Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two in the sermon your heard the Mass of Sunday obligation this week?

Let us know.

I spoke about Amoris laetitia, what it is and what it isn’t.

QUESTION: Did you hear comments about Amoris laetitia?

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  1. andia says:

    No comments about Amoris Laetitia. Saturday Mass, talk about vocations and cows ( priest grew up on a dairy farm) and how cows, like sheep, now their master’s voice and respond to it.. the question was, will we? He made us think, really think, about how and where we hear the Master’s Voice in life and how to respond to it.

    Sunday Mass was the Mass for Visible Disabilities. The sermon was about including those who are blind, deaf, use wheelchairs, live with down syndrome or other visible disabilities and how they are welcome at this pastor’s church.

  2. JuliB says:

    We had a visiting, retired priest that used to be at our parish (before my time). He’s a bit on the crabby side, but I love his orthodoxy.

    No mention of A.L.

    He talked about the Latin of ‘I am the good shepherd’, vocations, the dearth of priests and seminarians, and how we are partly responsible for this issue.

    He continued with the fact that if we want shepherds, *good* shepherds, we must pray for them. We need good and holy priests and bishops.

    A short but good homily. I could listen to him for hours though.

    He also included a joke he heard from Reagan about Cuba.

  3. ConstantlyConverting says:

    It was the Sunday of the Paralytic in the Byzantine Liturgy today. The main comments were that the law is sterile and love is the only answer, and Jesus only told him to go and sin no more, not as a prerequisite to healing, but after. And frankly, I can’t disagree with either point, exactly. The paralytic wasn’t trying for 38 years to get into the water. He did however have to take up his pallet and walk, so his will had something to do with the healing, obviously.

    The pope was mentioned as continuing the echo of the last two popes calls for evangelization but with a focus on simplicity and love. No law, no prerequisites; meeting people where they are and after they are “healed” (as in the paralytic) then, the go and sin no more.

    I’m conflicted about contrition. Love, law, and mercy have to be defined in some way, no?

  4. lmgilbert says:

    In what I thought was a discrete rhetorical tour de force, Father spoke about Amoris laetitia .

    He began by elaborating on aspects of the first reading, specifically on the opposition of the Jews to Paul. On the one hand, who could blame them? We know that Paul was right, but the Jews of his time were in a very different position. They thought they were defending God and the Torah. One could say, then, that they had good intentions. But the means that they used, lying and calumny, were and always are wrong, no matter what the intention.

    In an action that is morally neutral, such as firing a weapon, everything depends on the purpose. Target shooting, fine. Defending one’s country or family, fine. Committing murder, however, renders evil the action of firing a weapon. So, with actions that are morally neutral in themselves, their morality depends on the intention of the person acting.

    However, lying, calumny, adultery are always wrong and nothing can make them right, not even a good intention. Not even Peter nor his successors can render intrinsically evil actions morally good. That is not what the keys of Peter are for; they are for the forgiveness of sin. Moreover, it is not a question of what the Church will do, for the media sometimes implies that the Church is changing or will change her position. The Church simply CANNOT render an action that is inherently evil morally good. The recent apostolic exhortation of the pope has to be read in light of this fact. The teaching of the Church has not changed, nor can it.

  5. acardnal says:

    EF Mass. Father spoke indirectly about A. L. He said there are priests, bishops and cardinals who are not being faithful to Jesus and and his teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. Instead, they want to destroy the sacrament of marriage. He said that at the end of world there will only be a remnant left. Be the remnant.

  6. Mike says:

    Peter’s exhortation to “honor the king” does not mean that we are to bow to unjust laws or to adopt the world’s ‘values’. Mother Angelica’s willingness to pray the Rosary publicly and to confront Cardinal Mahony’s laxity are examples of faithful witness. No reference to AL.

  7. Elizabeth D says:

    Amoris Laetitia may have been alluded to in passing in the homily

    From what I can remember the homily had a vocations theme due to the “Good Shepherd” Gospel and talked about how in the old days there was a strong Catholic “system” that produced priests who had grown up Catholic, surrounded by priests and sisters in the Catholic educational system and been generally very impressed by that system and been moved to want to be priests. This priest also found his vocation in that way. Nowadays, he said, our seminarians, whom he noted are not only numerous but of impressively good quality, have had a significantly different life experience, generally they are men who have formerly been more nfluenced by the secular culture and had some experience of conversion, they really met Christ and chose to be His follower in an intentional and strong way. This is a good preparation for them to be a “light of revelation to the gentiles” (1st reading). They are well adapted for the New Evangelization.

