Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard at Sunday Mass?

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  1. Lisa Graas says:

    Our Deacon Bill gave the sermon this time. My 14-yr-old daughter always compliments him, for good reason. He focused on the Gospel reading and noted the importance of persistence, particularly in prayer, but not limited to prayer alone. It’s sometimes the ones who won’t let something go, who keep after you about something, who may even be the most annoying to you, who are right. He said that in the phrase “lest she finally come and strike me” the word “strike” refers to a black eye in the context of reputation. You may feel someone who is annoying you publicly about something is in the wrong by harming your reputation but actually they may be simply seeking that right prevail and, in this, are doing God’s will. The moral of the parable, he said, is actually at the beginning of the parable instead of at the end. It is usually at the end. The moral is for the one who is being annoying: “the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” The parable is a lesson for both the “annoyer” and the “annoyee,” though.

  2. Our Saturday/Sunday Mass was quite strange… the readings were wrong and the gospel that the Priest read was not the one that was set up for this Sunday. During Father’s homily, he mentioned that it was ‘Mission Sunday’ and he gave a great talk on the real presence and confession. The only thing I can think of is that the readings and gospel were used specifically for ‘Mission Sunday?’. Who knows. It was all confusing… but … I did love his great and very stern teaching on the Body and Blood of Jesus and the ministry of the Priesthood.

  3. Maxiemom says:

    It was “Deacon Homily” weekend and our Deacon gave a wonderful homily about the one manual for life – the Bible. Our Deacons prepare wonderful homilies. Wish our priests would put as much effort into them as the deacons do.

  4. Lin says:

    Very strange sermon about prayer which included the phrase, “It’s not all about the rosary”. I pray he retires soon.

  5. Random Friar says:

    I am using Pope Benedict’s address against “practical atheism” as a greater danger than actual atheism. Too often, we Christians might as well be atheists, since we do not pray or act on our faith.

  6. Lin says:

    Father Z …..Our pastor is changing all of our music to that of the Mass of Redemption. I cannot find an explanation of what this really means. If you could explain, please. Also, he added another Protestant prayer, “and so we pray” as part of the Kyrie. Please excuse my complaining but at what point do these changes make it an invalid mass? God bless you!

  7. JaneC says:

    Lin, the Mass of Redemption is the name of a musical setting of the Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc. by Steven Janco. The music may not be in the best of taste, but there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the words. What you describe is upsetting, but would not make the Mass invalid.

  8. slainewe says:

    Solid sermon about Hell and Purgatory.

    Catholics are divided betwixt those who do not believe in Hell; the Hitler/Stalin group who believe only mass murderer types go to Hell; and those who understand that we can all go to Hell if we die unrepentant of our sins.

    I like this image: Father said praying for the souls in Purgatory was like giving money to a destitute man who would later become a millionaire. When souls reach Heaven by our prayers, they will be eternally grateful to us and help us in return.

  9. James Joseph says:

    Managed to finally get over to Our Lady Immaculate of Lourdes parish, since I was unable to attend Thursday night’s imperial banquet for our dear Charles and Zita. I like this parish despite the chunk o’time required to be there and back again. (I am named after the fella who, over 100-years ago, dug the foundations of the homes encompassing the parish.)

    Homily from the good priest Higgins who grew up next door to my grandparents:

    First he read a portion of a speech from a council father given 51-years ago today, and then a brief talk about the Propaganda of the Faith, followed by, “It is Divine Mercy Sunday. Do not be smug about outward appearances. You have the Catholic Church, and your parish is full. She is all that is beautiful and all that is necessary for salvation. But, our parishes might yet empty like those of the Anglicans and other Protestants, as evidenced by the dwindling of the past several years. The first and last person you need to send missionaries to in order to convert the world is send them to yourself.”

  10. ASPM Sem says:

    Here at SJV, Fr. Becker had us all stretch our our arms in the form of a cross, (with every other person sitting scooting forward so we weren’t hitting each other) like Moses in the first reading. He commented on how certain saints and religious orders pray like that for sometimes as long as five minutes. (It doesn’t seem long, but holy cow after the first 30 seconds it was hard to hold my arms up!) He mentioned the recent scandalous happenings in the Archdiocese, and stressed the need for us to live in the light, hold each other accountable, fraternally correct, and stand together. Keep in mind we are still holding our arms out they’re getting pretty sore. He then had us take the place our palms out and press against the palm of the person sitting next to the person next to you (so, person 3 in the pew would be pressing the palms of people 1 and 5 in the pew, etc). He asked us to note that when we began to help each other hold our arms up, as Aaron did with Moses, It was easier, and as such, we are stronger as a group, together as brothers, then we are separate. Good stuff! He let us put our hands down then (and told us it had been about four minutes… whew!) and then talked a bit about purgatory and the necessity of interceding for the souls there. Interesting and good homily!

