Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Did you hear a really good sermon for your Sunday Mass?

Let us know some good points.

Some of you may be tempted to tell us about the ridiculous or heretical.  Please, don’t.

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  1. Matt R says:

    Our new pastor exhorted us to be humble. The Gospel of Luke is the Gospel of Humility…serve God, and remember to always pray and let His will be done. He reminded us that we must decrease so He might increase.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    I heard the best sermon I have heard on marriage for over twenty years. It was at the Solemn High Mass for the Solemnity of John the Baptist, NO Latin, at the Brompton Oratory.

    The priest not only clarified the Church’s teaching on marriage as between a man and a woman, but stated that the countries which were trying to change the definition were going against God’s laws. He stated that any other definition for marriage would destabilize society and the entire country.

    In addition, the priest stated that John the Baptist could be called the patron saint of marriage, as he clearly spoke out against the vile adultery of Herod and for this reason, the saint was beheaded.

    The other point was that at the time of John the Baptist, the Sadducees and Pharisees disagreed on how to deal with the civil government. The Sadducees compromised to get along with Rome, much as many compromising Catholics are doing today, said the priest. He went on to emphasize that we must be willing, like John the Baptist, to stand up for the truth to civil authority and never compromise the Catholic Faith. Bravo, bravo. I have not heard such a strong message to such a large and prominent congregation for a long time.

  3. OrthodoxChick says:

    We received a sermon about the fortnight for freedom and we were given suggestions in order to participate. Our priest suggested daily Mass, praying the Liturgy of the hours, rosary, chaplet of Divine Mercy, and calling/emailing our members of congress if we haven’t done so already.

  4. Mark says:

    Rector Callaghan at SPS reminded us of Zechariah’s canticle: “You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way.” In the upcoming Year of Faith, it is our job to prepare the way of the Lord by serving and being joyful to others.

  5. Nan says:

    Fr JJ went on at length about St. John the Baptist, the last and greatest prophet. He linked it to defense of marriage, as St. John was martyred after stating that Herod shouldn’t have married Herodias; likewise St. Thomas More lost his head in defense of marriage as he refused to sanction Henry VIII’s separation from the Church and divorce of Catherine of Aragon.

  6. Elizium23 says:

    Our parochial vicar was on fire with the Holy Spirit when he gave his homily, half about John the Baptist and half about the HHS mandate! He hit all the right talking points about the mandate, but I am becoming rather jaded with all these bishops and others speaking out against it, I have heard it all before, and in my case, he is literally preaching to the choir. But what impressed me was his mention of the sanctification of John the Baptist. This is a corner of faith that I think few people know and is rarely mentioned. I found it in the writings of St. Catherine of Siena and Pope Leo XIII, but I am curious if this belief is on the level of “church teaching” or “popular piety”. I’m certainly not going to find it in the Catechism, and it hasn’t been denied or negated by anything, but is it de fide?

  7. ddoyle1220 says:

    The homily I heard was how we needed to follow in the footsteps of John the Baptist, and be a prophet to bring others to Christ and His Church. Father then said that the only way to do this is to stand up and proclaim the truths of the Church, not to be ashamed of Her, and that we all need to stand up and happily defend her, especially in this Fortnight for Freedom.

  8. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr. Timothy Gahan gave a good concise sermon on the proper gestures and demeanor for the people in the pews during Mass. Here is a brief synopsis:
    You should bless yourself from the holy water fonts on entering (the gym church)
    Genuflect on entry to your seat (no pews, just chairs) and be aware of Jesus at the front on the altar in the tabernacle. Then it got really interesting / good!
    Practice silence at all times in the worship space (Gym church)
    Kneel and pray prior to Mass in preparation for Mass
    Remain aware that others around you are praying so maintain silence (entering and leaving church).
    Bow your head at the name of Jesus.
    Sing along with the hyms and responses.
    The “Orens position” or imitation of an ordained Priest or Christ is a modern inovation that is not permitted or encouraged. Hand holding during the Our Father is not encouraged.
    (I always though that both of the latter were insults to Christ and the Priesthood)
    Bow (or genuflect twice a year… I do it all the time when I hear it not twice a year) at “by the power of the holy spirit came down was from heaven…. ”
    Communion is properly recieved on the tounge or …. in the hand. Standing or kneeling.
    If in the hand a profound bow before reception is appropriate.
    After comunion we do not leave the Church. We stay and pray in thanks giving for what we have recieved.
    After the recessional hym we genuflect and silently leave Church out of repect for Christ and the people staying to pray.
    For the most part his sermon was wholly ignored. Some of the hand holding stopped, but for some it was a wonderful opportunity to be completly disobedient and blatant about it at the same time (the orens position etc…). It was like he never spoke a word at all from the pulpit as people were wooping it up at the local meeting hall leaving Mass.
    God bless Fr. Gahan.

