Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass of obligation?

Let us know what it was.

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  1. Sue says:

    Father is having a penance service today with several priests to hear confessions during a holy hour so that we can all be prepared for the coming of Our Lord. He used his homily time to go through a very good Examination of Conscience used by the Omaha, NE Diocese.

  2. John of Chicago says:

    The pastor said that Jesus’ life began in “scandal” (perhaps, prefiguring that it also would end in scandal–the cross) and that the religious law and tradition and custom dictated how that scandal should be handled but Joseph, even before his dream, decided that the prescribed response was wrong and had chosen, on his own, to quietly act “righteously.” The angel in his dream asked for more, even though his actions would be a second source of scandal, and Joseph took Mary and her Son as his own into his home. Joseph’s actions throughout exemplified the difference between a safe, legalistic, moralistic response and a daring, merciful, loving and pastoral response to human need.

  3. lmgilbert says:

    At Holy Rosary Fr. Andersen used a substantial part of his homily to trace a history of the Septuagint, all by way of establishing that the word translated in this morning’s reading from Isaiah as “virgin’ was translated with that understanding of the Hebrew by the Hebrew scholars who translated the Hebrew scriptures into Greek. The post-70 A.D. Jews who insist that the word simply means maiden, or young woman, are faced with the problem that there is no way a young woman giving birth would have any sign value at all, since young women give birth all the time. The Lord through Isaiah had promised to give Ahaz a sign, the sign of a virgin giving birth.

    He went on to say that we are given the infused virtue of faith at baptism, but if we have allowed doubts concerning the virgin birth or any truth of the faith to darken our intellects, then the remedy is to bring this to Confession, so that we may come to Christmas more readily believing.

  4. gertrude says:

    Help Father Z , I am becoming more and more confused. Today’s sermon focused on the names Jesus and Emmanuel and their meanings. Focusing on Jesus meaning the great expanse of freedom and how Jesus told us he came to bring us an abundant life, not to focus on saying a certain number of prayers each day as that can become a burden to our abundant life that God wanted us to live. To declutter our lives and truly be in the presence of God(Emmanuel) . Also to be truly present to each other for world peace. I understand some but to say pray less and live abundantly within morality – and I thought Jesus meant he came to bring us life – the after life of this current exile from God- Father, I continue to pray for discernment but as a cradle Catholic, I am so confused. Shouldn’t I be trying to spend more time in prayer rather than enjoying this life, pleasures of the flesh, praying for souls here and in purgatory , praising our Lord ?

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    7am Traditional Latin Mass: did not occur due to deep snow preventing the priest, who lives across town, from safely and reasonably getting there. A few faithful were there.

    11am Novus Ordo Mass with Bishop Morlino, with I think 16 seminarians and a transitional deacon: It is an early Christmas present to have not only half our seminarians who drove a long way from the pastoral center, but so many of you who made it here despite the snow, and you sing the Mass well even without the choir. In the readings, Saint Paul speaks of the obedience of faith, and in the Gospel Joseph the just man was obedient to the command of the angel that he should take Mary his wife into his home. The obedience of faith is not a servile obedience as if in bondage. There is a mysticism of obedience, of doing God’s will. There is the obedience within the family, there is the obedience of the priests among one another and to the bishop, and the bishops together obedient to the Holy Father. When seminarians arrive back at seminary after a long interval there is experience of not being able to do exactly as one pleases. We need to live the mysticism of obedience.

    At the end of Mass the bishop commented (I paraphrase), some of you may have wondered if I would mention Phil Robertson, and I did not because I did not want to get upset at Mass.

  6. msc says:

    Alas, I do not know. I’m in ice storm territory and missed an Advent Sunday mass for the first time in years. I’m aware that I probably could have made it if my faith were strong enough: but forty minutes on ice each way was just too scary a proposition. I don’t mend the way I used to. But thanks to the internet, innumerable homilies from Church Fathers et al. (I’m rather partial to Bede’s) are only a few clicks away. The power was on long enough to print up a couple on today’s readings for my wife and I to share.

  7. Uxixu says:

    Homily from visiting priest was similar to what Elizabeth related on holy obedience. Novus Ordo at regular parish, though they’ve been adding Chant from the loft for the Sanctus & Agnus Dei in addition to the normal music. Most surprising was one of our Deacons wore a violet dalmatic.

