Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two during the sermon at the Holy Mass you heard for your Sunday obligation? Let us know what it was!

For my part, I explained the Lord’s parable about the devious, cheating steward (TLM Gospel for 8th Sunday after Pentecost). Why does the Lord seem to praise a man who is a slick, cheating thief?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RWG says:

    Well, funny you should ask. Fr Z was definitely in my head on Sunday.
    During the Gospel a gentleman a few rows up and across the aisle held a smart phone in his hand and was scrolling through what appeared to be his email. What went through my mind in no particular order was this…
    1. How disrespectful!
    2. He is paying no attention to the Gospel reading (quickly followed by #3)
    3. Neither am I since I’m distracted by this gentleman.
    4. Rather than anger I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he is scrolling through his online bible for the passage.
    5. I think about how this is bothering me in the same way that people who dine in an upscale restaurant without removing their hats.
    6 Decide to stop trying to remove the spec of dust from my neighbour’s eye and concentrate on my own.
    7. Finally settled in to hear the Gospel reading about 1/2 way through.
    And yes Fr. Z I did go to confession

  2. PhilipNeri says:

    I preached the first Mass of Fr. Sean DeWitt (Austin, TX), a former student of mine at the University of Dallas. . .

    What is “weak love”? Our Lord answers with a parable. Weak love is the sort of love we have for those for whom it is safe to love. The sort of love that costs nothing; never puts us in danger; always produces immediate reward; the sort of love that the world expects, even demands from us; the sort of love that marks us as “good people” in the eyes of those who watch us for signs of hypocrisy and deceit. Weak love also walks on by in fear, disgust, and self-righteousness.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  3. benedetta says:

    I’d like to hear more of your sermon, Fr. Z — why indeed? I’ll try: because the slick, deceitful thief protects/guards that which is most important to him zealously and vociferously and watches over it in minutiae. We are to likewise guard which is of true value and eternal import (what is God’s or of His Kingdom) with the same level of protective, detailed, obsessive care and follow up. We should not treat what belongs to God with a sloppy, hands-off, neglectful approach, as if the minimum or less standard of care brought to what is God’s is somehow presumed or pretending as fine. We should take the scantest resources we may have at our disposal and maximize them with our work and care. We should not presume that if we have been given lemons, or worse, just rocks, that we cannot bake something for a prophet who is hungry and asks us. If we think that what we have been given is too little to make something of glory fitting for God, and therefore refuse Him our attention and work then we have made a great error in calculation and assessment of what is workable. If we think that our attention, time, protection, energy, are not required, or that we are somehow exempt, because we’ve been dealt what we believe to be a bad hand or not the greatest hand, or something we despise, we are greatly mistaken in terms of what is of eternal value to ourselves and our souls.

  4. benedetta says:

    On the feeding of the five thousand, in the Byzantine Rite. The Gospel tells us that after the multitude ate and were filled, the disciples picked up what was left over. The reporting of this detail indicates to us that the feeding was actual feeding and not as some sort of phenomena of a group experience or apparition or idea or good feeling, but that there were actual pieces of the bread left over, enough to fill twelve baskets.

    It is still a worthy custom in Christian households to say grace. Some families are not in the habit of this in these days. Grace can be even as simple as thanking God for our food. The habit of taking time to thank God for our food, or asking a priest or deacon to bless our meal if present, takes into account how our bodies will use the food, and that our health and physical bodies use the energy and good the food provides to serve God and His glory. Food is abundant in our part of the world and it is easy to take it for granted, and to forget what it does for our lives. We ask Christ to bring further good out of that good.

    Many followed after Jesus wanting to be fed again. It can become an automatic demand, an unthinking one, and a disappointment if we do not receive what we desire on our terms exactly. We might even go away from our attempt to follow Him, feeling as though if He does not supply as we asked or demanded then He is of no use to us. We understand though that even if we go away He continues to give of Himself to us if we wish to receive Him from our heart. On the altar the priest changes what is of bread and wine to Him, His life, entirely, and we receive nothing less than His entire Life when we present ourselves for communion in the Divine Liturgy.

    Also, a talk on mercy and the Jubilee Doors of Mercy afterwards by our Fr. Dcn — “God’s act of forgiving us was a greater work than creation” (St. Thomas Aquinas), and, “mercy is more powerful than vengeance, violence, harm.”

