Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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


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  1. Chuck says:

    The archdiocese of Philadelphia is my local church. My pastor focused on a couple of points that he had heard from the Pope at the mass at the Cathedral on Saturday, particularly his comment about Pope Leo XIII’s comment to St. Katherine Drexel when she asked for the church’s help for black and native American communities, to which Leo responded “What about you? What are you going to do?” Coupled with the Pope’s homily yesterday (I was lucky to be there) I feel renewed as a father, a husband and in all my other jobs/positions/titles.

  2. Mike says:

    Virtue begins in our thoughts. God knows, hears, and remembers every one of our thoughts. Our thoughts are an interior world; thus he who governs his thoughts controls an eternal interior world and its extension into the exterior world.

    Grace begins its work as God penetrates our thoughts. Sanctity is evidenced in the kindness of a person’s thoughts insofar as they resemble the thoughts of God toward Himself. Saints are invariably distinguished by the kindness of their thinking and its application in action.

  3. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    The confessional box is dark and cramped on purpose: it’s like a tomb so that, when you receive absolution it is Christ who raises you and light and refreshment into which you enter.l

  4. Giuseppe says:

    Since the Pope is pastor, I’ll cite what I thought was the most engaging and moving speech – his address on Saturday evening. Tying in God’s love to the necessity of creation with the love of parents necessarily resulting in families. The video of him thinking aloud, with the great simultaneous translation by Msgr. Mark Miles, made the whole experience once-in-a-lifetime.

    Here is a ZENIT transcription and translation of the address Pope Francis gave this evening at the Festival of Families at the World Meeting of Families. He chose not to follow his prepared text and instead gave the following address off-the-cuff.

    * * *

    Dear brothers and sisters, dear families,

    Thank you to those who have given their testimonies. Thank you to those who have brought us joy with their art, with beauty, which is the path to reach God. Beauty brings us to God. And a true testimony brings us to God, because God also is the truth, He is beauty, He is goodness, and a testimony given to serve is good, it makes us good people, because God is good. It brings us to God. All that is good, all that is true, all that is beautiful brings us to God. Because God is good, God is beautiful, God is the truth.

    Thank you to everyone who gave us a message here and [thank you] for the presence of all of you, which is also a testimony, a true testimony that it is worthwhile to live as a family, that a society grows strong, grows in goodness, grows in beauty and truly grows if it is built on the foundation of the family.

    Once, a boy asked me — you know that children ask hard questions — he asked me, “Father, what did God do before He created the world?” I can tell you that it was hard for me to come up with an answer. I told him what I’m saying now to you. Before creating the world, God loved, because God is love. But there was so much love that He had within Himself, this love between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, it was so great, so overflowing that — I don’t know if this is very theological, but you’ll understand what I mean — it was so great that He couldn’t be egotistical. He had to come out of Himself so as to have that which He could love outside of Himself.

    And there God created the world. There God made this marvel in which we live and, since we’re a little mixed up, we are destroying it. But the most beautiful thing that God made, the Bible says, was the family. He created man and woman, and He gave them everything. He gave them the world! Grow, multiply, cultivate the earth, make it produce, make it grow. He presented to a family all of the love that He made in this marvelous creation.

    Let’s go back a bit. All of the love that God has in Himself, all of the beauty that God has in Himself, all of the truth that God has in Himself, He gives to the family. And a family is truly a family when it is able to open its arms and receive all of this love.

    Obviously, earthly paradise is here no longer. Life has its problems. Men, because of the devil’s astuteness, learned to have divisions among themselves. And all of this love that God had given was nearly lost. And shortly thereafter, the first crime, the first fratricide. A brother kills another brother: war. The love, the beauty, and the truth of God — and the destruction of war. And between these two poles, we walk today. We have to decide. We have to decide on which path to walk.

    But let’s go back. When the man and his wife made the mistake and distanced themselves from God, God did not leave them alone. There was so much love, so much love that He began to walk with humanity. He began to walk with His people, until the fullness of time arrived, and He gave the greatest sign of His love, His Son.

    And His Son, where did He send Him? To a palace? To a city, to start a business? He sent Him to a family! God came into the world in a family.

    And he was able to do this because this family was a family that had its heart open to love, that had the doors open to love. Let’s think of Mary, this young woman. She couldn’t believe it. “How can this be?” And when it was explained to her, she obeyed. Let’s think of Joseph, full of dreams to form a household. He finds himself with this surprise that he doesn’t understand. He accepts. He obeys. And in the obedience of love of this woman, Mary, and of this man, Joseph, a family is created into which comes God.