  8. Confitemini Domino says:

    I attended Mass in St. Sylvester, Munich, celebrated by Father F., Jesuit Priest. I’ll try and translate some points of the German sermon:

    Since childhood we may have been used to bringing together these two passages, the message of Isaiah 734 B.C., and the message of the angel in Joseph’s dream.

    Father put Isaiah’s prophecy into the context of the Syria-Efraim-war. Ahaz wanted to make a pact with the mighty king of Assyria. For Isaiah, this strategy was betrayal of JHWH. So, he calls to Ahaz:
    “im lo taaminu ki lo teamenu”: “If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” Or, as Luther had it: “Gläubt ihr nicht, so bleibt ihr nicht.”

    Father questioned the tradition to understand the message of the angel in Joseph’s dream as a “christologic relecture” of Isaiah 7. He rather pointed at the “strains”, the “tensions” in Isaiah’s text:

    On one hand, the seemingly-pious words of the king: “I will not ask for a sign, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” On the other hand, the obvious anger of the prophet.

    Why the first, and why the latter?

    A “sign”, that means a connection between the reality of our lives (for Ahaz: the political conflict) and our faith. Ahaz rejects this, with a seemingly-pious explanation.

    What is the Emmanuel-sign announced by the prophet?
    It needn’t be the same Ahaz should have asked for. Neither need it have been the Messiah: His coming would have finished with the reigns of Ahaz, Tiglatpileser and whoever else.

    But history continues. Probably the Emmanuel of Isaiah was a sign of bane. There is no sense in continuing as before, the history of salvation is no license for arbitrary political decisions. So, some verses later we read:

    For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria. In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures. In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

    “I will not ask for a sign, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” This is sanctimonious reservation. But how is a prayer from faithful heart which really refrains from asking God for something?

    Emmanuel(!) Levinas titles one of his late texts “Beten ohne zu bitten” (praying without asking for anything). He speaks of God, giving life to the worlds, receiving the prayers of people… Man has a responsibility for his fellow creatures, for the worlds he is living in. And, a paradox, not do we need something from God, but God needs the prayer of the just:

    Far from asking something from God, prayer would be an elevation of one’s soul to the Lord, to deliver oneself, to free oneself from the unconditioned attachment to the “Sein“. God craves for the prayer of man in the obvious sense of Proverbs 15: “the prayer of the upright is his delight.” He needs the prayer in the same way he needs the men true to the Thora… The daily offerings in the temple were holocaustes, nothing should remain for the person who offered them. How can the person praying speak of his egoistic purposes without compromising the pure dis-inter-est of the holocaust?

    Looked at in that light, Ahaz is right: “I will not ask for a sign, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” But, and this provokes Isaiah’s anger, he doesn’t say it out of awe and faithfulness to the Thora, but for political calculus. He doesn’t mean it.

    Praying without asking. How is this possible? For Levinas, God is suffering in human suffering. Our prayer rising to him identifies itself with this suffering of God.

    God’s initiatives may be different: a child, the Emmanuel, who is at the side of the suffering people, paying for the responsibilities of the rulers.

    Or the child announced by the angel in Joseph’s dream. Joseph, dreaming, is all open for the mysterious message, for the angel saying the message of Isaiah anew.

    Praying without asking. Ahaz and Emmanuel Levinas are right in a way. Trusting in God’s initiative we are acting responsibly.

    The signs God will give us needn’t be christmassy harmonious. They may disturb, irritate, put themselves in our ways, like Isaias did to Ahaz “at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field.” Then we may learn to pray without wanting to fulfill our wishes. Praying like in the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done.”

    One thing is for sure: The Immanuel is the God With Us. But sure is also: He doesn’t match our psychological projections. He is the sign God Himself gives to us.

  9. JonPatrick says:

    EF 4th Sunday in Advent, Father talked about the importance of giving thanks after Communion, St. Alphonse Liguori recommended an hour but even if we spent 15 minutes that would be something. This is important because during that time we have Jesus body and blood present in us.

  10. nemo says:

    Christ humbled himself to come to earth to show how much God loves us. We have trouble humbling ourselves, wanting to take revenge at every slight. Father meditated on three points of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises:
    What have I done for Christ?
    What am I doing for Christ?
    What will I do for Christ?
    God’s love for us requires a response. In the last days before Christmas, it is important to prepare well. We should make these resolutions for these last days before Christmas:
    1. Avoid dissipation of mind–With modern distractions it is difficult to dwell on the mysteries of faith. This is why we maintain silence in the chapel. It takes time for the soul to absorb mysteries such as the Nativity. Christ was born in the stillness of the night–God speaks in the silence.
    2. Avoid indifference–Fervor is very important. Christ said in Revelation that He will spit the lukewarm out of His mouth. Many Christians are indifferent to the spiritual realities behind Christmas. They do not derive spiritual benefits from it because they do not prepare and have no zeal.

