Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point – or two – that you heard in sermon for your Sunday Mass of precept?

Let us know.

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  1. Mike says:

    NO: John the Baptist’s outreach to Jesus from prison shows Christians how they may be liberated from the prison of their problems and self-obsessions by reaching out to Our Lord.

  2. John of Chicago says:

    The pastor contrasted John the Baptist with Jesus. John could only preach what he knew–hell, fire and brimstone–while Jesus spoke and acted on His own authority something mercy is so radically new–healing, mercy, forgiveness, Kingdom. John seemed disoriented, doubtful, even scandalized at Christ. Still happening these days. People know what anger and vengeance look like but mercy is way too rare, too shocking to be understood and embraced as the Kingdom’s way of life. For example: Look at how some have reacted to the new Pope.

  3. Toan says:

    Our priest strongly recommended going to confession, mentioning that he went recently. He also said something to the effect of:

    “Pope Francis as of late reminded us in very strong words that if we forget the poor in our community, we are not on the right track, did he not? Think of those struggling to get food on their tables. Think of the homeless. Think of the elderly, and the sick. And I don’t mean to offend anybody, but just recently we remembered the children who died in a shooting one year ago. But how about all those aborted babies; does anyone shed a tear over them? Think of the elderly, and the people who are in hospitals dying right now. Think of…”

    And a couple more people to think about followed.

  4. ClavesCoelorum says:

    I forgot largely what was in the sermon due to a shocking display of liturgical dance. Yes, you read that right. I was flabbergasted and in a catatonic state.

  5. Our deacon preached. He focused on John the Baptist, doing a nice job explaining both the passage and John’s role in God’s Plan; how he marked the close of the old covenant, and pointed toward the new.

    He explained some things about Nazarites (of which John was one), and explained that a prophet is one who has received the Word of God and shares it. Hence, the Lord has made us sharers in the prophetic ministry–because we have received the Word, have we not? The deacon helpfully connected this to the sacrament of confirmation. And he shared a handout with everyone which included a reading from St. Bernard about the three advents; and we’re all in the “middle advent” now, in which Christ comes to us if we open our hearts and meditate on his word–which the deacon invited everyone to do between now and Christmas.

  6. Fuquay Steve says:

    Great sermon on the theological virtues, concentrating on Hope. All the theological virtues are provided by our Lord through sanctifying grace and strengthened through the reception of the Sacraments while in the state of Grace (Holy Eucharist). Fathers vestments were a shade of pink found only in some roses and he still made it look beautiful. : ).

  7. ChrisRawlings says:


    I have heard of such things happening, but have never seen it myself. I am not a traditionalist, but that does sound unsightly.

  8. nemo says:

    Father mentioned that the door to enter the Church of the Nativity is low and is called the Door of Humility. The path to heaven is narrow and we are easily pushed off of it either to the right or the left. In order to attain heaven, we must devote ourselves to acquiring three habitual practices: 1) distrust of self, 2) confidence in God, and 3) resistance to temptation. He elaborated on each of these points and closed with saying that we must pray for the strength to persevere to the end, because without God we can do nothing.

  9. mamajen says:

    Father said that too many people go to mass out of sheer obligation. If we truly understood that Jesus is present, we would want to go to mass as often as possible. Jesus loves us so much that he sacrificed himself even knowing the irreverence with which he would someday be treated in many places.

  10. Uxixu says:

    Pastor emeritus related the readings and the Gospel to the purpose of the feast and to rejoice

  11. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Much longer homily than usual from our pastor. Gaudete Sunday happens to be the anniversary of his ordination, so he reminisced as to some of the formative experiences of his priesthood and how in serving others he has found true and lasting joy, not simple happiness, but much more than that. He closed by noting that we are all are called to joy and to the service that produces it.

