Your Sunday sermon observations

Since it was the 1st Sunday of Lent, I have no doubt but that you heard a spiffing good sermon during Holy Mass.

Tell us some good point!

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  1. robertotankerly says:

    The highlight, I think, was Father pointing out the underlying connection between today’s readings: namely Baptism. The Gospel was Jesus’ first and fundamental words of ministry: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The other two readings (the Covenant with Noah and St. Peter explaining that the Deluge was a type of Baptism) make clear that the fount and essence of Christian repentance are the Sacraments, chiefly Baptism, which incorporate us into the Kingdom of God, the Body of Christ.

    These are read on the First Sunday in Lent because Lent is the time in which new catechumens make their final preparation for Baptism. Of course, historically, the penitential practices of Lent originate in the rest of the Church wishing to participate in this preparatory period, resulting in the renewal of our Baptismal Vows at the Easter Vigil as the catechumens take them for the first time.

    For those entering the Church, repentance leads toward Baptism. For those already in the Church, repentance flows out from one’s prior Baptism, in essence pointing backward to that event. This reveals, then, the ultimate truth that, as Baptism effects a participation in the Divine Life, all true repentance both originates and ends in God, and his condescension to us in Christ, through the Church.

  2. kallman says:

    Great sermon based on the Gospel of the temptation of Our Lord from an FSSP priest. The difference between temptation and sin was explained. The fact that overcoming temptation forms our moral fibre was illustrated. The true meaning of the words “et ne nos inducas in tentationem” was detailed, i.e. that God does not lead us into temptation but rather Lucifer, and the words are an exhortation to Our Father that in moments of temptation He may give us the grace to resist. Also a wonderful historical aside about the Punic wars with Carthage and the tremendous courage and loyalty of the general Hannibal, who never deserted his troops, just as DNIC never deserts us, even in the most dire moments of spiritual battle against the Devil similar to Hisowntemptation. Truly inspiring.

  3. lfandrew says:

    Pastoral letter from our Bishop reminding us of the importance and beauty of the Sacrament of Confession – and that every Parish Church in the Diocese of Lancaster is open between 7pm and 8pm every Wednesday in Lent for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Confession.

  4. Incaelo says:

    We had the letter of the bishops for Lent, about the topic of charity, read out and it was… okay, I suppose. The bishops here usually don’t produce the most enticing reads.

    One good point, though was the fact hat obedience to God trumps obedience to any secular authority.

  5. HeatherPA says:

    Our priest gave an excellent homily regarding the call to holiness by Our Lord, that he wanted us to go the extra mile, pick up our DAILY cross and follow him.
    I loved this- “My job here isn’t for people here to like me. My job here as your priest is to get you to Heaven.”
    After Mass, we had a retreat with the beautiful and joyous Sisters of Life from NYC.
    An excellent Sunday.

  6. Ben Trovato says:

    We had a great pastoral letter from our excellent bishop. Here’s the crux:

    My dear people, as you will know, in every parish church in the Diocese of Lancaster on each Wednesday evening of Lent there will be the opportunity for Confession and Sacramental Reconciliation. We have called this initiative The Light is On for You because the light of God’s grace will shine for each person who avail themselves of this wonderful sacrament. I recognise that for many people the sacrament of Confession has long been missing from their lives, but I now urge and encourage you to enter into your own hearts, as Christ did in the wilderness, and there encounter in joy the Father of mercies in this sacramental moment of Reconciliation. And your own experience of healing and peace will enable you to point others in the direction of this truly unique sacrament. Let nothing hold you back!

    More details and link to the full text on my blog at

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Power sermon at a Latin Mass about the laxity of the Irish clergy in speaking the Truths of the Catholic Church from the pulpit and only teaching what people want to hear. The priest said that we need to pray for priests, as so many have fallen into error and are merely politically correct. Sad, but true state of affairs here.