  11. APX says:

    Fr. Flood, FSSP, NA District Superior, is here visiting our apostolate and preached his sermon on Mass, comparing and contrasting it to the Last Supper in the Upper Room and a regular fancy dinner one would serve in their dining room. He spoke the need for fancy vestments and really nice sacred vessels, proper preparation before and after receiving communion, etc.

  12. My homily was entitled, “It easily might have been different.” I went back and forth between the ways the story of salvation unfolded, with twists and turns, including hugely consequential decisions not only by our Lady, but by Joseph, as seen in today’s Gospel–and the way our own lives unfold similarly. How our lives might easily have been different; how decisions we make may be vastly more consequential than we ever can imagine.

    I talked about how Joseph could only respond as he did because of the character and spiritual depth that came from choices made leading up to that moment. This is one reason why Mass, confession, prayer, self-denial, etc., matter in our lives.

    And I talked about how, in our twists and turns, we have sins and regrets, yet God works with us, and we find ourselves–due to God’s hand–in a good place nonetheless. And I closed by saying that, if we make it to heaven, when we look back at the path we took, we’ll say “wow!”

  13. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    If only I could recall all that was said. All I remember is that it was very good.

    During the homily at our 9:30 AM TLM, we did hear discussion of the 4th Sunday of Advent, with a call to draw nearer to Christ. But it was Father’s words about Pope Francis that I found most moving. He commented on how, in past ages, so many things a pope said and did would never have seen the light of day, unlike today with social media. With that, he spent some time talking about some of the good things he saw in what the Holy Father is sparking, in terms of getting people to live the Gospel more fully. He went into some specific areas, but I’m terrible at recall. I was really kicking myself for not recording that homily, even if only for my own reference.

    The homily had me pondering how many times we look at the defects, faults, and imperfections of people in general (even perceived), without emphasizing within ourselves, their good qualities, strengths, and purity in other areas.

  14. majuscule says:

    A very condensed recap–

    We are all preparing for Christmas–shopping, cooking, decorating. Time to prepare our souls for the great gift we are about to receive. So–Go. To. Confession!

    Each of the three churches in our parish will have confession available tomorrow afternoon/evening.

    (This priest often mentions confession and has gone out of his way to be at one of the outlying churches regularly to hear confessions.)

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Excellent sermon by the Vocations Director of the Davenport Diocese, who is a Latin Mass priest.

    Father Hennen spoke of trying to avoid sin in this season of excess. He also spoke of the readings from the Bible being hyper-specific about the time Christ was born, the genealogy of Christ, and Christ beginning His apostolic work to remind us that the Incarnation is real.

    Nice sermon.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    gertrude, sounds like too many points in one sermon-do not be confused. Jesus brings life, and we meet Him in prayer and the sacraments, in order to go out into the world and evangelize, taking that abundant life of grace with us. Maybe that is what the priest meant?

  17. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    I went to the local parish, staffed with Trinitarian priests. Today we had their regional/provincial vocation director celebrating the Mass, with three young men that are in the earliest stage of vocational discernment.

    So… part of the homily was about vocations, and part was discernment and how sometimes in dreams the seeds of a vocation are sown, or a direction in life we are to take; the emphasis on the dreams of St. Joseph in the Gospel reading.

    Note: we still were in ADVENT, no trees, no lights, no garlands, no creche. This afternoon the Parish Center and offices were decorated, TOMORROW AFTER MASS, our pastor will allow the Church to be decorated. There was some grumbling about it this afternoon.

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Very like the excerpt from Dogma und Verkundigung in today’s ADVENTCAzT, about the surprise and humility and vulnerability of the “Child” in Isaiah’s prophecy (in the context of Ahaz’s circumstances) and in the Angel’s quoting it in enlightening St. Joseph about the Incarnation having taken place.

  19. Franklinwasright says:

    I attend an Novus Ordo mass, the priest spoke today about being open to life, perhaps not purchasing a new boat and having another baby. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that up here by the lake. It is the first time in my life I’ve heard a priest mentioning being “open to life” in a homily. I’m 33 years old.

  20. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    What mountains do we put between ourselves and the love of God or of our neighbor?

    What self-pitying “low places” do we refuse to leave?

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