notice was short, so this is about as close to an extemporaneous sermon as I might give on a Sunday. 

You can almost hear my brain going whrrr POP whrrrrrrrrr POP as I pick up my ideas from the readings.

In any event, perhaps it will be useful to someone out there.

The readings can be found here.  It is the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Nicandro says:

    Is it properly called a “homily” or a “sermon”? In England the Anglicans get”sermons” and we Catholics get “homilies”.

  2. Ann says:

    I love the picture. Really wonderful.

  3. Clayton says:


    Really interesting image. Jesus looks like he is nose riding that massive kamikaze wave and all those dudes and wahinis in the boat are all like “woah! RIGHTEOUS!”

  4. pelerin says:

    Nicandro – that’s what I had always understood. However, yesterday at the Pontifical High Mass in Westminster Cathedral the Service sheet stated ‘The sermon is given by…’ which surprised me. I stopped calling it a sermon when I left the C of E!

  5. Emilio III says:

    As I understand it, a homily explains the Scripture readings of the day; a sermon can be on any topic. So all homilies are sermons, but not all sermons are homilies.

  6. Timbot says:

    With Dick Dale guitar music blaring in the background!

  7. mfg says:

    “Homily” is a product of VAT 2. Previous to 1969 or thereabouts the Priest ascended the pulpiit, said the Epistle and Gospel and maybe some announcements. Then he intoned, “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost and then gave the Sermon (now the homily).

  8. Geoffrey says:

    mfg said: “‘Homily’ is a product of VAT 2.”

    No it is not. The 1958 “A Catholic Dictionary” defines homily as: “an informal discourse on a passage of Sacred Scripture, directed particularly to uncovering its spiritual lessons. It is the oldest form of preaching and was extensively used by the Fathers.”

    The same dictionary defines sermon as: “a generic term applied to any sort of religious discourse. A sermon, usually an instruction on the day’s gospel, follows the gospel at the parochial Mass.”

    The only difference now is that the homily is no longer informal but formal, since it occurs at Mass.

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    Clayton – “Really interesting image. Jesus looks like he is nose riding that massive kamikaze wave and all those dudes and wahinis in the boat are all like “woah! RIGHTEOUS!””

    It is interesting, isn’t it? I guess the artist was thinking more towards the end of that Gospel passage. I recently saw a reference to a different painting that was more oriented to the early portion of that passage:


    blown up here:


  10. California Girl says:

    For an almost spur-of-the-moment sermon, this sounded very good! Gospel imagery, reference to the ship of the Church (\”the Barque of Peter\”), an announcement of the Year of the Priest, and an invitation to do something about it.

    (I especially liked the reference to \”Catholic identity\”–let\’s get that theme out there to as many people as possible!)

  11. my kidz mom says:

    Homily/sermon…what do you call what we had today? A dad talking about his real-world experiences of fatherhood (applause), followed by a teen telling us to pick up bags after Mass to fill with food for the homeless (applause). Then, before the final blessing, 50 VBS kids on the altar steps in camp shirts and shorts singing their camp song to a screaming electric guitar (more applause).

  12. Thomas says:

    Why is Tiger Woods in the sailboat with Our Lord?

  13. Limbo says:

    Things have not improved in Novus Ordo land.

  14. Limbo: I assume that is a “no” vote. I hope you heard better where you were.

  15. TC Tampa says:

    Father…that was great. Please post more of these, if possible.

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