Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

Let us know what it was.

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  1. I did something I’ve never done before (although my venerable predecessor, I’m told, did): I simply went through the Ten Commandments (first reading in O.F.), with guidance on when something is a mortal sin. A little longer than my usual homily, and denser. Was it good? Don’t ask me.

  2. John of Chicago says:

    Jesus, the Samaritan woman and “living water.” John the Baptist’s baptism was an effort to purify the religion of Israel and Jesus’ Baptism was to throw open the doors of the Kingdom of God to all.

  3. Yorkmum says:

    Our priest had fire in his belly today. EF Mass, so Gospel of Lk 11:14-28. He began with a prod to our conscience, do we recognise ourselves as “glass half empty” people sometimes? He reminded us that although we suffer from concupiscence we have the ability to make choices – we can choose to do good or evil things. God’s grace can help us to do good. Humans are not bad per se, but we can choose evil. He highlighted the consequences of evil choices: giving gluttony (over chocolate) as a somewhat childish example that merely affects our waistline, but then going on to talk of disordered sexual desires and the hurt they cause other people, especially children in the case of divorce. Finally he talked of disordered desire for power, wealth, greed and with respect to politicians how this can result in laws which serve only the powerful and ignore the most vulnerable (unborn, elderly, poor). He encouraged us to read a bishops’s briefing with things to consider before casting a vote in the general election (we have one in May this year in the UK). He finished by reminding us that for all that politicians might think they have power, ultimately God is in charge.

  4. Yorkmum says:

    Oops! That should read bishops’

  5. oldconvert says:

    The importance of actively practising and renewing our faith from day to day; it’s not enough just to go through the forms and obey the rules automatically and without thought.

  6. Fuquay Steve says:

    Father was on fire today about spiritual warfare and protecting a clean and well adorned home (soul, the Church in general). We can protect our souls through the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confession (not in that order). We adorn our soul through virtues and spiritual and corporeal works of Mercy. If we do so, we remain walking in the light towards Heaven. If we do not protect our souls we will walk in the darkness towards Hell. He then expanded this to the church as a whole, in a well phrased, somewhat nuanced manner. What happens with those that are selected to guard the Faith, don’t? Scary, very scary.

    Father did miss an opportunity at the beginning to make a chuckle. He spoke of someone who announced to him that they are giving up gossiping for Lent. Under ordinary circumstances, Father would quip, I am sure, “Well bless your little heart”. But due to the serious nature of what was to come in his sermon he passed on that opportunity and went on to explain we are to try to make an unblemished sacrifice in Lent, not something we should give up regardless of the liturgical season.

  7. wanda says:

    Go to confession. Actually ‘fess up’. But hey, confession was actually recommended.

  8. wanda says:

    Also, I should have added, our priest offered to remain after mass to hear confessions of those who were waiting before mass, when time ran out.

  9. lmgilbert says:

    Father said that as a priest he gets all kinds of questions about theology, philosophy, liturgy etc. all of which is part of the job description. But smiling he said that for some reason people don’t often ask priests for romantic advice. Nevertheless priests deal with many married couples and are observant, and he has noticed virtually across the board that happily married older couples have the capacity simply to be with one another and enjoy one another’s company. His sermon focused on the third commandment and he urged us to rest from our labors and be with God on Sunday, and be with one another, that Sunday is a day of rest and a gift from God.

    That was my “take away” from a much fuller sermon. What a glorious thing it is to belong to a Dominican parish and to get such substantial fare week after week.

  10. andia says:

    New Parish, but a priest I am familiar with, never heard him speak like this before. He spoke for 30 minutes or so about the importance of confession- how we needed to “Man up” ( his words) and get to confession more often. He spoke of how dis heartening it is for a priest to sit there week after week with few or even no penitents. Then he outline all the opportunites his parish would have during Lent to come to confession, and challenged folks to make it more than once.
    It was great to hear – and actually made me cry- good tears.

  11. Chon says:

    Yorkmum: Gluttony does not merely affect our waistline. This self indulgence and lack of self control is a serious problem. Perhaps by “childish example” the priest meant this is the first vice that needs to be overcome by children. Also, gluttony and sexual immorality go together. Where you find one, you most probably find the other. Gluttony affects everything. There’s a lot of good teaching about the importance of overcoming gluttony in the desert fathers, etc. Here’s one quote I like:

    “Everything which is immoderate is from the devils.” Abba Poemen.

