Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

Let us know what it was.

For my part, I stressed the importance of confession.  Our sins hurt everyone.  We are all in this together.


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  1. tz2026 says:

    The destructive force of sin is not negated by confession (nor indulgences or else).
    Being sorry about poisoning a well does net make the waters clean.
    That is why it is important to avoid the near occasion of sin, and to mitigate or direct any damage to avoid communal harm.
    Random poison still hurts or kills random people – created in the image of God.
    Yet better to confess than not. Better to do penance than not. But is a disproportionate (too easy) penance sufficient to heal the earth even if it avoids purgatory?

  2. leftycbd says:

    Here in the Arlington Diocese in Northern Virginia, we were dispensed from attending mass this weekend. Approximately 30″ of snow at my house. My pastor canceled all masses as well.

    Watched mass on EWTN today.

  3. APX says:

    Our priest gave a sobering sermon about many are called, but few are chosen, stressing that there are many of us at Mass, so who will be the few chosen…

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    Father explained about Septuagesima and how it is a prelude, or a warning, to start to think about Lent, which is 70 days away now. We have left the Epiphany-Tide of Joy, and are entering a serious time of our year.
    Attending (or is it assisting) at the Latin Rite now for about three months. There is no going back.

  5. andia says:

    Fr Bryan spoke about how we all have gifts and we all need to use them for the good of the Church and society at large.

  6. Mary of Carmel says:

    Our pastor pointed out that each Sunday of the 7 Sundays leading to Easter are devoted to a different prophet–Adam, Moses, Joseph, (and others I don’t remember but will look up). Today’s readings were about Adam, and his sermon was about him.

    I hope I have this right. I never knew it before.

    Forgive me for not being more complete in this, as I have been sick last week, so I wasn’t altogether clear-headed.

  7. Te_Deum says:

    Fr. Perrone spoke about the problem with transhumanism at the 9:30 a.m. EF Mass. Here is audio.

  8. iPadre says:

    My homily was based on the 2nd reading. I talked about the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that basically said: “We don’t need hands, feet, arms…” “We have all we need in ourselves, what pleases us and makes us fell good.” Because of that dreadful decision, we are all lacking, suffering and missing an important part of God’s gift. We must make a difference through prayer, mercy and speaking up. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

  9. Gregorius says:

    For us dozen or so souls lucky enough to get to Mass (but not at a place that observes Septuagesima), Father took the OF readings to say, “we need the spiritual wall, just as Ezra re-built the walls of Jerusalem after the exile. Sure we need to get out into the world to evangelize/we can’t shut ourselves off from the world (as Vatican II tried to make clear), but often the pendulum swings the other way and we’re in over our heads. Having a spiritual wall, a certain degree of separation from the world (in the world but not of the world etc.), allows us to strengthen our Catholic identity, keep our focus in Christ, and in turn actually allows us to give something worthwhile to our society, something meaningful to say in the public square.”

  10. frjim4321 says:

    Luke 4 is the answer to the question “What would Jesus do?”

    (1) His answer is first situated within the Word of God … the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.

    (2) This mission and ministry of Jesus leads us not to a “religious experience,” or “spiritual enlightenment,” but rather to concrete actions.

    (3) The mission of Jesus is primarily one of liberation.

    (4) Our association with the ministry of Jesus is first sacramental:

    …… “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me” (baptism)

    ….. “Therefore he has anoined me” (chrismation)

    Our call is not to be LIKE Jesus … but (per 1 Cor 12) to BE Jesus ….

  11. Farmer0831 says:

    That’s odd. Clearly your Bishop did use the words “are dispensed”. (I bemoan his technically correct but still poor use of grammar. Someone ought to edit these statements.) Yet though I am certainly not a canon lawyer, I do note that CIC 1248:2, in English, prescribes what to do in case attendance at the Sunday Obligation is prevented by a grave cause. As canon law already admits that Catholics may be excused from the Sunday Obligation by grave cause, this fact would seem to obviate any such “dispensation”, since a dispensation by definition must allow the recipient to not observe Church law. I suppose your Bishop could make an announcement that the risk of death in a snow storm constitutes a suitably “grave cause”, but I don’t see how that can be defined as a dispensation from observing the law of the Church.
    I feel I must comment on the strangeness of a bishop telling the faithful they don’t need to attend the Sunday Obligation due the dangers of a snow storm, when automating an internal combustion engine vehicle is of itself dangerous. I think on the history of Catholics walking miles and miles through snow and ice to attend a Mass and juxtapose that with the strangeness of telling people to stay home because attendance on the Holy Sacrifice might be dangerous. Were we meant to be a people who fear death more than we fear the Lord our God there are a number of other things from which our bishops probably ought to “dispense” us, beginning with being Catholic.

