Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point (or two) in the sermon you heard for your Sunday “in albis” obligation?

I think we could all benefit from points that are not mere clichés about “mercy”.

Today is called, in the new-fangled Novus Ordo, “Divine Mercy” Sunday.  That’s fine.  However, this Sunday which completes the Octave of Easter, has a long tradition of being things other than “Divine Mercy” Sunday.

While this is admittedly the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are not in this Year limited to talking only about mercy.

I have a Mass later in the afternoon – Extraordinary Form.  Just as a reminder, this Sunday is not called “Divine Mercy” in the older, traditional form.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you are warbling, “You HAVE TO talk about mercy!  It’s … it’s… what Pope Francis wants!  And we always have to do everything the Pope wants!… er… unless it’s another Pope like that mean Benedict or John Paul  and…. but… wait… John Paul started the … and… YOU HATE VATICAN II!”

I’ll work “mercy” together with other points, but that’s not where I am going to begin.  Instead, I’ll begin with “peace”, as the Lord does when he appeared to the Apostles in the upper room.


Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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  1. boredoftheworld says:

    I know this is for today’s sermon notes, but Msgr. gave such a great homily last week that I have to pray you bend the rule and let this pass:

    “Some people look at God as a distant relative, whom we visit from time to time. Or a special schoolteacher that changed you for the better, but is no longer a factor. Some people treat Our Lord like a doctor to run to whenever there’s an emergency. The problem isn’t that people think God is dead, they think He’s barely alive.”

    I rushed home from Easter Mass chomping at the bit to post this, I should have written it down when it was fresh because I know I’ve forgotten some of it. It was good stuff, yay for Msgr.

  2. acardnal says:

    I note that the gospel is the same today for both the TLM/EF and Novus Ordo/OF Mass.

    We had a guest celebrant today at the EF Mass. Father didn’t introduce himself but I assume he was a visiting member of the Society of Jesus Christ, the Priest congregation. Before Mass began I read the reading as usual and my presumption was he would preach on the institution of the sacrament of Penance (Confession) or perhaps about mercy but he didn’t. Instead, he began with the first words from the Introit: “Quasi modo géniti infántes, . . .” or “As newborn babes,. . .” He reiterated this phrase many times during his sermon. Father emphasized that as baptized Christians we are to BE Christ! Imago Dei . . . . To image and act like Christ in all we do and at all times. He used scripture quotations from St Paul’s epistles to explicate his thesis.

  3. acardnal says:

    I was remiss in not mentioning that Father also preached briefly on the erroneous notion some have regarding ecumenism today. He stated rather bluntly that one must believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. If one is a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, et al, one is not going to be saved. THEREFORE, WE must evangelize the one true faith.

  4. Charivari Rob says:

    Father took the approach of today’s three readings being post-Resurrection introductions to three of the Apostles. Of John, one of Father’s points was that we each need to have time shut away from the world with Jesus. It is to be hoped that it isn’t the exact same circumstance (imprisonment) and is something more like regular prayer or making a retreat – but the point being that we each need a “Patmos”

    On the day before, there was an Archdiocesan event much more along the mercy theme. Cardinal Sean had just released a pastoral letter on mercy and the jubilee year. Saturday’s event was Divine Mercy Chaplet, a Marian procession around the Cathedral neighborhood, Adoration, music, a reading from the Gospel (Good Samaritan), and a homily from the Cardinal.

    The procession was routed through the Cathedral’s Holy Door for the Jubilee Year. I learned something interesting about that. When establishing the Holy Door for this Year, they didn’t choose the massive, prominent, top-of-steps, postcard main door at the Cathedral’s front entrance on Washington Street. Instead, somebody shrewdly chose an inner door off one of the side entrances. The vestibule there between the inner and outer doors is the Cathedral’s accessible entrance (the elevator brings people to that main-level vestibule from a lower-level ramp). Establishing the inner door as the Door of Mercy allows many more the opportunity to avail themselves of the Jubilee indulgence without undue hardship.

  5. iPadre says:

    I preached at both Ordinary and Extraordinary Form Masses this weekend. Based my homily on the Gospel.

    Thomas was not the only doubter. The Gospels throughout the Octave show us that the “eleven,” His “companions,” the “disciples,” and even the “women” doubted the resurrection. We so easily accept human facts, but we refuse to accept spiritual truths without “proof.” There are two lessons in this Sunday’s Gospel. Protect and fortify the gift of faith we have been given and go out to proclaim the truth we have received. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God is risen and is the source of our hope.

  6. Elizabeth D says:

    Among the points made by “the extraordinary ordinary”, he said people have been noticing he has said nothing about the election. So he said his message is that on Tuesday (when we have our primary) it was important to vote in accord with the mind of Christ–and that we are obliged to vote. He said don’t just vote for the person who gets you the most riled up.

