Your Christmas Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for Christmas Mass?  Or Masses?

Let us know!  It is always interesting to hear what is being said and there are so many angles to explore.

And some people don’t get very good sermons, alas.

We don’t need the bad points.  Give us the good stuff!

Merry Christmas!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    My pastor delivered a very sober and heartfelt message that there can be no peace in our world, our families, or our lives without the peace that comes from the God who so wanted us to have peace that he personally entered our chaos and suffered our violence. All merely human attempts at lasting peace are doomed to failure.
    He also gave a very direct but gentle plea to the twice-a-year crowd that they should come to Mass every week, because there is literally no other way to receive the aforementioned gift of peace.
    Father is not one for lofty words or poetic speech, but speaks plainly and directly.

  2. Father delivered a sermon on humility and the need to be child like to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and how the Incarnation was the ultimate act of humility. Excellent sermon…

  3. ghp95134 says:

    I wasn’t taking notes, and didn’t think to report his homily; however, what struck me was Father’s admonishment (kindly) that we are too self-absorbed to open our hearts to Christ. His sermon was a contemplation of “no room at the inn.” Father noted that many of us would say to Mary, were we living at that time: “I will make room for you.” But how can we make room for Mary, for Jesus, when we have no room in our heart? We are busy with lust, fame, self-interest (etc.) and there is no room in our heart for Jesus; so, how can we say “I’ll make room for Mary?” We must make room in our hearts through prayer and contemplation, we must prepare “room in our hearts” by eliminating pride, prejudice, hatred, ill-will, scorn of others, (etc.). When we have emptied our hearts of these evils, only then can we say, “I have room for you”.

    That’s what stuck in my mind ~~ as I tried to make room in my heart for the “little darling” in front of me who was noisily making a nuisance of himself during Midnight Mass. Ohhhhh, it’s so easy to agree with Father …. and yet, so HARD to apply his message!

    Christmas greetings!

  4. Maltese says:

    Lucem; Christ was/is the light of the light of the world, who turns us from darkness, and makes all things new! Great sermon!

  5. Joseph-Mary says:

    I am hoping for a good homily today. We had a retired priest from western Nebraska last evening and I think his name was Fr. “Ad-lib”….Nuff said.

  6. PhilipNeri says:

    I tried to answer the question: why the Incarnation? Keyed in on the first paragraph of BXVI’s Midnight Mass homily.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  7. JimmyA says:

    Lots of good stuff about the dignity of every human person. Also some, er, interesting stuff with quotes from Gustavo Gutierrez (no, I was not at the London Oratory).

  8. visigrad says:

    Or pastor clearly dismissed Christmas sentiment, although not bad in itself, and focused on obedience…Christmas is all about obedience from Mary’s Fiat to The Cross. People would rather focus on the new born babe….but we can’t stop there…we need to go to The Cross. He is an excellent always leaves challenged to more !

  9. JonPatrick says:

    At Midnight Mass (EF) . Father preached about the Christ coming at the darkest point of the night (traditionally midnight) and this is symbolic of how he came during a dark time back then with the Roman occupation, and does now. He went on to elaborate the darkness we face in the world now and what we may expect given the current anti-Catholic climate. He brought up the St. Andrew Novena prayer which mentions Christ coming at midnight “in piercing cold” and how Jesus was also cold and pierced at another time, on the cross.

  10. pj_houston says:

    We were treated to a brief history of Pope Leo the Great and his heresy crushing skills. Then a discourse on the Latin phrase “Agere Sequitur Esse” (action follows being).

  11. Southern Baron says:

    The coming of Christ drives us to action, in seeking him and then in turning to others. Linked this to the idea of Joseph as the “just man.” Sounds basic, but it was said in a very compelling way by one of my favorite homilists.

  12. StWinefride says:

    I commented briefly late last night on another post with regard to a point made by our priest in his sermon. I recount it here in, hopefully, a slightly more coherent way.

    The music at our NO Midnight Mass was beautiful (Missa in C – Franz Schneider) and it was obvious that our elderly Monsignor was overwhelmed!

    In the opening of his sermon, he made an analogy between sacred music, which raises our hearts and souls to God, and Liturgical Worship.