    (It’s early here, haven’t been to Mass yet).

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    We watched a video about giving to the Annual Catholic Appeal. The priest commented that it might seem unfortunate that today’s Gospel was about Jesus casting the moneychangers out of the temple, but the difference is that the moneychangers were there to enrich themselves, whereas the diocesan fundraising effort funds works of charity and religion that serve God and our neighbor.

    What really spoke to me today was this INCREDIBLE video of a 10 year old Iraqi refugee girl that I just saw. It was so beautiful I cried. Everyone HAS TO go to this link and watch this holy young girl driven out of Qaraquosh by ISIS, and her witness to Christ:

  13. benedetta says:

    In the Extraordinary Form, our holy priest made the point that the growth or progress we realize in undertaking a spiritual battle, in the desert, as it were, with Christ, during Lent, is something not only for Lent but to take with us forward into the new year and into our lives. Otherwise, we are susceptible to falling prey to what we observe depicted in the Gospel. The devil is stronger than we are. We do well to unite our struggles to Christ’s.

    Father also by way of preface made an intriguing comment, as to the fact of his being relatively new to the EF, that in many ways he was finding as he learns more and more about the EF that he would compare his experience as one of a kid opening up a toy box, discovering so much new with delight, yet of course none of it was new and something he had all along but had forgotten.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    The priest, who was from another country, said that Christ turning over the tables was an indication that He was the new sacrifice, so no one had to buy animals after His Death on the Cross.

    Simple, good.

  15. Diricawl says:

    I attended an Ordinary Form mass today. We had an excellent Jesuit priest, Fr. Józef Augustyn, give the sermon, which was really the first part of week of recollection. Some of the points I really liked were that parents ought not push or force their faith on their children, merely suggest to them that it is the right thing. If older teens do not wish to go to Mass, tell them that you (as a parent) are going to Mass for them as well as for yourself, that you are praying for them, etc. It would not be healthy to force them to go to Mass. He also drove home the point that we become inhuman as individuals and as a society when we abandon the Ten Commandments. He focused on the first commandment and how we often substitute the worship we ought to give to God by worshiping things such as our money, power, our careers, our families, even our own children – to the point of deforming them. He urged men in particular to be ambitious, but in the sense of always desiring more goodness out themselves to positively impact the world. I also liked how he distinguished between authentic and inauthentic Christianity, the first putting God at the center of all things whereas the latter made the worship of God a kind of side activity, only applicable on Sundays…

  16. Suzanne Carl says:

    Our Associate Pastor gave a homily that was an examination of conscience. But then our beloved Pastor announced that he is becoming Pastor of a parish vacated by a man elevated to Bishop of Grand Island, Nebraska. We are sad to lose him, but he is going to the parish I grew -up in. My friend who also grew-up in the parish said simultaneously that the first things he would do would be to put the communion rail back and create a boys-only altar server roster. God bless him.

  17. pannw says:

    That Jesus understands human nature all too well, because as God, He created it, and coming as Man, He lived it. He lived our human nature to perfection and the only other person to come close to Him was our sinless Blessed Mother. The laws God gave in the Ten Commandments are not random rules He gives us because He’s some sort of tyrant imposing petty rules, but because they help us to live our human nature to its fullest. Without the shadow of original sin, we should have been able to figure 9 of the 10 out on our own, because they are of the natural law, and it is fairly obvious that you shouldn’t kill, commit adultery, covet, etc…because we would see the consequences and that they are bad. The only one we might not have figured out on our own was to keep Holy and rest on the Sabbath. (clearly since so few now do it, as our culture works 7 days a week!) Following the laws He gives us is for our own good and He gave them to us because He loves us and wants us to flourish. If we love Him back, we should want all we do to be pleasing to Him, and so when we are tempted to do something we shouldn’t do and start to rationalize it, we need to stop and ask ourselves one question: Is this pleasing to the Lord? If the answer is no, we need to just stop. Do not use the excuse “Well, I’m only human.” No, when we sin, we are less human, because we are less like Jesus, who was perfectly human.

    It was really good.. He is so right, because clearly, the more we sin, the more like animals we become, therefore less human.

  18. drohan says:

    Father called us back to the Ten Commandments. Remember, they are still relevant in the 21st century. Also, make certain to examine your consciences and repent.