    The priest basically said that the priests were responsible from not preaching the Word of God in the midst of secularization and chaos. here. There is growing Marxism here are well.

  8. Vincent. says:

    I was not able to pay too much attention to the homily this Sunday due to my fidgety and fussy 7 month old. I was able to catch our new pastor stress Confession as well as highlight the fact the holy water will remain in the fonts and baptisms will continue throughout Lent. This was not the practice in previous years.

  9. The sermon at the Mass I attended was about the Devil, and the fact that the Catholic Church says he exists, while most Catholics today think this is antiquarian because “they’re Christian.”

  10. brianvzn says:

    I attended a somewhat traditional Novus Ordo Parish in the Diocese of Camden. I was hoping for a reflection on the Temptation, but yesterday was selected as the “in pew solicitation” day for the 2012 House of Charity appeal. Obviously almsgiving is a main part of Lent, but not a word was spoken about the Temptation. One thing I did like was the “Preface of the Temptation” which I had never heard before. I normally attend the Traditional Roman Rite, so I’m not sureif this is a new preface or not. The reality of the Devil needs to be spoken of and I found this preface very refreshing.

    By abstaining forty days from earthly food,
    he consecrated through his fast
    the pattern of our Lenten observance
    and, by overturning the snares of the ancient serpent,
    taught us to cast out the leaven of malice,
    so that, celebrating the Paschal Mystery,
    we might pass over at last to the eternal paschal feast.

  11. Our priest read The Parable of the Kosher Deli which Bishop William Lori told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last week:

    Once upon a time, a new law is proposed, so that any business that serves food must serve pork. . . . . .

    The Orthodox Jewish community — whose members run kosher delis and many other restaurants and grocers besides — expresses its outrage at the new government mandate. And they are joined by others who have no problem eating pork — not just the many Jews who eat pork, but people of all faiths — because these others recognize the threat to the principle of religious liberty. . . . . .

    Meanwhile, those who support the mandate respond, “But pork is good for you.” . . . . . Other supporters add, “So many Jews eat pork, and those who don’t should just get with the times.” Still others say, “Those Orthodox are just trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else.” . . . . .

  12. thickmick says:

    –Do we wish to serve a God who treats us as cows chewing their cud all day long, letting the days slip by with no meaning?…If we wish to have the bovine life, then don’t come to church…We are here to be in the race, to accept the challenge and fight the good fight for our Lord and Savior…

    I loved “the bovine” reference.

  13. ndmom says:

    We heard that Jesus suffered the temptation to doubt that he had what it took to fulfill his mission, and the temptation to wonder if his sacrifice would be in vain. I sort of stopped listening at that point.

  14. asperges says:

    EF (Dominican) rite: The gospel tells of Christ being tempted by the Devil, but “temptation” was not the same to Christ as to us because of His inability to commit sin. Nevertheless why should He have allowed Himself this? In effect he undid, as the “Second Adam,” the intrinsic harm and faults of the first Adam by resisting parallel temptation: hunger (stones to bread), to be as Gods as a result (“I will give you all these nations”) and to test whether He was really the Son of God – “Begone, Satan..”

    The nature of temptation to us and how in Lent we should strengthen ourselves against it by fasting, alms-giving etc. The need for Penance and sacramental penance.

  15. lizaanne says:

    Temptation is the bridge to sin. Something has to come before we actually sin to get us to that point, and temptation is that bridge. So just as temptation is that bridge to evil, we need to ensure we have good and holy things in our lives to be the bridge to holiness. Prayer, fasting, alms giving – the stuff of Lent – need to be those bridges that lead us to becoming saints.

    But of course, the good Fr. Perrone is far more eloquent than I, and I’m sure I’ve missed all the important bits, but this is what I took away from his excellent homily.

