Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

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  1. drohan says:

    Our pastor asked: Who is Jesus to you?

    More than a friend, Jesus is the Savior of the World our God and our Redeemer. He is present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.

    He also made sure to enlighten the parish about the authority of the Church through the binding and loosing power of the keys. Peter is the Rock. And we have a rock for a foundation of faith… Not sand or something easily eroded.

  2. Lepidus says:

    ” ‘Upon this Rock I will build My Church.’ ‘Church’ not ‘churches’. One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.”

  3. Fuquay Steve says:

    N.O. Mass. Father spoke of the keys. There are more than one key. One is for Heaven, that is for sure. The other key is for….. Father also spoke of the ‘Church shall Prevail’ which does not mean there are no battles the Church will lose but that the ultimate victory is assured. That fact should not foster complacency but rather stronger conviction to The Truth – to guard it, protect it and spread it. Those battles are not only from exterior forces but also from within the Church. Father then spent some time on Catholic (Christian) persecution and how we need to pay close attention to events and keep praying for those that are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. Powerful sermon.

  4. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Two items.

    1) St. Mark emphasizes the HOW of this miracle, to show that outward signs indicate invisible change. He (Father) linked this to the definition of a sacrament.

    2) At the end of the Mass we are told “Ite, Missa est”: which he renders “Go, You are sent”. We (priest and people alike) are sent out into the world to be sacraments — visible signs of the invisible action of God.

  5. Ave Crux says:

    Yes! The priest gave a beautiful sermon on how there comes a time in our lives — if we are honest — when we see all our poverty, our innate misery and sinfulness, and — without the gift of hope — it can be a very crushing and overwhelming experience.

    But — with Hope in Christ — that experience can be an occasion of trusting surrender to the infinite mercy of God.

    He quoted Mother Teresa (I paraphrase): “If you know your littleness and your great need of God, you cannot fail.

    I thought that was a fantastically hopeful and inspiring insight and quote.

  6. SimonDodd says:

    We learned that many of the children in the parish I was visiting have both first names and nicknames; they spoke both of them into the microphone proffered to them by the homilist for purposes of telling us. And then we learned that while Jesus had many names, “Christ” is the most important. Then we said the creed, it was a good time.

  7. MarthaiinCalifornia says:

    We had the Gospel of Mark. Father mentioned that “Ephethah” (sp?) is one of the few Aramaic words that remains in the Bible, and was part of the Baptismal liturgy until 1970. It means “be opened.”

    My own comment: yeah, I can see the wisdom of chucking an ancient word actually spoken by Jesus with a modern update.

  8. KAS says:

    The young priest gave an excellent homily on trust and responsibility, and the parallel between Eliakim and Jesus giving the keys to Peter. I am constantly delighted by the quality of this young priest’s homilies.

    I am so glad you did not ask about the music selections by the cantor.

  9. asperges says:

    (EF, Dominican rite)
    Referring to the epistle in which St Paul speaks of what has received both from Christ and directly from the Apostles, the role of tradition (handing down) was evaluated. Scripture and Tradition are the twin founts of Revelation, not Scripture alone as the Protestants claim. This doctrine came into much danger post Vat in but even if all Scripture were to disappear overnight, the Church would be no less faithful in its deposit of Faith, which is faithfully transmitted generation to generation.

  10. Heather F says:

    “Upon this rock I will build My Church.”

    The Church belongs to Christ. (Not to us.) Christ is the one who builds the Church. (Not us.) We are both the labourers and the building material but we have to let Him be the one in charge since He is the master builder. As 1 Peter says, we must allow ourselves to be made into living stones built into Christ’s spiritual temple. Even the smallest and seeming insignificant part of a building project is useful and needed, so we must always challenge ourselves, asking what we are doing today to let Christ build His Church in and through us. An excellent homily that my summary doesn’t really do justice.

  11. My homily was about Peter. I unfolded some history: First the scene at Caesarea Philippi — a city filled with pagan temples — where his appointment took place, then the scene in the Circus of Nero, where Peter was martyred, then the rediscovery of Peter’s tomb in the 1950s. And I talked about infallibility, and what — precisely — it means. Then I talked about the Church, particularly the papacy, being a lonely prophet at times: examples, Pius XII and Paul VI, and today.