  9. Cath says:

    In our archdiocese we all listened to a recording of Archbishop Naumann about the threat to our religious liberty by our government. He invited everyone to the rally in Topeka this Friday as part of the Fortnight to Freedom. Only thing I would have liked to hear and didn’t was when he discussed it not being about contraception (and I know it is not), but rather religious liberty. I wish he would have (even in just one sentence) clearly stated Church teaching on the use of artificial contraception to use that moment of teaching one thing, to reinforce a much abused and misunderstood teaching. With so many Catholics going against the Church on contraception, its good to hear it once in a while.

  10. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    At Assumption Grotto, the homily theme for all Masses was Religious Liberty. The priest who had the 9:30 AM Mass (1962 Missal), did a great job of weaving St. John the Baptist and his martyrdom into the homily.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Elizium23, the idea is taken from Scripture–the angel’s message indicates that, “and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” which indicates that it is believed by the Church, as Scripture and Tradition are the foundations of teaching. Also, from the earliest times in the Church, there has been an awareness of St. John as being freed from Original Sin at the time of the Visitation of Mary. In the Byzantine and Orthodox traditions, this is a big deal. Also, St. Augustine writes about this. might be a place to start.

  12. nasman2 says:

    We were visiting Cleveland this weekend and was at an early low Mass this morning. Supertradmum and Nan’s sermons are nearly identical to what we received with the additional exhortation that the law of the land does not necessarily reflect God’s law and that these laws are not just. This paired with St. Thomas More’s example was pretty powerful.

    God bless out holy priests.

  13. JKnott says:

    Our good sermon was also similar to Diane’s , on the martyrdom of St John the Baptist and religious liberty along with exhortations to prayer, adoration and the rosary at 8pm.

    @ Jim Dorchak. Wow what a great sermon. God bless Father Gahan indeed!!!

  14. Eric says:

    I learned that the names of the notes of the musical scale, Doe Ray Me, came from the sung vespers of the feast of St. John the Baptist.
    Trivial but interesting.

  15. APX says:

    I attended my friend’s first Sunday Mass. Given the busiest of the weekend for him, he’s a little sleep deprived, so he piggy-backed off the bishop’s homily from his ordination. Being the Feast of St John the Baptist, he spoke about how everyone is called to do something with their lives. He talked about that to determine what we’re being called to do, we must live a life of repentance and must examine our lives daily to see what we’ve done good and what we need to improve upon in our lives. He also said we needed to find quiet times in our life each day to hear the voice which God is calling us to. He also spoke about how John the Baptist could be the patron saint of the unborn and pro-life movement. Finally, he also spoke about how God cannot will anything that isn’t good for us or would harm us.

  16. AnAmericanMother says:

    I think our priests must be comparing notes (or are similarly inspired).
    John the Baptist – fiery and unrelenting preacher – Herod and his sister-in-law – John suffered death by the sword for proclaiming God’s law – So did St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher – we may not have to suffer death but we must stand up for the Church and for religious freedom – reminding everyone of the Fortnight for Freedom.

  17. acardnal says:

    God bless Fr. Gahan.

  18. contrarian says:

    Our priest talked about the recent ordination of priests in our diocese. He talked about the incredible challenges that priests face today as compared to when he was ordained, and told to remember priests in our daily prayers.
    He then talked about the Fortnight for Freedom. What I found interesting was what he said next: “Back when I was ordained, I certainly didn’t think that, many years from now, I’d have to stand in the pulpit and talk about how our government was impinging upon our religious freedom and forcing us, upon pain of huge fines, to fund things that were immoral. Never in a million years would I have thought this day would come. But it has. And we have to act. We have to say something.”

    It was a great homily.

  19. Sandy says:

    The sermon I’m commenting on was 2 weeks ago for Corpus Christi, but still it is worth mentioning. It was one of the best I have ever heard on any subject, a great treatise on the Eucharist and all the respect that is due, etc.! It was so inspiring that I asked Father for a copy of it, which he graciously gave me yesterday. (He’s not the pastor.) I will scan it and send it to some friends, and can email it to you also, Father, if you wish. It is the kind of teaching we should hear all the time.

