Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday Obligation?

Let us know.

I said Masses in both the Extraordinary and the Ordinary Form today, and wound up giving different sermons – as the spirit moved me. Given the harrowing Gospel reading in both forms, actually scarier still in the Novus Ordo form, in both I touched on the need to examine our consciences regarding sins of omission and our obligation to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy, as our state in life calls.

Someone sent me a photo of Communion time:


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  1. lgreen515 says:

    Expectations are of the world and inevitably disappoint. Hope is from God and never disappoints.

  2. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass. How should we wait for God? See St. Paul’s Epistle. Arise from sleep. This should be a time of serious preparation. We need to learn to wait properly by living lives daily in a way that is prepared to receive him. The secular world “prepares” for Christmas but in all the wrong ways and these distract us from the ways that prepare us for God’s coming.

  3. lfandrew says:

    OF Mass. It sounds like you made a number of the same points we heard. Perform works of mercy. Be ready for when the day comes. GO TO CONFESSION!!!

  4. StWinefride says:

    Regarding the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, St Thomas Aquinas said:

    “Of all prayers, the most meritorious, the most acceptable to God are prayers for the dead, because they imply all the works of charity, both corporal and spiritual.”

  5. benedetta says:

    In the Extraordinary Form, touching upon the wisdom of the Church Fathers. Ancient translations of this Gospel interpreted “et in terris pressura gentium…” to not only refer to active confusion and warring but as well to a kind of paralysis in the face of the powers of evil and hatred. However we are not to shirk or give in with fear and become thus similarly paralyzed, but instead, to heed the words of the Gospel, in imitation of the admonition of St. Paul, and lift our heads, stand upright, walk honestly.

  6. Mariana2 says:

    OF Mass. Early morning Mass, so no sermon, but Father said GO TO CONFESSION.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Morlino had not said Mass at his Cathedral Parish for the longest time and it was really good to have him back here. He talked about the “roaring of the seas and the roaring of the waves”. He said that in the Book of Revelation the sea represents the disorder and chaos in the world. This comes from lack of truth (we now see people in our society rejecting truth outright, he gave the example of some commentator who said what Donald Trump says isn’t true however this commentator said it doesn’t matter because Trump is strong and that is what matters) and from sin. In the new heavens and the new earth there will be no more “sea.” Christ brings peace, and addressing the catechumens and candidates the bishop said that peace begins within yourself, and the peace within yourself (from truth and the defeat of sin) is the beginning of peace in the world.

  8. Hans says:

    That Advent is a time not just of looking back to look back to the birth of Jesus, not just of buying, cleaning, and decorating, but also and especially of looking forward to and preparing ourselves for His coming again in Glory. However well we are doing to be prepared for Jesus’ return, we can and should strive with His help to do better, as St. Paul tells the Thessalonians (and not just the problem-child Corinthians) in the second (OF) reading.


    My memory is, Mariana2, that a homily is obligatory on Sundays in the OF; it’s certainly what we were taught in formation, though “Go to confession!” makes for a good (if very short) homily most weeks.

  9. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    OF, my wife’s baptismal parish while visiting the in-laws. The pastor mentioned several times that Advent is a good time to prepare to meet our Lord, “we don’t know when,” etc. However, there was no advice/suggestions given on *how* to prepare for that meeting.

    Considering confession is only offered there 30 minutes per week, I can’t be surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the homily.

  10. torch621 says:

    EF Mass. Father gave an interesting sermon on the symbolism of the Advent candles and how they represent the four ways Christ has come and will come; He has come in the flesh as the Savior of the world, He comes to us in holy communion to dwell in our hearts and souls, He comes to us at death, and at the end of time He will come again to judge the living and the dead. He also brought up making reparation to God for the outrages committed against Him and the Church every day, and announced he would be instituting a Holy Hour on Thursdays (I believe it was Thursdays) during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

  11. iPadre says:

    I based my homily on the Collect (OF), and gave my 3 Point Plan of Advent Preparation.

    1. Spiritual defibrillator – Confession [shock the system] admit guilt and receive God’s help
    2. Antibiotic – Mass & Adoration – kill off that which plagues the soul
    3. Vitamins – daily prayer & devotion – [“run forth to meet your Christ”] seek to build a personal relationship with Our Lord

    If we are faithful to these practices, we will not gaze upon a plastic statue in the manger on Christmas, but have a deeper relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ in the depths of our souls.