  12. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost, the Extraordinary Form, our excellent pastor spoke on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians 15: 1-10.

    (Paraphrasing of course.)

    He said that Paul gives us the “Three Legs” that the Church stands on, using the image of a seat or a barstool, and how we can know the Church is true because we have all three “legs”, and each one supports the other two.

    Our pastor stated: In his letter, St. Paul mentions the words: “Tradidi”, “secundum Scripturas”, and “Cephae”.

    “Sacred Tradition”, “Sacred Scripture”, and St. Peter, or “The Magisterium of the Church”. And if you remove any one of those three then the whole thing will fall to pieces sooner or later.

    From someone who had to recently endure a homily about how “Jesus’ real miracle was getting 5000 people to share…” that was a refreshing breath of fresh air!

  13. AngelGuarded says:

    It was awesome! About trust; trusting Jesus and why the world doesn’t trust Christians or Him. How we restore that trust only by all of us reflecting the real Jesus Christ in every little or big thing we do at all times in our lives. The world will trust us when they see Christ in us. When they see Christ, they will believe. We Catholics are all to blame for the state of our Church and Monsignor did not leave out anyone! He was on fire! In a good way, of course.

  14. stpetric says:

    Traced “key of the House of David” from Isaiah to Revelation to the hymn, “Veni, Emmanuel.” The “House of David” points to the three-fold munera of the Messiah as prophet, priest, and king, in which we are given share by virtue of our baptism into Christ; the “key” points to the power of the keys by which Christ through his Church opens heaven to us.

  15. LarryW2LJ says:

    Father spoke of Jesus giving the keys to Peter and the awesomeness of that responsibility. And that Peter and the Apostles didn’t understand that at the time, but after the crucifixion, resurrection and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, how they did come to understand and grow into their roles and mission.

    But Father continued to emphasize the importance of “What you bind” and “What you loose”, and how that is something that was given by God to no other than Peter and his successors. In end, a good lesson and a reminder that the Catholic Church has Jesus as its founder and head and that it continues on Apostolic succession.

  16. Reconverted Idiot says:

    Father – a visiting army chaplain who has served our congregation this past week while covering for another taking a well-deserved holiday – drew a direct line from the Church’s authority on Earth to the concept of indulgences, even taking the time to point out that such had not been obsolesced by Vatican II despite what some may think. He explained how to go about gaining an indulgence – for oneself or on behalf of others – and his exhortation was for all listening to gain an indulgence in the coming weeks, first and foremost on behalf of those suffering persecution in the Middle East. Of course, he noted that those martyred for the faith had no need of indulgences, but pointed out how many others could benefit greatly from them.

  17. Mr. Screwtape says:

    We had the summer foreign mission commercial, sorry I meant to say appeal. The missionary, born in Tanzania, was consciously brief and succinctly detailed some of the challenges of the Diocese of Zanzibar, which 99% Muslim and has a Catholic population of at most 11,000. He mentioned that he was a Spiritan Father and he and I chatted briefly after Mass about the 18th Superior General of the congregation.

  18. frjim4321 says:

    Unlike last week (which I credit the Spirit) this last weekend the homily was not that good.

    Tried to tie the “key” to the more ancient idea of the key/office of teacher. The binding and loosening to the role of the rabbis re: their hundreds of law . . . and of the teaching of Jesus the Christ as being the key/clue to us in striving to find our way through the ambiguities/darkness/inscrutability (Heb) of life in the present age . . .

    It was a good concept but I don’t know if I pulled it off very well.

    Two weekends ago, with thanks to Sophia, the riff on the “Whispering Sound” was pretty darn good . . . but i never seek to impress, only to serve.

    I find that when I set out to impress/”wow” people I fall flat on my face . . . it’s what God wants to be said heard . . .

    This past weekend I used Celebration, the legacy JBC, Swietzer’s “Matthew” and the NRSV for prep work . . . to many time on the exegesis and not enough time to craft the text. Drat!

