Sermon Notes for Sunday

Did you hear a good point in your Sunday sermon at Mass?

Fathers, did you make a good point during the sermon you gave during Mass?

What are they?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Trisagion says:

    I was at my diocesan deacons’ conference at which our newly-minted bishop preached. He preached on the Last Things, he told us that we should be going to confession frequently and that he knew no better way to prepare ourselves for the inevitable judgement of The Lord than to spend at least thirty minutes a day before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. It was astonishing. It was wonderful.

  2. Dr Guinness says:

    We had an “offer your own reflection” sermon. Delightful. ugh.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Latin Mass in Dublin. The priest spoke on hell as endless loneliness as being separated from God. Hard but good…..

  4. 1173justin says:

    Our Mnsgr. spoke about the last things as well and made the following points:

    Other groups of Christians who have sacred scripture, but not Tradition or the Magesterium, have arrived at heresies in regard to Eschatology. The different parts that comprise the Deposit of Faith are complementary to each other.

    He quoted a saint, (I forgot who) that said something along the lines of ” If you aren’t ready for Christ’s coming today, you wont be ready tomorrow either.”

    Last point, If we will be looking upon the face of God in eternity, we should get in the practice by participating in Adoration.

  5. Will D. says:

    We had a retired priest filling in this morning. I love it when he visits, because he is a true-blue “say the black and do the red” priest. He even says “brethren” in the greetings, rather than the mushy “sisters and brothers.”

    He preached about the Second Coming and how odd it is that Christians fear it. He said that if you take frequent advantage of the Sacrament of Penance, you would not need to fear it. “I hope that the Lord comes the minute I walk out of the confessional, because then I wouldn’t even have to go to Purgatory.” (Incidentally, I don’t think that’s quite right, but it was a good line and it got a good response.)

  6. Mark Scott Abeln says:

    At the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, Bishop Hermann preached that the sufferings of the present life are nothing compared to the fires of Hell.

    He said that he first came to this realization when he was a boy in his father’s blacksmith shop, noting how even steel would burn when it is plunged into a furnace.

  7. PhilipNeri says:

    I explain the purpose of the apocalyptic genre in the Church, focusing on the gospel text and recent events. . .oh, and I quote Yeats!

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  8. liz says:

    Father preached at the Hospital mass today about apocalyptic nature of gospel reading and then the importance of building up our daily prayer life and how we never know when our time will come. How the prayer life shouldnt be active just in bad times, but everyday. First when we wake and at the end of the day, add times in the middle of the day and allow God to transform how we walk through our lives, however long we might have.

  9. Sissy says:

    Msgr. told a story about an impatient bridegroom lovingly preparing a home for his beloved bride. He urged us not to disappoint the bridegroom by not being ready for him when he comes to carry his bride home.

  10. tzard says:

    Talked of apocalyptic literature and how what seems terrifying to us should be seen as a message of hope. Since man uses stars, moon, and the sun to navigate and order his world – the falling away of those shows the loss of control by Man into control by God. His words will never pass away.

  11. My college chaplain, who is Irish and has worked in both England and the United States, referenced Fr. Tim Finigan! I was so pleased that I read Fr. Z’s blog and so recognized the name. Unfortunately, I can’t remember enough of the context of the quote to do it justice.

  12. joan ellen says:

    Fr. Sirico, at his EF Mass at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Grand Rapids, talked about we are not just flesh, but also spirit. He told us the Church is about this AND that, not this OR that. Not Heaven OR earth, but heaven AND earth. He spoke of the reality of heaven and the reality of hell. He spoke of the 2nd coming, the end of history, to be prepared for the final judgment, and to shun hell. Even some of the young kids were happy to hear the word hell.

    After Mass, & after the potluck blessing, he said the Bishop (Hurley) wants more traditional things in the Diocese, and Fr. mentioned an altar rail. If I heard correctly, the Bishop wants more EF Masses as well.

    If anyone was there, I hope they tell me I was not dreaming. That they heard this as well.

  13. mysticalrose says:

    Our Pastor preached on hope, our supernatural end, and the witness of St. Josephine Bakhita, whose life demonstrates the transformative power of the love of God. It was wonderful!

  14. iPadre says:

    I talked about the end times. We don’t know the day or hour and must always be ready. These are times of “great distress”, but St. Michael is here to aid us in our struggle. Also related the story of Leo XIII’s vision. We in a spiritual battle, all we see happening in the world is a sign of the spiritual ware, we need to have a strong devotion to St. Michael who will lead us through these difficult times.

  15. Philangelus says:

    Purgatory! We actually had a priest who spoke to us about Purgatory!!!