  12. trespinos says:

    At OF this Sunday, a discussion of the various types of waiting. There’s the waiting we consider a waste of time, such as that in a doctor’s office, past our appointment time. There’s the waiting we perform with fervent but dying hope, as for the 49’ers to win another championship. There’s the waiting for an end to the disappointments and sufferings that seem to pop up so frequently in life. But these are all passive modes of waiting and not to be confused with the active mode of waiting that Advent calls for. That kind of waiting is similar to the “on call” waiting of a priest, a nurse, an EMT, a firefighter, your company’s IT specialist or indeed any worker who keeps usefully busy during his waiting, but remains conscious that at any time the call may come and he must be in condition to drop everything else and respond.

  13. pj_houston says:

    EF Solemn High Mass w/ subdeacon. Father emphasized that entering the narrow gate starts with going to Confession! He must be reading Fr. Z’s Blog.

  14. Curley says:

    Finding more silence in our busy lives, and reducing distractions during prayer

  15. Adaquano says:

    Warned about mixing the Advent and Christmas season together that we forget what each season is supposed to signify, and that we must take the time to properly celebrate Advent so that when we come to Christmas it is not anti-climatic but a celebration that God has brought his Son into the world so that we may no longer be in despair. Father stressed to take the time to pray harder during Advent inviting Christ into ourselves so that as steadily get closer to Christmas, His light continue to get brighter.

  16. joan ellen says:

    EF Mass. Mostly the points made here…especially the 1st coming of Jesus to earth, the 2nd coming in Body & Blood in Holy Communion…and the importance of Confession for our sins…and the 3rd coming of Jesus in His glory…emphasizing Eternity in all 3.

  17. joan ellen says:

    I often am reminded of the Fr. Guardian at EWTN in the 90’s – can’t remember his name – who said…paraphhrasing…”God Almighty condescended to come down to earth as a little 7 or 8 pound baby boy.” If Almighty God can do that…surely He can condescend just a little further to come to us as a little white Host.

  18. joan ellen says:

    Not to hog the combox, Fr., Confession brings so much Peace to a soul, Jesus in Holy Communion brings so much Joy to a soul, and the mere thought of The Real Presence of Jesus…brings so much gratitude to a soul… that such graces and blessings are embarrassing…because of how rich one feels and is.

  19. andia says:

    OF Mass: Sunday, Father ranted about control and control freaks and spoke to how God is not like people and does not force His control on us, but will come in his time, whether we are ready or not ( so stop being a control freak)

    Saturday: Advent, what the parish is doing for advent, what advent is supposed to be and how we should not forget advent for Christmas…and that we all need to go to confession — and that the entire diocese is adding extra hours of Confession for Advent each Wednesday ( this last bit is wonderful as some parishes here have no scheduled confession times at all, some only 15 minutes a week). Father spoke about the bishop “requesting” each parish have confession for 2 hours each Wednesday from 5-7pm each Wednesday of Advent. And then he spoke about why we all need to go to confession.

  20. frjim4321 says:

    This composition copy is still a bit rough. It was memorized and came off a bit differently at each mass:

    The First Sunday in the Season of Advent is “New Year’s Day” for the Church. The liturgical cycle of readings and prayers has come full circle, and we move the ribbons from the back of the books to their front. More significantly our immersion in the mystery of Christ, about which our liturgy really is, resets and we find ourselves this morning huddled with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Mary, Joseph, and John the Baptist engaged in the first of all Christian endeavors, which is waiting, and striving for the first of all Christian virtues, which is patience.

    But we know, and particularly those of us who have moved into the third and fourth generation of earthly life know, that the simple fact that this is another year does not necessarily mean that it is a truly new year. After all, we’ve done this all before. We’ve set a match to our fair share of Advent wreaths and collected many angels and stars from the Giving Tree in the Narthex. Some of us, to the consternation of family and friends, have announced that as of Black Friday and Saturday all of our Christmas shopping is done, and we are ready for Christmas. But if we are all ready for Christmas as Advent is barely beginning, do we really get what it means to have a New Year in our lives, rather than just “another year?”

    What, then, is the difference between “just another year,” and a truly New Year? The only way to seeing the difference is by seeing Christ, and by seeing our lives as a real encounter with Christ. This is something Pope Francis has been so adamant about. We are a Church of encounter, of relationship. Without Christ the Church is no more than a hierarchically organized religious institution. Without an awareness of Christ around us, this New Year of Faith is just another year.

    So the Church gives us some scriptures to help us this morning ensure that for every child, teenager, adult and senior, this will truly be a wonderful New Year. First, Paul, in what is the oldest writing of the New Testament composed a scant 20 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, reminds us that God is ever-present, strengthening us to make us holy as we try to live in consistency with the faith we have professed. Early believers, having expected the return of Jesus after the resurrection to take place immediately, were becoming disheartened and impatient. We sometimes feel this in the emptiness and boredom that often attends to a rehashing of the usual holiday obligations. When we notice this happening to us it is a signal that the time has come to hear God’s word with new ears. God has a specific plan, purpose and goal for each of us. God’s call to us is renewed for us constantly as life challenges us differently each and every day.

