Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

Let us know.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    That we are all called as Christians to be disciples and a disciple should spend his life learning more about Holy Mother Church.

  2. RJ Sciurus says:

    In some ways, the feelings the disciples felt after the Ascension and before Pentecost is similar to how some Catholics, especially traditional ones, feel now – Surrounded by pagans who dislike and ridicule us and members of our own faith who are questioning what our Savior told us, are wavering in their faith and are wondering, “Now what?”

  3. ASPM Sem says:

    I went to the Mass of Thanksgiving for newly ordained Fr. Paul Shovelain, and Fr. Michael Becker, my rector, preached about the power of the Holy Spirit.

  4. Sunday Mass was for Ascension (sorry, I’m a man under authority). I often wrestle with how best to expound the meaning of this feast which — it appears to me at least — seems not so strong in our consciousness. Most feasts are about us “getting” something; what do we “get” in this one? Or, more simply, what do we make of our Savior “leaving”?

    My result was to expound on this statement: “If you want to understand the Ascension, think about a marriage.” And then I looked at the “departure” in light of our Lord being the Bridegroom and the Church the bride; and then our Lord’s words in John 14, often quoted at funeral Masses: “I am going to prepare a place for you.”

    I developed we are, however, already “married” rather than merely “engaged”: we’ve made our “vows” in baptism and the Eucharist is a sharing in the consummation of the marriage, made on the Cross.

    I talked about how admitting wrong and forgiving is essential to any human marriage — just as the sacrament of reconciliation is necessary. And, yes, I mentioned pre- and post-marital chastity, including the word “contraception.” Does it make sense to want to be united with Christ but refuse the Holy Spirit? Likewise, it makes no sense to close off the life-giving aspect of marriage.

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    Fr Z: St Gregory Nazianzen taught that “whatever is not assumed is not redeemed.” All united with Christ have ascended in Him. It is our humanity that sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. It can help us in difficult moments if we think of this.

    Bishop Morlino: His friend the Bishop Emeritus of Rockford used to like to say every year that the feast of the Ascension is 44 days after Easter, exactly as stated in the Acts of the Apostles (not much reaction from us… “some are slow on the uptake”). The Ascension has a particular significance for the priest. The blood of of the Ascension courses through the veins of the priest. Today is the Bishop’s 40th anniversary of priestly ordination. He was ordained in 1974 by Cardinal Shehan of Baltimore, which he says was the Cardinal’s last official act before resigning (“maybe it was ordaining 15 Jesuits that did him in”). Today the bishop was wearing a very simple (gold ribbon on edges and little gold ribbon cross on chest) but appealingly proportioned white wool chasuble which he wore at his first Mass (maybe like a Borromeo cut chasuble? I am not knowledgeable enough, it was not as voluminous as regular gothic chasubles). He was also wearing the short, simple miter that he was given when he was consecrated a bishop (he noted that Pope Benedict “told us bishops, go up higher!” ie taller miters). Very rarely for him (as he noted, and this is true), he spoke about himself a little, and how grateful he was for his “pre Vatican II Jesuit formation… not everything pre Vatican II is bad.” Jesuits were trained never to think of becoming a bishop, and a Jesuit would never be Pope… till now! The bishop looks back on these years with great gratitude, amazement at the experiences he has had and joy. He is grateful for us and for all God has given him, and wants us to pray that he always remain grateful.

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    By the way, I liked and was more helped by Fr Z’s rather profound sermon that the humanity of all of us is ascended in Christ, all who are in Him are at the right hand of the Father. The second reading in the Office of Readings today has a reading from St Augustine that makes similar points worthy of deep meditation, “we also ascend, because we are in him by grace” etc. On the other hand I would have been interested if Bishop Morlino had elaborated on the priest’s particular conformity to Christ and participation in these mysteries.

  7. Mike says:

    NO (Ascension): At least one of the Synoptic evangelists uses the same verb to describe Our Lord being “lifted up” in Ascension as John uses to describe Him being “lifted up” in Crucifixion. Each is an aspect of Christ’s offering Himself completely to, and being received completely by, the Father.

  8. J_Cathelineau says:

    We had a very good day here since our Priest is back on the line after being very sick in hospital for two months. So today we had the TLM again, which is dully forbidden (not by law but by bishops mute opposition) and practically non existent in our country. Deo Gratias!

  9. nemo says:

    In the EF Mass, the gospel for the Sunday after Ascension quotes Our Lod,”…the hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think he is offering worship to God…”

    Father said the hour is here. He spoke of the witness of martyrs throughout the ages up until current times, including the Christian girls kidnapped in Nigeria and the lady in Sudan. He stressed that martyrdom could come to any of us. The normal human reaction would be to cave, but God gives martyrs special graces to persevere.