    Also individual judgment and final judgment, plus the end of the world. But Purgatory!

  16. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    It is important to focus on that which is real, not which is merely appearance: mustard seed appears to be nothing but… leaven is tiny, but without it, there is no bread. Little things matter. Hence, do not value a wealthy man because he is wealthy, or deprecate a poor man for his poverty……

    Saw a friend at Mass who is just discovering the Traditional Mass. Joy in my heart.

  17. mvhcpa says:

    Our wonderful new priest emphasized the second reading (OF), from Hebrews 10, on the difference between the sacrifices under the Old Testament law and Christ’s one sacrifice for all time. He then pointed out that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross IS what we re-present at the “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” (a phrase he made us repeat in the pews). He also pointed out that the Mass includes all of the types of offerings under the Old Testament, similar to the four ends of Mass (P.A.R.T.) that I have heard mentioned in this blog.

    I made sure that I thanked him after Mass for that catechesis and pointed out that I never was given that understanding of the sacrificial nature of the Mass (as a cradle Catholic) until probably my thirties.

    Michael Val
    (whose priest also mentioned, as a bonus, that we should not approach Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin)

  18. Adam Welp says:

    When Father started off his homily referencing Bob Dylan and one of his songs, I kinda zoned out. Then, when he donned his guitar and sang said song (man, I really wish I were making this up), I started getting a head start reading the daily readings for this weeks Masses in my daily missal.

  19. Gratias says:

    EF mass. Father said the readings implied the indefectibility of the Church. Christ was the tiny mustard seed from which the tree of the Church grew. The birds that nest in this tree are all the peoples of the Earth. Similarly, the parable of the yeast rising means that from something tiny something huge such as the institution of the Church that encompasses every continent can grow. He listed recent persecutions of Christians in India, Nigeria, Iraq. Canada and here. The Church grows on the blood of martyrs and it is a privilege to be persecuted. We must persevere for when the empty secular culture of today completely collapses we will be there to restore our society. Pretty good sermon to help survive post-election depression.

  20. Father mentioned how the words of Scripture today bring us hope…I think there was a brief mention of what the Holy Father said..I was quite happy that this parish did NOT pour the Jesus after the consecration like they used to….

  21. e.e. says:

    For some time, we have been discerning whether we should remain at our geographical parish or whether we should attend another parish. After Mass, both of us looked at each other and said, “Let’s go to Mass at St. X’s next week.” It was just that kind of homily today.

    Even if we are going to attend Mass elsewhere, we will keep up the prayers for the pastor of this parish. He has a good heart and he seems to truly love Jesus, but he’s gotten a bit… off track lately.

  22. Charivari Rob says:

    Father started with a reference to that fellow whose apocalyptic prediction didn’t pan out in May a year ago. Moved on to the pitfalls and hazards of trying to read too much into (scriptural) numbers & trying to put a date on the coming of the Kingdom. Explained how Jesus brought the Kingdom into the world with that one Sacrifice. Wrapped up by reminding that is the responsibility of each of us to do our part to bring the Kingdom into the here and now (not that any of us can actually bring it, but we can (a) welcome it, and (b) not get in His way).

  23. JuliaSaysPax says:

    Father talked about the different kinds of literature in the Bible and haw you need to look at it in historical/literature context first, to understand the religious message. Then he distinguished apocalyptic Biblical literature from prophetic Biblical literature. This distinction, he said, is part of why some people get confused and try to predict the end of the world every six months. Then he talked about being always ready to meet God face-to-face, because even if the world lasts another billion years, it COULD end tonight, and you WILL eventually die.
    That was basically the whole homily, no mention of what “ready” meant or of hell or anything, but the message was well-presented towards the congregation. We’re on a college campus with only about 20 people, half of whom are just “interested in Catholicism” and a bunch of graduate students studying the historical Bible. Our homilies tend to be overwhelmingly happy go lucky+ short social justice mention or analyzing the use of some Greek word over another for my particular taste, but they’re usually pretty solid. Today’s was interesting, if a little watered down at the end. Again, perfect for its audience.

  24. Jeannie_C says:

    After reading Fr. Z’s urging to go to Confession, I did so. Didn’t get a lot of coverage in RCIA, so for the past 20 years have avoided it, dreaded it, unsure of how to begin, how to work through the process. I went early, asked Father to help me, lend an instructional hand and he did. Whew!

    Later in his homily, Father spoke of the graces received from Confession, urged everyone to come back to it, reminding us life is unbelievably short and we should make the most of what the sacraments have to offer us.

    Thanks for your push in the right direction, Fr. Z, gave me the courage to ask for what I needed!