    Luke has a similar message, though directed at believers old enough to be the grandchildren of the recipients of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Thessalonica. Luke’s hearers were not old enough to have seen or heard Jesus in person, but they did receive the faith testimony of their elders and they too had begun to wonder, when will he return? Their impatience, as can our holiday boredom and emptiness, began to intensity. What does Luke do? He reminds them, “Be watchful. Pray constantly and stand secure.”
    It is in the selection from Luke’s gospel today that we see that waiting is the first act of the disciple. But ours is not a passive waiting, as if we are standing in the checkout line or at a red light. It is an active waiting in which we are alert to the manifestations of Jesus Christ in every person, and to the presence of God everywhere. Preparing for Christmas is not only about shopping, buying, cooking and decorating, as joyful as those practices can be. Preparing for Christmas is about being watchful and alert, ready for the moment when God surprises us and does the unexpected.

    Any of us who have a handle on the events of our days, including those in Ferguson, Newtown, Cleveland, Chicago, Paris, Syria or any of a hundred other places knows that we are living in a time of great upheaval. This background must certainly color our experience of Advent. Perhaps not coincidentally the Church provides us with a picture of upheaval from another age. In the 8th and 7th Centuries before the birth of Christ God’s people knew great political instability, military failure and spiritual collapse often due to infidelity to their sacred covenant with the Lord. The prophet Jeremiah served for years under several kings, only one of them, Good King Josiah, was a truly good and holy servant of the people.

    Even as Jerusalem falls in 597 B.C.E. Jeremiah proclaims to the people a word of healing and hope. God’s promises are never left unfulfilled. “A just shoot would bring new life to God’s people.” For us this morning, aware of the upheaval around us, Jeremiah encourages us that “The Lord our Justice” is ever near us.

    So, we might think, well, that was 2600 years ago! What would Jeremiah know about our times? And about our problems? Nothing of course, but he knew the faithfulness of God. And with the prophets, it’s not so much about what they say. The prophets are the people who hold up a mirror before us and challenge us to look deeply into what we see. They ask us, are we alert? Are we aware? Are we ready?

    Not unlike one of the prophets of old, Pope Francis also holds up a mirror to us as we consider how we see the church. Is our vision of church limited to a concepts such as hierarchy or institution? Or, with Francis, do we understand the Christian enterprise as being primarily about relationship, and encounter, in seeing Jesus Christ in everyone around us, and seeing God everywhere we look.

    The encounter of which Pope Francis speaks is characterized earlier in Luke’s gospel when at the beginning of Jesus’s ministry as he unrolls and reads the scroll of Isaiah in the presence of the assembly. He describes the mission of the disciple as that of bringing glad tidings to the poor, proclaiming freedom to prisoners, recovery of sight to the bind, and setting the oppressed free. As other Christs by virtue of our baptism it is our rededication to the ministry of Christ to which the Church calls us on this First Sunday of Advent.

    We must renew our commitment to may see Christ in all so that we can be Christ for all. That is how we can make “just another year,” a “Truly New Year.”

  21. Gail F says:

    The readings are apocalyptic (literally) but do not refer only to the end of the world, because the Scriptures apply to all times and all conditions. So don’t worry about the world coming, despite dire happenings. But don’t think “that doesn’t apply to me!” either. They’re about now. Every now.

  22. Mike says:

    In the promise of the judgment there is hope — for those who trust in the promise.

  23. Fuquay Steve says:

    The Church calandar offers so much more than the secular calandar our culture worships. There is no Black Friday sales noted on the Church calandar, no “Turkey” Day either. As we enter a new year Father urged and encouraged us to pay greater attention to the Church calandar than the secular one. If we do so, we can grow closer to Our Lord and obtain a deeper knowledge of the deposit of Faith.

  24. WYMiriam says:

    EF, low Mass. Today is the first day of the Year of Grace 2016. Be prepared. Our citizenship is primarily in heaven, and baptism is our passport. Jesus will come [again] as the Judge of Mercy and the Judge of Grace. There are three things specifically to do/work on in order to be prepared for His coming:

    1. GO TO CONFESSION [do I see a pattern developing here? :-) ] — make a good, holy examination of conscience, and a good and holy confession.

    2. Be reflective — don’t get caught up in the secular “preparation” for Christmas; rather, strive to be holy, to be spiritual.

    3. Assist in the sanctification of others.

    If we don’t have Jesus in our lives and hearts every day, we won’t have Him in the Christmas crib, either.

    [Fr. Jim, thank you for reminding me that it’s a new year!! Happy new year!!]

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