Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point you heard in the sermon you heard as you fulfilled your Sunday Mass obligation?

Let us know.   Sometimes people are in a situation where they don’t hear good sermons.  Help them out.

In the Extraordinary Form it was the 5th Sunday remaining after Epiphany.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Theo-Philo SWO says:

    I missed the beginning of Father’s sermon because I was in the confessional. However, the majority of it was on the four Last Things, the reality of sin/hell, a denial of the modern idea that all or most people are “good people” and go to heaven, and the need to truly examine our conscience and go to confession. It was spectacular.

  2. mamajen says:

    We had a rather sobering, but very good sermon. I realized that in all of my 32 years, I hadn’t gained a proper understanding of Purgatory (well, more specifically, how people wind up there)!

    Father explained that our sins leave us with scars, even after they are forgiven. He likened it to a doctor removing a cancerous tumor–the disease is cured, but the scar remains. Before we can go to Heaven, all traces of sin must be removed. That’s why, even if our sins have been forgiven, we may need to spend time in Purgatory. We can do penance on earth or be cleansed in purgatory, but it is far preferable to suffer on earth.

    At first I was really discouraged. But then I realized I can say “Welp, there’s no way I’ll ever go straight to Heaven,” or I could seize every opportunity to do penance on earth. It’s excellent motivation to get my butt in gear and do the day-to-day things that I don’t particularly enjoy, or skip some of the worldly delights that I enjoy too much. It was very empowering. It also helped me realize the importance of praying for the souls in Purgatory, even if we think they led very holy lives at the end.

    This is probably nothing revolutionary to most people here, but I am astonished that I did not properly understand Purgatory before. I’m very grateful for a priest who teaches such things, and for a little church in which his voice carries so I can hear every word!

  3. gracie says:

    The priest told a joke at the beginning of his homily. Does that count?:

    “What do you get when you cross a Jehovah Witness with an atheist?

    “Someone at your door with nothing to say.”

  4. My homily was on the “four last things”: death, judgment, heaven and hell. At one of the Masses, I ad-libbed that my homily was intended to be both comforting and troubling. I talked about the reality of hell and the danger that if we think we’ll get around to wanting heaven later, that later may never come. You can see it by clicking on my name.

  5. Vincent says:

    It being Remembrance Sunday here in England, the military chaplain who says Mass (EF) gave us a stirring sermon on the importance of remembering/praying for the dead, and a excellent part on how the military was sadly necessary for the preservation of peace and so how we who are meant to be peace-loving also need to love and cherish our military. He finished with a description of how we needed to remember that those who gave their lives so that we might live ours are owed a great debt, and the best way of paying that back is by ensuring the peace and holiness of our own nation.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Fr Martin,

    As the old saying goes, whoever wants only the lowest place in purgatory will wind up with the highest place in hell

  7. yatzer says:

    People would like to believe everyone in the Church is practicing the faith and no one who is badly out of step should be allowed to remain in the Church. Christ says to leave things be unless it is just completely impossible to allow a person remain. This wheat and weeds story shows one of the reasons it is difficult to actually leave the Church and rather easy to come back.

  8. Yesterday’s homily was on the lawyer and the good samaritan parable. Father exhorted us to be neighbors to our fellow human beings and reach out to the lost. Byzantine Rite, 25th Sunday after Pentecost

  9. e.e. says:

    We ended up at a Spanish-language Mass yesterday, so my understanding of the homily was not complete. I did manage to understand, however, that Father noted the tendency of humans to focus on things of this world — e.g. eagerly trick-or-treating on Halloween but then failing to attend Mass the next day for the feast of All Saints, though the Church offers us the Body of Christ, something far sweeter than any candy the world has. He encouraged us to focus on Christ and the world to come, and reminded us of the 4 Last Things.

  10. Lin says:

    Great sermon, Fr Martin Fox! Thank you and God bless you!

  11. Ceile De says:

    I was very fortunate to assist at the Extraordinary Form Mass in Hong Kong yesterday. What a wonderful Tridentine community! Most of the sermon was in Cantonese, which I do not speak, but the priest summarised the sermon in English with an admonition against judging others since judgment is reserved to God alone. [You might pass the word that Fr. Z is contemplating an HK trip. I would love to meet some people.]

  12. PhilipNeri says:

    I gave a catechetical homily on “resurrection of the dead.”

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  13. philstudent13 says:

    Mostly the homily (OF Mass) focused around different points about eternal life. The Maccabees strong faith and belief in eternal life allowed them to endure suffering and die for their faith, and our faith needs to be just as strong. The Sadduccees did not believe in eternal life, and were thus focused on worldly concerns such as maintaining the political situation at the time. They falsely saw life after the resurrection as being just a continuation of this life, rather than being a new life, as Jesus corrected them. For us, the sacraments, particularly confession and the Eucharist, help us on the way to eternal life with God.