    He likened this relationship with an oyster; the music being the shell and Liturgical Worship of God, the pearl.

    He went on to say that we can listen to beautiful music all day but that it is in the Liturgy that our Lord is truly encountered.

    In this part of Europe, this was refreshing to hear.

    Happy, Holy Christmas to all!

  13. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    Father reminded us the reason for the season is the birth of our savior and waiting expectantly for our Lord to return again in glory. He also mentioned our joy for the season will only last if we put J – Jesus first, O – Others second and Y – You (me) last.

  14. relee54 says:

    Awesome sermon that you gave at midnight Mass at Assumption Grotto Father Z! A nice Christmas surprise, added to the outstanding orchestral performance of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis.

    It was nice to hear your reminiscences about coming in to the Church three decades ago. The applause from the audience was truly warranted. Hopefully many who heard your sermon will feel that pull of the Holy Infant’s finger! Merry Christmas.

  15. Matt R says:

    He explained the relationship between God and man as a love story, one so great that God sent his Only Son to dwell among us, as a man in all things save sin. It was awesome-so much so that I forgot the rest!

  16. Charivari Rob says:

    Vigil Mass.

    Father spoke of being made to know, love, seek union with God. That besides (or above) what we do to try to get to God, it is that God reaches out to us, offering so many opportunities – and how the birth of Christ was and is the particular gift of God reaching out to us in a way He never had before.

  17. Admiral-GER says:

    My pastor pointed out (compared to his usual sermons) very clearly that we have to show our faith in the everyday life, not only at Christmas or Eastern.

    It was the midnight mass, packed with “strangers” and it put a smile on my face.

  18. The transitional deacon who preached at the extraordinary form Mass I attended this morning drew several parallels between Jesus’ birth and His death. His swaddling clothes prefigure his burial cloth. He was born in a borrowed stable and was laid to rest in a borrowed tomb. He was born in a wooden structure and died on the wood of the cross. We were also reminded that the next week includes commemoration of many who died for Christ– St. Stephen, the Holy Innocents, and St. Thomas Becket. The peace that Jesus brings is surely not the sort of peace that most of us seek at times.

  19. APX says:

    I don’t know what our bishop was preaching about during midnight Mass as the choir was too much of a distraction, but I went to the Mass at Dawn this morning in the Extraordinary Form and priest had this to say:

    “Christmas isn’t about family traditions or sentiments. It’s about worshipping and adoring a baby who is God.”

  20. HighMass says:

    Oh Dear Baby Jesus Please send us a Priest in our Area to Celebrate TLM High Mass.
    How one misses this BEAUTIFUL Mass.

    Boun Natale a Tutte

  21. albinus1 says:

    We had a wonderful TLM last night (the Midnight Mass, but anticipated to 9 a.m., because the parish had its regular NO Midnight Mass scheduled for Midnight), at which I had the privilege of singing in the schola. Our celebrant began his homily by observing that so much of the way people celebrate Christmas is focused on food — that if outside observers unacquainted with Christmas had to guess what Christmas was about, they might conclude that it is a festival about food. He continued by pointing out that “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread”, and that at Christmas we celebrate the fact that Jesus, the Bread of Life, became incarnate: He took on the flesh that He would later give us as our spiritual food. So that in addition to its other aspects, Christmas is also an important feast for the Eucharist. I had never before heard anyone draw such a direct connection between Christmas and the Eucharist. I found it very moving and though-provoking.

  22. albinus1 says:

    PS — Type in my last message: our Midnight Mass was anticipated to 9 *p.m.*

  23. Gail F says:

    Hope was born on Christmas. There was a lot of other good stuff but that was the best.

  24. Anne M. says:

    Our priest said God has a plan for everyone, that one just needs to take time to listen to God to know what that plan is. His point about planning was that the Holy Family did not have the birth of Jesus planned. They had nowhere to stay, it was inconvenient for Mary to travel while pregnant, but they listened to God and followed His plan. He said people are so busy planning every minute of their lives they forget to schedule time with God. He said he would like to see everyone schedule time to spend with God in silence because there is great joy to be found in that.

