Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point from the sermon you heard during Mass over the weekend?

Relate it here.

BTW… I had a note last week from someone asking if I posted these entries on Monday to try to get you to pay closer attention to sermons.

Imagine such a thing!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ralph says:

    Our pastor spoke out aginst the Obama Administartion’s latest act against the church. He warned us that this is likley just a “test run” to see how it would go before the real attack on the Church begins. He told us to imagine how bold Obama will be if he is reelected and doesn’t have to worry about the voters anymore. He also reminded us that it was with the help of catholics that Obama got elected in the first place. He closed warning us that we may be comming to a hard time for catholics and to be ready spirtually. He encuraged frequent reception of the Eucharist as protection against the devil. He reminded us that satin hates the Eucharist and to be prepared for satin to make it more difficult for us.

  2. dep says:

    Father illustrated the lessons this week with the story of Father Damien and the lepers in Hawaii. The homily went straight to the heart and I daresay caused me and others to examine their own thoughts and motives as little else would. Sermons that bring tears to the eyes — for the right reason! — are rare and to be cherished.

  3. Mrs. O says:

    Yes. Our priest, although asked to not read the Bishops letter – wait because of what transpired on Friday, he reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the human person underscoring that the Church was in health care before it was called health care. He also mentioned how it was unconstitutional to force this on anyone, let alone those who have a moral objection to it. It was surprising. Although on one side I think some may be a little to late for the majority listening, I will support him for finally saying something.

  4. pm125 says:

    Father spoke to us before the Procession (Gather us in … but before that). He reiterated Friday night’s urging of the USCCB to contact our Reps to support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179, S 1467) . That this amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care law (Obamacare) is being sponsored by about 150 Congressmen. That our msg. could be giving our vote to the person who votes to pass it. He cares about the Catholic Church and us.

  5. Frank H says:

    A solid homily by our transitional deacon, discussing the physical and spiritual impact of sin. What struck me most was that, in addition to citing the first reading and Gospel passages, he drew our attention to the Collect and the Responsorial Psalm. I think this a major fruit of the new translation, that the Collect in English is now substantial enough to warrant explication in the homily, much as Fr. Z has been doing in these pages for years.

  6. discerningguy says:

    Obama, leprosy, St. Damien, Superbowl ( -_- ).

  7. Penny says:

    Our homily consisted of a video presentation for the Catholic Charities appeal. It was a very well-done video and it showed all the good work that Catholic Charities does (a story often forgotten) but it would have been nice to also have some instruction on the readings, the current situation with the HHS mandate, or better yet tying the video back to either of those two. Unfortunately that couldn’t happen because the video itself took slightly over 5 minutes. Coupled with the brief introduction (that included stating the actual length of the video) and the setup time, Father was at his time limit. There has long been a focus in the Archdiocese (and it is taught in the seminary) to keep homilies to 7 minutes or less. Our wonderful new Archbishop though does not share that point of view so hopefully it will change over time and there will be less rigid adherence to the “7 minute rule.” It’s not a bad guideline but it shouldn’t be treated as if it was carved in stone. Rambling isn’t good but brevity for it’s own sake isn’t too great either.

  8. PostCatholic says:

    Our sermon was focused on the inherent worth and dignity of every person, the importance of not dividing a society into “castes”, and touched heavily on immigrant rights and at times on the Dream Act. I think your readers would have hated it.

  9. GeekLady says:

    An extremely good homily on the HHS mandate and ‘accommodation’ including (finally) a reading the letter from Cardinal DiNardo.

  10. LadyMedievalist says:

    Our sermon was all about confession and letting Jesus heal our spiritual leprosy through the sacrament. Father touched on preparing for confession, being a regular participant in the sacrament and taking personal responsibility for our sins as a means towards getting society as a whole to take responsibility for its actions

  11. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Father spoke about the HHS mandate (at least the third time he’s spoken about it) and how the “compromise” added insult to injury. He is genuinely concerned and disheartened with the way things are going, and as others have said here and elsewhere, how there is likely to come a day when he will be arrested for preaching.

    Sadly, I don’t think most parishioners are listening to him or are concerned.

    On a bright note, at the First Saturday Mass last week, then at the Mass for the Sick this past Saturday morning, Father said the Eucharistic Prayer in Latin. I’ll be encouraging him to do that in other Masses.

  12. ByzCath08 says:

    Meatfare (Last Judgement) Sunday in the Byzantine Church. Father talked about the final judgement and how the corporal works of mercy apply in the parable of the sheep and goats.