  19. Brooklyn says:

    The priest talked about a friend of his who was brought up Catholic, went to Catholic college and then fell away from the church, not finding a place in the church. However, Father recently heard from the friend who sent him pictures on Facebook of beautiful cathedrals. When Father asked him what it was all about, his friend told him it was the Francis effect. The actions and words of Pope Francis have had such a profound effect on him that he has now come back to the Church.

    I think this is more common than we know.

  20. Arele says:

    We had a guest priest, a Carmelite, who carried such a sense of the sacred that I was brought closer to Christ just by attuning to it. It was an answer to a prayer.

    He talked about how Peter had met Christ going out of the city of Jerusalem in order to save his own life. He asked Jesus where he was going and He said, To Jerusalem to be crucified.” Peter followed him, and when he did, Jesus vanished, at which point he realized that it was Peter’s own crucifixion that was intended and Christ would be crucified through Peter.

    Then he spoke about how we need to be close to Christ at all times so that we are strong enough to make the decisions to turn and walk towards Jerusalem when it is our turn – to do what is right even when it costs us, for the sake of God.

    But the best part was just the reverent consciousness of the priest throughout the mass, but especially during the consecration. It was an answer to a prayer of mine to be more reverent, and I received the Eucharist with more reverence and deep gratitude than I have in a long time.

    After mass, I made sure that I let this young priest know how impactful his sense of the sacred was to me, and I believe to others as well.

  21. Fatherof7 says:

    I had one of the most horrible experiences at a mass, and I could use some advice as to what I should do, if anything.

    We were visiting my wife’s sister near Des Moines, and we went to her parish with her family. I should have known I was in for a rough day when I saw the Oscar Romero icon at the entrance of the church.

    When the Eucharistic Liturgy (as they called it) began, there was no Penitential Act, no Gloria, just a squishy song which the priest discussed for a couple minutes before (I am assuming) a prayer written by himself. We then began the readings.

    When the homily began, the priest brought up ISIS and how they were replicating the actions of European Crusaders when they attempted to conquer the Middle East and impose their view of God by killing the non-Christians. At this point my wife stormed out. I stayed to listen, but I admit that my heart was hardened at this point. He went on to discuss that there will be a time that Pope Francis will tell us we have to believe something in order to be Catholic but we will have the freedom to choose whether or not to accept it. I think he may have meant that we had the freedom to renounce or Catholicism without worldly threat, but I am not sure. I was having a tough time following along at this point, but he later said something troubling. I wasn’t listening verbatim at this point, but he made a comment along the lines of “as you approach the sacrament and it becomes the body of Christ”. This was the only time there was any real connection to the “Who do you say that I am?” from the Gospel, and needless to say it frightened me. I left to go to the lobby at this point but stayed for the consecration as it was our last chance to fulfill our Sunday obligation before driving home.

    Other than saying prayers for this congregation, what should I be doing? Should I write the bishop? If any of you have any advice, I would like to hear it. I have unwittingly stumbled into some progressive parishes while on the road before, but I have never seen anything like this.

  22. Phil_NL says:


    Frankly, I think your wife did the only sensible thing there that might have an impact on that priest. The most staunchly liberal priest I ever met was unsettled by people walking out on him, and I doubt any other signal to him would get through. It might also encourage others in that parish to reflect on what happened. It remains extremely unpleasant for all, though, and not done lightly. But in the case you describe, I would have done the same as your wife.

    Regarding writing the bishop: I have no experience with that, but by all accounts don’t get your hopes up too high. Writing to inform the bishop that you thought this was extraordinaridly odd and unsettling might help if the bishop wasn’t quite aware of how far things go in that parish.
    Chances are, however, that they already know. In that case they either wait for a smoking gun (and your experiences don’t seem to be documented, nor a verbatim account, so of little use) or it’s not on their priority list.

    In that case: prayer, forgive, and forget.

  23. Mike says:

    Fatherof7 — Agreed with Phil_NL on the appropriateness of prayer and forgiveness. But charity to your fellow Christians, if nothing else, would seem to demand more. Even if a letter is unlikely to get attention, the only seed that’s guaranteed not to yield a harvest is that which is never sowed.