  16. disco says:

    Father preached about lies. Human beings are capable of great and elaborate lies to deceive one another but the Devil, who is the father of lies, is far more bold than any man. He tempted the lord using words from psalm 90, which tells of God’s power over evil. Father preached that since the devil is very real and actively seeks our ruin, we should be vigilant and develop a healthy skepticism for our own consciences. That way, when we fall into temptation and sin, we do not rationalize our actions but rather seek repentance.

  17. FaithfulCatechist says:

    Sunday was rather lackluster, I’m afraid. On the other hand, our First Communicants came for confession Saturday morning and the pastor preached on the Prodigal Son, bringing out some insights on the elder son that had long escaped me. It was First Confession for one of my grade four pupils: he looked nervous and unsure of which priest to go to but he finally got up the courage to go. Had a conversation with a lady who was unaware that confession was a sacrament. I answered that a lot of things had been forgotten in recent years and she agreed.

  18. cnaphan says:

    In fact, the homily was excellent. You can actually listen to it here:

    My take-away was that our hearts are normally too full and too small to receive God’s love and thus, Lent is a time to cleanse our heart of disordered affections with penance and expand our capacity with prayer and almsgiving. It reminded me of the often-overlooked virtue of magnanimity and also of Psalm 118’s “dilatasti cor meum”.

  19. Denita says:

    A Franciscan doing a short “mission” at Mater Dei Parish in Irving gave his first
    talk here in Fort Worth. The topic was “Why Be Catholic?” Not at all like the “Why Catholic” studies going about, and I’m glad. It was much better. He pointed out a lot of things that needed to be said, like the errors of the Protestants. One highlight was an antidote about a man who wanted to start his own religion, so he wrote the local Catholic Bishop and asked for advice. The Bishop replied, “Be born in a cave, whipped, crowned with thorns, put on a cross to die, and come back to life in 3 days. Then you’ll have your religion.” ( Sorry, a bit paraphraised; don’t remember the exact words, but you get the idea)

  20. Geometricus says:

    At the Extrordinary Form mass, Fr. Petersen (a.k.a. The Liturginator) spoke some words about the lengthy Tract (which was sung in its entirety from the Liber Usualis by the schola, which includes yours truly). The text of this loooooooong chant contains most or all of Psalm 90 (You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High abide in the shadow of the Almighty…). This is a wonderful Psalm with which to begin Lent, (all the other chants of this Sunday use text from the same psalm) filled with vivid imagery about the many pitfalls and dangers that surround us, but that we are to be neither afraid nor overconfident about overcoming such obstacles: the view of the psalmist is one of trusting dependence upon God. Without him we are nothing. With him we can tread on the lion and the dragon.

  21. pm125 says:

    Temptation and returning to the Gospel and Ten Commandments for guidance.
    Baptism and Confirmation and rejecting the Devil.
    Fasting from ways not just food.
    Prayer to be conscious of lifting mind to God.
    Almsgiving aside from money – behavior to others.

  22. frodo says:

    Bishop Thomas Olmsted at the Catholic Men’s Conference (with Saturday vigil mass, so Sunday readings) about Sprittual Combat: Knowing your are at war, who is the enemy, and what weapons work against the enemy.

  23. thefeds says:

    We were actually treated to a Homily/Sermon about personal sin and the need for individual confession! How refreshing…

  24. Alex S. says:

    Father preached on the reality of the devil, how the devil grabs hold of our souls (temptation always follows the same pattern as how Christ was tempted in the desert), and why Mary is so hateful to the Devil—because she is the true opposite of the devil, not God. Mary is God’s ultimate creation.

  25. I talked about baptism and the six folks in our two parishes preparing for baptism–and the many more worldwide. Lent is their time to wrestle with the decision to be baptized; and ours to wrestle with what ours requires of us. And to ask: would we be baptized, if we made the choice now?

    I touched on confession as a second baptism.