  25. APX says:

    Today was our priest’s last Sunday Mass before he leaves, so we had a Solemn High Mass for the 6th resumed Sunday After Epiphany.

    He started out explaining that the mustard seed alluded that the apostles were more timid and unlearned than others, but since they had great power given to them by God, the Gospel was preached throughout the whole world. He then went on to explain that our faith is to change people through us, and that it is to have effect and is to be lived out in order to help others.

    There were only 12 apostles, and they could have said that the whole world was too much for only the 12 of them, but great things are possible with God. When we are co-mingled with the whole world and our faith, we have the ability to overcome difficulties, as well as to influence others by how we preach the gospel in both word and action.

    Jesus warned there would be difficulties, but we should take courage that the light of faith has overcome many difficulties. He mentioned that if the 12 Apostles were able to convert multitudes of people, then we should be able to convert those who remain as well. The 12 Apostles were just regular men, and not miracle workers. He also noted that it wasn’t the saints’ miracles that made them stand out, as many did not work miracles while they were alive, but their rejection of the things of this world.

    How we live is important. By prayerfully living Christ’s example, the beauty of such a life can attract others to do the same. A good life does not just include prayer and penance, but also requires good works and being detached from the world. One can pray and do penance, but still be lacking in charity. All we need to imitate the virtues of the apostles is to have a fervent will , and an ardent love of virtue.

  26. Littlemore says:

    Fr. mentioned how each Mass is 1 less before the end of the world when in heaven we won’t have Mass, but we wouldn’t need Mass as in Heaven we would eternally be in His presence. He was also saying we need to be prepared for “The end is nigh”.

  27. Skeinster says:

    Ours was much like APX’s, but Fr. also pointed out that mustard is a medicinal herb and read some of its uses from an old herbal, comparing them to the sacraments, which also purge, heal and strengthen us. In addition, mustard seeds must be crushed to be useful, just as Christians sometimes show their faith most fervently when persecuted.

  28. poohbear says:

    Our pastor spoke of how sometimes the presence of one person can change the tone of everything, like when a beloved family member or the boss enters a room, the tone changes for better or worse. He tied this in to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and how we should be mindful of Him there in the church. This led into a discussion of Eucharistic Adoration which ties in to our church’s 40 hours devotion this week.

    Father was really on a roll this week as his column in the bulletin was about heaven, hell, purgatory and judgement.

  29. TMKent says:

    My Sunday sermon experience was both amazing and disturbing. We spent the weekend at a Knight of Columbus Supreme meeting in Texas. Each day there was daily mass, celebrated Archbishop Lori, fresh from the Bishops meeting in Baltimore. The first couple days, many dignitaries were present, including Cardinals Rigali and McCarrick who were there to honor past Supreme Knight Dechant. By Sunday, however, only a few clergy remained and Archbishop Lori was preaching directly to the Knights of Columbus leadership. He began his homily with by reciting the prayer to St. Michael as a reference to the first reading and a gentle but firm reminder on the presence of evil in the world and the need to be vigilant. He went on to speak of St. Elizabeth of hungry and her e works of Charity, a fitting example for the Knights, but then he hit us with a reading of Cardinal Ratzinger’s essay on how “the Church will become small” saying that this was beginning of a hostile time against our faith and how it was the job of the Knights – indeed every Catholic, to become educated and prepare to defend and give example of our Faith against the coming difficulties.
    Carl Anderson’s had made earlier remarks on how there could be no more “sunshine Catholics” and even though most Knights joined the Order to do good works of Charity, not to be the “point of the spear” they were by necessity going to find themselves in that role. Many who listened and knew what was being said were stunned.
    Its moments like these that I wish people like Mr. Voris would be supportive of the Knights instead of making their task even more difficult. It’s clear that as exercising our faith becomes more and more difficult, our Bishops intend to call upon the Knights to take a greater role in the public square – where they cannot. The battle is on and our Holy Father has chosen his newest leaders with very specific roles commensurate with their gifts. In the US – Dolan, Chaput, Lori and others are sending very distinct messages, but they need us to listen and support them.

  30. mike cliffson says:

    All Covered here by others, except for mention of that saint that leper(?) colonied and caught it too, when asked ( Ithink Ive heard this of others too, but the point remains)” If you knew you had exactly 24 hours left in this world , what ‘d you do?”
    Answer: “Exactly what Im doing.”
    ie God’s will, serving others, priesting,physically, etc
    Certain elaboration on “Could you or I say that.?”