  12. Farmer0831 says:

    @Te Deum that’s awesome

  13. Farmer0831 says:

    Father spoke about…bad homilies!
    Specifically in relation to the 1st reading and the Gospel reading, and how in both these case we see the Jewish people learning a new understanding of scripture which brings them closer to communion with God. Father noted (I am paraphrasing horribly) that it doesn’t matter how “intellectual” a sermon is if it does not serve, just as did the interpretation of the law by Ezra and Christ’s reading of Isaiah in the synagogue, to move the listeners to greater holiness. There was also some about doing that in our own lives through reading of scripture, etc. when we aren’t sitting in church listening to a homily.

  14. Farmer0831 says:

    I wish priests like you who comment on their sermons would link to a text copy! In general I gain a great deal from the homily at my own parish, but I love to spend some time on Sunday afternoon reading homilies given by priests at other parishes as well. Please, if it’s okay with Father Z, feel free to share!

    Reverend Father have you heard the circumstantial evidence on which claims are made that Burke was a closet Catholic? What do you think? I am inclined to agree but I wonder if that is because I enjoy his writing and wish him to have been a son of the Church. (For those who perhaps don’t know, it was at the time impossible to be an MP if one was a faithful Catholic. A number of other positions were forbidden to Catholics as well. So some British Catholics who, I presume in charity, felt the best way for them to serve God and their country was to hold one of those positions, would practice their Catholic faith in secret. Shakespeare is another famous Brit who is thought to have been secretly Catholic.)

  15. SPWang says:

    We were told to “Go to Confession” at least 4 times during a great homily delivered by Fr. Mark Withoos who said Mass for Summorum Pontificum Wangaratta, Australia.

  16. Elizabeth D says:

    Our esteemed Vicar General covered Mass on short notice after the pastor fell ill following his first Mass of the morning. The second reading was St Paul talking about the different members of the Body of Christ, and he explained he always takes great pleasure at his role being remembered, when St Paul’s list gets around to mentioning administrators. Then he was going to talk about how the diocese’s experience of bringing in extern priests from Africa and India has been for him an experience of the differing gifts of the body of Christ in the sense of the whole Church worldwide, for instance because the curriculum vitae of Indian priests includes experiences of assisting people in extreme want such as at the leper colony. At this point an elderly man in the congregation had some form of medical crisis and became unresponsive. 911 was called and in the meantime the Vicar General searched around to find the oil of the sick and anointed the man, who by then had regained consciousness. A little later it was possible to resume Mass with the Creed, and the man was carried out on a stretcher with oxygen by emergency personnel during the presentation of gifts. After Mass the Vicar General was going to try to find out what hospital he was taken to, and visit him.

  17. MattH says:

    Our priest made the observation that when we see something wrong in our parish, diocese, state, country, etc., it is not because God has abandoned us, but probably because the person to whom He has given the right gift to address the situation is not using that gift.

    I don’t remember his exact phrase after that, but the point was – don’t be that guy. Use what God has given you.

  18. JesusFreak84 says:

    Yesterday was the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, so Father linked that story to Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of Mercy.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Farmer0831 – It is common usage for pastors to say that people are “dispensed” from Mass attendance, just as it was once common for people expecting difficulty in attending Mass to ask their pastor to let them be dispensed for a Sunday or a month or whatever. Having a grave reason does excuse one automatically, but many devout or pigheaded people will try to go to Mass anyway. (For example, me, the Sunday I walked to church in an ice storm and broke my arm right before I got there.) Dispensing them let’s them know they can just stay home without guilt or worry or need for decision.

    The bishop in Honolulu dispensed people from attending Mass on both December 7 and December 8, as a historical example.

  20. Suburbanbanshee says:

    On December 7, 1941, that is.