    I also talked about the curious fact (look it up) that after God sent Noah to get 2 of each animal, he later sent him to get seven pairs of the clean animals. Why would God send Noah for more animals? (Note: the Historical-Critical school of exegesis has no explanation other than it shows the “redactor” had woven together two prior accounts of Noah.) Perhaps God counted on more people responding to Noah; when they didn’t, God sent Noah to rescue more animals.

    I pointed out that the Church is the ark of salvation and it is our job to fill it.

    Going beyond my text, I talked about spending time in our 24-hour Exposition Chapel, as one of the coordinators called me on Friday about making a pitch for more adorers. So I talked about how our time before the Lord is time to plead for souls.

  26. irishgirl says:

    The only thing I can remember from the sermon at our small TLM chapel was the story that the priest started out with. It was from the life of Father Mateo, the missionary who initiated the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the home. It was about a young man who led a sinful life, and his sister who was a holy nun and prayed and sacrificed for years for his conversion. Her brother committed suicide by jumping off a bridge, and so everyone else thought that he was lost forever in hell. But his sister never lost faith that his soul was saved. And one night she was rewarded when her brother appeared to her in the flames of purgatory (not in hell) to tell her that he had made an Act of Perfect Contrition when he jumped off the bridge.
    My mind was on an shocking announcement which Father made before he did the readings. One of the priests at the traditional seminary that serves our chapel lost a young cousin of his due to an accident at his [the cousin’s] place of work. He was only in his twenties, and had gotten married only last year. And the real shocker was that the young wife (now a widow) is pregnant with their first child! You could hear the sharp intake of breath from the congregation when that was said! So we knelt and offered prayers for the young man’s soul.

  27. everett says:

    Father preached on the spiritual battle that we need to fight this Lent, that Satan prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls, that we must respond “Get behind me Satan” and take up the spiritual armor of God. One of the strongest homilies I’ve ever heard on the nature of sin and Satan.

  28. MikeToo says:

    The temptation of Jesus and his steadfastness is in direct opposition to the failure of Adam. We are called in lent to follow the example set by Jesus in the form of Prayer, Fasting and Alms Giving. Our Parish has many Lenten programs to help fulfill these goals.

    For prayer, the Parish has scheduled additional times for Reconciliation. We should all get to Reconciliation at least once this Lenten season. The Parish also has Stations of the Cross every Friday and we should commit to going as may times as possible this year.

    For fasting, we have already participated in the ash Wednesday fast and from meet this past Friday. Fasting from food helps us learn to control our appetite for food. This helps us build self-control of other appetites as well. Control of our sexual appetite is chastity. Outside of marriage chastity calls for abstinence. Inside marriage, chastity calls for a complete self giving between spouses including bodily, psychologically, spiritually. Blocking or holding back any aspect of this self giving especially relating to the openness towards life, is also a violation of chastity. It leads to disunity and disruption.

    For almsgiving, the parish is participating in the CRS rice bowl campaign. We can donate funds that would have gone towards luxuries such as Starbucks coffee or restaurant meals and direct the funds to feed the hungry in poorer countries. There are many activities of the SVDP society as well.

  29. ocalatrad says:

    Our FSSP priest gave a very hard-hitting sermon on fasting during which he decried the contemporary penances and fasts of many Catholics as “pathetic”. He illustrated that prior to the Council, there was fasting for the entirety of Lent, not just Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and that the fast consisted of 1 meal a day and 2 collations. Also, in the early Church, fasts were even stricter and often consisted of a total fast until 3 pm, after which point only a very small collation would be taken and then fasting would resume. Nowadays, many Catholics seem to have trouble with even the mediocre fasts and abstinences requested by the Church. Father also noted how the first temptation of Our Lord by Satan in the desert was basically Satan saying, “turn these stones into bread. Eat! Indulge!” Then, he explained how the precepts of fasting come straight from Our Lord’s own words and example. Needless to say if everyone else felt as bad about their fasts as I did following that sermon, this will turn out to be a very efficacious Lent!