  31. Fr. A.M. says:

    Well Father, I preached on the four last things, etc, and the words ‘Hell’ and ‘Purgatory’ were mentioned, probably for the first time in forty or fifty years in my church,which is in a spiritual desert somewhere in Europe. A member of my religious community was a little bit critical that I mentioned ‘purgatory’. ‘That is something for a conference’, he said, ‘the homily is about explaining the scriptures’. I could go on dear friends, but you know, I’m sure, how to respond to people who think that homilies have nothing to do about teaching the Faith, doctrine and those kind of things. In my answer to my brother-in-Christ, I said, among other things, that I took an oath before ordination to faithfully hand the Faith on. And that, with the help of God’s grace, is what I intend to do. Prayers please and keep up the good work Fr Z.

  32. Catholictothecore says:

    The monk at the Abbey of the Genesee in NY spoke of the end times as well. It was a good homily. Some of us from our parish went to this Abbey for a 3-day silent retreat just this past weekend. A first time for all of us – a silent retreat – something that people should experience it at least once in their lifetime. A struggle, a challenge the first hour or so, but once you settle down it takes you into the deep recesses of your mind where you can truly connect with God in the silence. We joined the monks for the Liturgy of the Hours except the 2:25am one. Too early! The monks chant the Hours. No words to describe it. Or maybe one word – Heavenly.

  33. acardnal says:

    Catholictothecore, I have been on a few silent retreats at Trappist monasteries but that was over a decade ago. I enjoyed them and would go again. My only criticism was their book stores/gift shops. I have been to a monastery in the Rocky Mountains and one on the East coast. The stores were loaded with new age books to include the former Dominican (now an Episcopalian) Fr. Matthew Fox’s “Cosmic Christ.” I asked the Brother at the store why all of this New Age/Gnosticism material, and he replied with something like “there are many paths to God”, which smelled like syncretism and indifferentism to me. I wanted to remind him of what Jesus said in Jn 14:6 but I left the store instead. This was over a decade ago so hopefully the Trappists have cleaned up their act.

  34. wmeyer says:

    I asked the Brother at the store why all of this New Age/Gnosticism material, and he replied with something like “there are many paths to God”, which smelled like syncretism and indifferentism to me.

    Disturbing. I have yet to visit our nearby Trappist monastery, but when I do, will be watching for such pollution.

  35. An American Mother says:

    At least Fox had the honesty to become an Episcopalian. All of his ilk should go and do likewise, it would be much less confusing to the laity.

  36. Simon_GNR says:

    Philangelus: ditto!

    Our parish priest talked about the Last Things, Judgement and Purgatory. He also metioned the Church Triumphant, the Church Suffering and the Church Militant. It’s good to have a priest who clearly believes, and preaches sound, traditional Catholic doctrines.

  37. acardnal says:

    AAA, he was expelled by the Dominicans after a series of reviews of his material by the CDF and our friend ++Cardinal Ratzinger.

  38. acardnal says:

    sic AAA = AAM

  39. AnnAsher says:

    Tardy with my response. Sunday’s sermon was powerful and
    inspiring. “Death is a gift. It frees us from the valley of tears; frees us from sin; frees us from the further possibility of being condemned to hell…. Those who are repentant; who are in the state of grace, need not fear death- it is a gift. If you are a persistent sinner … Well then you have reason to fear death.”

  40. jpkvmi says:

    Excellent Vigil at St. Pat’s Soho London. The preist (quite young) gave a cracking good homily about Salvation and the Eucharist. But his best was after the blessing when he stopped thanked the young men doing the chant for mass and pointed out, “When someone tells you the Church is dying, remember this moment, we have a priest, 2 servers, 2 chorists and 1 organist. All young men under the age of 30.” Brilliant.

  41. Supertradmum says:

    jpkvmi, was it Father James Bradley?

  42. Catholictothecore says:

    acardnal, glad to see you’ve been to silent retreats as well. The bookstore was well-stocked with books written by the Holy Father (Cardinal Ratzinger), also some by the Trappist monks, and the usual books on Saints/by Saints, it was a whole array of Catholic books. I was quite impressed. No, there were no Matthew Fox or New Age/Gnosticism books. The Trappist’s have certainly improved in that area.

  43. VexillaRegis says:

    @TM Kent: Saint Elizabeth of *Hungary* could indeed be called St Elizabeth of the *hungry*: ;-)

  44. acardnal says:

    Catholictothecore, great news! ( I actually made this comment on 19 Nov. but it was erased during the server maintenance.)

  45. jpkvmi says:

    Not sure what his name was. But he was a reverent and brilliant young priest. We actually live out by the M25 and were in the city for evening prayer and adoration with the Friars so we came in early for mass. We like St. Patrick’s because the masses are proper and they have regular adoration. Two essentials in our book.

Comments are closed.