    John’s gospel today was also of note: He talked of the money changers in the Temple. The importance of Christ’s prophesy of his resurrection. Our focus sometimes on what God can do for us, rather than on loving the Lord for his own sake.

    He also invited us to Confession.

  19. gloriainexcelsis says:

    With our EF Gospel being that of Luke 11: 14-28 and Our Lord casting out devils, Father decided to talk about exorcisms, how NOT to do them, how to talk to the demon in possession, about personal deliverance prayers, and a whole gamut of terms and types of possessions. He talked about opening doors through music, games, books and movies, etc. I did not realize that every Archdiocese and Diocese has an exorcist and it is the Archbishop or Bishop. He is responsible for everything and everybody in his area, including the demons. Of course, it usually is a priest, designated by the Ordinary, who physically does the exorcisms. Father had anecdotal stories of exorcisms and conversions, foreign and domestic. It was an enlightening homily, to say the least.

  20. Akita says:

    Today at a Novus Ordo Mass the deacon, in the sermon, endorsed an interpretation of the gospel to mean that Jesus became angry because the Gentiles and the moneychangers in the third, outer ring of the temple were excluded from the inner two rings, which were for the priests only. He then segued into saying that the more he learns about Pope Francis the more he sees how Christ-like he is inasmuch as he does not want to exclude anyone. He taught us that “some Cardinals are very angry because Pope Francis is so inclusive”. He did not give any examples of what this anger-inducing inclusion involved, however.

  21. mikeinmo says:

    Father talked about the 10 Commandments, keeping them, and going to confession.

    He talked about the many kinds of “signs” in our lives (e.g., left/right, stop/go, signs of spring, signs of the time, and many others). The 10 Commandments are “signs” for how to live. God gave us only 10 Commandments, but we have more than 40,000 laws in effect which contradict or work against the 10 Commandments.

    PSR class takes place prior to our late Mass. Father and a retired priest heard the PSR kids’ confessions before Mass, in the time normally allotted to the class. The kids stayed for Mass.

  22. Vincent says:

    At the UK’s SPUC youth conference (where Cardinal Burke spoke last night): Father had forgotten an OF Missal, so we had EF with an OF sermon.

    The fourth and fifth commandments: perhaps the fourth is most under attack at the moment, as experimentation is now leading to so called “three parent embryos” – the world (misguided by the devil) wants to remove the right of children to have parents to honour.

    the fifth commandment is clear – Father quoted the 1961 film “Judgement at Nuremberg” where the character of the judge says:

    “Before the people of the world – let it now be noted in our decision here that this is what we stand for: justice, truth… and the value of a single human being!”

    Father also included the reading for the EF by linking the need for us to be united against the wrongs of this world in the pro-life movement.

    Overall a great sermon, and one that complemented Cardinal Burke’s speech on the previous night (he talked about the need to stand up for the law of God and face martyrdom for our beliefs).

  23. JonPatrick says:

    A couple of things I remember from our sermon this morning.

    In spite of what many think nowadays Satan is not some symbolic figure or a caricature with a pitchfork and a tail, but is real.

    Besides the temptations we all face, priests also have religious temptation, to become the center of attention. One thing that helps with this is the ancient custom of everyone facing East (ad orientem). (This was an EF Mass).

  24. Kathleen10 says:

    Thank you for sharing that video. I hope everyone does watch it. A theologian could write an entire book on what is contained in that five minute video. God bless that child, and all the children who are suffering this very day.

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    That people question why Jesus was so angry, and consider that He committed a sin or did something wrong by becoming angry, but that Jesus was demonstrating righteous anger, and just as it would be right for us to demonstrate righteous anger over the terrible wrongs that are committed by ISIS, it was right for Jesus to demonstrate righteous anger because His father’s house was being turned into a marketplace.

  26. With a little effort, I got up early despite having lost an hour last night, managed to avoid scrutiny, and got the Year B readings. The priest gave a wonderful homily in which he asked, “When Jesus comes to your temple– your body– what will he find inside? Will he find all manner of sin?” If so, he will use the Ten Commandments as his ten-stranded cord of whips to cleanse that temple. It was a nice, sober service in a small, old parish in Northern New Jersey.

  27. lawoski says:

    I was going to write that I was certain that the sermon I heard was completely different from any of yours. That is because at my parish, we heard the readings and the gospel for cycle A (last year’s cycle) instead of this year’s cycle (cycle B).