  30. Will D. says:

    Our (permanent) Deacon hauled out a real fire-and-brimstone sermon on contraception. It’s a sin, all of Christianity taught it was a sin until the Lambeth Conference, but the protestant churches weakened one by one and accepted it. The Church still teaches it’s a sin, and we must act accordingly. And, he said, if you use it or counsel others to use it, get to confession. You could hear a pin drop during the sermon.
    Sadly, in the cafeteria after Mass, I heard several people griping about it and one saying that she was considering becoming a Lutheran because the “Church has to get with the times” or words to that effect. But still, at least the Truth was taught.

  31. Chuck says:

    I am fortunate that I am in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As an RCIA catechist I was at the Rite of Election (one of two parts at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts Peter and Paul) and Archbishop Chaput gave another wonderful homily. In addition to linking the flood with baptism he also reminded the candidates, catechumen, catechists, priests, religious, friends, and family of the rights, duties and responsibilities as Catholics. He took the opportunity to better describe his mission as teacher and shepherd. He pointed to his crosier (he referred to his simple wood crosier only as a staff) saying that shepherds would use the hooked end to pull sheep to safety who had strayed into the brambles, and the pointy end as a goad to get the sheep moving in the correct direction. He noted that while he did not use his staff for such purposes today his mission was the same. He clarified the difference between our parishes and the local church, the church being the Archdioces of Philadelphia, and compared another symbol of his office, his ring, to a wedding band; the ring which indicates that he and the local church are spouses and we are his spiritual children. I wish I could do it justice and share all of the points but I will leave it at that, thank God for Archbishop Chaput, and pray for him.

  32. NoTambourines says:

    Our deacon gave the sermon. My favorite points from him were:

    – in the Gospels, Jesus answered the temptations from the devil with Scripture.

    – “Would you let a stranger come into your home and teach your children?” That, he pointed out, is what un-monitored usage of tv and the internet is doing, and he suggested a family “fast” from the tv or computer, if not for all of Lent, perhaps on Fridays.

    – He has said before, and he noted again this week, that sometimes while commuting, he turns off the radio and turns time stuck in the car into an opportunity for time spent in silence and prayer.

  33. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Father McAfee eloquently expounded on Hell, what it is, why we go there, why anyone would choose it. Father depicted artists’ works, quoted poets, writers and saints describing Hell, as well as Scripture and our Gentle Savior.

    Hell is an eternal existence of aloneness, in a hardened state of choosing our own will over the loving Will of God. All those in Hell choose it, endlessly doing their own thing. Doing it ALONE. Incapable of accepting loving forgiveness, and eternally hating God.

    Hell is too bad to be true, but it is.
    All cooks are British. [LOL] Full of amateur musicians. [LOL]
    Unending punishment, pain, fire, torture.
    Catechism [1033] “This state of definitive self- exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell”.”
    It is commonly believed that God sends people to Hell, but that is wrong. Respecting the Free Will He gave us, God casts into Hell only those who choose to go there.
    Every time we commit a mortal sin, we choose Hell.
    As a doctor warns a smoker that death will result from smoking, the smoker will choose death and continue. So it is with the choice of sin. Evil becomes their ‘good’.
    Modern sentiment says that no one is responsible for anything, all is pre-determined. Hence no one is responsible, there is no judgement, hence no punishment, hence there is no hell. Additionally, psycho-babble can describe what can lead people to do evil, but rarely mentions that such actions are all rooted in Free Will and choosing evil.
    Yet Scripture demonstrates the opposite of this modern understanding.

    In spite of our being made for social community and the happy society of heaven, in Hell man is ALONE. Hell is oneself.

    Man chooses hell every time he chooses self over others, self over God.
    If one lives in alienation from God, God ratifies that choice at death.

    Hell is the result of he who obstinately refuses the abundant graces showered by a loving God who wills that all men be saved, obstinately refusing the admonitions of his Mother the Church. Every sin hardens his heart until in death, that hardness freely chooses Hell. That hardening is Hell.