    Now if we can just get the EMHC’s to stop shaking hands when they get to the altar, grrrrr!

  20. DBuote says:

    I served Fr. Jonathan Robinson C.O’s private Mass… unfortunately no homily…

    St. John the Baptist Pray for us!


  21. Bea says:

    Good sermon:
    John the Baptist conceived for a purpose.
    You, Papas and Mamas your children were conceived for a purpose
    You are the instruments. God is the Creator.
    Your children belong to God, not to you. Bring them up as children of God.
    Teach them to follow God’s Will.
    Consecrate them to God that they will do God’s Will, not yours.

    We went to two Masses. This one is from the second Mass. Sermon was given in Spanish.
    The earlier one in English, I couldn’t hear too well, The first Mass’ celebrant speaks too low.

  22. Scarltherr says:

    Father spoke about humility, the meaning of our names and how they can express our vocations, and the importance of formation and discernment for adults.

  23. PostCatholic says:

    We had a visiting rabbi offer some reflections on the necessity of power and/or secrecy for moral choice. He argued that public secrecy is becoming more difficult to have; that being overly concerned for safety has eroded important personal freedoms and power; and that the latitude for moral choice is becoming more constricted. As a consequence, when people are possessed of opportunities to exercise moral decisions they may have sufficient experience in developing a moral character.

  24. akp1 says:

    Sermon was ok – none Missal prayers not. :-(

  25. Sword40 says:

    We will be going up to Tacoma, WA (an hours drive) for this evenings low Mass with Fr. Ken Baker. Looking forward to another great Homily.

  26. Fortnight for freedom was mentioned. Also Father’s last week at the parish.

  27. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    Monsignor spoke among other things the placement of the feast of St John the Baptist close to the summer solstice and how the days will start getting shorter – decreasing the same as St John the Baptist foretelling Our Lord “He must increase I must decrease.”. It reminded me of Father Z’s recent Z-cast about the same point.

  28. lelnet says:

    (Paraphrasing…I wish I’d been recording it.)

    1. “John the Baptist came to prepare the people of Israel for the savior they were already hungering for…your job and our job is in a sense even harder…we have to prepare the world’s hearts for the love of a God that too many of them have decided to hate.” [As an example, reads from the recent atrocious “time to leave the Church” full-page ad in USA Today.] “You mustn’t speak in bitterness and anger, because those are Satan’s tools, not Christ’s. But you _must speak the Truth_. You _MUST PREPARE THE WORLD_!”

    2. “This will be my last Sunday mass in this parish. One week from right now the celebrant will be the young man who was here last summer as a Deacon, who is now newly ordained to the priesthood. I hope you show him all the same kindness you’ve shown me over these last few years. As for me, I will miss you all.”

  29. asperges says:

    EF Dominican rite. Pointed out that today is the feast of the birth of John the Baptist, not of his martyrdom. A contrast of the old priesthood and the new. Simeon (father of John) was struck dumb for nine months for questioning the message of the angel that his aged wife would conceive. But his dumbness also signified (as priest) the inability of the old testament priests to speak the very words which were needed for salvation: it took the coming of the Word Himself to rectify that and to confer the full priesthood.

  30. poorlady says:

    No envelopes for Peter’s Pence in the pews. Father announced he would send our Sunday Offerings to the fund. Yay!

  31. AnnAsher says:

    We have to possess the courage of John the Baptisy to boldly live and share the Faith. Not to seek the approval of this world, not to care about fleeting things but permanent things in God. I summarize.

  32. AnnAsher says:

    We have to possess the courage of John the Baptist to boldly live and share the Faith. Not to seek the approval of this world, not to care about fleeting things but permanent things in God. I summarize. It was inspiring. Last week charity, this week courage.

  33. AnnAsher says:

    God Bless Fr Gahan

  34. theidler says:

    YES! Our priest said that the faith was not a popularity contest, whether the Church was full or not was not an indicator of some kind of secular notion of success. He said we must stand in the Truth. A few of us almost cheered.

  35. rcg says:

    Our priest told us about John and how he was named. Then told us we should look to our names, actual or baptismal, and seek to represent God to others accordingly. Although this parish conducts OF versus populum the priest turned to bow to the tabernacle and sang the Mass. I told he did a good job and he seemed truly pleased. I thank God that I was allowed to give him that gift.

  36. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father explained that three people have their birth celebrated, and went on to explain why we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. I had an intriguing thought as a result: Mary, as Mediatrix. The moment YOUR voice rang in my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy.

    (There was much more, but I won’t repeat what so many have said here.)