  13. Jaybirdnbham says:

    Father drew an analogy between leprosy and sin, to show us that sin damages us spiritually as much as leprosy would physically. He then made a strong pitch for frequent confession and also for a thorough examination of conscience.

  14. NoTambourines says:

    Our sermon focused again on the annual stewardship appeal. Our pastor pointed out how a comparable-sized non-denominational church is mopping the floor with us on the amount of money they take in. I did like this saying he included, though: “God always pays for what he orders, but you have to get the order right.”

  15. baymedlevel says:

    Last week a pre-Mass sermon on the fact that use of contraception and abortofacients are sinful. Abortion is an excommunicable offence. Haven’t heard that in years.
    This Sunday a very intense sermon on the seven deadly sins, and the cure is confension.

  16. lh says:

    We didn’t have a homily. I was hoping for something on the mandate, but nothing.

  17. Marlon says:

    At our TLM Mass we also heard about the intrustion of government on our freedom, but with it we got a strong denuciation of contraception and how it has been the source of nearly every social evil in our country today. It ‘s a sermon that every Catholic parish needs to hear.

  18. Legisperitus says:

    Our priest spoke about the HHS mandate. He read the Bishop’s letter on the subject, but also pointed out that although this issue is an incursion on the free exercise of religion, it is not essentially a “religious” issue. It affects us not merely as Catholics, but as human beings, because it is a matter of natural moral law which applies to everyone.

  19. tygirwulf says:

    We went to our actual geographic parish yesterday, and the homily reminded me why I don’t bother.

    First, Father told us that people in the ancient world were so afraid of leprosy, that even those with acne, dandruff, and other minor skin conditions were exiled to the leper colonies. Then we heard that the reason Jesus did not want the healed leper to tell anyone about his healing is because Jesus shouldn’t have healed him in the first place, because then Jesus wasn’t able to preach in the cities anymore. After that was a detailed description about Jewish Temple rituals concerning someone who claimed to be healed of leprosy (I still haven’t figured out what that has to do with anything). Finally, we were told we should always include other people in our lives, even if we disagree with them, or they aren’t Catholic or Christian.

  20. bobbyva2001 says:

    Father Harkin made an gave an excellent homily on bodily mortification and its purposes. He warned that when choosing our sacrifices during lent, we should keep in mind their end purpose, otherwise they risk becoming vein.

  21. Our sermon condemned the sins of divorce, contraception, sterilization and “perversions” (by way of introduction and review) and then spent the next thirty minutes or so defining the circumstances under which “periodic continence” (NFP) is morally permitted, essentially concluding that “serious reasons” are, almost by definition, rather “exceptional” and not “typical.” Pius XII was quoted in support of this insight. Gregory Popcak’s understanding and recommendations of NFP were rather easily dismissed and excoriated. The primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of children, the secondary end is mutual spousal support. Reference was made to the sexual act as a “remedy for concupiscence.”

    Those for whom NFP is a “way of life” would be left sputtering at this sermon. The transparent “flipping” of the ends of marriage — secondary becoming primary — that NFP can encourage was rather obvious.

    I know. Hard to believe that ANY of these topics were actually addressed from a Catholic pulpit and no one tried to shout down the priest or walk out in protest. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Reference was made to the “cowardly silence” in pulpits and chancery offices for the past 40 years on these subjects, along with encouragement to pray that current issues will lead to more courage and an embrace of “fatherhood” (if biological fathers know to correct their children, spiritual fathers should as well).

    Amazing sermon. I expect it will be posted online shortly.

  22. q7swallows says:

    Meatfare Sunday in Byzantine Church.  Gospel:  Last Judgment.  

    Pastor talked about the importance of making use of God’s tribunal (Confession).  And ended by reading selections from  an impressive 35-page Examination of Conscience for Adults from 1959 that I subsequently found here:

    The church was full but you could have heard a pin drop.

  23. Katherine says:

    Our priest gave a brief talk about the gospel, then he lit into the HHS mandate.

    He pointed out that:
    1) our bishop, in requiring his letter to be inserted in the parish bulletins, is in communion with the Pope, who, at an ad limina visit with Archbishop Dolan, made very clear his expectation for the American bishops to strongly oppose the mandate–it comes from the top;

    2) that the mandate requires us to support a grave evil, which we will not do;

    3) that, while that 98% business may be true in some places, it is not true in our parish (one must only have eyes in his head to see, as family after family has 5, 6, 7, and more children, and we have a priest who is not timid about the evils of abortion and contraception); and

    4) if you are not in line with the church on these important moral issues, you are not in line with God, therefore, get yourself before the Blessed Sacrament and let Jesus help you get to the Truth and then, get to confession before it’s too late.