    God always knocks at the door of hearts. He likes to do this. It comes from His heart. But, do you know what He likes best? To knock on the doors of families and find families that are united, to find families that love each other, to find the families that bring up their children and educate them and help them to keep going forward and that create a society of goodness, of truth, and of beauty.

    We are in the Festival of Families. The family has a divine passport, is that clear? The passport that a family has is issued it by God, so that within its heart, truth, love, and beauty would grow more and more.

    Sure, one of you could say to me, “Father, you speak this way because you’re single.” In families, there are difficulties. In families, we argue; in families, sometimes the plates fly; in families, the children give us headaches. And I’m not even going to mention the mother-in-law. But in families, there is always, always, the cross. Always. Because the love of God, of the Son of God, also opened for us this path. But, in families as well, after the cross, there is the resurrection. Because the Son of God opened for us this path. Because of this, the family is — forgive the term I’ll use — it is a factory of hope, of hope of life and of resurrection. God was the one who opened this path.

    And the children. The children make us work. We, too, as sons and daughters also created work.

    Sometimes, at home, I see some of my collaborators who come into work with dark circles under their eyes. They have a baby who is a month old, or two moths old, and I ask them, “You didn’t sleep?” “Oh no, he cried all night long.” In families, there are difficulties, but these difficulties are overcome with love. Hate doesn’t overcome any difficulty. Division of hearts doesn’t overcome any difficulty. Only love is capable of overcoming difficulties. Love is a festival. Love is joy. Love is to keep moving forward.

    And I don’t want to continue talking, because this will get too long. But I would like to stress two points regarding the family which I would like you to pay special attention to. Not only would I like you to do this, but we must pay special attention to this: the children and the grandparents. Children and young people are the future, they are the strength, those who take us forward. They are the ones in which we place our hope. Grandparents are the memory of a family, they are the ones who gave us the faith, transmitted to us the faith.

    To take care of the grandparents and to take care of the children is the sign of love — I don’t know if it’s the greatest but I would say the most promising [sign of love] of the family, because it promises the future. A people that does not know how to care for the children and a people that does not know how to care for the grandparents is a people without a future, because it doesn’t have strength and it doesn’t have the memory that will carry it forward.

    And well, the family is beautiful, but it is costly. It brings problems. In the family, sometimes there is enmity. The husband fights with the wife or they give each other dirty looks, or the children with the parents … I advise one thing: Never end the day without making peace in the family. In a family, a day cannot end at war.

    May God bless you. May God give you strength. May God strengthen you to keep moving forward. Let us care for the family. Let us defend the family, because there, there, our future is in play. Thank you, may God bless you and pray for me, please.

    [Transcription and translation by ZENIT]

  5. Giuseppe says:

    Video of the Pope’s Saturday evening fervorino starts at 1:58:30

  6. BarefootPilgrim says:

    Father reminded us that sin is a decision.

  7. quo vado says:

    [OF – Anticipated Sunday Mass] Home pastor lamented the need for parents and godparents to teach basic Catechism or even, prayers to children. Being a godparent here at a Baptism is largely a social/familial event. He admonished godparents that they, too, will be held accountable for their failure to teach their godchildren about the faith due to the fact that they made promises during the Baptism. He was saying this since as pastor of a town with over 90,000 people and 2-3 priests.
    [EF – Sunday Mass] Relatively newly ordained priest celebrated his first Missa Cantata in the country. He reminded those attending that one should not fixate on finding errors in the attendants, the liturgy, and in the priests. We were reminded that just because we were attending an EF Mass doesn’t mean we are better or holier than those who attended the OF Mass. It was a sobering reminder.

  8. Elizium23 says:

    For at least the second time that I have noticed, our sermon was borrowed from His Excellency Robert Barron. In an eerie confluence of events where our St. Vincent de Paul ministry was celebrating their Patron’s feast day and my Knights of Columbus council was undertaking a minor service project of which I am the chairman, our pastor spoke forcefully about the example of Eldad and Medad, explaining how that applies to divisiveness and turf wars among ministries in a parish. He is happy that we are passionate about our own missions but he doesn’t want that to devolve into pettiness, back-biting, territorialism, and all the other mean-spirited tactics used by small people against their perceived enemies.

    He also mentioned the Holy Father’s apostolic visit, and how badly the media twists things. He said the money quote from this trip was: “Jesus is the answer!” He remarked on being at the gym and seeing the secular media covering the visit with some stupid headline that totally missed the point, and he cried “No! The headline is: Jesus is the answer! What more could you want?”

    During this weekend I was required to attend all six Masses in support of my service project. During my downtime I was pleased to have fellowship with a couple of kind parishioners, but I also brought my Android tablet and when I wanted to hook up to WiFi there was no signal available in the church courtyard. While I was sitting and chatting, our pastor came by, and he was ebullient (as he always is) and said “We have the love of Jesus! What more could we want?” and I said “WiFi?” which elicited a nervous chuckle but probably disappointed him. I simply couldn’t resist.