  11. ASPM Sem says:

    @Lin, if anything that Mass would be illicit, not invalid, but I’ll let Fr. Z chime in on that.

  12. knute says:

    I went to an EF Mass and an OF Mass (only took Communion at the OF).

    The OF homily was about the power of prayer, and the importance of persisting in a prayerful life and establishing times during the day to pray.

    I have a better memory of the EF homily because I thought it was very good. The EF Gospel today was the “render unto Caesar” reading, and the priest spoke very eloquently about prayerfully giving our treasures in support of the Church. It wasn’t a “you should give more” homily. He first talked about how the U.S. government spends money on some good things (foreign aid to countries damages by natural disasters) and bad things (contraception, abortion). He said it was very important not to let the bad things overshadow the good things the U.S. gov’t does with our tax dollars. He then analogized that to giving to the Church. Just because a misguided Catholic Charities worker somewhere tells a girl to use contraception or get an abortion doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give to the Church at all. It’s our duty as Catholics to support the Church. If the guardians of the Church treasury misuse those funds, the sin lies on their shoulders, but it does not vitiate our duty as Catholics to financially support the Church.

    He then talked about the various pressures and concerns that face Catholics on a daily basis. He talked about large families who wanted to put their kids through Catholic school, young workers just getting started, and even the religious who want to give what they can to the Church. He explained that we all have our own concerns, and so giving to the Church is a very personal decision, which is why we have to pray about it. Finally, he warned against looking to the charity of others and becoming hard-hearted about your own ability to give. Specifically, he spoke of the comparative affluence of Protestant churches whose members regularly tithe. He encouraged us not to worry about how much our neighbor is giving, or how nice that other church down the road was, but rather to pray about our own personal ability to give to the Church, and about which projects we give to (the bishop is trying to build up a capital campaign for new construction in the diocese, plus the annual pastoral appeal is pending, PLUS our parish supports a parochial school).

    I thought it was a very thoughtful and charitable way to handle the issue of giving, and it stood in stark contrast to the ham-fisted homilies I’ve heard in the past that deal with money. It made me actually WANT to give, instead of just feeling like it was my duty to give to the Church.

  13. Eriugena says:

    In Verona cathedral, the diocesan cause for Beatification of Fr. Bernardo Antonini closed today. He was a missionary sent by Bl. John Paul II to Moscow, then Kazakhstan. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who flew over specially from Kazakhstan to Verona, told the congregation he heard his last Confession and gave him Extreme unction a few hours before he pased away, smiling. The Bishop (Catholic) of Moscow told us that when he arrived in Moscow the first thing he did was to go to the University where he proclaimed, “Stalin is dead! Lenin is dead! Only Jesus Christ lives!”

  14. JaneC says:

    Father’s homily this morning was about the necessity of praying always, and of intercessory prayer. He focussed particularly on the obligation of fathers to pray for their children, and to defend them in spiritual warfare.

  15. msc says:

    Lisa Graas and maxiemom are very lucky: my memory for such things doesn’t really go further back, but I believe I can honestly say that in the last seven years at my current parish I have never heard a good sermon from one of our deacons. Never. It makes me wonder about their training. Fortunately, one of our priests is the best overall homilist I have heard.

  16. MarkG says:

    Our priest spoke about the dangers of ecumenism with Protestants and especially with non-Christians.

  17. Only those who are afraid fear death, always be prepared for death, frequenting the sacraments and cooperating with graces received, strive to live a holy life everyday even after Church on Sundays. It was the 22nd Sunday after pentecost and the gospel was the Rich man and Lazarus parable in St Luke’s Gospel.

  18. lgreen515 says:

    The 4 ways Christ is present in the Mass:
    1. In the sacrament of the Eucharist
    2. In the Word of God as it is proclaimed
    3. In the priest who is celebrating
    4. In the people. We are a sign of God’s faithfulness, and our presence speaks even when we are not speaking.

  19. rainman919 says:

    Would you believe I heard about purgatory, guardian angels, the breviary and Eucharistic adoration all in a positive way?! What a pleasant surprise!

  20. Palladio says:

    The nature of praying and prayer, all inspired by the Pope’s recent comments, Deo gratias.

