Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made during the sermon for your Mass of Obligation? Let us know!

NB: These “Your Notes” posts are not about what didn’t happen, or what you wanted to happen. They are not for complaining.

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  1. jameeka says:

    Father O started off with the Magi looking for Jesus. They were scientists/philosophers, from Persia, had heard about the Jewish prophecy. They got lost—and stopped off at Herod’s palace for further directions. Then Fr mentioned that since this little island church I was attending today is one of the Diocesan pilgrim sites for the year of Mercy, he had recently met a man in the village who was looking for directions to the church—he and his wife had gotten lost—so Fr told him how to get here.

    Then he mused, we use the expression “looking for” a lot. Some people are looking for a new job, or looking for a spouse, or….. St Augustine, a convert later in life, said in his Confessions —”Late have I loved you, Beauty, ever ancient and ever new”. He had been looking for Beauty—not happiness, contentment, or riches—and he had found It.

  2. Devo35 says:

    In a memorable portion of his homily Father dovetailed the quote of Albert Einstein on insanity ( “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”) with the dream of the Magi. His message was that just as the Magi were told to go home by a different route if things are not working in your spiritual life then you should choose a different route by which to return Home. I have been think a lot about that myself recently. Simple yet effective.

  3. Marg says:

    Fr. spoke on the Holy Name of Jesus; how we should never let It be taken in vain in our
    homes by family members, visitors or in any shows or movies we watch. When we are in public
    to say, “Blessed be His Holy Name”, as an act of reparation when we hear the Holy Name taken in vain.
    He said the English Jesuits constant ejaculation was “Jesus be my Jesus”, meaning Jesus be my
    Savior (the meaning of the Holy Name). They continued to say it while they were being cruelly martyred.

  4. billy15 says:

    Father gave a wonderful homily on this Feast of the Epiphany, concerning moral relativism and absolute Truth. While he never actually mentioned the words “moral relativism”, it’s definitely the concept he was attacking and dismissing as he kept referring to those who claim to be “spiritual but not religious” throughout his homily. He opened talking about how the Magi were on a journey of faith, as many claim to be, while they were searching for the Christ Child. Christ was revealed to the Magi, because that’s what “epiphany” means, a manifestation of something or someone.

    He then went into how Catholicism is a revealed religion. God reveals Himself to us throughout history, especially through His Son. God reveals to us, humanity, what he expects us of us, what is right and wrong. For the “spiritual but not religious” crowd, they don’t appeal to a God OUTSIDE themselves for truth. They appeal to a god they’ve created within. He made this point several times in a very strong, but not mean-spirited, way. He talked about how these people have a “feeling” that what they believe on a certain subject is right, and since it “feels” right, God must be OK with it. He further explained that this is just an appeal to emotion, not a search for actual Truth which is outside of us.

    He went on to quote Isaiah 55: 8-9 where God says, “Your ways/thoughts are not My ways/thoughts.” Father said while it may be difficult to put into practice what God has declared to be true, it’s not hard to figure out WHAT that Truth is: we only need to look to Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church which has revealed that Truth! He even went on to accuse some Catholics, and not only secularists and those that are “spiritual but not religious”, of being guilty of looking interiorly and not exteriorly for the Truth. I think it was a wake up call that needed to be heard and I wish was talked about more in our churches.

  5. ASPM Sem says:

    Our deacon started off by noting we don’t know the number of Magi, or if they were kings or wise men or astronomers or what, but we do know they were men, not women: Women would have asked for directions and arrived in time for Jesus’ birth.

    He went on to talk about confession and how blessed we are to have a priest who hears confession daily – it doesn’t matter how long or what you’ve done, Father and Christ are waiting for you in the confessional. He continued that being holy isn’t just not doing bad but also doing good – if the Devil can’t get you to sin, he’ll get you to do nothing at all. He concluded by saying how we need to be like the Magi and follow the light of Christ and also be that light to others.

  6. Manducat in the hat says:

    Fr. talked about a lot of things, but what stood out to me was the point he made that Fridays used to be visibly penitential in the Church, and that with Vatican II, the penitence appeared to have ceased, but that the Catholic Church did not do away with the penitential requirement on Fridays. He explained that Fridays are still a required day of abstinence from meat unless another act of penance is offered in place of meat, but that most people never offered an alternative to meat.

  7. gjf2a says:

    Father’s theme was the devil’s use of deception in making sin appealing. He related this back to Herod’s use of deception with the magi, when he claimed to wish to pay homage to the new king. We should be as cautious of the devil as the magi were of Herod.