    The candidate I expect to vote for is having a town hall with Megyn Kelly 2 blocks from me 10am tomorrow. Now, I said I was not going to go to the gladiator games, but that sounds pretty entertaining. However my scheduled hour at the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel is from 9-1o am, it’s the feast of the Annunciation tomorrow, AND this event is at the Masonic Temple! So I shall stick with my resolution not to go to the gladiator games!

  7. acardnal says:

    Elizabeth, remember that you can always vote for “Other” on the ballot and write a name in that your conscience is at peace with.

  8. Veritatis Splendor says:

    My family and I attended our first Missa Cantata for Mass today. For some, it was also their first EF of any type.

    Father preached on how Thomas committed a double sin of persisting in disbelief and of sowing discord among the 11, and how our Blessed Lord remedied both sins. At the beginning of the Gospel, Our Blessed Lord gave the apostles the ability to forgive sins; with the Thomas incident, He showed them how to, and by doing so, also showed all Christians how to reconcile with each other. There were three specific steps that he mentioned; the first was having a radical disregard for your own honor, using the example of how Our Blessed Lord gave Thomas permission to touch Him, the Son of God, in the flesh, and drawing parallels to the Old Testament, where those who would dare to touch Holy things would be struck dead for it. In all, it was an amazing sermon on actual mercy, not the soft, cheap facsimile that is so often mistaken for it nowadays.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    acardnal, my conscience says to me: “stop Trump.” My vote for the masonic-temple-event guy does not say I am endorsing the masons.

  10. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Please forgive me for wavering from the stated intent of the post. A few weeks ago I mentioned to our pastor that it would be most fitting in this Year of Mercy to use the Eucharistic Prayer that begins with the words “To You, therefore, most merciful Father . . . “. He didn’t think much of that idea.

    Lovely new header image. Sad that the old one didn’t have its desired effect. Still it was a worthy effort.

    As to the homily, emphasis on the renewal of our own baptismal promises which we had made last week and that we always are starting over on the path to holiness.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    Re: the header: “Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo et sanabitur anima mea.” x3

  12. Adaquano says:

    Father spoke of the need of confession to experience God’s mercy. He also asked to consider what is keeping our hearts closed off to the Lord.

  13. Nan says:

    I went to 10am Mass at a little Masqueray in the country and promptly forgot what Father’s homily was about. I think it was Divine Mercy and St. Faustina because they had a rather nice day planned; walking tacos and desserts were available after Mass and before the documentary about the original Divine Mercy painting, Adoration and confession were going on upstairs with the chaplet of divine mercy at 3pm, shortly after the movie was over. A Divine Mercy rosary was given away in a drawing.

  14. PhilipNeri says:

    Jesus shows Thomas mercy. . .

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  15. Healingrose1202 says:

    I thought the sermon at St. Agnes was great today. Thomas, despite his doubt’s, still was faithful and believed. He also was the first to state how Christ was more than just Lord and Savior, but also God. We all assume that Thomas put his hand in Jesus’ side and wounds, but this is only an assumption. Jesus offers His wounds for Thomas to touch, but it did not say that he did in fact touch the wounds. During the Prayers of the Faithful, whoever wrote them had assumed that Thomas had put his hands in the wounds. It was is amazing how the same readings can be interpreted so many different ways. It makes me think about how God can use a specific reading to communicate different messages to different people, or if He has only one message that only a few truly understand.

  16. Andrew D says:

    “There are five things in Heaven made by man – the five wounds of Christ (two piercings of his wrists, two of his feet, and one in his side which pierced His Sacred Heart). Jesus chose to leave those wounds as a reminder to us of His Resurrection and His conquest of our sins.” Those were the priest’s comments from the homily and here are mine… Every sin we commit is a nail in the Body of Christ. How can we do this to Our Lord who has and continues to suffer so much for us. Now in these dark and evil times is the time to immediately get into His good graces. Tune out the pre-scripted reality show that is the U.S. presidential election. Acknowledge the fact that our nation was founded on the false promises of freemasonry. Acknowledge the fact that islam is from hell. All we have left in this world my friends is the Mercy of God. Seek what is above as our Holy Father emeritus titled one of his books. This world sucks but the world that awaits us – if we really want it – does not. God Bless.

  17. xgenerationcatholic says:

    I went to Mass at O’Hare airport in the chapel (there are 2 on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. It’s got the blessed sacrament there) and was too sleepy to remember much, but Jesus “stops by” in many ways even if we don’t “see him.” (Such as a mass appearing at just the right time when you’re waiting at an airport.) They even have holy doors!

