Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two which you remember from the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass?

Let us know.

For my part, for this 10th Sunday after Pentecost, spoke briefly about our need not to be presumptuous about our spiritual state or presume much about the state of others.

I also mentioned that St Augustine made an observation about how his flock, on hearing about God’s mercy, would all strike their breasts with such force that the sound rumbled through the church.

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  1. James Joseph says:

    Holy Mass at Still River Abbey.

    Regarding the Publican and Pharisee: The priest told us the Pharisee almost got it right and that he would have been better should he have prayed as St. Charles Borromeo, who wore a noose in place of his pectoral cross saying, “Do you see that criminal over there? That is me. But, for the Grace of Go go I!.”

    I am glad a priest, finally, used this parable to edify the flock rather than brandishing it as a blunt instrument to bludgeon the orthodoxy and faith of his hearers.

  2. Priam1184 says:

    Father used the example of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time as an illustration of a perfect prayer of petition. First, approaching God in faith, then begging the forgiveness of sins (read: GO TO CONFESSION), then acknowledging one’s own powerless and the omnipotence of God, and then putting the petition for whatever one needs to accept the Kingdom of God in the world and lastly being persistent.

  3. Jim in Seattle says:

    For the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost: The sermon was on the virtue of humility – drawing from the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican praying at the temple. Humility is to recognize any good we have comes from God. Sin does not come from God, but rather from us. Pride does not recognize the good of God, rather believes the good is due to our own works. Humility as a virtue must be practiced. One suggestion was to do one good act each day where no one can discover that you were responsible for it.

  4. jhayes says:

    From Francis, in Korea,

    (Vatican Radio) During the second day of his visit to Korea, Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at Seoul’s prestigious Sogang University, founded by the Jesuits in 1960. During the relaxed and informal meeting with his confreres, the Pope talked about the need for priests to bring consolation to people, rather than castigate them for their sins.

    Returning to one of his favourite themes of the Church as a field hospital for those who have been wounded, Pope Francis said God’s people are seeking and needing to be consoled. The Church has many wounds, he said, and some of them have been caused by us, priests and practising Catholics. So often, he added, our clerical attitudes have done much damage to the Church. However, he continued, there are no wounds that cannot be consoled by the love of God and priests are called to tend to these wounds, with the certainty that God will always bring forgiveness and hope.

    Priests, the Pope said, are not state altar boys but they are pastors and he urged his confreres to act like pastors with people who come to Confession. Be merciful, he exhorted them, and always remember that God never tires of forgiving us.

  5. Mike says:

    TLM: The diversity to which the Epistle alludes, and with which so much present-day secular discourse is shot through, cannot but be divisive (and thus, one presumes, cannot be of the Spirit) unless it draw us to unity in Christ. A prideful attitude such as that of the Pharisee solidifies division; humility like the publican’s opens us to Christ’s infinite Mercy.

  6. jdt2 says:

    Drying his homily, the visiting priest in my parish did an amazing job providing deeper context on the cultural, historical and symbolic references behind Jesus’ using ‘dogs’. I never really understood this part of the gospel before; and had it not been Christ saying it, I would have found this mean and insulting.

    I now have a whole new appreciation for this and am grateful.

  7. James C says:

    Did Novus today, and the homily was about how the Gospel, first shared with the Jews, was meant to spread by faith and transform all the peoples and cultures on Earth.

    The not so good: a friend reported that his Father Trendy preached that Jesus was a racist whose prejudice against Gentiles was overcome by the faith of the Canaanite woman. If Jesus can be taught not to be a bigot, so can you!

  8. andia says:

    Mercy= undeserved forgiveness. We are called to forgive and give mercy to those around us, especially those that we might want to avoid.

  9. APX says:

    10th Sunday after Pentecost, Father gave a surprisingly short sermon (he usually preaches quite long, even on weekdays) about humility. He started out by comparing the Pharisee to the “holier-than-thou” type, but indicated that those type don’t really exist anymore and instead now we have those who thank “Gia they aren’t like those devout Catholics who homeschool their children.”

    He then briefly stated that we need to work on being humble and that we should take into consideration what Christ said about where we sit.