  37. Alan Aversa says:

    Mine—a VA hospital chaplain—gave a long and engaging sermon on the value of suffering, urging us to be imitators of St. John the Baptist. He explained Col. 1:24: “…[I] now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church.” He exhorted us, like in Matt. 5:12, to rejoice when we suffer: “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you,” the greatest being St. John the Baptist, who, like Jeremias and Isaias, was sanctified in the womb. Suffering is about overcoming our selfishness and loving others with agape love; St. John the Baptist practiced selflessness and altruistic love very well: “John 1:27 …he that shall come after me […] is preferred before me: the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose.” Then my priest tied all this to present-day issues, like abortion and the HHS Mandate. His prophetic, very real, and practical sermon was very sobering, especially because he said we have much to suffer in the coming months and year, and that he himself prayed for a martyr’s death since he was in elementary school.

    Deo gratias for the 1962 Missal, else I never would’ve known—beginning with the Confiteor‘s explicit mention and ranking of St. John the Baptist as the first human right after the Blessed Virgin—how great of a saint he is! I also thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s vigil’s and today’s feast’s very pro-life readings, the former’s epistle mentioning Jeremias’s sanctification in the womb and his “baby talk” (“Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.” ?) and the latter’s mentioning Isaias’s sanctification in the womb. Jeremias, Isaias, and St. John such inspirations for us to courageously speak the inconvenient truths, for the Holy Spirit will speak through those in grace: “Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak.” (Jer. 1:7) and “he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword” (Is. 49:2)—even if it means we messengers will be hated for it, as St. Paul was, too.

  38. Fuquay Steve says:

    Father spoke passionately about all of us being ‘the voice in the wilderness’ during this time of persecution (HHS mandate and other infringements to religious liberty). We should not remain silent during this critical time. Our voices need to be ONE, following our bishops. Very moving sermon and from the heart.

  39. philothea.distracted says:

    I learned that the shortening of the hours of daylight that begins around the Nativity of John the Baptist, reminds us that John (and we) must decrease while Christ increases. The days then get longer just around the time of the Nativity of Christ. A new insight for me. So beautiful.

  40. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I am 26yrs old and attended 12yrs of Catholic schooling, attending Mass 3-4times per week during the first 8yrs of Catholic schooling. I never learned that John the Baptist was born without original sin until I was 25yrs old when I read it in my EF Missal commentary. My EF priest, God bless him, mentioned John the Baptist’s being born without original sin during his homily today.

  41. acardnal says:

    But he wasn’t conceived without Original Sin as was the Blessed Virgin.

  42. JayDeee says:

    Our bishop requested priests to talk about the Fortnight for Freedom, today and next Sunday. So our priest talked about freedom and conscience, bringing in Aquinas, and bringing in today’s reading from Isaiah, talking about how God _will_ bring His purposes about. There was a bulletin insert of the Litany for Liberty.

  43. Lori Pieper says:

    I went to another parish than the one I usually attend, for our Secular Franciscan Fraternity’s Chapter of Elections, but first we attended the 1:00 Mass. They have a priest from Ghana helping out in the parish for a year while he does grad studies at a nearby university. He said the Mass, but the homily was given by the pastor, a Monsignor.

    His purpose: to speak about the Fortnight for Freedom. And he did, a real barn-burner of a homily. He gave again the words of Cdl. George: “I expect to die in my bed. My successor will go to jail, and his successor will die a martyr.” (He spoiled the effect only a little by attributing the words to Abp. Chaput). He stressed that we must all hold firm and fight for our freedom as Catholics and live the truth of the faith at all costs. He could have tied this all in with John the Baptist’s martyrdom, but for some reason he didn’t.

    He had us all say the Fortnight for Freedom Prayer with him right there – the words were on flyers in the pews. He got tremendous applause when he stepped down from the pulpit. I expect he gave the same sermon at all or most of the Masses this Sunday.

    After the Chapter, which took up a lot of the afternoon, I went to a restaurant for a hearty dinner with three of my fellow-Franciscans, two of them newly elected to the Fraternity Council. The main topic of discussion: did you ever imagine that we would experience such a thing in our country? We realized that we have taken our freedoms for granted. What times we live in.

  44. Texas trad says:

    Today was Father Andrew Menage’s first latin mass after his ordination on June 15 in Winona, MN. He is a Benedictine priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Silver City, New Mexico. It was standing room only with guests from many states. A wonderful day ended a short while ago with vespers and benediction. God bless Father Andrew.