  10. Heather F says:

    OF, Ascension Sunday in Canada.

    Tying the Great Commission to the universal call to holiness that is not just for bishops and priests. Quotations from Lumen Gentium. We as laity are called to witness Christ to the world, especially in circumstances where we are the only ones there to do so. He also mentioned the need to take our faith into the voting booth with us (we have a provincial election coming up soon, and federal and municipal ones in the next year or so).

  11. majuscule says:

    We had a guest priest who spoke of the two ascensions of Christ–not meaning the celebration of Ascension Thursday on Thursday and the celebration of Ascension Thursday today on Sunday. No, he pointed out that the first was not witnessed by anyone but occurred after He met Mary Magdalene and before he told Thomas to touch Him.

    I had not heard this before, so in searching on the web I found that Father had written about this. Yes, the very same priest.

    In speaking to him after our NO Mass I learned that he usually celebrates the TLM and also celebrates the Byzantine Rite. He is a member of a fairly new contemplative order, the Contemplatives of St. Joseph.

    Check them out–this is the vocations page of their website with a nice video:

    I am impressed!

  12. Philip Gerard Johnson says:

    It was in Spanish, I didn’t catch a word of it.

  13. visigrad says:

    Awesome homily on salvation of souls vs. money in the collection…. go Baptize all….make Catholics not money.

  14. Nan says:

    That the Apostles must’ve felt abandoned as their link to heaven had gone back. We must all remember that heaven is our natural home and aspire to be there with Him. Father also celebrated his 25th anniversary this week and told us about a drawing a child had made linking the crucifixion to the ascension with love. I firmly believe that as dying on the cross is the littlest expression of God’s love for us.

  15. Fuquay Steve says:

    Passionate sermon on the moving of certain doctrinal feasts like Corpus Christi and Sacred Heart to Sundays vs. actual set in stone by scripture Holy Days (40 days after Resurrection) and the motivation for the later being worldly i.e. money, convenience. Ended it with a claim that he would rather save one soul than have gobs of money. Loved it.

    visigrad – were you at a church in NC?

  16. Our associate pastor told us about the necessity of praying for, encouraging and inspiring our sons to become priests. And the necessity of keeping a holy household to make that happen. It was very powerful.

  17. zag4christ says:

    One of our priests, Fr. Semple, gave the homily for Ascension Sunday. He said that for a long time, even being a priest for many years, he personally had difficulty determining what the meaning of this feast day is. He had a priest acquaintance whose family’s roots were in Croatia. This priest was always wanting to travel to Croatia, and he finally got the chance. In anticipation of the visit, the priest would tell Fr. Semple all about Croatia, the cities, the customs, the culture, the religious history. Fr. Semple said that after the priest had left, he (Fr. Semple), began to occaisionally hear about various happenings and places in Croatia. It would peak his interest, realizing that he knew someone in Croatia. So Fr. Semple’s perception of the Ascension is that we know someone from “there”, and He is waiting for us, and even if it is a little or a lot difficult to visualize what it is like, we should be confident that we will join Him.

  18. lsclerkin says:

    We will be having processions again. We must recover those devotions.
    Only a divine institution could have survived such persecutions as has the Church. And those persecutions are more subtle now in the US than they are and were elsewhere.

    St. Stanislaus Oratory, Milwaukee. TLM.

  19. MikeToo says:

    Father spoke about the importance of the bodily ascension.

    Some people think that everything good comes from the soul and the body is reduced to a vehicle for sin. There is nothing further form the truth. Our bodies were made good and for good. We praise God with our lips, we help others with our hands, we show our love for others with hugs in our arms. Our sexuality is a beautiful gift when ordered properly between one man and one woman married for the purpose of unity and procreation.

    From the resurrection to the ascension we had a glorified body among us. Mary was the pro-creator of that body.

  20. “If you have a complaint about the state of things, get off your couch and DO something!”

    Good advice.

  21. Buffy says:

    Saturday evening NO Mass. Mixed prayers from Vigil Mass and Mass for the Day. This always seems to happen when there’s a vigil and Mass for the day. Sermon centered on Jesus being with us until the end.

  22. MattH says:

    At the Cathedral of Saint Paul, the Rector talked about how the disciplines might have viewed the Ascension with some sadness, in that it appears Jesus was no longer bodily present with them, but how that was not actually the case. By carrying His human nature into heaven, Jesus did not leave us; in a sense He brought us with Him.