    He spoke with great forcefulness and emotion. I had to fight back tears. It dawned on me that I was in the presence of a living martyr.

    Two of my sons were serving on the altar and expressed awe, not just in what father said, but that the MC apparently hung his head and bawled.

  24. Titus says:

    We often “borrow” a priest whose actual assignment is as chaplain to a nearby religious community. He may be the most spectacular homilist I have ever heard. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he has a lovely Irish accent and a wealth of personal experiences.

    He framed his discussion with a portrait of a group of Hungarian pilgrims he witnessed once at Lourdes, who displayed an astonishing and refreshing exuberance and joy in the Faith, despite the comparative privations of their personal situations. He said that it is absolutely imperative that we have the same innocence and joy in our lives and our practice of the Faith. He suggested that if all Catholics could display that joyful devotion in their daily lives, that it would have a profound effect on the world. He described the present moment as a magnificent opportunity: we were encouraged to spend more time praying than we spent talking about HHS regulations, more time doing penance than we spent reading articles about them, to share the beauty of the Church’s teachings with those we meet, and to discharge our sacred duty to write to our Congressional representatives as the bishop has instructed.

    All in the context of some Hungarian pilgrims!

  25. Random Friar says:

    Not this Sunday, but a couple back,
    Me: Professor.
    HHS Mandate: Lint ball.

  26. Joseph-Mary says:

    My young pastor gave an excellent homily on our relationship with Christ. He covered the gospel and explained what life was like for a leper in Jesus’ day and then related that to sin and how Jesus wishes to heal us. It made me look forward to confession which I received today! I also must come to Jesus and say “unclean; please heal me”.

    Father had indeed spoken out about contraception twice recently and let folks know that if they are doing this, they are outside the teachings of the Church and to come and speak to him about it. He told me that he only had two really angry responses and no one got up and walked out as has happened to the new faithful pastor at the most “liberal” parish in town.

    Our priests are getting stronger all the time on the life issues. And so they must: souls are in the balance.

  27. salazart says:

    Our priest read the letter Cardinal DiNardo wrote in response to the Obamacare mandate events of recent time and reminded us that the stakes are high and we need to pray and a lot. Our parish priest has been asking us to do acts of reparations daily as a way of atonement for the sins of our world and also in preparation for the coming elections. Father was very clear on why Cardinal’s wear red color and explained that they are the first who should be ready to shed their blood for good of all the faithful.
    It reminded me of why I feel every Sunday fortified after such a rich liturgy and really good sermons. May God keep our holy priest!!

  28. Simon_GNR says:

    In his brief homily our parish priest pointed out that straightaway on meeting the leper Jesus touched him, showing a disregard for, or a rising above, the law on ritual uncleanness. He reached out to the man in great compassion and showed his willingness to heal him. Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to reach out to us and cure our spiritual uncleanness, but, like the leper, we have to get to realising we have a need for Jesus’ healing and ask the Lord for his help – we have to make a move towards Christ.
    The priest mentioned that in the old calendar it was Sexagesima Sunday, taken from the Latin for “sixty days” and that we should now be starting to turn our thoughts towards Lent. He refers quite often to the old calendar and to old traditions – he also talked about the “Burying of the Alleluias” in the old Sarum rite.
    Part of the time in the Mass for the homily was taken up by a short talk and appeal for a collection by a representative of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. One fact that I remember from the talk was that since the passing of the Abortion Act in 1967, 7.5 million unborn children have been legally killed in Great Britain by abortion. That number of people is roughly equal to the population of London. (One would like to think that just after they die, before they are sent down to Hell to burn forever at the hands of Satan’s tormentors, unrepetant arbortionists will be shown the millions of aborted children living in eternal blessedness with God in Heaven!!)

  29. i preached on the parable l of the Prodigal Son. Reflected on the three main characters, and helped the congregation to see that each of us has some degree of the qualities of each of them in our own lives. later I spent time with the adults to reflect on the Image and likeness of God as seen from Genesis, then went to the declaration of Independence, the Manhattan Declaration and shared with them the fact that all of our Orthodox Bishops in the USA are standing in solidarity with their Roamn Catholic brother bishops, the first time in my memory that such a pointed statement has come out from our new Assembly.

  30. yatzer says:

    Conscience is important, but we must have a well-formed conscience based on Catholic Christian truth, not one’s own opinion based on MSM headlines.

  31. StJude says:

    Here is what a local Priest in the suburbs of Indy said. Even made the local news!