  12. pannw says:

    Rejoice! That is what Gaudete Sunday, like Laetare Sunday during lent calls us to. That even in the midst of all the sadness and darkness of the world, like John reaching out to Jesus from the darkness and horror of prison, Jesus is the Light of the world and brings us JOY. Jesus did not send John a straight answer, as is so like Him, but sent him all the signs John would have been aware of from the prophecies of Isaiah; the blind see, the leper is cleaned…. Since John’s life was to serve the Lord, this information would have brought him peace and JOY even if it didn’t free him from his prison and worldly pains. So, too, the Holy Mother, who knew more sorrow than anyone in the world, would have felt JOY deep in her soul, even at the moment her Son’s body was placed in her arms, because she was united with her hearts desire, Christ the Lord. It may not free us from all sadness, pain, suffering…in this world, but if we truly love the Lord, we will know the JOY that only He can bring.

    It was an especially poignant sermon, given that Father unexpectedly lost his own father this week. He did not bring a lot of personal attention to his suffering, but beautifully expressed that, while he was suffering the loss, and would at his weakest moments, generally early upon waking, feel sorry for himself, he would then stop and think about his father, rather than himself. When he did this, knowing that his father had died with the consolation of the Sacraments, how could he not feel JOY for his father. Where could his father be more joyful than in the hands of the just and merciful Father? And upon reflection on this, it occurred to him that he, too, was even now, in this often ugly world, safe in the just and merciful hands of the Father. That is cause for JOY! Rejoice!

    Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father’s father.

  13. Confitemini Domino says:

    This is my first post here. Let me try to sum up the German sermon in English (and please forgive me my mistakes – I hope they won’t distort the meaning):

    Father T. asked us to imagine who it was who asked the question “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”: John had offered all his life to hope, his whole existence was expectation. He had left the world with all its illusion for the desert. He was in prison, knowing that he hadn’t much time to live.

    Father wondered which answer John expected. And, even more important, how may he have taken the answer Jesus gave? Sure he had, as anybody, his own idea how it would be when the Messiah came. Maybe he expected Jesus to prove his authority by pointing to his genealogy, from David, you see? Or his virgin birth? Saying by that, that something completely new is beginning?

    But no. Jesus just points to what the disciples hear and see. They should convince themselves. This is said to us, too: What are we expecting? How do we expect the Lord in our lives? Are we waiting for something spectacular to happen?

    We may wonder if John was satisfied with what his disciples told him. Look at his own preaching:
    “I baptize you with water for repentance, […] He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
    […] and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So we might think John could well be disappointed, uncertain, bewildered… maybe he had hoped for a political Messiah, as many others, liberation from Rome…

    Father sarcastically commented: Jesus is no “wish-fulfiller”. The wish-fulfiller is Santa Claus.
    But, on the other hand, Jesus admonishes us: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” John is the “incarnation”, the fullest concentration of Old Testament, Jewish hope.

    Father cited Ps. 130: “my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” He cited Hans Urs von Balthasar: “Jesus comes with silent miracles.” The children of God trust in him even in dark times.

    Jesus does not fool us into belief. He does not overpower us. The Messiah does not force belief.
    He knows that many will take offence at him: “blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
    People are set free when the true Messiah comes, they remain free. Jesus does not appear spectacularly, but in Bethlehem, in a manger.

    The mass was Novus Ordo, but with Gregorian Chant (Introitus “Gaudete”, Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Communio “Dicite pusilanimes”). Father T. is a Jesuit priest in Munich.

  14. Jeannie_C says:

    Our Deacon (NO) preached, emphasizing the “Do not be afraid” and the need to have hope. Hope in all situations, life, work, family. We do not know when God will answer our prayers, or how He will do so, but we can always rest assured He hears them.

  15. FloridaJoan says:


    I believe I was at the same Mass as you this morning ! Same homily !

    pax et bonum

  16. Supertradmum says:

    A nice short sermon on the fact that in both the NO and EF Gospels today, (the priest says both every Sunday), people were asking questions. Are you the Christ? Either the followers of John or the Pharisees, etc asked about the identity of Christ. The priest said Christ did not come out this time and say “I am the Messiah” but gave them a list of miracles. And John said, no he was not…

    The priest told us that we need to discover Who Christ Is ourselves. But, we do not need to ask questions, as we know where to find Christ. But, we need to appropriate our adult faith.