    That said, if you write anyone, perhaps it should be the pastor first, explaining what you found disturbing and why, and asking for an explanation. From what you say, it doesn’t sound likely that the celebrant was just having an uncharacteristically bad day. But in charity, it seems right to give him the opportunity to explain why he spoke and preached as he did. Once that happens (or doesn’t) you can prayerfully decide what, if anything, to do next.

  24. Thorfinn says:

    To leave or not to leave? That is the question one finds on the road occasionally. And it’s usually a tough call, as evidenced here by the wife choosing one option and husband the other. You may dearly want to walk out on a priest’s homily, but you don’t want to walk away from Christ truly present (in the tabernacle, probably) or seem to be making a scene or statement, which is generally not… kosher. If you can read the tea leaves and leave before Mass begins, that is sometimes easier. If you intend to fulfil your Sunday obligation on your travels but find the church isn’t identifiably Catholic, that satisfies the honest effort requirement.

    When I find a homily or some part of the liturgy is leading my thoughts away from Christ, I tune it out, discretely pick up a missalette, and meditate on the readings.

    As a parishioner, I would always start by talking to the pastor, but as a visitor, you don’t really have scope for that back-and-forth see-if-he-changes process. Just write to the bishop.

  25. benedetta says:

    I heard such a great many outstanding sermons and talks this past week at Camp Veritas I wouldn’t even know where to start, and am still meditating on all that was taught and the huge number of blessings and graces from the week. All I can say is: Deo Gratias for our priests, and for Catholics who have given their “yes” to the Lord.

  26. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Why the archbishop said not to take the “ice bucket challenge” and donate to ALS; the principle of double effect; and a step by step explanation of how the Church asks us to make good moral decisions when the end is good but the means are bad.

    Also that we should trust God to make doing the right thing work, even when the world says doing the moral thing is stupid and wrong; we have to hold tight to His hand and to each other. Like kids in the dark, wandering through the woods at night in a thunderstorm with only the guide knowing the path to safety.

  27. catholiccomelately says:

    Each week when I read the replies to this query, I am blessed by the synopses of sermons. God is so gracious to work through our good priests and bishops as they preach, and even secondhand, I am edified.
    Our own priest made a timely point for our particular parish: the Church and its truth /authority are built on the Petrine office. I might differ with his take on 19 th and 20 th century Biblical scholarship, but his message was dead-on and spoke to us all.
    Thank God for faithful priests!

  28. zag4christ says:

    This past Sunday I heard something from the senior pastor that I have not heard before. His basic homily was on how the Church was founded on Peter, and he explained that the Latin root of the word church, “ecclesia”, means “to call out”. He explained that true Christians are called to come out of worldly things, and focus on living the Gospel, going against the tide of secularism and such. As a example he quoted a true and heroic Catholic theologian (I missed the name) who in response to a question from a Congressman while testifying against Roe vs. Wade, when asked why Christians are so against abortion, replied “we Christians do not kill babies”. I was pleasantly stunned that Fr. had right there, in front of God and everyone, said it loudly and without timidity. He, in his own way, called us out.
    Speaking to Fr7’s experience at Mass, I have seen something similar. The visiting priest blew off the Penitential rite, the Gloria, and delivered the only homily I have heard a four letter word in that wasn’t hell. When I looked around the “theater in the round” church, complete with the Tabernacle hidden in a adjacent glassed-in chapel,(you could see Him through the window), it did not appear that many folks were aware of what was going on. Rather than anger, the thought that rushed into my mind was “remember, it is all about Jesus”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. For some reason, laughter reigned. I actually had to choke it back. I managed to hold it in until the end of the Mass, and dashed for the door. When I got outside, I lost it. My 24 year old son was taken aback. When I was finally able to talk, he asked me what was wrong. I told him we had just witnessed a “drive-by Mass”. That priest was a faculty member at a “Catholic” university. Within 6 months of that Mass, he was arrested for having downloaded child pornography on to his university owned computer. I am not trying to imply that the priest that celebrated Fr7’s Mass is of bad character, but I think that when the liturgy is wrong, the liturgist may have a problem.

  29. zag4christ says:

    I want to apologize for the what I have come to see as the uncharitable comment I made about a priest that I had no business or right to say. I now know what is meant by the sin of detraction. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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