    Pastor Ted Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Carmel told his congregation he and other members of the Catholic Church are outraged by the so-called compromise. An excerpt from his speech is below.

    As the pastor of this parish and as your spiritual father, I am compelled to speak. I have been told not to mix politics and religion from the pulpit … that I should just stick to matter of faith and morals. But now the Federal government is dictating how we are to conduct our faith and morals. In place of my article in this week’s Seton Voice is a letter from Bishop Doherty concerning the recently publicized regulation from the Department of Health and Human Services concerning reproductive rights and health insurance?

    President Obama addressed this controversy last Friday by stating that health insurance companies will be required to reach out and provide free contraceptives and this will not directly involve any conscious decision on the part of religious groups. This is nothing more than a lateral pass while the ball of government regulation and control is continuing to be advanced. Health insurance in our diocese, as in much of the Church, is self-funded. United Health care simply administers health plan for our clergy and employees.

    To willingly hand over the gift of health to an all-powerful government is to invite corruption and disaster against which there is no appeal. So here there can be no compromise. There can be no room for discussion. I will not comply! We must not comply! To do so would be to abandon our country to tyranny and our souls to hell.

    (to which he got a standing ovation)

  32. Charivari Rob says:

    Circumstances resulted in my being at three different Masses for Sunday, 3 different places, 3 different priests – excellent homilies at each.

    Saturday evening was an area World Marriage Day program, with Mass for Sunday. Father told of how it seemed daunting doing prep this week, how to tie in such seemingly disparate groups as the lepers and married couples, but prayer and reflection guided him. Spoke on the common desire for communion and community.

    Sunday morning was parish Mass. Father spoke on the lepers and others who are marginalized, disconnected from the community. Spoke about God’s love and power to heal, and our duty to do what we can to love and heal, rebuilding connection and community.

    Sunday evening was a college visit and campus Mass. Father spoke on the lepers of the readings and then at length about St. Francis and St. Leo and embracing the leper and finding Christ. Father knocked it out of the park. Preached on loving what we hate in order to follow Christ. I can’t do it justice. People were ready to stand up and cheer. I’ve been sitting here this evening reading up on the life of Francis, just to try to give myself a little context.

  33. Michelle F says:


    The sermon you describe is essentially identical to the one I heard on Sunday. Is your geographical home parish by any chance located in the capitol city of your state? (I don’t want to give out any details about the location out of privacy concerns.)

  34. Midwest St. Michael says:

    We were treated to a rousing rendition of Haugen’s “All Are Welcome” by the resident deacon.

    Then it was all about how there are still divisions on the Church. How do we heal those divisions?

    Can we welcome somebody who may have a differing political ideology than ours? (Yes. However, what if they are like, say, a Nancy Pelosi or Mario Cuomo – who are abortion advocates? Should I suggest to them they should go to confession first? Would not that be the loving and welcoming thing to do? [especially in light of St. Paul’s words in 1 Cor 11:24-30])

    Can we welcome somebody who may have a homose*ual orientation? (Yes. But what if one knows that such a person is acting out on this orientation? Again, should I suggest they should go to confession before receiving our Lord’s Precious Body and Blood? Would not that be the loving and welcoming thing to do?)

    Can we welcome somebody with a differing sense of orthodoxy than our own? (Yes, but exactly what does “differing sense” mean? Does this mean that this person is a blatant dissenter and holds to heretical “opinions” about the faith in a public fashion? If so, what about what it says in the Catechism in sections 892, 1814, 2088-89, 2518? Can I really be “one” with such a person if they do not hold to all of the teachings of the Church? Once more should I suggest they should go to confession before receiving our Lord’s Precious Body and Blood? Would not that be the loving and welcoming thing to do?)

    Nothing at all was said about going to confession and “showing ourselves to the priest.” Nothing about preparing for Lent.

    Good grief, I was having flashbacks to the 70s and 80s with this one.


  35. q7swallows says:

    Random Friar,
    Your comment+vid was a scream! Thank you for giving it this perspective.

  36. tioedong says:

    The CHA must have been getting a lot of complaining emails about it over the weekend: check out these 3 articles they just released:

    bishops will promote dialogue with the nuns running the hospitals.
    CHA will “review the rules”

    and then there is this one:

    something has to be fixed…sounds good until you get to the last paragraph:
    “…I assure you that we will use the time to pursue a correction during the one-year extension. We will give this issue priority and consult with members and experts as we evaluate options to deal with this….”

    yup. I give her a week until she is on CNN going against the bishops.

Comments are closed.