  25. prayalways says:

    our priest emphasized the incarnation and love by reminding us that “something happened” in the history of mankind and that was the word made flesh and pitching a tent among us. i’ll also repoen an older thread about kneeling during the creed, which was participated in by ninety-nine percent of our congregation. i’m a newbie convert as of this past easter vigil so i had to scramble to catch up and get down there with the rest of the faithful. i for sure had a “wow” moment and got goosebumps from the silence during the kneeling as well the the rumble and rustle to get up and down on our knees.
    i love being Catholic and i’m so grateful that i’m surrounded by such a faithful and devout congregation. merry christmas!

  26. gloriainexcelsis says:

    The theme was humility. Our Lady’s humility in her fiat, Our Lord’s humility in becoming man in the form of a poor, helpless babe. Humility throughout Christ’s life and the supreme humility in His passion and death . Humility.

  27. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    I liked the warm way the celebrant at my parish invited back lapsed and fallen-away Catholics. Many priests are afraid to go there, but if it is done just right, in a warm and supportive way, could be how God’s grace reaches some of them.

  28. Philangelus says:

    Mary’s submission, obedience and trust in God are to be the models of our own. Also that the innkeepers who turned away Mary and Joseph were in effect saying they had no room for Jesus.

    He also covered the pain Joseph must have been in, unable to find a place for Mary, and how Mary probably smiled and said, “It’s okay. The stable will be okay,” and that probably made him feel stronger again. I thought that was very sweet.

  29. jesusthroughmary says:

    At the first Mass of Christmas, the pastor made the point that Our Divine Lord came to earth to be true food, and to make it clear He even came to us in a manger (which is used to feed animals – I never made the connection between “manger” and “mangia” before) in Bethlehem (the House of Bread).

    At the third Mass of Christmas, the curate spun a lovely parable about Christmas gifts and how their packaging and presentation shows the love of the giver, and then explained how Our Lord “packaged” the gift of Himself to us on Christmas to show His infinite love for us.

  30. jameeka says:

    Our priest at the 9 AM mass spoke of St Francis giving a theology lesson by showing the Nativity scene with the creche, all furnished with the details from St Luke’s Gospel.
    The first people, other than the Holy Family, who knew about baby Jesus’ birth, were the shepherds— the humble, poor, weary, and down-trodden.
    And while they knelt and adored Jesus, this “sign” represented not only God’s promise fulfilled, but His promise yet to come.

  31. James Joseph says:

    My uncle said holy Mass. Ten years after an accusation by an atheist angry about his baby having been Baptised at the behest of his mother. Eight years after being cleared by the secular/state authority, five years after a prefect commanded his faculties restored, the archdiocese finally delivered the letter allowing him to be near an altar.

    The homily was about bambino Gesu. As a part of the homily, he sang from memory, in Italian, a song composed by Alphonso Ligouri about the baby Jesus. He elaborated how important it is to not lose an affection for the childhood of Our Saviour and also for la bambina Maria. Before Mass he spoke at length about Philippo Neri being the third Apostle to Rome, and the Oratorians.

    It was a great homily.

  32. discipulus says:

    During the sermon, our priest mentioned that “Without God, there is no peace”, and also spoke of the anti-Catholic history of the peace symbol.

  33. poohbear says:

    Father focused on Jesus being born for each one of us, personally, and how we must accept Him in our hearts and believe. He closed with the question: “Are you here tonight because you believe, or because everyone else is here?”

  34. L.S. says:

    Father A. gave a wonderful homily at the usus antiquor midnight mass emphasizing Christ’s second coming. A friend and fellow priest of his had been in the hospital, then finally laid to rest on Christmas Eve, so Father had been focusing on death and judgment even more than his wont for Advent. He spoke about the meaning of the word “advent” and concluded by tying it all into the Eucharist and what our disposition should be for receiving Him. I wish I could remember more specifics, because it was a really good homily. He has a gift for not letting us get swept away in sentimentality (all too easy to do around Christmas, as I saw another commenter mentioned) by always keeping the Cross at the forefront of everything.

  35. JacobWall says:

    I remember at one point Father drew our attention to the Nativity scene, and said, “This is not Bethlehem.” He then pointed to the altar and said “This is Bethlehem.” He made a wonderful point about how the altar is where Christ’s arrival is celebrated every week, and how, like Joseph and Mary, we receive him every time we receive Holy Communion.