    Why doesn’t God just forgive everybody in Hell? Don’t muddle “condoning” with “forgiveness”.
    Forgiveness needs a willing recipient and love, and those in Hell refuse forgiveness because they are hardened in their free choice, they are anti-love, they hate God.

    The damned soul responds to God “I will NOT”.

  34. Ellen says:

    Our assistant pastor gave a sermon on temptation and how, for a lot of us, we are tempted in small things especially to waste time. We can say, I’ll just check my Facebook and before you know it, we’ve spent a couple of hours. Father said that for him, Youtube is the great time waster, so he is giving it up for Lent.

  35. Clinton R. says:

    At the Ordinary Form at my parish, the deacon gave a homily on how Satan is real and how so many would like to think otherwise. He went on to say that the Gospel illustrates Jesus repelling Satan in the desert and how He does so now for us through the Sacraments. The deacon prayed for the catechumens and encouraged frequent Confession. I really like how this deacon addresses the Lord, present in the Blessed Sacrament, before he give his homilies.

  36. Charivari Rob says:

    New transitional deacon preaching at Mass for the first time – started with a prayer that God would guide his words. Sounds like a good start to me.

  37. abasham says:

    We heard a wonderful homily discussing the relationships between the readings, notably the great flood as a foreshadowing of baptism, and how lent and baptism are both times or renewal. Our priest also used the homily for some theology lessons. He commented on the Church’s teaching on salvation in light of the fact that Christ taught to those “in prison” after his death. And, because he is a wonderful priest, he ended his homily with a brief outlining of the reasons contraception is EVIL! And yes, he actually said evil!

  38. SemiSpook says:

    Attended the EF near our home. Father went into a bit of a recap of the Epistle and Gospel, and then tied the temptation of Jesus as the antithesis of Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden and that Satan is the king of lies. He then went on to tie in politics (especially in MD) as being a newer form of lying, particularly since the legislature here passed bills related to same-sex “marriage” (a fellow parishoner from our parish cast the deciding vote in the lower house), which our “catholic” governor is only too eager to sign. Sort of lost me when Father referred to members of the ’83 Curia (including the now Holy Father) as JPII’s “henchmen”, but did mention to point out that in the ’83 Code of Canon Law that those acting in public defiance of Church teaching are to be denied Holy Communion due to their scandal.

    I would tend to agree, if only more pastors and faithful would stand up for it. I know, too much to ask in this neck of the woods.

  39. Elizabeth D says:

    At EF Mass, which was a Missa Cantata with a new schola of three men who sang really beautifully, Fr Isaac Mary Relyea said… that is before I have my coffee, but whatever he said I thought was one the best homilies I have heard from him. It involved the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Oh, I always remember the weird thing the priest says. In this case, make sure death doesn’t catch you without your Brown Scapular on so you don’t go to hell! He keeps a cheap one hanging next in the bathroom and changes into it before he showers! As a former Secular Carmelite with a more nuanced idea about the Brown Scapular, this made me laugh! All the same, I thought now why don’t I have a cheap scapular for in the shower!

    At NO Mass, Bishop Robert Morlino, majestic in a beautiful (new?) Roman chasuble with that dalmatic sort of vestment underneath, lace alb, and maniple, said that he thinks actually the HHS mandate is going to make it the best Lent ever. And the Holy Father sends us his love.

    Both Masses in the Cathedral Parish, Madison, WI.

    The fact that I found it much easier to remember various details about the liturgy, than what was said in the homilies, makes me reflect on how surprisingly important those liturgical details are and how they affect us and form our consciousness. To me, in a weird way, Bp Morlino’s maniple almost steals the show.

  40. wanda says:

    Here it is, the spiffing good point I heard was ‘Do you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, or not?’
    Pins could be heard dropping!

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