Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

Let’ us know.

Meanwhile… from a reader:

Father, your charity in asking for only GOOD points made in the Sunday Sermon Notes is admirable. However, you are being rather EXCLUSIVE which is not very LOVING or FLUFFY of you. Could you please let some others chime in , just once, with the horrible points that were made in the sermon they were subjected to?

Nope. Good points only. Some people have little chance to hear anything good from their pulpits. We need to help them out.  They can at least come here for something worth while.

GOOD points only.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. NoraLee9 says:

    The good Fathers from the FSSP saw 11 seminarians tonsured yesterday. As part of the ceremony, they are clothed with their cassocks. Father then went on to tell the story of 51 seminarians, who, during the Spanish Civil War, were martyred rather than remove their cassocks. (There were 53, but two were Argentinian, and therefore, released without further incident).

    Vivo Christo Rey!

  2. benedetta says:

    We heard a quite interesting homily this morning at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany, NY by our Deacon. I thought it excellent and very representative of the sensus fidelium both today and during Jesus’ time.

    We continually are encountering in the Gospels intentional followers of Jesus, and people who constantly follow Him, trying to be in His presence, to be near Him, listening to His words and hoping constantly to garner some attention. We see this at work in a great many persons described in the Gospels, ranging from the sons of Zebedee to the young rich man to Nicodemus and countless others, and we also see that although they follow the Lord very particularly, having left everything often behind, that still while they might understand the letter of His words they repeatedly in dialogue with the Lord show that they have not comprehended Him or His message(s) and the Lord in these interactions continues to with patience and compassion on them to preach and teach, journeying ever onward.

    Bartimaeus is one such figure, who cries out for attention, to be noticed, when the Lord is going by.
    And what does the Lord do? He acknowledges Bartimeaus whose father was from the Platonic school which was preoccupied with correct sight and reasoning and who himself yet was blind and begging, desperate. He leaves even his begging spot to ask the Lord for His attention. Maybe He knows and maybe He does not know what the Lord can really do for Him. All He knows is that He must follow Him, show Him that He knows who He is, and ask. In this He is infinitely blessed and rewarded, Deo Gratias!

    A Blessed Sunday to all —

  3. benedetta says:

    Oh also, sorry to have left out — it is overwhelmingly evident today that we both experience the similar tendencies as in Bartimaeus and Jesus’ time — we are constantly interacting upon our social media, Instagram, whathaveyou, similarly seeking out and following after and attention garnering, and yet, we are also engaged in blocking some bids for attention, simultaneously. We need to take on the heart of Jesus, and regard these bids with that same infinite goodness, compassion, and caritas.

  4. benedetta says:

    n.b.: As to the commenter above who asks permission to post about “Bad homilies” here — perhaps some internet wag will invent or has already dedicated a place for Bad Homilies along the lines of the sadly now defunct Bad Vestments blog of yore…? Although I think our wise Blogmaster is right, there are plenty of places to hear of that, and sharing of the excellent is entirely more helpful in the spiritual life.

  5. My homily today was based on the Gospel, in which blind Bartimaeus asks to be able to see. My question to the assembly was, “Do you want to see–that is, more than you do now?” I posed several ways they might see more: seeing the needs of the poor, and making them their own concern (with a practical step offered: we have a casserole crusade to make food for nearby soup kitchens, so I suggested people make casseroles); seeing themselves changing, and praying aggressively for our own conversion; and seeing a need to grow in knowledge of our Faith…

    Which led to introducing an opportunity for our folks to do just that. Our parish has a subscription to an outfit called, and we realized that this meant anyone in our parish — anyone! — could use the login code to access the library of educational materials on the site. So: we are providing that info to all parishioners, by bulletin, by Internet, and by mailings. We sent a flyer to every single household in the parish — Catholic or not — inviting them to take advantage of the opportunity.

    For the five weeks prior to Advent, we’re encouraging all parishioners to watch some videos in the Symbolon series (on the Creed), and we’re creating discussion groups for those who are interested. We’re going to ask folks to sign up for this, mainly so it creates accountability; there’s no cost or obligation.

    (By the way, any parish can do this.)

  6. tpodonnell says:

    A priest at St. Mary’s in Washington DC connected Bartimeaus saying “have mercy” with each of the times we say in the Mass “have mercy.” There were some other great points but those connections really made Bartimeaus real, and connected the congregation with both the Gospel and the Liturgy. (NO but with Latin terms and appreciation of the whole tradition throughout.)

    Also only God can heal and save. Timeaus, the father of Bar-Timeaus, could not heal his son. The true Father does that. The true Father heals us and brings us to heaven.

  7. Kathleen10 says:

    Sorry, Fr. Z., how my comment ended up here I don’t have the slightest idea. I intended it in your other thread which was partly about the Synod. My apologies to you and the readers.