  21. Skeinster says:

    Fr.’s homily was on how concerned Catholics should respond to disconcerting events in the Church.
    He began with an account of the papal shenanigans at the late ninth century Synod of Rome and afterwards re: Pope Formosis and his successors.
    We weather the storms because the Church is the work of God.
    What we can do:
    Keep calm and retain perspective. Stay in the Ark; it can’t sink. It’s a salvation issue- union with Christ involves union with the Pope, our bishop and our priest. If we keep our spiritual life strong, we will have calm hearts. The kind the Lord can work in. The Devil fishes in turbulent waters.

    The Pope cannot change anything essential to salvation. This doesn’t mean that he can’t make your life difficult, though.

    Get closer to Our Lady, who remained faithful at the foot of the cross. Use the Scapular and Rosary.

    Don’t be scandalized (i.e. led into sin by another’s words or deeds.)

    Beware “ecclesiastical porn”- the books, newspapers and websites that inflame the passions. Replace them with good reading.

  22. acardnal says:

    Palladio, are you a native English speaker?

  23. lana says:

    @knute, in case you didn’t know, you can receive twice in one day.

  24. Palladio says:


  25. Palladio says:

    Skeinster, how timely. Thanks.

  26. JonPatrick says:

    EF, Homily on the Epistle to the Phillipians. We need to discern what is good, better, and best. There are 3 elements to this discernment 1) Abounding in Love 2) growing in knowledge so love can guide us properly 3) guided by insight, through God’s word through the Holy Spirit, and prayer, then discernment lets us choose the better thing. First we must know what is right. This world is governed by relativism and has lost the ability to tell right from wrong. But that is not sufficient – we also need the courage to choose the right way.

  27. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    This morning, preaching on Moses’ uplifted arms and the persistent widow and unjust judge, our Pastor said that prayer OPENS THE DOOR to an Ally Who is eager to help us. This concept was, for me, novel, moving, and helpful and inspiring. (I think Father was “working from” the related parable of the man already in bed, door locked, etc., when a friend pesters him – I mean, the idea of opening a door.)

    I have never followed any of these weekly threads of comments before, and I am surprised at the sizable of number of today’s Masses that apparently were neither Ord. 29 nor Pentecost +22. What gives?

    acardnal, why on earth did it seem to you that Palladio might have been a nonnative speaker of English?

  28. Jack in NH says:

    The take away message was clear; pray.
    That may not work out as YOU expected, so fall back to plan ‘B’- pray.

  29. zag4christ says:

    The 11:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes was celebrated by the rector Fr. Darrin Connall. He began the Mass following the procession by updating the parish on the condition of Monsignor James Ribble, who although very aged, and retired, still occasionally celebrated daily Mass and heard confessions. He suffered a major stroke last Monday, and was able to go to his humble home and finally pass last night. Thursday night, the wife of Deacon John Sicilia had a stroke and passed Friday night. Fr. Connall asked that we all pray a Hail Mary for the family’s and for the repose of the souls of Monsignor Ribble and Mrs. Sicilia.

    Fr. Connall preached on today’s Gospel. He began by describing judicial law as it was practiced at that time. It was customary for the male members of family’s to petition judges, women not having much social status. Fr. Connall allowed that the fact that the petitioner being a widow indicated that she was probably all by herself, but had the courage and persistence to badger a judge who was known not even to respect God, much less people, and he implied that the judge probably thought even less of a woman without male relatives. She was successfully heard, and we should be confident that as we pray as Jesus said to, we shall be heard.

    Fr. Connall encouraged those who do not pray throughout the day to consider doing so. He allowed that the image that he used to help him with his prayer life was that of a painting or photo in a matted frame. He pictured his life being the picture, and the matting surrounding it on all sides as the prayer that he offers daily. He ended by encouraging all to persist in prayer and to never lose heart.
    Peace and God bless.

  30. knute says:

    @lana: thanks! I googled it and read Fr. Z’s other posts on receiving communion twice in a single day. Thanks again for the heads up!

  31. Nan says:

    I’m from the same place as whoever went to SJV for Mass; we had our statement about the scandals in the Church in the bulletin this week. Our deacon gave the homily and, keep in mind that deacons are homilists once a month so have more time in between homilies, so may work harder at it for their one chance. He talked about praying, in the context of a sports team praying for God’s help, saying that God should answer the prayers of the team that is best prepared, assuming both teams are praying. You have to prepare yourselves and work hard, rather than merely relying on God’s mercy.

  32. AV8R61 says:

    Skeinster; we must have been at the same Mass!
    Another good thought from Fr: “be calm. Christ works with calm people. Only the Devil fishes in stormy waters”

  33. Skeinster says:

    Yes- I put that in. I think they stress this b/c of the tendency of EF ‘ers to be obsessed and anxious in a way that doesn’t do us, or anyone else, any good.
    Really hope this goes on audiosancto. We are so blessed in our priests.

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