    I think where Amoris Laetitia possibly was alluded to is that he also said that not only seminarians and young priests but other younger Catholics have a similar personal story that also equips them to be witnesses to others of “the gentiles” ie the secular culture.

  8. Elizabeth D says:

    By the way, my 6th grade catechism lesson today happened to be about marriage and did involve Amoris Laetitia including reading some parts of I think Chapter 5 aloud, which the kids seemed bored by but I am still glad I did. I also passed around a program from the big World Meeting of Families Mass in Philadelphia that I got on eBay in an attempt to make Pope Francis’ concern for emphasizing marriage and family life concrete. We also read from St Matthew where Jesus says anyone who looks at a woman with lust commits adultery (I hammered home that pornography will mess with your head, greatly damage your likelihood of a successful and happy marriage, and is as addictive as cocaine, among other points, so DO NOT LOOK AT IT) and we looked up in 2 different Gospels Jesus saying that someone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. I also told them Pope Francis says in Amoris Laetitia that homosexual relationships cannot be compared to marriages at all, they are nothing similar at all. I appreciate Pope Francis saying that.

    Of course, my catechism class is not a homily. It is just an example of where I was glad to be able to use AL for some positive purpose.

  9. Charivari Rob says:

    Solid sermon on the Good Shepherd theme, with the emphasis on the point that the Shepherd was also the Lamb.

    Proceeded from there to talking a bit about the parallels – those times we are called to be more than lambs, the opportunity to act in the manner of the shepherd. The particular examples in those remarks were prompted by the recent 3rd anniversary of the marathon bombing here in Boston – whether it was those emergency responders who ran into danger as others fled or those city residents who eschewed vitriol & histrionics to gather for a prayer vigil.

    Also, a reminder of an upcoming year’s mind Mass for a priest friend (former administrator of our parish) who had died suddenly and unexpectedly at the beginning of Mass at his parish last April.

  10. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Along the same lines as andia’s opening thought:

    Maybe because sheep aren’t considered to be all that bright, we tend to take our comparison to them a little too lightly .

    A priest friend of mine from Rwanda was telling me that even when sheep from different flocks are mixed together in one group, when each of the shepherds of those flocks call their sheep , their respective sheep will leave the group and follow their shepherd . . .they do recognize his voice.

    . . . Decided to do a little more research on it. Apparently in those days when our Blessed Lord walked this earth with his disciples, some of the shepherds would bring their flocks together into a common enclosure (sheepfold) each evening. A gatekeeper would keep watch over the sheep until morning when the shepherds returned. The shepherds would then call their sheep out of the sheepfold and each of the sheep would follow the voice of its respective shepherd – forming the same, identical flocks as the evening before.

    It makes sense that Jesus would use practical examples when preaching – examples which would almost be common knowledge to the people of that time. Apparently sheep, to this day, continue to retain the trait of following only the voice of their shepherd exclusively – even after they have been mingled with other sheep.

    Lois Tverberg – a grandaughter of Lutheran missionaries, has an insightful anecdotal reflection on this trait at her website Our Rabbi Jesus entitled Discipleship: What Sheep Can Teach Us .

    An excerpt:

    “Judith Fain is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Durham. As part of her studies, she spends several months each year in Israel. One day while walking on a road near Bethlehem, Judith watched as three shepherds converged with their separate flocks of sheep. The three men hailed each other and then stopped to talk. While they were conversing, their sheep intermingled, melting into one big flock.

    Wondering how the three shepherds would ever be able to identify their own sheep, Judith waited until the men were ready to say their goodbyes. She watched, fascinated, as each of the shepherds called out to his sheep. At the sound of their shepherd’s voice, like magic, the sheep separated again into three flocks. Apparently some things in Israel haven’t changed for thousands of years.”

  11. The priest mentioned that sheep are the most vulnerable animals around, and also noted that Jesus is both sheep and shepherd.

    No mention of Amoris Laetitia.

  12. acardnal says:

    But Grumpy,
    “Was there a good point or two in the sermon you heard in the Mass of Sunday obligation this week?”

  13. Nan says:

    Low Mass with the Marist Fathers at St. Louis, King of France. Straight from the Gospel to the prayers of the faithful with a brief comment at the end of Mass I think about seminarians needing our prayers.

    Re: Sheep and Shepherds, my priest friend from Ghana was a shepherd boy before he went to school. He loved being out with the sheep. He still loves being out with the sheep. They’re just a different breed.

  14. truthfinder says:

    Father focused for a while on “a little while” particularly in terms of working through suffering and encouraging those who are. He then shifted and focused on the paradox in Canadian society about the concern about the number of attempted suicides among Aboriginal peoples (which is a moral response) and at the same time putting forward legislation to legalize (and compel physicians to participate in) euthanasia.

