Your Sunday Sermon Notes

I can picture it now.  It’s time for the homily at Sunday Mass.  You resolve to pay close attention and remember details because you know that Fr. Z will ask…

Was there a good point or two made during the sermon at the Holy Mass which you heard to fulfill your Sunday obligation?

Let us know.

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  1. Charivari Rob says:

    Solid homily with context on what the Pharisee’s dinner was all about.

    Discussion of the Greek text to show that “observe” doesn’t convey strongly enough the notion of “watching him for anything they could conceivably use against him”.

    Continuing discussion of root words – “humble” from “humus”

  2. albinus1 says:

    My wife and I weren’t able to get to the EF Mass we usually attend, so we went to the Sunday evening NO Mass at a local parish (which used to host the local EF Mass until it was moved a couple years ago). The Mass was very reverent overall, to be honest, and well attended. The Gospel for the NO this Sunday was the “he who exalts himself shall be humbled, he who humbles himself shall be exalted” reading. The celebrant told how once he had officiated at a wedding and attended the reception, and when he had gotten something to eat, he sat down at a table to have dinner, only to discover that there was a seating chart and that he was in someone’s assigned spot. When he asked where they wanted him to sit, he was told that they hadn’t assigned a place for him, so he could eat in the kitchen with the staff. He felt angry and embarrassed, as any of us might feel; but as it turned out, the kitchen staff warmly welcomed him, they swapped stories, and he had a wonderful evening. He said he looked out into the reception room at the table where he had originally sat, and he said it didn’t appear as if the people sitting in their assigned seats at the table were having nearly as good a time as he was. He ended by suggesting that by humbling us, and sending us to a place other than the one where we think we belong, God is not only teaching us a lesson about pride (though that is definitely part of what God wants to teach us); but that the place where we think we should be is not necessarily the place where God wants us to be, or where he is sending us. God’s judgment is not ours; he calls us to where he wants to send us, not necessarily where we think we should go.

  3. PhilipNeri says:

    It is Devil’s work to divide us into rich and poor, white and black, upper and lower classes. It’s Christ’s work to save us all in his one act of sacrificial love on the Cross. And it’s our work to be his instruments in this fallen world. Give when you cannot be repaid. Choose the lowest place.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  4. un-ionized says:

    Our priest mentioned not trying to seem humble out of a kind of ostentation of humility. Being humble and seeming humble can be two different things. I have attended this parish a few times and I think I’m there to stay. The homilies are never about him and no football jokes!

  5. Anne C. says:

    You pictured it right, Father! (Next time I am taking notes!)

    Our pastor gave a good sermon about humbling/exalting, telling us of a priest in Rome who ran into one of his seminary classmates, who was begging outside of a church. They talked, and the “beggar” was embarrassed to admit that he had strayed, and no longer even considered himself a priest. The other priest was there to meet with (now Saint) Pope John Paul II, and when he talked to the Pope, he invited him and his (beggar) priest friend to dinner. The beggar priest was mortified that he would be seeing the pope in his condition, so the other priest took him to his hotel to get him cleaned up. After they had a fine dinner with the Saint, he asked if he could meet with the beggar priest in private. The other priest waited patiently, then drove his friend back. On the ride home, he asked “What went on in there?” The beggar could almost not speak, he was so overwhelmed. “His Holiness asked me to hear his confession!” He had told the Pope that he didn’t even have permission to hear confessions any more, and His Holiness replied, “But I am the Pope, and I can give you that permission!” After he heard the Pope’s confession, he asked His Holiness if he would hear his, and then the Saint assigned him to the very church outside which he had been begging, so that he could minister to the poor!

  6. MikeToo says:

    Father said, Jesus speaks about a virtue which is perhaps the virtue most under attack today by our prevailing culture – humility. Today the culture pushes an extreme individualism that entreats a person to look out for number one, themselves. There is a perverted view of liberty that ignores our reliance on God and each other. This view encourages us to look to our own pleasures and fulfillment. It encourages a disregard for others. It puts selfishness over selflessness.

    Humility is not evaluating oneself too negatively. If we recognize our God given talents and celebrate our accomplishments, this does not mean we lack humility. If a person is beautiful or smart, but they deny that that are, it is a false humility. Humility is always based on truth. C.S. Lewis said humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.

    Charity is a way to bring about thinking of others before yourself. Regular acts of charity is a school for humility. When we help the poor we should not do it from a position of self-righteousness and condescension. Charity should be a way to remember that we are all, always, dependent on God for everything.

  7. Jack in NH says:

    This is terrible. I, Father, suffer from CRS (can’t remember sermons). Over the past few weeks we have heard some riveting oration from good servants of the Lord, yet while I sit transfixed at the beautiful message coming my way, I cannot, for the life of me, remember more than a single word two hours later.
    This ‘old’ thing isn’t working like I’d planned.
    But, thanks for asking. ;^)

  8. jameeka says:

    22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Gospel -Jesus telling parable about seeking the lowest place at the table.
    We are drawn to Mass by God, we are seeking the Holy Grail. (This followed a fascinating description of a legend of Joseph of Arimethea and the Holy Grail, Sir Galahad and Sir Lancelot)
    Galahad succeeded in finding the Holy Grail because of humility and a pure heart. Lancelot, however good he was, was still thinking of the honors to be given him should he obtain the Holy Grail, so he failed.