  5. Mike says:

    I don’t remember this week’s sermon. We did have a chance during after-Mass coffee and doughnuts to discuss with Father various interpretations of this Sunday’s gospel of the dishonest steward, which is one of the most difficult to understand for me as for many. The iPieta and Lighthouse RSVCE apps on my Android came into use, as they often do in church. (So, occasionally, do others less justifiable, a reflex I need to break.)

  6. MattnSue says:

    Our priest (ordinary form, good Samaritan Gospel) chose to “flip” the usual perspective. Yes, we are called to imitate the Good Samaritan. But we should also see Christ as the good Samaritan and ourselves as the robbery victim. I am a hurting man. Beaten & stripped by the bandits of sin. Thankfully, Jesus mended my wounds & left me in the care of his inn, the Church.

  7. NancyP says:

    We are blessed to have an outstanding group of priests at my parish-away-from-parish (where my daughter sings). Yesterday our associate pastor gave an excellent, heartfelt homily centering around St. Augustine’s interpretation of the parable of the Good Samaritan and on the power of the sacraments, particularly Confession and the Eucharist. God can heal anything, any evil, any hurt, and He wants us all to share in eternal life with Him. Christ loved us so much that he completely emptied himself on the Cross to save us and open the gates of Heaven for us. In a week that has been filled with hurt and anger, we need the sacraments more than ever. The Church is here for us, given to us by Christ Himself, filled with God’s healing love.

    It was far better than my typed words can convey. Father talked about Satan and Hell and about Confession and Holy Communion. (As in, GO TO CONFESSION. I thought of you, Father Z. Couldn’t help it.) I just sat there crying, thanking God for this young man who answered the call to the priesthood and who is so willing to tell the truth about our beautiful faith.

  8. MikeToo says:

    Father spoke on how the parable of the Good Samaritan was an answer to the scholar who wanted to know the law and justify himself. There is a saying that goes “everything I want to do is either illegal, immoral or makes me fat”. When we think of following the law we think we should because it is the “right thing to do”. If we try and follow the law under our own initiative, we will fail because we don’t have the capacity. When we fail, we reinterpret the law to fit our actions and justify ourselves. This is what the Pharisees did.

    Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He fulfills it by giving us the grace that makes the law easy. We accept the grace through love of God and love of neighbor because of love for God. Love and do what you will. The law was given for one reason – it teaches humility. By accepting the grace from God the law becomes close and not some unreachable goal. It is in following the law that we obtain happiness.

  9. jameeka says:

    8th Sunday after Pentecost. Per Fr B, Jesus was not praising dishonesty, but commending the steward for thinking ahead. Fr wants us to think that they (priests of the parish) are forgiving in the confessional, but also acting in persona Christi to help us get to heaven. And, for us lay people, we should be helping others, fallen away, or non-catholics, or unbaptized to realize that there IS a possibility of forgiveness of their wounds and that they too can have eternal life with their Father. By performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy, we can be like the dishonest steward, storing up treasure in heaven. I totally got it, having gone to Confession the day before and feeling like I received way more mercy than I deserved—yet the eternal goal was emphasized throughout.

  10. I want to see Fr. Z’s explanation of the parable of the devious servant.

  11. benedetta says:

    Me too, Anita Moore, O.P. (lay)! Such a perplexing and even confounding parable. I second your motion that the homily be shared. Time permitting to Father’s schedule, of course.

  12. Matthew Gaul says:

    You are in my parish!

  13. iPadre says:

    I based my homily on the Psalm response: “Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.” Talked about ad orientem. It takes the focus off the priest, and off the congregation, and puts it where it belongs, on Our Lord. Liturgy is not about what we get from God, but about what we give to God. And, in His great love and mercy, He gives us His only Begotten Son in Holy Communion. Through right ordered worship, we are given the graces we need to be the “good samaritan,” as we are sent forth to fulfill our Baptismal call.

  14. benedetta says:

    Matthew Gaul, would it be too cliche to say that it’s a small world? I wonder if in God’s eyes our world is really not that large at all sometimes.

  15. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass, Father preached on the Epistle from Romans 8. As Christians we are under obligation. Our lives and thinking should not be of the world but our obligations come from God.

    Resisting temptations is hard. We are denying ourselves, we feel like something is dying. These temptations never go away completely. There may be things in our lives that are not wrong in themselves but may distract us.

    If you are united with Christ you will suffer as the world is not comfortable with Christianity. They will marginalize you and persecute you.

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