  45. Suburbanbanshee says:

    A rousing sermon about John having been conceived and born for a mission, and so are all of us. The Holy Spirit being constantly busy in the world, and our mission being to give witness to God with our words and deeds. Religious freedom. Being prepared for persecution and bloody martyrdom.

    Our youth group going on a work mission this week, and leaving right after Mass, was tied into it.

  46. pseudomodo says:

    Our sermon explained that limbo does not exist – Benedict XVI says so.

  47. pseudomodo says:

    Our Sunday homily was that Limbo does not exist -Benedict XVI says so.

  48. InformedAndFree says:

    Our priest did a good job of tying in St. John the Baptist and Fortnight for Freedom and how we should not be afraid to speak the truth even if it has negative consequences. He also spoke directly to the altar servers and other children about the grandmother-bus monitor who was verbally abused by children on the way to school. They should not give into peer pressure like the kid who filmed it on his phone. He told them he hoped they would have the courage to stand up to the bullies and speak the truth – bullying is wrong – even if you get ridiculed in return. We also prayed the Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty during the Prayer of the Faithful.

  49. eiggam says:

    I had the privilege of attending Fr. Francis Marotti’s first Mass in Kalamazoo, MI. Fr. Ted Martin spoke on why Francis is a priest (He was ordained yesterday). Fr. Martin spoke of how Fr. Marotti was called to be a priest and the importance of the sacraments, especially reconciliation and the Holy sacrifice of the Mass.

    I have known Fr. Marotti since he was a small child and his parents did their job in nurturing his vocation.

    Pray for all priests!

  50. Skeinster says:

    The ancient prophets were the ripples of grace. St. John was the precursor to the great Flood of grace that broke upon us in Jesus.
    The ministry of John was needed due to the many previous ‘false Christs’. His great power was to “hear the Word of God and keep it”. We must all co-operate with the grace God gives to live our unique vocations to show forth Christ to the world. Our job is to prepare souls: first our own, then others. B/c just as in John’s day, Christ is coming again. Do we help or hinder the coming of Christ into other souls?
    The more time we spend with Christ= the more we become like Him= the more we impact souls.
    Importance of meditation and contemplation.

    From my notes on the sermon. We have a heavy schedule of Fortnight events, but Fr. just referred us to the bulletin and did not preach on the subject.

  51. FaithfulCatechist says:

    Homilist started talking about a volunteer in his home parish and it took him a few minutes to make the connection to John the Baptist but he eventually got there. Talked a lot about ‘making straight the way’, nicely balancing the work of the laity ad intra and ad extra. One thing he said stuck out: “Before you were born, you were called.” I’ll have to remember that for class this year.

  52. I had a difficult time working up a homily this past weekend. First, because I’ve been so distracted, all week, as I pack up and move; second, because when there are two sets of readings for the weekend (one for the Vigil and one for day), I find it hard deciding how to deal with that; third, because this would be my last weekend at one of my parishes, so I was wondering what comments were appropriate under those circumstances.

    In the end, I expanded on some of the things the liturgy says about John the Baptist, and I drew on his famous comment in the Gospel of John: “He must increase; I must decrease.” I also talked about how Herod never asked him to deny his beliefs, only that he remain silent. Tying that to religious persecution worldwide, and our own Fortnight for Freedom (which we’ve promoted in my parishes since Memorial Day), I said we must not remain silent–but like John, we are focusing right now on prayer and fasting.

    In ending my last homily at that parish, I recalled the oath I swore–publicly–on the altar when I took office as pastor seven years ago, to preach the word of Christ.

    If you wish to see it, it is here.

  53. Pingback: Priests Deliver Powerful Sermons on Religious Freedom | Women of Grace

  54. Sword40 says:

    Fr. Ken Baker’s homily was about the importance of St.John the Baptist. He pointed out that in the Catholic church, only three personages births were celebrated, Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist.
    He mentioned that all the other Saint’s deaths were celebrated. He talked about the importance of John’s life in the sequence of events leading to the Crucifixion and discussed the importance of John’s actions regarding Herod’s sin.

  55. DD says:

    Our pastor shared that his Confirmation name is John the Baptist and wondered aloud if his words might have more weight if he signed things with his first initials followed by John the Baptist. A humble man –he’s retiring soon, and will be missed.

  56. irish3509 says:

    Our Bishop requested that the priests preach on the Fortnight for Freedom of which mine did. I don’t remember much of the homily, but the comment of and I am paraphrasing “I grew up in Cuba, with no freedom, don’t let America turn in to that.” stuck with me.

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