Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. HoyaGirl says:

    “Jesus did not come for you ALONE. Let Him into your heart so that He can work through you to reach the others who need Him.”

    I really like the thought, but there are times in prayer when I am so grateful that He died for ME. It’s such a personal moment, and I don’t want to give that up. Maybe it was meant for those of us who focus too much on the one-on-one relationship instead of the sacrifice for all.

    (We were not at our home parish. We’re out of town visiting family, and it wasn’t their home parish either.)

  2. Confitemini Domino says:

    The shepherds recognized Jesus from the signs of poverty and the care of His parents.
    Jesus needed care and rescuing soon afterwards, too: He was in peril of death, and inspiration plus prudent thought of Joseph saved Him from Herod.

    In his family, back in Israel, Jesus more and more recognized His vocation. 30 years after, Jesus had to leave family behind, and sometimes, He used harsh language when it came to family.

    But in His preaching, family continued to play a role. Think of His words about the children, think of Mark 9:42, Mark 10:13-14, Matthew 19:13-15…

    (to be continued, later this evening)

  3. Ciara says:

    Today is the feast of The Holy Family [according to the Novus Ordo calendar] and The Priest at Holy Mass was talking about how families should pray together. He quoted what Pope John Paul II said about the family when he came to Ireland in 1979 and the priest ended with the words of Fr. Patrick Payton “The Family that prays together stays together”

  4. ckdexterhaven says:

    Yesterday and today, we were told that we live in a time with modern day Herods. Herods who advise population control,politicians and governments who support abortion are

  5. John of Chicago says:

    The priest pointed out that Luke and Matthew write of different aspects to the birth of Jesus–Luke with angels singing and shepherds, Matthew with Joseph’s 4 dreams about threats to the Child and His mother. Matthew must have been a parent while Luke maybe not. The labeling of a child –in Jesus’ case as “King” and “Emmanuel” but these days as disabled, needy, impoverished, undocumented, of “suspect” parents–was/is seen as a burden and threat by Herod then and civil society now. Thank God 2000 years ago there was Egypt and Nazareth ready and willing to welcome, protect and nurture the Holy Family in their desperate needs. What local community or entire society, now, is ready and willing to welcome, protect and nurture through all the years of childhood such an infant and family in their many challenging and disparate needs for food and
    shelter, health care and education, safety and security? Jesus didn’t wait until He was 30 years old to begin teaching, even as an infant His need was a prelude to the Sermon on the Mount loud and clear.

  6. HighMass says:

    I guess we need to be on our knee’s and Thank God for 5 Masses being said today in our area…..down side there is no Mass in the E.F. There hasn’t been for over 2 yrs….the homilies well (if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all). THe hopes of a reformed Liturgy went out the door when our Dear Pope Benedict resigned……How how we miss you Santita……
    Its a void that is hard to describe……the fear of liberal Priests becoming Liberal Bishops is now more evident than ever…..with Card. Burke no longer in position to make suggestions which Priests will become Trad. Bishops……or Orthodox, is a better word for it……

    I know this has nothing to do with Sunday Sermons…..just needed to Vent…..Pope Benedict we needed YOU….BUT respect your decision to resign…..GOD BLESS THE CHURCH

  7. StWinefride says:

    Bishop Declan’s Pastoral Letter for the Feast of the Holy Family was read out (Diocese of Clifton – UK). An excerpt:

    “The Feast of the Holy Family is a time to celebrate our family life but it is also a time to be aware of those families who struggle in life. We may not have personally encountered refugee families but I am sure we know families where relationships have broken down and people have been hurt. Often in response to the hurt, people begin to doubt whether they can ever again trust anyone. Their response to life can be aggressive as a means of defence.

    If the message of Christ, in all its richness finds a home within us, we cannot be indifferent or ignore the hurt of others. The Gospel message is: You must love one another as I have loved you. Jesus came as Saviour of the World but His message and His presence was particularly directed to those who are wounded in life so as to give them hope and restore their dignity.”

  8. Priam1184 says:

    Today’s homily was a tour de force. Father started with how the human family relates to the Trinity then he went through each of the evils of our time that cause division in individual families and the human family as a whole such as the celebration of divorce, pornography, the homosexual culture and even mixed in Jesus and the chief priests on the Temple Mount in John chapter 8 and how that confrontation relates to our own attitude toward all of these questions. Good stuff.

  9. incredulous says:

    Due to what I believe is a whole slew of families in our parish blowing apart (including mine), I believe our pastor spent extra hours preparing for this sermon. Normally, he never ever approaches his pastoring in a scolding or even minimally confrontational manner. Even confessions are never anything more that pointing out a correct way of handling situations without ever reiterating the sin or focusing on that. (At times, I wish he’d just take us men by the throats and say “wake up PAGAN”, but that’s not his style… ;) )

    In commemoration of the Feast of Holy Family and weaving all three NO readings (Sirach, Colosians (FULL reading), and Matthew, his sermon was at least twice as long as normal. It was beautiful. He actually TAUGHT us how husband should behave towards wife, wife to husband, child to mother, child to father, father to children. His sermon was a grace from God which made the celebration of the bloodless sacrifice more real and relevant. In a very female run parish, he did not shy away one bit from the equal demand of the wife being subordinate to the husband in addition to the husband loving the wife as Christ loves his Holy Bride.