  10. Peggy R says:

    We are across the river from StLouis (Ferg). The priest at mass this a/m, who was a young priest in Chicago in the 60s, apparently did civil rights marching, said that the Catholic Church should have something to say about bringing peace and reconciliation in such situations. [I don’t know if that’s a call for Abp. Carlson to say something? Local priests?]

    This is important and on the heels of a letter in the StL paper noting the early strides in desegregation by Abp. Joseph Ritter and the role of the priests and nuns in the community. Where is the Church in society today, the writer wondered.

    I want to credit StL Catholic for posting and commenting on this letter first.

    I think this is a very important point, the role of the Church in society today and its no longer visible presence has consequences.

  11. tealady24 says:

    Alas, I am no longer near to any Latin masses (NJ has everything else . . ) but the sermon was on the Canaanite woman and how she persists in asking our Lord to help her.

    Rather than focus on how the Jews who were the first receivers of the Gospel looked to spread its beauty throughout the world, we were told (by our deacon) that throughout history the Jews have been less than amenable to their neighbors!

    Lovely. Revisionist history at its best.

  12. I talked about three things:

    1) The Jew-Gentile dichotomy, and what that’s all about in Scripture and salvation history;
    2) What God’s plan is for the Jews;
    3) What no salvation outside the Church means.

  13. drohan says:

    From my Novus Ordo parish in rural Nebraska:

    Actually, our new parish priest is from India and he did a fine job in his sermon today.

    The main point he had was to illustrate that the Woman’s faith in him shows the universality of Jesus’ salvation through the mission of the Church. He showed that Paul’s gospel further showed the universality of salvation. And Paul didn’t waste time with his own if they were not being receptive, but that he went to those open to the truth, in hopes of kindling the fires of faith among the Jews at a later time.

    That Christ was testing the woman’s faith, and she passed. That there are times when our faith must be assertive and strong as well and contemplative.

    I thought he did a good job really.

  14. drohan says:

    Paul’s letter sorry.

  15. NancyP says:

    Atlantic City, NJ, is not the place I expected to find a beautiful Italian-style high altar in a parish church. St. Michael’s reminded me of many of the churches I visited in southern Italy – lots of putti, saint statues, etc. I felt right at home.

    If ever you are near Atlantic City, go to Mass here. The pastor, Father Jeffrey Cesarone, gave an amazing homily today, packed with references to Church teachings (Can non-Catholics go to Heaven?), Jewish tradition (Would a Jewish man have answered a Canaanite woman?) and Latin translation. We were so happy to be at Mass today!

    The two points of the homily were 1) Salvation is universal, available for all people at all times and 2) Christ is the only possible Priest who could have made the redemptive sacrifice necessary to gain that salvation for us, because He is both human and divine, the only-begotten Son of God. The faith and humility of the Canaanite woman should remind us that we are to approach God as she did, with sincerity and a humble openness to conforming ourselves to His likeness and image.

    I really can’t summarize this homily properly – I wish I could have taken notes, in a way – it was so nice to hear Father Cesarone assume we were intelligent, faithful Catholics who are eager to know more about Church teachings and the Bible, and share a thoughtfully-planned, well-delivered homily that is worth pondering in our hearts.

    We prayed to St. Michael at the end of Mass – another joy.

    P. S. – If you go, there is a nice little Italian-style bakery around the corner, Formica Brothers. In Italian tradition, it’s open after Mass, and we saw several people there whom we’d seen in church. What a lovely morning!

  16. acardnal says:

    jhayes, once again you posted something that is not relevant to what Fr. Z posted in order that you could make a point that is not pertinent:
    “. . . from the sermon you heard for your Sunday Mass?”

    The article you quoted is NOT from a Sunday sermon nor is it from from today’s Sunday Mass that you heard.

  17. MikeToo says:

    Father mentioned that he knew many priests that do not like to preach about this encounter with the Canaanite woman. Jesus may seem distant, uncaring and cruel.

    Her first prayer was answered with silence. Anyone who has fervently prayed to God about an important matter and received silence in response should be able to relate with this women. The second request is returned with a insult. The woman persists and displays even greater humility and faith and eventually gets her requests answered the third time around.

