Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Yes, I am back at it, badgering you into listening to and remembering points from the sermons you hear for the Mass you attended to fulfill your Sunday obligation.

So, was there a good point in the sermon or homily that you heard?

Share it.  Some people don’t get to hear sermons with good points.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Our pastor explained that while Lent is a penitential season and Advent is not, the vestments are purple in both seasons, because purple symbolizes both penitence and hope.

  2. ASPM Sem says:

    Was home from the seminary for Thanksgiving and my pastor talked about how he went to Washington as a chaplain one summer during sem. He said that he and his buddy would go hiking and climbing, and they would always see the hardcore climbers practicing little climbs before they would climb up the entire mountain. He said that just like this, we need to practice and prepare ourselves during Lent before we can get to Christmas. Though children want Christmas to come quickly and parents want Christmas to be over quickly, we all need time to prepare for it. He said that the booklet “Five Minutes with the Word” for Advent 2013 was available for free at all the entrances, to help us all prepare for Christmas.

    He puts most of them online, it should come up in a few days:

  3. Priam1184 says:

    Stay awake. The Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect, either in the form of your own death or at the end of the world. So, even if you feel like smashing the alarm clock on the floor when it goes off early on a cold winter morning, don’t do it: get up and get on with your business of staying vigilant.

  4. tgarcia2 says:

    So I went to Mass at the Cathedral here in town. The Priest is a friend of mine and director of the college Newman Center and Chaplain for the college KoC.

    He talked about how he HATES Christmas…because he cannot properly preach or educate people on the meaning of Advent. On a bit about a local radio station that started Christmas music last month, etc but ended with 3 points:

    1. Doesn’t matter if it’s been 5, 10, 15, or 20 years or more; Go to CONFESSION
    2. Go to a Holy Hour, ask your Priest to have one if you don’t
    3. Forgive someone you may not have, because when the time comes (referring back to the readings) God will ask us why we haven’t come to forgive someone else, regardless of what they have done.

    I asked him about #3 afterwards because of a personal reason, and he said, why don’t you pray for them if you won’t see them again for whatever reasons/if you go to a dinner, at least say hi. There is no reason to hold grudges to your deathbed.

    I like how even though he may be a true Franciscan (OFM Conv) on some things, he is very solid on others :)

  5. John of Chicago says:

    Pastor had an easy one today.
    Hope isn’t about wishing.
    A little kid’s letter to Santa is a list of wishes. “Santa, please give me…”
    Advent is hope. “Lord, please come and be with us.”
    Wishing may make us desperate and self-absorbed.
    Hope is trust in God’s promise regardless of our current circumstances and makes us generous. (Isaiah, Paul, Matthew)

  6. apward says:

    Msgr announced that for all four Sundays in Advent he and the other priest and deacon were going to be preaching about Confession. He covered the mortal sins today going through each of the Ten Commandments point by point. He put a special emphasis on going to Sunday Mass and avoiding gossip.

  7. Bea says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    #3, I, too, had an issue with. This person received more prayers than my friends and family and it really, really helps: Issue slid into nothingness, I received peace and learned to forgive. No better remedy than praying for one’s enemies (or perceived enemies).

  8. yatzer says:

    We could pick a virtue we need to work on during Advent as a sort of gift to Jesus, although he needs nothing and will likely need to help us even in that.

  9. Mike says:

    [Father’s homily:] When he was visiting a mission friend in Africa, he was housed at a compound that contained a day school for girls. The woman in charge of the compound slept from 6 p.m. to midnight. Upon Father asking her why she slept such odd hours, she replied that it was so she’d be awake after midnight, when thieves were most likely to be roaming — and to pass by, provided her compound was on the qui vive.

    Would we be awake at 2 a.m. for something “important,” such as a sale on the Internet? Would we be awake at 2 a.m. to pray? (Father, who is of a religious order but not a monastic, admitted that he is unlikely to be up at that hour.)

    The mountain of the Lord signifies our true desire, as distinct from the surrounding hills of lesser desires. What do we truly desire? St. Augustine struggled with many lesser desires until he learned his true desire.

    Where would we go if the church caught fire? Our destination would be the EXIT sign and we would head straight toward it. Let us resolve to head straight toward the destination of our lives. [Thus ended the homily.]