    After listening to an audiosancto sermon ( ) on marriage when I woke up, today’s mass was unexpected. What did I expect when I woke up and asked God what he expected me to do… ?! I got His answer in spades.

    Have a blessed Sunday all. Cherish every moment you have to serve the Lord.

  10. Nan says:

    Much to my surprise Fr. talked primarily about the evil of pornography and how it divides families. He says that women go into marriage knowing that their husband views porn, thinking he’ll change and learn that he won’t. Men go into the confessional with their sins and three days later return with the same sin. At length with pornography, then talked about how designated drivers delude us into thinking it’s okay to go out and get hammered as long as we don’t drive.

  11. Nan says:

    Can priests say hammered?

  12. Mike says:

    These comments are helpful, so thank you. Our Pastor did give a fine homily on the ordinary heroism of simply STAYING with the family you’ve got. Every family has problems. Period. Don’t head for the hills, people.

    While there was lots more to be said–in regard to specific stupidities that erode family life, and how to battle them–this was a good homily.

  13. Mike says:

    These comments are helpful, so thank you. Our Pastor did give a fine homily on the ordinary heroism of simply STAYING with the family you’ve got. Every family has problems. Period. Don’t head for the hills, people.

    While there was lots more to be said–in regard to specific stupidities that erode family life, and how to battle them–this was a good homily.

  14. Elizabeth D says:

    7am Mass with Fr Z: In our time there is a widespread loss of the sense of the sacred. People no longer distinguish between what is sacred and what is profane. We hear even of churches being invaded during Holy Mass by protestors, violating not only divine law, but common sense and even civil law. There are sacred objects such as blessed rosaries, there are sacred persons including consecrated religious and priests, sacred places such as this church dedicated in the old rite many years ago, and sacred time. We are in the octave of Christmas now. The liturgical eighth day represents eternity–in the octave of Easter or of Christmas time stands still. It is still as Christmas Day during the octave, giving us time to live the mystery of the incarnation deeply. We must recover a sense of the sacred.

    11am Mass was celebrated by Bishop Morlino, and visiting priest Fr Jerome Fasano of the diocese of Arlington, VA gave the homily. I looked this priest up and he is right near both Christendom College and Human Life International and these are important to his parish, and this was the character of the homily he gave. It was about family and touched on the serious challenges to the family today and covered well and forthrightly the doctrinal points that need reinforcing in our day. One good point was that while marriage has other purposes too, its main purpose is procreation and (with emphasis) raising children in the Faith.

  15. Confitemini Domino says:

    (continued – some more aspects…)
    Father then thought of Mary’s “yes” to Jesus, he remembered again the murder of the innocents in Bethlehem, repeated in our days.

    It’s a most grave sin to abuse the trust of a child, as Jesus said.

    Ultimately, we are not “made” free by our family, but we are set free by God’s “yes” to us. Our freedom is founded in God.

    Mary continues to say “yes” to us, us – as the church – being entrusted to her.

    Finally, Father spoke about the second reading. “Vor allem aber liebt einander, denn die Liebe ist das Band, das alles zusammenhält und vollkommen macht.”

    He admitted that St. Paul spoke with customs of his time in his mind. Today we might rightfully say: “submit to each other, as is fitting in the Lord.” That is, bow to the reflection of God in your wife/husband.

  16. Menagerie says:

    We have a new priest in our parish, and his wonderful homilies, his leadership, his respect for the priesthood, his immediate return to the use of the confessional, as well as a multitude of other things are recharging the parish and people with energy.

    Today’s sermon was possibly the best I have ever heard. He spoke about the Holy Family, but especially St. Joseph’s role as husband, father, head of the household, and the courage and faith it took to defend and protect and provide for his family. He spoke about how men should be men, warriors they were meant to be, in battle against evil, and interior battle for control of themselves. How being a true man allows a woman to be all she is called to be, and a family to prosper. He then denounced radical feminists and pointed out the attack on all manhood, on everything a man is and should be, as opposed to the bad things men have done that are a part, not the whole, of what men have done throughout history.

    He called on men to lead their families in faith in the home, in prayer, and to church. He said that homes in which the father takes no active role in religious life produce children who permanently leave the church over fifty percent of the time while homes in which dad leads the family in faith formation have kids who stay in church, or return after a few years, at over a ninety percent rate.

    This young priest is a shepherd! He leads, he encourages, he gives sermons that actually call on you to change, and tell you how to do it. He forcefully advocates confession, and emphasizes holy days. Exciting times.

  17. APX says:

    We resurrected a very old Canadian tradition- We recited the “Great Prone”. You’ll have to Google it to find out what it is exactly, but the main part requires the congregation to recite the Out Father, Hail Mary, Apostle’s Creed, the 10 Commandments, and the precepts of the Church. Essentially everything Catholics are require to know. Seems like a good “New Evangelization” tool for Canadians.

  18. APX says:

    Sorry, it’s the “Grand Prone”. My bad.