  15. Mike says:

    No mention this week of AL. Lots of mention last week, fairly frank too!

  16. frjim4321 says:

    Season of Easter as somewhat analogous to Advent and Lent in its being a time of expectation/anticipation of the Feast of Pentecost. The role of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in each of us; the complementary of the two “farewell gifts” of peace and the Holy Spirit, with peace as a fruit of the Spirit thus the degree to which we are agents of Christ’s peace is indicative of our openness to the movements of God’s Spirit within us. The remaining four weeks of vigiling for Pentecost gives us time to assess our natural gifts and how grace can build upon them to further God’s plan. The Spirit as the soul of the church and the presence of God within each of the baptized.

  17. Jeannie_C says:

    No mention of AL. Our new young pastor spoke of his call, discernment and path to ordination. Could have heard a pin drop. It was good to hear how vocations come from families and hope the younger men and boys in church were encouraged to consider priesthood.

    Just read another remark from OHF that he doesn’t recall Footnote 351. Is this because he didn’t write it or because he doesn’t attach importance to it? Any best guesses?

  18. majuscule says:

    I wasn’t going to post this because it wasn’t this week’s Sunday Mass. But last Friday the EF Mass was the Mass from the previous Sunday–Good Shepherd in the EF. Father made an interesting observation that might apply to our confusing times. (He has not directly mentioned AL but lately his EF sermons have had cautionary elements to them. I have not been to any of his OF Masses lately so I don’t know what he’s said there.)

    He spoke of priests who are good shepherds and will give their lives to protect their flocks.

    Then there are priests who are like the hirelings. They are otherwise good, orthodox priests but under pressure they will run away to save themselves and let the flock scatter.

    Then there are priests who are thieves and wolves!!!!

    He did not name names of course.

  19. PhilipNeri says:

    “To be clear: sin does not hurt God. Sin ravages the sinner. Abuses the Church. And defies every baptismal promise. Sin is the enemy of belonging, the adversary of a graced communion. When we sin, the longing we feel for God turns to loneliness. When we sin, the emptying-of-self that imitates Christ turns to abandonment. When we sin, the humility we rightly feel at our brokenness turns to shame and guilt. In sin, our longing for God becomes a rejection of Him and we end up living lonely, empty, and restless lives – not just imperfect but broken and lost. When we disobey – fail to listen to the Shepherd – our desire for holiness becomes a destructive appetite for material satisfaction that tempts us away from Christ. We cannot belong to Christ while rebelling against his Word; while rejecting the life of the Spirit he offers us.”

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  20. billy15 says:

    Excellent homily this morning on how you can’t have mercy without justice. Our pastor’s main focus was on explaining why the prayer at the consecration was changed from “all” to “many”. Great exegesis of today’s readings (in the OF) to drive home his point that Christ redeemed ALL men, but SOME will reject Christ’s redemption; therefore MANY are saved by His sacrifice just as He said at the Last Supper. Father mentioned that the translation from the 70’s was horrible, poked fun at how there was a bunch of hippie innovations in the 70’s (mind you this priest is somewhere around his early 40’s), and the new translation was sorely needed from a few years ago, especially on this point since Christ clearly says “many” and not “all” in the Gospels during the Last Supper.

    I do think this homily was alluding to AL as he said many people want mercy without saying sorry; that many people think and have been told by other clergy that “what they’re doing is OK, God doesn’t care anymore”. Our pastor made it clear that we have to show contrition and that we have to be sorry in order to receive mercy. I talked to him after Mass, and he had some great insight on AL, and mentioned how tired he was of secular media and liberal Catholics twisting the Pope’s words on things like contraception and the like. AL was obviously still fresh in his mind, so I’m sure he was thinking about it when writing this excellent homily.

  21. Grumpy Beggar says:

    acardnal says:

    ‘But Grumpy, “Was there a good point or two in the sermon you heard in the Mass of Sunday obligation this week?’ “

    I apologize if my previous post appears not to fit the template exactly, but this did seem like the most appropriate category to post it in.

    Hi acardnal :The short answer is “yes” , and the long one might even go more off topic. On Sundays, I don’t have the luxury of sitting back and being able to concentrate on Father’s homily. Father and I work together to make sure the Mass gets celebrated for the patients in a large long-term & palliative care institution. I have to set up an auditorium for the Mass – clear it of tables and chairs from the night before. I act as sacristan, sound technician (all preparations of the altar, microphones, sound system etc) ,lector for first & second readings (French & english), read intercessions for the prayer of the faithful , sometimes animate a psalm when it is sung, and serve the Mass, distribute Holy Communion to one half of those attending , plus a few other things, such as bringing patients to and from Mass. There are also numerous interruptions which happen regularly during Mass plus lots of unforseen distractions which materialize along the way that can prevent/impair one from being able to take in Father’s homily.