  36. I decided this year to take my Mom to the Latin High Mass at a nearby parish instead of going to our normal Novus Ordo midnight mass. What a great decision that was! We had a wonderful ‘older’ priest who without a doubt is close to completing his mission to sainthood while on this earth. He gave a wonderful sermon on indifferentism and the dangers of the modern world for our Catholic faith. Two of the points that stood out for me was when he said “Some people say that God is a mountain and all the different religions are just paths up the mountain all ending at the same place… those people are WRONG, there is only one religion that reaches that true focal point and that is our Catholic Christianity.” He then gave a short story on an atheist and a flock of geese and how the man came to know God through watching the geese struggle in a blizzard. I’ll be incorporating both of these great points in a blog posting tonight.

    Merry Christmas Father!


  37. oldCatholigirl says:

    I attended a beautiful EF at 11:00 a.m., so it was the Mass for During the Day. Our young pastor pointed out to us that the Secret at Midnight Mass and the related prayer during every Offertory go back all the way to Pope Leo the Great. He then proceeded to preach on “commercium”. Hearing about this after the wonderful readings (first 12 chapters of Hebrews & the first 14 of John) just about made me cry. Too much beauty.

  38. Skeinster says:

    Our just-arrived third priest preached at the Mass of the Day: Jesus is our Teacher, the stable is a school, the manger is His chair. His tears, suffering and silence are our lessons to cure our pride, passions and greed.The birth of Christ refutes all three, as an antidote to the times and those things that steal our peace: the grasping after self-esteen, pleasure, riches and human respect. Jesus mortified Himself throughout His life, from the very beginning.

  39. Charlotte Allen says:

    We had a lovely sermon whose theme was that the silence of God was broken by a newborn baby’s cry in Bethlehem. The priest opened with this, and then circled back to the baby’s cry at the sermon’s very end. At this point–and what a Christmas miracle this was–a baby in the back of the church began crying. Perfect!

  40. JuliaSaysPax says:

    Finally back at my home parish, a really excellent note at the end of the sermon of the Christmas vigil directed at the twice a year folks, mentioning confession and urging a return to mass outside of Christmas and Easter. Quite firm and adamant, but very gentle. Fr. also mentioned that in the past few months, mass attendance has nearly doubled from past years and that the number of families registered in the parish has also increased substantially, as well as the size of the RCIA classes (this is his first year as pastor of this particular parish) and that we must do everything possible to spread the message of hope and joyous salvation from the gospel to continue this trend.
    On the Sunday before, Fr. had a great point about how Advent is also preparation for the second coming and that, as John lept in his mother’s womb for joy at Christ’s presence, we must live our lives in such a way as to look with joy, not fear, towards Christ’s coming. He also reminded us of the extended regular confession hours during Advent and that there IS regularly scheduled confession during ordinary time as well.

  41. JesusFreak84 says:

    Not sure =-\ Father preached for a long time in Ukrainian, but only a few sentences of English =-(

  42. mattjd215 says:

    Our priest preached about that the only gift for Jesus at his birthday is to give him our hearts, our love. This is the only thing that God can not just create but must be given by us to Jesus. He also preached about the star on the front of the church that represented that the church was Bethlehem as Jesus would come to use in the Eucharist this very night.
    Beautiful service and decorated church. St. Peters at Christmas is a sight to behold.

  43. Wayward Lamb says:

    Father emphasized the sanctity of life and how everything Jesus did, from His birth through His death, was so we could have life. Father also spoke of how lovable and adorable babies are, but how challenging they can be as well and that Jesus came to both command our love and to challenge us beyond what makes us comfortable and what we perceive as important in this world.

  44. Precentrix says:


    I got the sermon in Polish, which I don’t speak, but there was a lot about mercy and humility, and how because of the Incarnation we know that our God is not just awful/terrifying/all-powerful/you-name-it but also a God who loves mankind, Who takes on our nature in order to make Himself… familiar to us, approachable… so that we won’t be afraid because of our sinfulness. Fr. J drew the contrast with Islam quite explicitly.

    I wish I understood more, because he’s an ace preacher.

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