  8. WYMiriam says:

    Our priest used “The Piece of String” (short story by Guy de Maupassant) to illustrate the fact that the more we try to defend ourselves, the deeper the hole we dig for ourselves. (The protagonist in “The Piece of String” had no ‘Jesus figure’ to help him out, unlike Bartimaeus.) Bartimaeus was making a fool of himself in front of all those people, shouting out at Jesus to have mercy on him — and Jesus wanted him to come to Him. When we have made a fool of ourselves, Jesus asks us the same thing He asked Bartimaeus — “What do you want me to do for you?” — and gives us the opportunity to put a name to our sins. We need, like Bartimaeus, to be specific and forthright, because if we aren’t, Jesus will not (can not) heal us. (That reminded me of 1 Cor 14:8 — “if the trumpet sound an uncertain call, who will prepare for battle?”)

    I had the opportunity to read a foreigner’s sermon for this Sunday’s Gospel, and two things resonated with me. First:

    [Jesus asked,] “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mk 10:51). […] [W]ith this question made face to face, direct but respectful, Jesus shows that he wants to hear our needs. He wants to talk with each of us about our lives, our real situations, so that nothing is kept from him.

    The doctor can only help if we are completely truthful about our sickness. This sounds like confession — a great reminder for me to prepare and then go. . .

    And second,

    Jesus asks his disciples to go and call Bartimaeus. They address the blind man with two expressions, which only Jesus uses in the rest of the Gospel. First they say to him: “Take heart!”, which literally means “have faith, strong courage!”. Indeed, only an encounter with Jesus gives a person the strength to face the most difficult situations. The second expression is “Rise!”, as Jesus said to so many of the sick, whom he took by the hand and healed. His disciples do nothing other than repeat Jesus’ encouraging and liberating words, leading [Bartimaeus] directly to Jesus . . .

    Wow. I hope to be able to remember those words, and to put them to good use: “Fear not! Have faith, be strong, be courageous! Then rise — and be healed in the Name of Jesus!” Not that I would be do any healing, oh, no! That would be strictly Jesus at work.

    Oh . . . . if you are wondering about the rest of the foreigner’s sermon, it can be found at

  9. Gail F says:

    Many good points but the one that struck me was that Bartimaeus followed Jesus to Jersulaem and His death. He didn’t know where he was going, he just followed. Some of the healing stories are about people “going away rejoicing” and being happy, but this one does not end that way. He knows the truth (sees) and follows because Jesus is the truth, whether you like where that leads you or not. Father only made the first part of that observation, the second (“like it or not”) part is mine… It struck me because too many people think Christianity is some kind of trick for fools that want everything to be happy. Christianity is about hte cross, which just IS. You must deal with it.

  10. MikeToo says:

    Father made some very good points today. First, he spoke on how the readings teach us to pray. In the first reading Jeremiah tells how Israel needed a change in attitude in order to come back to a spiritual life with the Lord. They needed correction after falling away while residing in the promised land. In a similar way the blind man also teaches us to pray. As a blind beggar he was perhaps had a better attitude toward prayer than we do. He know he was blind and in the position of begging he was completely dependent on the Lord. He begs for mercy. First the Lord passes him by – doesn’t seem to answer. The man persists in prayer even-though others rebuke him to stop.

    Father also spoke about true mercy. If a cancer doctor diagnoses you with cancer but prescribes two Tylenol and tells you, you’ll be just fine the way you are, you would say the doctor was very nice. At least for a while, it might make you feel better about your situation. If you find out later that in fact you are not fine but needed aggressive treatments, even surgery, then you would say the doctor had committed malpractice even if you did not really want to go through that treatment. The truth hurt but it is better than falsehood.

    The blind beggar asked for mercy and Jesus truly healed this affliction. While this might have symbolic meaning as well, this physical affliction was truly healed. Jesus knows what truly afflicts us which is our sins. He give us true mercy by healing our sis with true forgiveness. Go to confession.

  11. Peregrinator says:

    Heard a great sermon for the Feast of Christ the King. Fr. talked about the ostensible reason for moving the feast in the new Calendar (to the Sunday before the First Sunday of Advent), which was to emphasize eschatological Kingship of Christ, but which also had the side effect of obscuring the role of Christ as King in the here and now.