  17. benedetta says:

    Sunday evening N.O. Mass in the D of Albany. A youth-oriented Mass, and quite prayerful and reverent. The youth-oriented music complemented and uplifted. As to the sermon — by a learned pastor — on the exchange “or should we look for another” and the response. The Lord encourages us to verify in our human nature. Carrying Christ towards one another and in particular often enough the one sitting next to us, we are called to give this evidence so another may similarly encounter Christ and believe.

  18. PhilipNeri says:

    I used a quote from Aquinas to focus on the fact that charity causes joy. . .Joy is a permanent feature of the Christian’s life not just an occasional “thing.”

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  19. VARoman says:

    The Homily was very good, if not expected. The focus was on the Blessed Mother and her courage to be silent and prayerful.

    But even better, this was my daughter’s first EF Mass. She did not want to go at first. Very reluctant, “I won’t understand anything. It will be confusing.”

    After the Mass… “That was beautiful. I paid more attention to try to pick out the words I knew. The music was so much more beautiful. I liked it better because it seemed so traditional. It felt more Holy.”

    I couldn’t be happier with her reaction, which was totally unprompted. I didn’t say anything. I waited for her to share her thoughts.

  20. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    We live in a society which doesn’t want to wait – for anything, but the whole purpose of the season of Advent is to teach us to wait, as for thousands of years the Israelites did.

    (He then helped us to understand what to do with those moments spent sitting in traffic, or otherwise “wasting” time.)

    Special treat: solemn high Mass at the newly *canonically* erected Oratory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Beautiful church. Vice Provincial preached.

  21. zag4christ says:

    It was a extraordinarily Grace-filled Mass today. I usually go to the 7:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. Mass, but I slept in and went to the 11:00 a.m.. I was late, and as I arrived the first reading from Isaiah was being read. I waited in the back of the church for a appropriate break so I could unobtrusively find a place to sit, and noted a choir member standing there along with another person. I then saw that the confessional was in use! While waiting I sang the Psalm response. I do not know if it was my conscience, the Holy Spirit… I joined the short line and went to Confession.
    Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit, for Your Church and for Your Sacraments, for Your good priests and women religious, for Your saints and Your sinners, Your endless Mercy and Sanctifying Grace.
    I have been in the “desert” for the last short while. On the way to Mass I was praying the Glorious Mysteries and when reciting the Hail Mary, I was interjecting “Hope” after saying “Jesus”.
    Salient points;
    1. Never stop praying.
    2. Ask for what you really need.

    The priest today preached mainly about Isaiah. He related on how as a newly ordained deacon, he was sent to a place he didn’t want to be by his bishop to take a crash course in learning a new language and new culture, in the middle of the summer in a very hot and dry area of Texas. No family, no friends, no phone, no TV, no computer, not many students because of summer break. “Just me and God” he said. In the desert. He said that now, as he looks back on that time, where he would walk the seminary grounds in the cool of the evening and pray the rosary, he looks back with longing because he believes it was the time in his life that he felt closest to God.
    On the Gospel, he asked us to consider what and how John the Baptist felt and thought when his followers returned to him after seeing what Jesus was doing and reporting Jesus’s words to John. John knew Isaiah inside and out. Imagine him realizing that Jesus was the Messiah! God present among men. Amazing to think about.
    He encouraged all of us to take “quiet” time during the rest of Advent. He reminded us that Christmas runs from December 25 to January 12, so there is lots of time for the holiday stuff.
    I don’t know what has gotten into Fr. Connall. Confession availability increasing. More Latin being slowly introduced into the Holy Mass. Suggesting we recite the Animi Christi immediately following reception of the Holy Eucharist. Requesting prayers for him and his brother priests and deacons. Homilies suspiciously having a Lectio Divina pattern.
    Again and always, Thanks be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
    Peace and God bless.