    It is in times of trial that adversity strengthens us. The woman’s daughter was beset by daemons and Jesus came to heal the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of human nature. It was also through this spiritual trial that the mother’s faith grew which was also a teaching moment for the disciples.

  18. Elizabeth D says:

    I went to Bishop Morlino’s regular old Novus Ordo Mass. He began by saying we want to pray today especially for Pope Francis on his trip to the Korean Peninsula and for the unity and peace of Korea, and for the Christians in Iraq. The bishop tied the first reading and the Gospel together by saying Jesus invited the Canaanite woman, a foreigner who had no “claim” to him, onto His holy mountain. We too must go out to the margins and invite people onto the holy mountain. There are materially poor people, and there are spiritually poor. The former know they’re poor, but the latter often do not! He named names of some of those in Madison–Planned Parenthood and the Freedom From Religion Foundation! The FFRF recently intimidated and bullied the Navy into removing Bibles from hotel rooms but somehow the Navy, thanks be to God, had a change of heart and put them back. Usually the FFRF bullies nice little towns in Tennessee that have a nativity scene or something. The Navy shouldn’t be able to be bullied by the FFRF. The FFRF is spiritually poor, and they want to make us spiritually poor, too. We need to go out to the margins and invite even them onto Christ’s holy mountain. The homily ended when there were some loud babies and His Excellency smilingly took this as a sign from God that he had said enough.

  19. aragonjohn7 says:

    the deacon spoke about life then God starting with a joke about two score and some days ago regarding the dissimilarity in a library between public and catholic “schooled.” in conclusion the man asked us all to pray for God’s will then ask for blessings. in the morning a bequest to remember blessings add from recent and then some.

    God bless


  20. nemo says:

    Everyone here is called to a high degree of holiness by God. We are all called to become saints. God intends each of us to reach full Christian perfection in this life and He provides everything we need to reach this. Unfortunately not many reach this level because they must have singleness of purpose. God is not satisfied with half measures. Our continual preoccupation should be how we can come closer to God. Our spiritual lives must not become stagnant. Perfection consists in pursuing God in everything we do throughout each day. If we are not at this point yet, we must put more effort into our interior life. There are some who reach this maturity very quickly, e.g., St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Meditation, contemplation, the rosary, the sacraments must be used to nurture the itnerior life and increase sanctifying grace. Stages of the interior life= purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways. God does not intend for us to remain beginners for our whole lives.

    The gospel shows us someone stumbling in the way. The pharisee is zealous for his interior life, but he was not progressing in the spiritual life because he was stumbling on one of the most common faults of spiritual people. When someone begins to become devout, a certain spiritual pride may start to grow. When the devil sees this pride starting to grow, he fans the flame and encourages more good works. This situation is evident to a confessor/director. When the director issues correction, the person may not accept it because it contradicts his opinion of himself, however the correction is sent by God to increase his humility and help him in his spiritual life.

  21. APX says:

    Thank you, Nemo. That was very edifying. You are very fortunate to have a priest who preaches something so strong regarding the interior life. I haven’t had a sermon like that for almost two years since our other priest was reassigned. It’s quite sad how much the interior life is neglected in favour of less meatier subjects, but if we’re not actively and seriously working to root out our defects, obtain and perfect ourselves with virtues and become saints, then we might as well pack up our bags and go home.

  22. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Father pointed out that prayer the Pharisee should have prayed was this: “I thank you Lord, that I am just like everyone else: saved by the Cross, made in the image and likeness of God,……”. In some mouths, this would have sounded like Fr. Milquetoast, but not here.

    In other news, we managed the Kyrie, Gloria (new), Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei from Byrd’s Mass for 3 voices.

  23. Jack007 says:

    Our newly minted (not even three months a priest) used the 10th Sunday Gospel of the Publican and Pharisee to preach about humility.
    He quoted Garigou-Lagrange’s writing of Ambrose.
    He quoted St. Francis of Assisi as the benchmark of humility…Francis was asked about happiness. He told his brothers that happiness would be to have barely made it alive back to the monastery after trudging through the snow barefoot for hours. Then to have his very own beloved brothers cast him back out into the snow, insulting him at every opportunity. And then real happiness would be for them to beat him and leave him for dead. That, Francis told them, would be true happiness.