    And then I read John of Chicago’s comment (comment #2) and apparently it happened in his parish as well. Anyhow, I heard a good sermon about the Samaritan woman at the well and the meaning of “living water”. I would chalk the mistake up to the loss of sleep due to the beginning of daylight saving time here in the USA, but the sermon obviously was written in advance.

  28. John of Chicago says:

    Good morning, lawoski.

    Yesterday, my pastor explained that, in parishes with converts preparing for Baptism at the Holy Saturday Vigil, the Scripture readings for the next 3 (?) Sundays should be from Cycle A. Apparently this happens because these readings are most helpful and pertinent in anticipation of this parish celebration. Apparently not a daylight savings time glitch.

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Not to rabbit hole the discussion, but the advice from the priest who said, “It would not be healthy to force them to go to Mass…,” seems a little off, to me. This would be like saying, “don’t force them not to commit a mortal sin,” which makes no sense. Letting kids make their own decisions in prudential matters is a good thing, but the whole point of the OF reading of the Ten Commandments is that keeping the Lord’s Day holy is not simply some option, like what clothes to wear. It is a commandment, with consequences. When the kids move out of the house they will have the adult right of choice, but a parent does not have the right to permit those under their charge to decide whether or not they want to commit mortal sin.

    The Chicken

  30. raininnewark says:

    Fr Fox – If your sermon was anything like your blog post, I would say it was quite good.

  31. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Dear Masked Chicken, If I read that post correctly, it was a Jesuit giving that homily. Pray for him.

  32. gloriainexcelsis says:

    P.S. Pray for the people he is misleading.

  33. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Masked Chicken – Well, the Church draws a line on adulthood in some cases, and she’s merciful towards kids whose parents refuse to take them to Mass or let them go. But if the kid has the opportunity to go to Mass and doesn’t want to go, it could be argued that the kid has every right not to go. The Church gives kids over the age of reason the respect of noting that they can sin, and that their sins are just as serious as those of adults.

    Now, it could be argued that parents with minor children do have the right and obligation to make their kids go to church under their secular obligations as parents. Secular law sees children who aren’t eighteen or twenty-one as persons of diminished capacity to consent, form contracts, and be responsible for their crimes.

    So secularly, kids can’t run their own lives. But religiously, they are responsible already. I don’t know why we shy away for this so much. Maybe that’s why Confirmation keeps getting pushed back – so parents don’t have to face the fact of their kids being independent souls who can damn themselves.

    Of course, the whole concept of missing Mass on purpose (as opposed to laziness or being sick) seems kinda strange to me, like thinking that you wouldn’t eat when food is on the table.

  34. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Well, canon law does regulate marriage age, but that’s more a physical worry about bodies being able to cope, or about brides and grooms not being under duress, than an emotional or psychological worry about keeping a contract.

  35. Stephen Matthew says:

    Cycle A readings were used so the scrutinies or whatever could be done with a few RCIA candidates, the homily was a line by line analysis of the Gospel of the Samaritan woman. I mostly zoned out, the time shift had really left me in zombie mode. I did notice at the line about “living water” the pastor didn’t bother to explain what “living water” meant, at a literal level, in a Jewish context, which seems a serious omission if explaining everything line by line (or maybe he doesn’t know it himself). Otherwise nothing really remarkable, but then I did zone out.

    As a choir member, I was glad the year A readings were used, it made the music selected for the mass slightly less inappropriate (though still thoroughly unfitted for Lent).

  36. Uxixu says:

    FSSP in Los Angeles gave a sermon for traditional Catholics to be wary of the guile of the Devil in that while they may (or may not) be more reverent in ritual, they’re assaulted by the Devil from another direction, especially in thinking themselves holier or superior to the rest of the larger Church. We don’t observe the ancient Lenten practices or show more reverence in the Mass or practice numerous devotions or give ourselves in service in the building of the new apostolate to gain greater reward as we’re signed up for the same denarius as the other workers in the vineyard, but give only because we love Our Lord.

  37. AV8R61 says:

    I was in Madison WI for work. Holy Rdeemer Church is a bare five minute walk from my hotel. I was able to go to the 5pm Mass, and the Diocesan appeal presentation was made, by the Bishop himself!
    Afterward, the priest noted the irony of asking for money right after the Gospel in which Jesus drove the money changers from the temple. I had the opportunity to shake the hand of Bishop Morlino in person.

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