    The saddest part of Mass today was that confessions weren’t heard during Mass as is often done. However, a happy compensation was learning that our parish will have an Advent Morning of Recollection and Holy Hour this Saturday, including an hour for confession. First such day of recollection I can recall in any parish of which I’ve been a member; judging from what I’m seeing and hearing here and there, I have reason to believe and hope it won’t be the last for us.

  10. lana says:

    This one has a great message:

    A young woman gets ready for her date. She puts on her best dress, perfect makeup, perfect hair, etc. But her date is late. After an hour, she gives up waiting. She lets down her hair, washes the makeup off, puts on pajamas, grabs a bunch of snacks and sits in front of the TV.

    An hour later, he knocks at the door. When she opens the door, he looks at her in shock and says: “I come two hours late and you are _still_ not ready?”

  11. Imrahil says:

    The Gospel prepares us for the coming of the Lord; in two senses: Christmas, and the Last Day. “As we all know from the catechism”, whether about particular or general judgment, it all depends on whether we are in a state of grace or not (don’t recall the precise wording used for that). (It was a TLM parish, after all :-) .) Yet we are to expect Our Lord with hope. ´The rev’d Father preacher mentioned that St. Luke focused on that hope even more than St. Matthew, as read on the proceeding Sunday.

    A rather short (though, yes, of course, I don’t recall everything) sermon, and I’d imagine a model sermon w.r.t. the Holy Father’s directives. Nothing spectacular, but while I’m not opposed to spectacular, normal sermons are just about explaining the scriptures and teaching the doctrine.

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    Fr Z @ 7am: Put off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light! The light is Jesus’ light. Our armor may get dented but the grace of God hammers the dents out from the inside. Go to confession!

    Msgr Holmes @ 11am: This had to do with insights from Jesuit physicist Fr Robert Spitzer. It is terribly improbable that the universe exploded from a single point and yet formed itself in such an ordered way as has in fact occurred. The reality of scientific fact supports the entirely rational conclusion that there was a first cause to this (God) and that there is an intelligence behind this (God). I was unable to attend a recent lecture by Fr Spitzer but should look up a recording of him online. Maybe this talk at the 2012 Napa Institute: On the website of his own organization the Magis Center of Reason and Faith there are additional videos.

  13. bkerns07 says:

    The pastor’s most interesting point was about the distinction between waiting and worrying—how easy it is for waiting to turn into worrying and become problematic. He told a story about how a mother of seven was questioned by a friend about how she did it. The mother said that she had entered into a partnership with God: she did the work and God did the worrying. Each night she would pray, “God, you’ve got the night shift.”

    We wait for Christ. We don’t worry about Christ’s coming. We know Christ will come and we wait in hope and faith.

  14. everett says:

    Father preached today jumping off from the end times/2nd coming to talking about the particular judgment that each of us will encounter at the end of our lives, and how we should disregard the various popular prophets who continually predict the end of the world and instead focus on making sure that each of us is prepared for our own end.

  15. teejay329 says:

    Father spoke about penance, prayer and fasting as a way to prepare for Christmas. He cautioned us to keep the season of Advent special and quiet and to not get caught up in the secular rush of Christmas. He also brought up the Ember Days that precede Christmas and to recognize them as an important part of our traditional Catholic heritage. What followed was a delightful talk about St. Francis Xavier and his brave evangelization of the East. Since his feast day is December 3, Father wanted us to be reminded how we are all called to evangelize…and added that even though we do not endure hardships, sickness or persecution in this great country, we must never forget those who did to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, he brought home the sad fact that our Protestant brothers and sisters do a much better job of evangelizing the unchurched. Very thought provoking.

  16. Sword40 says:

    We even left earlier than normal for Mass but traffic was so bad we didn’t make it in time. Thanksgiving day traffic had I-5 at a near standstill both directions. normal time to Tacoma from my house is 2 hours. Today it was 3+ hours and then rain was super heavy.

  17. Ed the Roman says:

    Talk about being ready, alluding to the actor who crashed yesterday, most likely not thinking that morning as he left the charity event that his ticket was about to be punched. The “knock-down game”, abortion, adultery, gang activity, abortion and fornication mentioned by name as items that would be in St. Paul’s Letter to the Americans were it written today.