  19. mysticalrose says:

    Well, today Father came out with both arms swinging. He gave a great homily on the diabolical attack against the family in the West, including all of our social ills: infidelity, contraception, cohabitation, gay marriage, and abortion. Then he gave us a formula for creating a firm foundation for our families: faith, fidelity and forgiveness. It was really both forceful and pastoral at the same time.

  20. marthawrites says:

    Our pastor spoke to a mostly older congregation early in the morning. He asked us what makes a family holy? He said that grandparents perform the functions of cheering children at ball games and giving presents, but that the grandparents’ duty is the same as the parents’–to model the virtues enumerated in the second reading (NO) by Paul. Father said we adults should have the INTENTION of teaching kindness rather than meanness, humility rather than arrogance, gentleness rather than harshness. In other words, we should always be alert to the opportunities to live and also to teach virtue. This is the way to make a family HOLY as the Holy Family was holy.

  21. timfout says:

    The good point from today was that St. Joseph set the example for the quiet ones, those who listen and obey.

  22. iPadre says:

    Joseph’s silence in the Christmas mysteries does not make him a static figure. His prayer, and contemplation of these mysteries gave him a “total availability to the divine plan”.

  23. VexillaRegis says:

    Hmm, there were several good points in the sermon, but I got the sense, that father had planned to say one thing, then got a new idea on his way to the ambo, and ended up giving a rather incoherent sermon. Family life should be very much about sacrifice and self-denial, he said – and then he jumped to the question of how to find a spouse (not his area of expertise, sorry). These puzzling sermons have one benefit – you think a lot more about the contents afterwards than when the sermon is crystal clear ;-)!

  24. Today, Father talked about the passage from Colossians that so often gets omitted these days. He said yes, wives must be submissive to their husbands, but before the husbands get all puffed up about that, they need to go on reading, and see that it also says they are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church; and to find out how Christ loves the Church, look at a crucifix. Yes, he said, husbands must be willing to die for their wives.

    Father also talked about the fact that the nuclear family — one husband, one wife, children — is the basic unit of civilization, and talked about the sins against the family, which include: divorce; same-sex “marriage”; abortion; spousal and child abuse; elder abuse; and — yep, he said it! — artificial contraceptives. It was electrifying.

    Dear Reverend Fathers, PLEASE talk about this stuff from the pulpit, and damn the torpedoes. Catholics who try to be faithful are treated like weirdos and nutjobs, even by other Catholics. You have no idea how bracing it is for faithful Catholics to have their shepherds publicly back them up.

  25. majuscule says:

    Thank you Miss Anita Moore…I was debating whether to post this or not, but since you mentioned that reading…

    I noticed in our OCP missallettes that the part of the second reading about wives being submissive was bracketed and marked “optional”.

    I held my breath as the woman reading approached that section, skipped it and went on to “The Word of The Lord.”

    Father did not mention this in his homily but he did stress the importance of families as being the “school” where we learn, before preschool, elementary school etc. that strong families are a refuge from this crazy world.

    After Mass I was discussing the “omission” with some people and one college age young lady said that she heard a wonderful homily once that explained it as Miss Anita Moore noted above.

    Of course I probably should have never brought it up…but it’s good to know that young people –women!– get it.

  26. Lori Pieper says:

    I was visiting my parents in Iowa and their hometown church. Fr. contrasted the reactions of Herod and Joseph to learning about the arrival of the new King. Herod was all about himself and reacted violently to protect himself; Joseph, who probably had a lot of plans for his life and marriage that were now not going to work out as he had thought, thought of God and obeyed God.


  27. JonPatrick says:

    Away from our home parish so attended a vigil OF Mass for the Sunday in the Octave of Christmas. Father preached about the Holy Family being refugees and therefore we need to see Christ in the refugees around us, not always happening in places overseas such as Syria but also here at home for example people fleeing domestic violence. I was somewhat distracted by his bringing up discrimination against Muslims, yet not mentioning the numbers of Christians that are being made refugees or killed outright due to Muslim on Christian violence. But I guess in the current political climate in this country that is to be expected.

  28. Mike says:

    NO homily (after unsurprisingly truncated NT Reading by female reader) focused on three noteworthy characteristics of the Holy Family: they were obedient to God’s direction; they lived in thankfulness; they were open to the mission to advance the Kingdom of God.

    Nothing terribly challenging, which was a shame considering the blazes of light that the day’s readings shed on our dysfunctional life on Earth at the end of AD 2013.

  29. Ben's son says:

    Attended a student ministries mass at a university near our hotel. Theme was The Holy Family.
    Deacon gave the homily and convinced us that we all have some disfunction in our families,
    and that in 14×3 generations’ lineage of Jesus’ earthly family there were some not-so-perfect characters, so good things can still come of us all. He talked a little about Pope Francis’ humble beginnings, and tied it all together by saying a holy family, a family of Christians, we can all show love to our neighbor and even other family members, in many different ways, if we just try.
    A twist was, the form of bread used for consecration and distribution; while the priest used the familiar large round flat host, the congregation received what could be visually described as brown and pellet-shaped, as a ball. Interesting.

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