  22. Christmas is not merely an event, but a culmination of God’s promise to His People. The church gives us last two weeks to reflect on the prophets….We should open up our Bibles and read them. Do we live our lives in a way where we accept the daily invitation to join Him in heaven. The Gospel reading was the parable of the wedding invitation. It was the Sunday of the Forefathers in the Byzantine Church.

  23. JonPatrick says:

    Due to a snowstorm late Saturday early Sunday we went to the OF vigil Mass instead of our usual EF.

    The homily was on the followers of John the Baptist asking Jesus whether he was the Messiah or should they wait for someone else. Our society still seems to be asking who Jesus is. Unfortunately I got somewhat distracted and don’t recall the rest of the homily. Maybe it was due to studying the particularly ugly sanctuary and thinking about how it could be made beautiful.

    Earlier on Saturday we attended a guided Holy Hour by one of the associate priests at the parish adoration chapel. The theme was relating Advent to Mary. She of course is central to Advent as she is waiting and expecting, just as we are. He used the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love and tied them into the first 3 joyful mysteries of the rosary. The Annunciation required faith on Mary’s part as she needed it to be able to consent to what Gabriel asked her. The Visitation has Mary setting off “in haste” as it says in Luke because she is full of expectation, is bursting to communicate this to Elizabeth, which is tied to the virtue of Hope. lastly the Nativity brings Love. We know how a newborn baby turns heads whenever it is brought into a room, there is that love for this innocent creature, how much more it is when the newborn infant is Christ Himself. The hour concluded with benediction.

  24. Mike says:

    zag4christ says [with gratitude]: “I don’t know what has gotten into Fr. Connall. Confession availability increasing. More Latin being slowly introduced into the Holy Mass.”
    Gaudete indeed! Same in my parish in arch-liberal Maryland on the D.C. line — the latter not without pushback from the loathers of Latin and proponents of liturgy by committee. As a newly promoted part-time cantor, I’m on the front line of this skirmish, so please pray for the parish and me, and especially for our supportive priests who will bear the brunt of the griping.

  25. JacobWall says:

    Confitemini Domino, I believe the sermon I heard had a similar message to what you heard. The priest first urged us to go to confession, and then gave an excellent homily on expectations; like John the Baptist, locked away in prison, we may come to doubt Christ’s work because we are not hearing what we *expect* to hear (or seeing what we expect to see.) The problem, pointed out our priest, is that our own expectations are focused on the wrong things. In the time of Christ, many people expected the Messiah as a great political leader and liberator, a worldly kind of hero and king. Yet, Christ shows who he is to John not by what was generally expected (or by what John expected) but by what he was really doing. In our own lives, we have to open our eyes to Christ’s actual work, and not be blinded by our own expectations.

  26. marthawrites says:

    Father compared the layering on we experience before Christmas–multiple parties, shopping expeditions, holiday busyness with Gulliver’s being tied down by the Lilliputians–multiple layers of thread were needed to keep him on the beach. We should be spending Advent cutting back, simplifying, not giving in to distractions of entertainment, so that unlike Gulliver we can get up on Christmas morning prepared to worship our newborn Savior.

  27. David Zampino says:


    Advent is a perfect time to go to confession to cleanse our souls for the grace of the Eucharist. (Opportunities for confession are available 6 days each week, often more than one opportunity each day.)

  28. MaterDei says:

    Sunday, Father talked about Pope Francis’ POY Award. He said it was a good thing for the Church to have positive media coverage. Then he said we don’t have to love the pope for his personality, what he says or does, but we love him because he is the successor of St. Peter. We don’t stand by the media’s interpretations of him, which will change, but we stand on the firm Rock of the Church, which will not. It was very inspirational.

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