  8. xylkatie says:

    Father talked of many things, but one of the most interesting is the juxtaposition of Matthew’s gold, frankincense and myrhh with Isaiah’s offerings (from the reading that mentioned only gold and frankincense). Why give myrhh to an infant? Father suggested that the gift of myrhh to the Baby foreshadowed His death (and the conclusion of the Gospel). He also noted that the mention of swaddling clothes and the linen that Jesus was wrapped in at his death are also elements that frame Matthew.

  9. benedetta says:

    In places where the search for truth is valued, one finds a cultivation of a resource of wisdom, which necessarily has to occur via education over generations. We are challenged to undertake this search for truth even today.

  10. Michael says:

    In our turbulent world, the Holy Name of Jesus should give us the same hope that those stranded in the ocean receive upon seeing land. We should use the hope the Name gives us, and the power contained within it, to persevere ever more in holiness and to remember that God always saves us.

  11. hwriggles4 says:

    I went to a different parish today than the one I normally attend (and where I am registered and active). I do visit this particular parish from time to time and I do enjoy the visit. There is a “retired priest” who takes at least one Mass on the weekend, and this “retired priest” was the celebrant. Another thing I like about this particular Church is that it has very traditional architecture (constructed late 1940s/early 1950s), and there is still an altar rail that is used, statues inside, tabernacle visible from the front, so it is very easy to keep the distractions down. Most people were properly dressed and behaved correctly – I didn’t see anyone leave after communion either.

    Anyway, a permanent deacon that I’m not very familiar with did the homily, and I was really touched. The permanent deacon discussed the child Jesus, and since the three kings visited Jesus, the deacon used the time to concentrate on a discussion about children, and the fact that Mary and Joseph were open to life and accepted the responsibility of bearing the child Jesus. The deacon mentioned that children can teach adults quite a bit about humility, sacrifice, innocence, laughter, responsibility, etc. I thought it was a good example for adults to think about, and the deacon did briefly mention the “life issues” which are not heard often enough from many pulpits.

  12. visigrad says:

    Heard (and will heed) a wonderful homily on the power of Jesus’ name….particularly against evil……and to never be afraid to correct someone who abuses The Holy Name

  13. lmgilbert says:

    From a young Dominican priest:

    At one point in the early Church, the Epiphany was celebrated on Jan 6th and was comprised of several incidents from Scripture in which Our Lord was revealed, among them the Nativity, the coming of the Magi, and the Baptism by John. However, these were separated out over time, with the Nativity being assigned to the pagan feast of Sol Invictus on Dec 25.. The Church was always doing things like that, making pagan shrines into temples, and with the Roman pontiff assuming the titles of the Roman Emperor, the Byzantine patriarch assuming the titles of the Byzantine emperor, and the Coptic patriarch assuming the titles of Pharaoh. In this way the Church dramatically asserted the sovereignty of Christ and His Church.

    The magi were from the east, and probably from Persia, and would have been very familiar with the night sky, so would have been very aware and drawn by the appearance of something utterly new. Scripture does not indicate how many came- some traditions say it may have been as many as twelve. And when they did worship him, it was probably not for just 30 minutes to get their indulgence ( this is tongue in cheek humor, for father was speaking to a very conservative, prayerful congregation). It may well have been a matter of days.

    He of course mentioned the typological significance of gold, frankincense and myrrh

    The West has always been fascinated by the East, but there is a danger in this. Generalizing, the West and the East differ greatly, with Aristotle being our representative figure, for we believe that everything can be traced to a cause, and since there cannot be an infinite regression of causes, we finally come to a first cause. The east traces causes, too, but eventually comes to “no cause,” to nothingness, and this moreover is the goal of eastern spirituality, to be a candle blown out. In our prayer which is entirely different we must be careful to have our minds and will focused intensely on God, who is the source of Life.

    He stressed too, in contradistinction to the somewhat ironic practice of having apps for our spiritual lives ( and he admits here to the very great convenience that priests have in having the Divine Office on-line) the importance of cultivation a habit of prayerful silence, not the cultivation of emptiness, but of silently focusing on Our Lord.

    His sermon was far richer than this, of course. What a grace it is to be in a Dominican parish with such learned priests! One thing that makes such rich sermons possible is that there is an ongoing rotation of Sunday preachers, so that the preacher has roughly three weeks to prepare the homily for his Sunday of preaching.

  14. JonPatrick says:

    EF so the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. The name Jesus means the Lord saves. He saves us by coming to be one of us. We (and Satan) prefer a God who is “the man upstairs”, remote, someone who can be ignored unless we have a favor we need and to be obeyed when we feel like obeying Him. Instead God makes this inconvenient by coming to live with us. He sees us in sin so he takes it on himself. In baptism we put on Christ. In the Eucharist he gives himself to us in his body and blood.

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