  14. Sissy says:

    We had a visiting priest who reminded us that, given how few Catholics avail themselves of the Rite of Reconciliation, not enough folks realize that mortal sin keeps us out of Heaven. He urged that we all confess regularly. I don’t know when I last heard a homily on sin and confession. I was very thankful that I had just received absolution. Thank you for frequent reminders, Fr. Z.

  15. pannw says:

    Father gave us some very good and interesting background on the Sadducees, and their unbelief in the resurrection, and Jesus’ answer to their trick question. He then moved on into the torture and martyrdom of the 7 brothers and mother in Maccabees. He stressed the plea of the mother to her last son, to die for God so that he might be reunited with her and his brothers, and that we all must strive to have that strong faith, that we may very well be called upon to use it in this age in light of current trends. He then quoted Francis Cardinal George saying, “I expect to die in my bed. My successor will die in prison, and his successor a martyr in the public square.” Father went on to add that the Cardinal may have been overly optimistic in his time frame. It was a sobering and bracing sermon.

  16. trespinos says:

    How exactly Father M. used the enemy sowing weed seed into the field of wheat as a springboard into the main topic of his sermon I confess I cannot remember, but the whole sermon was mighty impressive. His topic was scrupulosity and he said it must be admitted that tradition-minded Catholics such as those listening to him were likely somewhat more susceptible to this affliction than their OF counterparts who perhaps are less sheltered from our secularized culture which sees sin nowhere rather than everywhere. Faithful Catholics, he said, have always held to a healthy balance which acknowledges our weakness in the face of sin, but never loses ultimate trust in the power and completeness of Our Lord’s victory over all sin. Contrasting how Martin Luther and St. Alphonsus Liguori coped unwisely and wisely, respectively, with their tendencies to scrupulosity, he laid out the practical steps which the latter recommended that the scrupulous follow in their battle. Each time he mentioned the affliction, he described it as “awful” and his expression conveyed that he meant “hellish”. If there was even one person with scruples in the room, who hadn’t yet heard this advice in the confessional from him, this sermon must have come as a blessing and the best kind of direction toward the grace of “Catholic balance”.

  17. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Why doesn’t God smite the sinner dead the first time he commits a sin? God is patient and merciful, which is a REALLY good thing for us. Else, none of us would make it to heaven.

    Father went on to say that, just as God is patient with us, we should be patient with each other.

  18. gracie says:

    Father Z,

    The last time I was in Hong Kong was before it was handed over to China. Many of the locals were worried that their freedom to practice their Catholic faith would be curtailed. I was wondering if you could find out what the impact of being part of China has had on Christians there. It was quite moving to see the devotion of the parishioners. A lot of them had fled mainland China in the 1940’s and 1950’s and they are very staunch in their faith. After Mass you’ll be trying to make your way around so many people who are kneeling and praying not only inside but also at outdoor shrines. People even knelt in the grass to pray. I dearly hope they are still okay.

    Also, if you take a trip to Japan, I hope you’ll be able to attend Mass at a Japanese parish. You’ll love its quietness; a product of the reserve of the Japanese people. Their “kiss of peace” is so beautiful – they turn to their neighbors and silently bow to them; its reverence first got me thinking of how carnival-like our Masses had become.

  19. JonPatrick says:

    “Down East” this weekend, at the OF Saturday Night Mass at Sacred Heart, St. Peter the Fisherman Parish. Deacon Jim Gillen gave a homily based on the reading from Maccabees concerning religious persecution, which is on the rise in the world right now. We may not be being physically martyred but are we standing up for our faith when for example someone tells an anti catholic joke or says something derogatory about the church. It is important to educate ourselves about our faith so we know how to respond.

  20. Bosco says:

    We had an uplifting and heartening sermon from our recently ordained assistant pastor on the importance of praying the rosary daily and ‘holding on to Mary’s hand’ throughout our lives.

  21. rcg says:

    Discussed the troubling Gospel about why the Lord allows the cockles to grow with the wheat. We are to be comforted that He is looking after us and will sort us out later.

  22. rad2me says:

    At the closing Mass for our parish 40 Hours, our pastor discussed the role the liturgical vestments and vessels that we can see play in drawing our attention to the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity that we can’t see. He went on to say that our reverence and deportment at Mass and out in the world make us, like the vessels, evidence of the Real Presence. He says it better. See photos, video, and a recording of his sermon at:

  23. HighMass says:

    rad2me…..Thanks for sharing this beautiful Video with us!

    When you view this video, you ask yourself what has happened to our Church????? Our Liturgy???
    This was all done away with….how sad… truly sad……
    Can one not see the reverence, beauty, sacredness, mystery in this liturgy????

    Please Lord Jesus….forgive us.

  24. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I heard a homily from an African priest studying in the US. He asked how many people at Mass didn’t really believe in the resurrection of the dead (and added, “You can start believing tonight.”) He talked about how the seven brothers and their mother truly believed that God had given them life and would repay faithfulness with life. There was more – it was a very rich and serious homily.

Comments are closed.