  21. Elizabeth M says:

    Bishop Fellay spoke about focusing on increasing our love for God, first starting out with small things. Rooting out defects left from Original Sin by making a note of one habitual sin, and focusing on gaining self control and putting virtue in place of where vice used to live. How Jesus waits in the tabernacle and wants us to go to Him with all our troubles. He longs for us there, He desires that we bring Him our hearts.

  22. majuscule says:

    I attended two Masses, OF and EF. (The EF is only once a month at another parish and I attend to show support, not for my Sunday obligation).

    There was no sermon at the low EF Mass, but there is a good point to this post, I hope.

    Father comes to us from another diocese, where he is a hospital chaplain. Just before Mass, Father was notified that he was needed at the hospital, which is some distance away. But he stayed to offer a shortened Mass–thus no sermon. He also omitted the Leonine prayers, but we finished those on our own. I pray for whoever it was who was in need of him. I pray for Father also. The Mass was reverent and did not seem hurried.

    There were no other priests available to step in for the Mass (it’s not a parish Mass and the pastor seems mystified that we are even there). Father must have been concerned about the people who might have been making this the Mass of their Sunday obligation–the 5:30 PM hour would make it difficult to find another.

    After Mass one of the men briefly explained the emergency and pointed out that Mass during wartime in the war zone would have been like this so that Father could get back to ministering to those in need.

  23. Suburbanbanshee says:

    The Casuist, Volume I, has a nice discussion of the pre-Vatican II powers of a confessor to dispense people from their Mass obligations. It refers to the stuff said about it by St. Alphonsus’ book on Canon law. The rules for dispensing people from Mass obligations were actually lighter than from other obligations, because it only had to be a moderately serious problem. (Moderate danger or trouble for other people could also count. Of course, that is why you would ask a priest for his judgment; it was latitude for him to make reasonable decisions.)

  24. frjim4321 says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that contrarian observations receive a lot more feedback than homily synopses.

    [I suspect it would be entirely different on your own blog.]

  25. frjim4321 says:

    I do not have a blog at this point.

    I had one for a while on Blogspot but they ended up with horrible pop ups and I would never recommend anyone to use it or go there.

    And with the parish blog, that’s mainly parish business and we don’t post homilies there.

  26. Fr. W says:

    As a priest of the Arlington Diocese I would like to make a brief comment about a previous comment about our Bishop’s dispensation regarding Mass attendance this past weekend. I too would regard such a “dispensation” as unnecessary in as much as the law holds that one cannot be required to fulfill the Sunday obligation under pain of sin if it is not reasonable to do so due to serious circumstance. Attempting to not only shovel out of one’s home and then attempting to drive on unplowed roads to an unplowed church parking lot in with 24 to 30 inches of snow in this area is indeed potentially life threatening. While those who could not travel safely in their best judgment and based on objective criteria were under no obligation to drive to Mass by the law itself, the statement of the Bishop no doubt assuaged the consciences of the devout who would incorrectly feel they had committed a mortal sin because they could not get to Mass because they were unable to even open their front doors due to the snow drifts. We offered all six scheduled Masses at our parish and were edified that a number of families attended – some walking almost an hour to do so.

  27. Fr. W says:

    Accidentally sent my last comment before I could answer the original question. I preached on the “certainty” given us by Christ. “Certainty” in Greek is a compound word negating the root verb “to slip or to fall” (very timely idea during one of the 5 greatest snow storm ever recorded in this area). We loose our footing, our direction, and our hope if we live by the “wisdom” of the world rather than the light of the Word handed down to us by the Magisterium and Scriptures.

  28. leftycbd says:


    I suspect that the use of the term ‘dispensed’ removes any sense of doubt or potential scrupulosity by some of the faithful who might otherwise ask themselves ‘Did it snow enough or should I have really gone to mass?’.

    The history of those going off to mass in adverse conditions is well documented. Local conditions here in the DC area would tend to suggest a sizable number of people unfamiliar with such weather or its hazards (they are from other states working for their congressman, as one example), and such a dispensation eliminates potential hazards to both said persons and others.

    Note that the Archdiocese of Baltimore had a similar announcement but it used the term ‘excused’ … I cannot find the actual statement, only the following story:

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