    For the record though, I was able to hear approximately the first minute and a half of Father’s homily. Today he caught me a little off guard because in opening, Father actually adverted/alluded to a verse from the same chapter 10 of the Gospel of John which was not technically part of today’s readings. Father told the patients quite simply (roughly in French):

    “Jesus is the good Shepherd because he gives his life for the sheep.”

  22. jeffc says:

    I went to the EF Mass for the second time this week. Father’s homily had two parts: first he talked a little about the EF and the OF for the benefit of several visiting seminarians and a group from one of the local Catholic Schools. Secondly, he talked about the Gospel for today in the EF calendar and that although we are now in a time where we can’t “see Christ” like his contemporaries could, Christ has not abandoned us. Christ left us the Church and the sacraments as a means for Christ to be with us even if we can’t “see him.”

  23. zag4christ says:

    I attended Mass at another parish. I sometimes go to Confession there when I can not get to my parish. The pastor is a wonderful confessor, and on the rare occasions that I attend Mass he is also a excellent homilist. He did mention A.L., but spent the bulk of his time on the importance of encouraging vocations to the religious life in family’s by the parents. As a parent, I can unfortunately relate to how poorly many parents have formed their children in the Faith. The good priest did not give simple lip service to the subject. He gave a deep, heartfelt proclamation.
    Peace and God bless,

  24. Nan says:

    Grumpy Beggar,

    Thank you for that. Mass for those in care is important and how wonderful that it’s on Sunday! I used to volunteer doing a communion service and group rosary at a nursing home but had to stop after mom’s stroke because I got to a point where I could no longer go to Mass, a nursing home and the facility mom was in; she died a year ago and I’m not yet in a place where I can be helpful to others.

    Note that although part of my training was to be an EMHC at Mass, I never did that; I’m a conscientious objector but believe there’s a difference between assisting at Mass when there are tons of others available and the need is questionable and taking communion to those who can’t get to Mass, where there aren’t a lot of volunteers.

  25. Clinton R. says:

    No mention of AL at the Ordinary Form Mass I attended. A priest who regularly celebrates Mass at our parish spoke of the importance of praying for more men to heed Jesus’ call to the priesthood. Father also talked about the Passionist order, and how it’s charism attracted him to enter into the priesthood.

  26. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass. In our lives we often try to deal with difficult situations through substitution – turning to something that makes us feel better e.g. drugs and alcohol. What we really need is transformation. The example in the Gospel is of the woman who is in pain due to childbirth but her sorrow is transformed into joy for her new baby.

  27. Skeinster says:

    EF here. No AL by name. We had St. Leonard of Port Maurice and the fewness of the saved among Christians, a perennial favorite of Fr.’s. He stressed that if we do not take advantage of the helps we are given by the Church, we have no one to blame but ourselves, so perhaps touching on AL.
    In times of increased stress- legalization of ssm, AL, etc.- our priests choose to remind us what WE should be doing, rather than dwelling on what was done to us.

    Re: sheep. We all missed our former assistant pastor last week. He grew up on a sheep ranch and his Good Shepherd Sunday homilies were always something to look forward to.

  28. Sliwka says:

    Fatger in the OF related to us how before entering seminary as he was becoming more serious about his faith he would read the Sunday’s gospel as a group before the “life teen mass” (I guess at least one good thing came out of life teen). Then not only on the Sunday but beginning on Monday. Read it 2,3,4 times, as many for a phrase or word to jump out and meditate on that throughout the day.

    He encouraged us to as well. He didn’t call it Lectio Divina but that’s basically what he was telling us to do. That was we hear the shepherd’s voice and will know how to respond to it.

    Before the final blessing and dismissal he read our archbishop’s letter in response to Canada’s new legislation in Parliament regarding physician assisted death and euthanasia. We are blessed for our archbishop to speak plainly about this topic and gender ideology. Really all the bishops in our province have spoken clearly on this. It is very encouraging.

  29. monnica says:

    What are our chances of being among the saved? our pastor asked. He noted the surface contrast between the crowd of the blessed in Revelation “that no man could count” and the saying of Jesus that few find the narrow gate that leads to life.

    As I understood the answer he gave to that question, it is not a matter of chance at all. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, enfolds His little sheep in His hand so that no one can snatch them away. But He enfolds them gently enough so that, if they choose, they can wiggle away and be lost. To stay safe in His hand, we need to constantly, vigilantly, listen to His voice.

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