  12. Elizabeth D says:

    (Novus Ordo) I liked the homily I heard; Monsignor emphasized that Jesus didn’t “buttonhole” the blind beggar offering healing, as someone does to us “when they are selling something.” Rather Jesus called to him and let him approach. He did approach Jesus, and asked to be able to see. Monsignor then pointed out something I have reflected on at times, that this request to be healed of what is keeping us bound is not always made easily. People grow accustomed to their “sickly” existence and fear freedom and its demands. He gave two examples from popular media. One was the theme he sees in some prison movies of the gentle older prisoner who has been locked up many years and is generally respected by other prisoners, then when his sentence ends and he is granted freedom, he doesn’t know what to do or how to thrive on the outside. There’s not much for him out there, and he doesn’t know how to make it work, so sometimes he may commit another crime to go back to prison, or else he may even commit suicide. The man’s need is for freedom, but he feels he can’t deal with it. The other example was a TV show he didn’t necessarily recommend but had seen sometimes on cable, titled “Intervention.” He said it goes the same way each time. The family of an addict get assistance from the show to do an “intervention” to plead with the drug or alcohol addict of the family to make use of help that is available, to get free. The family gather and read letters they’ve written to the addict family member about why he should do what it takes to recover. But the addict, even though his life has fallen apart, he may be homeless, he is ravaging his own body, and is certainly suffering, always resists. He (or she) knows he (or she) needs to get sober, but cannot deal with it. Monsignor pointed out that in light of this truth the blind man, who knows he is suffering in his life of begging by the roadside yet is so unaccustomed to full inclusion in society, is praiseworthy for asking Jesus for the help that he needs. He is able to see again and proceeds to follow Jesus on the way.

  13. Sliwka says:

    I would also like to thank Fr, because as a father of a 2 year old stupor mundi and occasionally have an impossible time focusing on father’s homilies. This and the Bp Baron Word on Fire homilies are sometimes the only commentary I get on the Sunday readings.

  14. Mike says:

    Jesus is King by right given him by His Father. His Kingship is secured by His obedience unto the sacrifice of His life. There are many places, such as the popular media and vast swaths of our communities, where He does not reign. Let us pray that He make us the instrument of His peace to extend His reign in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our travels, through obedience to faith and the exercise of charity.

  15. Reconverted Idiot says:

    E.F. Fr gave a wide ranging homily touching on everything it means to be truly subject to Christ the King. He talked about our form of worship – whether God-centred or man-centred – without polemics but clearly critical of the vast amount of poor liturgy offered in many churches. The synod got a mention by way of the moral law, referring to the ways in which this world and its ideologues (even those within The Church) refuses subjection to Christ’s commandments, whether by the simple unbelief of the world, to seeking exemptions through misleading language in theological works. The key point came at the conclusion: the real issue comes down to how we act, what we do; do we take refuge in a closed mentality, perhaps giving over to private revelations about the end of the world, or do we see an opportunity to evangelise this broken society? Our witness can be all self-pious from a mind set that says I’m alright Jack (in which case you probably aren’t), or we can take forth the joy we have been given, showing the world the true value of subjection to Christ in the form of genuine love, happiness and perseverance, an authentic witness to the value of life and family that finds its full expression when we are truly subject to the King Of Kings.

  16. frjim4321 says:

    It was Priesthood Sunday so the notion of “call” (aka. “vocation”) along with discernment … from the psalm theme of “joy,” and “rejoice,” that joy is the the confidence that comes upon us when we know we are living in accord with God’s plan/call for us … the every day vocation of getting out of bed and doing the right thing and the life choice vocations of finding the way God wishes us to have joy-filled lives … the irony inherent in Mark 1o in which James and John ask Jesus, “Do for us whatever we ask of you;” he of course says, “you don’t know what you are asking … whereas to the blind son of Timeaus he asks, “what would you have me do for you;” the contrast between the entitlement of the in-group and the humility of one from the out-group.” Bartimeaus casting off his security, his cloak, and approaching Jesus … the faith needed to answer the call, and the joy and freedom that this provides.

  17. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass for Christ the King. What is the kingdom of Heaven? It is described in the 1st chapter of Genesis, but then Man wanted to be like God and is banished. Jesus is sent to usher in the Kingdom of God which will be complete at the second coming. In the meantime we have the Eucharist where we get to enter it briefly.

  18. Fuquay Steve says:

    EF…Father asked where Jesus is in our hearts and souls…if He is not at the center than we (clergy, laity and prelates) will be led astray…If we place our own concerns paramount we will not be focused on the things that will bring us closer to heaven. Moreover, by subjugating Our Lord , we are asking/telling Him to change based on our personal desires and in essence telling Him we do not need Divine Law and natural law, for they do not apply to us. Our focus needs to solely be to get closer (via the virtues) to Our Lord and not Our Lord to change (either Divine law or the virtues) to suit our ‘unique’ desires (egoism).

    Also great news…prior to the sermon, Father announced that the parish is beginning to form a Holy League chapter commencing the first week in November….God willing, I will be there.

  19. Gaz says:

    Bp Meeking preached on the importance of the real presence in the life of the Church. The setting for his lordship’s homily was the final Mass of the 25th annual Christus Rex pilgrimage at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo. My words cannot give justice to the homily; I can say, however, that there were tears in my eyes and no voice from my throat at the Domine non sum dignus when I glanced over to the young first communicant kneeling alone at the altar rail.

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