    In closing, Father had the congregation kneel and recite the Litany of Humility! Powerful stuff!

    Another home run sermon for this obviously gifted priest. Where does the FSSP find these YOUNG men?
    In these times that try men’s souls (read James C’s post above for priestly contrast) we are indeed blessed.
    Jack in KC

  24. JonPatrick says:

    10th Sunday after Pentecost. The Pharisee was concerned with externals (how many times he had fasted, gave alms etc.). The publican was focused on his interior life, that he was a sinner. True humility is not just abasing ourselves (false humility e.g. an intelligent person pretending they are stupid) but requires us to be honest about our true selves. Only then can we really know ourselves and seek God’s help to grow spiritually.

  25. mpmaron says:

    I am sorry to report that our priest spoke on how, in response to the Canaanite woman, Jesus was deciding, on the spot, whether the Gentiles should be included in salvation. Our Lord was silent because he was thinking.

    Sometimes I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Pray for him.

    I explained to the kids that they should pray in silence so they can hear God speak to them.

  26. robtbrown says:

    Jack007 says,

    Where does the FSSP find these YOUNG men?

    Actually, young men have been interested in the priesthood for some time. Some were rejected by a diocese or religious order because they opposed women’s ordination or–God forbid–liked Latin liturgy. And there have been some who looked more closely at the seminary or priestly and decided not to enter. There were others who entered but left before ordination–some left after they were ordained.

  27. JABV says:

    Holy Mass in north-central WV…

    Father spoke about how Canaanite woman of old is like the “discussed groups” relating to the upcoming synod (divorced and “remarried,” same-sex “married,” even mentioned abortifacient users), and how just as the Church of old rejected them but Jesus “tolerated” them, so the same will happen today, because, you know, mercy and stuff.

    Yes, seriously. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for this priest.

  28. VexillaRegis says:

    A very condensed version of a really good sermon: Our priest spoke of the love and faith of the Canaanite woman and said that this is the same faith and love the Christians in Iran-Irak-Syria are dying for in this very moment. It brought tears to many eyes in the congregation.

  29. Gregg the Obscure says:

    OF Mass – all three readings were referenced. These readings say things that were truly startling at the time. The Jewish people and the gentiles of antiquity did not regard each other well, yet the OT reading mentions the temple being opened to the Gentiles, the reading from St. Paul refers to gentile Christians as his brothers and sisters and in the Gospel reading our Lord not only converses with the Canaanite woman, but gives her what she seeks. Indeed the Lord gives a very high compliment to this foreigner, one He did not give to any of His own people “great is your faith”. So the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.

  30. VexillaRegis says:

    mpmaron and JABV: WHAAT?

  31. robtbrown says:

    JABV says:
    Father spoke about how Canaanite woman of old is like the “discussed groups” relating to the upcoming synod (divorced and “remarried,” same-sex “married,” even mentioned abortifacient users), and how just as the Church of old rejected them but Jesus “tolerated” them, so the same will happen today, because, you know, mercy and stuff.

    Yes, seriously.

    Another poorly trained priest.

  32. mpmaron says:

    um, yeah.

    Our pastor is of a certain age that is spoken about here a lot. His sermons require a certain level of critical listening. He only celebrates this Mass every other week. Last time, I believe we eschewed any serious talk of miracles for food pantry appeals (after all, feeding the 5000 and 4000 was about SHARING). Regrettably, I had to reframe the homily for the kids….AGAIN.

    I have the warm fuzzies for this church. Under previous management, it led to my revert. It saw me through a very difficult period in my life. And hey! We seldom have extraordinary ministers (can only think of one or two instances in the past year). Plus confession is available every day at the same time. We use a communion rail. People kneel. It’s pretty conservative for the Albany Diocese.

    The Carmelites are running an EF church in a neighboring city but it’s a hard sell for the kids. In a way for the Dad too. I feel like I’m giving up.

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