  18. iPadre says:

    In my EF Mass, talked about light and darkness. We are like a child in the window waiting for our father to come home. When he enters the driveway, the child runs up out the front to to embrace his daddy. We need to run to Our Lord as He comes to us in the Holy Mass, so that we He can overcome the darkness in our lives.

  19. 28th Su after Pentecost in the Byzantine Church, and Father’s homily mentioned to take spiritual discernment as to how we go about helping the poor, to be sure that we’re helping the truly poor, and not those that abuse the system. He contrasted the verse where Jesus says the “poor we will always have with us” and Jesus telling the rich man to sell everything he has and give to the poor. He talked about the two types of poor people, the truly poor, and those that take advantage of the system. He extolled us to help the truly poor and not those that abuse the system. A timely sermon indeed.

  20. My homily was in Cantonese at our Tridentine Mass in Hong Kong but am reliably informed that the focus was – GO TO CONFESSION – prepare our souls and hearts for Jesus.

  21. Cafea Fruor says:

    Alas, I have no clue what Father said during his homily. The parents behind me did NOTHING to keep their two young boys from talking through the ENTIRE Mass. They just let them gab and gab. It took every ounce of strength I had not to turn around, glare menacingly, and call them out on it. I feel horrible, but parents who don’t even try are one of the few things that actually make me angry. I like kids, and a word or two here and there is to be expected, but talking through the entire Mass is an entirely different matter. Sigh. :(

  22. Nan says:

    The only thing I remember is that he said it was 7 centuries between Isaiah’s prophecy and Christ’s coming.

  23. sciencemom says:

    I liked how Father pointed out that Advent isn’t a time of passive waiting but of active preparing.

  24. zag4christ says:

    Fr. Darrin Connall’s homily was on the importance of being prepared for Christ’s second coming. He emphasized that both St. Paul’s letter and Matthew’s Gospel tell us to be prepared for we do not know when Jesus will return. He pointed out how Holy Mother Church through the readings of the last month and going into Advent has emphasized that we reflect on, pray about and act appropriately on the “4 Last Things”. He encouraged us to begin the “9 First Friday’s” devotion as a way to help us prepare for death, in that one of the promises St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received from Jesus was that if one completed the devotion, one could be assured that on our deathbed we would receive the Last Rites. He allowed that he is doing the devotion himself because Jesus promised that priests who completed the devotion would be given the grace to soften the hardest hearts.
    In conclusion he told a story about a new priest in the Diocese who recently received his first posting as a pastor. This young priest was assigned to what is essentially a huge mission territory in north central and north eastern Washington state. He cares for multiple parish’s in many small communities that are miles apart. Prior to his beginning his duties, the resident priest invited him up for a day long tour to get the lay of the land. A priest friend of the new priest went with him, and the three priest’s spent the entire day just driving from community to community. At the end of the day, the resident priest received a call that a elderly faithful woman parishioner was dying and would like him to come. She was able to receive the Last Rites and the presence of 3 priests as she died. What a blessing!
    The young priest called Fr. Connall later that night to share what had happened. Fr. Lewis, the young priest, told Fr. Connall that “I imagine that she must have accomplished a number of First Friday Devotions in her lifetime”.
    Peace and God bless, and Happy Advent to all!

  25. idelsan says:

    In a nutshell. Advent as the anti-zombie season. Here to wake us up from our sleep-walk.

  26. VivaLaMezzo says:

    Our priest talked of objective truth and of beginnings and endings. The highlight of his sermon was his diagnosis of philosophers and “reformers”, who denied our ability to “know” anything objectively, as having severe cases of “epistemological hypochondria”. ^_^

  27. JonPatrick says:

    At our EF Mass Father preached on the Epistle to the Romans. We are often “asleep” i.e. thinking that God has forgotten about us when in fact He is always present, it is us that are not aware of His presence. It is often hard for us as we allow the darkness of the world around us to distract us and occupy our minds with worldly things.

  28. eiggam says:

    Father talked about how we need to become more aware of others and be responsive to their needs. We take people for granted.

    I was nice to hear the Advent hymns such as People look east.

    I took a video of the Advent wreath for my phone so I can be reminded that Christmas is not here yet.

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