  18. stephen c says:

    Healingrose1202 – thanks, I had not thought about that before – when I think about it that way, I think it is likely that Thomas did not, in fact, touch the Lord’s wounds, because Thomas was extremely brave in the defense of Jesus (according to an encyclopedia entry I just read, his earlier appearances in scripture are a brave speech to his fellow apostles: Let’s die with Jesus (John 11) – and a brave complaint to Jesus – we want to follow you (unto death) but you confuse us by not telling us where and how you are going (John 14)) — and that level of bravery is not consistent with the picture of a grudging road to belief… I think the Catholic Encyclopedia (the old one) may have been atypically wrong in saying the Lord (their word, if I remember right) “rebuked” Thomas by saying he was blessed because he had seen and believed: the Lord was complimenting him on wanting so badly to see, and complimenting him on receiving the earnestly desired gift of having seen and being the first to proclaim the full truth about his Lordship – and graciously and lovingly promising him that those who followed (and who had not “seen”) would be even more blessed, which is the sort of thing all pastors and spiritual fathers should want to hear. I, for one, would be overjoyed – and would not feel “rebuked” in the least – if someone I respected told me I am a good man and my children will be even better…. The Iconoclasts were wrong about many things but those icons incorrectly and disrespectfully showing Thomas daring to touch the Lord (when all he needed was to see the Lord, or just hear his voice – the two things we know from the Bible which actually happened) should never have been painted.

  19. Sword40 says:

    Our FSSP priest talked about the importance of confession and the differences between Perfect Contrition and Imperfect Contrition. Then he addressed the proper Sunday attire for the House of God. Glad he did too. A few young ladies were getting a little forgetful with the warm weather.

  20. Rob83 says:

    The best point came at the beginning. The reflection was on what it must have been like to be the Apostles, suddenly seeing the one they’d betrayed just 3 days ago by running off appear in their midst in the locked upper room, with some commentary that the last person anyone wants to see is someone they’ve betrayed. That was the lead in to the divine mercy bit of the sermon (which was a bit more cliche).

    I’ll throw in last week’s takeaway Sunday line too, since I still remember it: Sunday does not belong to you.

  21. Healingrose1202 says:

    stephen c,

    I see Thomas not so much as doubting, but as desiring to understand. It seems that we again are being called to have faith as a child would. So often as adults, we try to over analyze or understand things like Thomas may have been doing. But blessed are those who don’t see and yet still believe. You could easily substitute “see” with “understand” and read it as blessed are those who don’t understand and yet still believe. Do you “see” my point? :) How easily we try to rely on our own method of understanding the scriptures as if to achieve through our own merits and by doing so, we block God’s grace from revealing and imparting itself to us through the scriptures.

  22. Farmer0831 says:

    No mention of mercy that I can remember. Father (visiting while our parish priest is away) talked about the fact that it’s Jesus working through the Church who performs miracles…thus Peter (that schmeggegge) after being filled with the Holy Spirit is able to perform miracles…as are many of the apostles and disciples. This is a sign that the Church, established in and through the Apostles, is truly the Body of Christ, able to perform miracles just as He did in the world. Also stuff about how it’s not just Thomas who didn’t believe, but many didn’t believe when the women told them the tomb was empty (complete with backhanded ironic comment about “because who would believe a woman?”…sigh.)
    I may be mixing this up a bit with the Lanky Guys discussion which was pretty good this week. But that’s the gist. As usual for this parish, a better-than-decent homily with a lot of theological meat to it along with a good helping of pastoral potatoes…in the midst of a depressingly underwhelming liturgy (this week we forgot the Responsorial Psalm. Entirely. Didn’t do it at all.) Rousing great sermons, cruddy liturgy…if it didn’t say “Catholic Church” on the sign I’d think we were Lutherans. Sigh.

  23. Riddley says:

    We had an excellent homily from a young priest, which was an added bonus after we discovered that our usual Low Mass was to be a surprise Sung Mass, and a beautiful one at that.

    Father talked about the indulgence that was available, and about the various names of the day in the old and new rites, and made the point that receiving the Sacraments regularly and practising virtue “just makes you a better sinner”, which people seemed to appreciate.

    It was a joy to see a solid young priest celebrating the Old Rite, assisted by a cadre of young servers.

  24. Melissa Johnson says:

    Our priest spoke about how Christ’s intent was not to magically remove our suffering, but to glorify it. His wounds were not healed when he rose again, but still present in a glorified way.

  25. ByzCath08 says:

    On Thomas Sunday, Fr. spoke on the Gospel reading of Thomas and reflected on the simple fact that he wasn’t present and missed the presence, power and grace of the resurrected Jesus. In much the same way, attendance at the Divine Liturgy is not optional. And attendance should not be done out of obligation, rather the question we should ask is why wouldn’t you want to attend the Divine Liturgy? Those who miss the Divine Liturgy miss out on the graces available to us and you miss an opportunity that will never present itself again (that being the graces of the DL for that day).

  26. stephen c says:

    Healingrose1202 – thanks for that good explanation of a very insightful approach.

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