  23. ejcmartin says:

    Although not part of the sermon, there was an incredible “out of the mouths of babes” moment. We often attend Mass at one of two churches in a nearby parish cluster. One church built in the early 1900’s suffered a 1990’s “wreckovation” with the usual stale results (Church X), the other although built in the early 1960’s looks like a church with stained glass, vaulted ceilings, statues etc. (Church Y) A little girl of about 4 was at Mass with her grandparents. She told the priest that this was the first time she had been to church Y. The priest said to her “it’s beautiful isn’t it?”. Her reply loud enough for all to hear was “yes it’s much more beautiful than church X”. At age 4 she gets it.

  24. Hughie says:

    “Mark my words. They will toss around words like “inquisition” and “narrow-minded” and “rigid” and “unchristian”. Just watch.”

    I can only presume that you are so shocked by the announcement that Fr Tim is be be exiled to Margate that you were more than somewhat distracted when you sat down to write this. There can be no other explanation of your having forgot to mention here the “spirit of Vatican Council II” and “Saint Hans”. Bearing in mind Fr Tim’s seaside destination, I would suggest a wee tot of Wood’s Old Navy Rum to revive yourself.

  25. Hughie says:

    “Mark my words. They will toss around words like “inquisition” and “narrow-minded” and “rigid” and “unchristian”. Just watch.”

    I can only presume that you are so shocked by the announcement that Fr Tim is be be exiled to Margate that you were more than somewhat distracted when you sat down to write this. There can be no other explanation of your having forgot to mention here the “spirit of Vatican Council II” and “Saint Hans”. Bearing in mind Fr Tim’s seaside destination, I would suggest a wee tot of Wood’s Old Navy Rum to revive yourself.

  26. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Two very good points, from a visiting priest.
    1. How do you spend your quiet time? Do you pray, do you worry or do you try to run away from the quiet?
    2.The “Lord, I am not worthy” prayer before communion – do we just say the words out of habit, or do we recognize our own unworthiness and dependence?

  27. visigrad says:

    Fuquay Steve…….yes in NC….!!!

  28. Fuquay Steve says:

    To Visigrad
    I think we were at the same Mass. Dunn?

  29. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If we want to know Jesus better, we need to pray. The Ascension novena is a great prayer. The Rosary is a great prayer for contemplation, and so is reading Scripture. Don’t give up if prayer doesn’t seem to “do anything” for you; you need to be persistent to learn to notice God speaking to you.

  30. pj_houston says:

    In preparation for Pentecost, Msgr. explained the Latin root of spiritus (spirit) is from the verb “to breathe”. Therefore “Holy Ghost” is not really a correct translation, and thankfully is slowly falling out of favor.

  31. Chuck says:

    Archbishop Chaput visited our parish for the 11:30 on Sunday, and he as always had a deceptively simple homily in three parts covering 1) why he was visiting, 2) parish closings, and 3) the readings.

    For part one, he told us in the 2-1/2 years he has been here he visits parishes in the archdiocese on Saturday vigil masses and the later Sunday masses (two parishes per weekend) on most weekends (excluding Easter, Christmas and other times when he is not available), and that it was our turn. He has been getting the smell of his sheep since Pope Benedict sent him to us. He also provided a little catechesis and clarified his role as our pastor of our particular church as compared to the role of our pastor of our parish. He also called our one altar server (a young man who if memory serves is named Daniel) to stand with him and asked him questions about the significance if his (the altar server) vestments which he answered perfectly. The Archbishop also said “He’ll make a fine priest.”

    Part two, he discussed the need to close parishes. I am not aware of issues similar to NYC; we don’t have a daily TLM that I am aware of, but we have a number of weekly TLMs, including at the historic Holy Trinity in the Old City section of Philly. He noted that when he was a young man 79% of Catholics attended mass weekly. This number has dropped to between 20 and 25%. This coupled with migration from the city to the suburbs and exurbs is straining resources. He noted that if Catholics are not going to mass and financially supporting their parish then they cannot continue to keep them open. He also noted that when people are presented with the numbers they all agree something must be done, the problem is when they are asked to sacrifice…then it become personal. He noted that there are times when he is not very popular because of some of the decisions he has to make, but he has been sent here to make the tough decisions.

    The third part was about the readings, but he first prefaced that discussion with a reminder that we do have Ascension Thursday and it is a Holy Day of Obligation. He noted that these readings are about transition points. We all have transition points, especially in the Spring with graduations, ordinations, marriages, they can be scary, and that with the Ascension the Apostles had to go forward without the physical presence of the Lord.

    I cannot do service to my Archbishop’s homily, but I thank God and Pope Benedict that he is our shepherd.

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