  9. Sliwka says:

    First Mass we attended at our new parish that was said by the sole (young) pastor for three communities, three churches in a rural area. Father must need an oil change every other week.

    Christ really dropped some “truth bombs” in the Jerusalem translation used in CA (NAB Gehenna–sheesh..). Father spoke of concrete instances in his own life that he cut things out that were stumbling blocks, scandals to his own salvation. TV this past Lent (and since then), and inappropriate music when he had his conversion in college and how we should examine our own lives and root out that which needs to be cut off for the sake of our souls.

    Also, he chanted (in English) a fair amount of the ordinary. Gonna drop him and the Bp. a line about how much it is appreciated.

  10. Gregg the Obscure says:

    OF: Jealousy continues to be a serious problem in the Church. Instead of focusing on ourselves and on our desires, we must focus on the Lord. Gave the example of Fr. Leo Heinrichs, the first martyr of the Church in Denver who died in 1908. After having been shot during Mass, his last acts were to gather up scattered hosts. His focus was solely on the Lord, as should be ours.

  11. MikeM says:

    I attended the Pope’s Mass on the Parkway in Philadelphia. That’s already been played and replayed, summarized, hashed and rehashed enough that I don’t, at this point, have anything more to say about that. But, the distribution of communion was a nice instructional moment that’s gone, as far as I’ve seen, unmentioned. They sent an army of priests out to distribute communion (no extraordinary ministers!) to at least ten blocks of crowds, and while obviously the lines were far from orderly, they distributed it respectfully, they had appropriate vessels, closed people’s hands (if they received by hand) to ensure that Christ’s Body wasn’t dropped. They managed to do it with basically no clownery!

  12. uncletomcobley says:

    EF Mass: The collection this week was for the seminarians in the diocese. Father announced that the parish (I was an out-of-towner) had two young men entering seminary, with a third new seminarian who frequently attends the EF Mass at this Church. Father mentioned that a religious order across the river was enjoying flourishing vocation, with four young men becoming novices this year. However, a friend of Father’s, when Father told him the good news, responded: “What’s the point?”

    There are many people in the Church in my country who see it in a state of “managed decline”. Many clergy and religious orders have internalised this idea of “managed decline” and are content to wind up their mission. But Our Lord did not come to initiate or oversee a managed decline, He came to give people a future, such as the paralytic in today’s Gospel. The news of the vocations gives us hope that Christ’s saving mission can be carried on by the Ordained Priesthood.

    OF Mass – The sermon was about the role of angels in salvation history, because of the feast of SS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on the 29th, and the Feast of the Guardian Angels on the 2nd. The role of St. Michael in the Heavenly court was elaborated upon, as were the nine choirs of Angels and our own Guardian Angels. (Angels are a significant presence of the architecture of the 19th century church where I heard Mass). There was a salutary reminder of the existence of Lucifer, and how he fell. We should be grateful for the role of angels in our spiritual combat.

  13. Aquinas Gal says:

    Father urged the congregation to make more time for prayer in our lives, to spend less time on things like watching TV. He also spoke about an upcoming novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and how Mary can help us in our lives.

  14. andia says:

    Our homily was by the diocesan vocations director. He put me in tears with his assertions that there is a place in the church for everyone, and everyone was created with gifts that no one else in all of history has had.

  15. zag4christ says:

    Our newest recently (2 years ago) ordained priest preached on how Jesus added in some “hard sayings”, which caused those hearing Him to either stop and think, or to walk away. He compared these to how some of Pope Francis’s sayings are causing people to stop and think, discuss and sometimes cuss, and sometimes sound like they are getting ready to walk away. He also related that as a seminarian, when he and his colleagues were being measured for their first clerical collars, it was this Gospel which came to his mind. He allowed that he had thought that once he donned the clerical collar, he did not want it to become a millstone, giving him a heightened sense of a priest’s responsibility to avoid being the cause of sin and scandal.
    Peace and God bless.

  16. midwestmom says:

    Wondering if our priest is the only one in the country who made absolutely no mention of the Holy Father’s visit.

  17. roberthorwath says:


    Greetings Father!

    Father Pat at Holy Name here in Ketchikan, Alaska emphasized stewardship and utilizing our gifts for the parish and diocese. I really enjoyed the emphasis on the Church’s need for all our gifts…and yes, our money:) The Church needs our support and it really helped me to see the need of the Church in Alaska.

    Thank you Father Z!

    In Christ and Mary,

    Robert Horwath

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