    Even if we have a divided heart, we should still strive for the humility to elevate God in our lives and diminish ourselves, it will be like living a little heaven on earth.
    We know we are not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, which is why we pray the “Domine, non sum dignus” before Communion.

    When thinking about what deeds you are to do, what decisions you are to make, is it about making yourself more important, or elevating Jesus Christ in yourself and to others?

    And I just noticed tomorrow is Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist. Hmm.

  9. iPadre says:

    I based my homily on Hebrews. Talked about the old law and old sacrifice as a lead up to the new law and new sacrifice. In the OT they climbed the mountain(s) they could touch, the fire that appears to Moses. In the NT, we climb the mountain, but God comes down to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and heaven meets earth and the Church Militant and Church Triumphant are united in worship.

  10. Shelley says:

    Hi Jack, I know what you mean! I am a better listener with pen in…a few years back when I heard Matthew Kelly talk about a “mass book”. I got the one he sold (but any little 4×6 book would work). It comes with me to mass and key phrases, words, whatever I feel our Lord is trying to tell me…goes in there. Works great for reflection! (I’m sure others wonder what it is I am writing!). :)

  11. Chuck says:

    I am visiting my parents in western SC and like MikeToo the priest referenced CS Lewis. In addition to mass yesterday I attended a service with my parents at their Methodist church and saw something which was edifying there as well. After the collection plates were passed they were brought up to the pastor and he collected the plates and on the chancel turned away from the congregation and addressing God offered up the gifts.

  12. Ages says:

    Some typology.

    When Moses begged God to blot him out from the book of life rather than punish Israel. This was a type of Christ’s death, except that he actually did suffer in this way for the New Israel, the Church. This level of love is necessary for pastors, as well as parents.

    Also, Joshua (Jesus in Greek) was on Mount Sinai with Moses, where the old covenant was being fleshed out. In the Transfiguration, Moses appeared with Jesus on Mount Tabor, as Jesus was establishing the new covenant. Moses took his closest advisor to the mountain; Jesus took the three innermost disciples. There were 70 elders of Israel; there were 70 apostles.

    I had forgotten that Aaron actually lied to Moses about the golden calf. He claimed that the gold was thrown into the furnace and the calf came out by itself, while he actually fashioned it himself. Likewise, sin is of our own making, and we cannot claim that it simply comes upon us. Even involuntary sins are part of our fallenness that we must repent of and CONFESS.

  13. frjim4321 says:

    Ours was a much-needed annual pitch for PSR catechists so not really a standard homily.

  14. bsjy says:

    Visiting LSU, I was at the morning Mass at Christ the King. The priest gave a well-structured homily, starting with a common story about the hungry politician who wanted two pieces of chicken and finally referred to his office only to be thwarted by the server who announced, “You may be governor, but I’m the chicken lady. One piece per customer.” Funny, but not sacred, right? But he tied in the chicken lady a number of times as he contrasted humiliation with humility, as he contrasted how we take care of our neighbors (in recently flooded Louisiana) with the implicit assumption they will return the favor. And he contrasted that mutual support with the gifts of charity made by the students who have nothing to ask for in return as they assist those who have lost their homes due to the floods. The architecture and music were regrettably modern, but the homily was ol’ time religion.

  15. KAS says:

    Humility, the importance of it, and FALSE humility. He made the point that pretending to be less than you are is not humility, it is false humility. You don’t play down what you are good at because it isn’t true, and real humility is above all TRUE. The true recognition of who we are before God. Who we are before God includes are actual abilities, gifts, talents, and the fact we are all sinners. It was a really cool homily.

  16. monnica says:

    It was one of our pastor’s best homilies on one of his recurring themes. He is often reminding us that we have no lasting city here, that heaven is our true Homeland. Yesterday he preached about “citizenship.” Much more important than our citizenship status here is to live in this life as citizens of heaven. Often we’re asked to prove our US citizenship by showing a photo ID. What identifies us as citizens of heaven however is our spiritual resemblance to Christ, the Ruler and King of that city. We must resemble Him in humility and self-giving. When we come before Him at the end of our lives will He see Himself in us or will He say “I don’t know who that person is”?

  17. 1jacobo5 says:

    The good Msgr brought up Martin Luther and connected it with the readings about the pride of individuals in middle eastern culture and their place at the table. He talked about how Luther set his desires on being the most humble priest , but instead of increasing his humility, it only increased his pride because he was doing it for the wrong reasons. Eventually, he realized he can never be the most humble and that’s what led to his idea that individuals are saved by grace alone started the protestant revolution

  18. iamlucky13 says:

    Father argued fairly convincingly that the 2nd reading and the Gospel were not merely parables about humility, but were also intended to shape our understanding of the Mass.

    He opened by bringing up the sense many of us have that we “don’t get anything out of Mass,” and explained that the Mass isn’t entertainment to amuse us, but a chance for us to place ourselves in the right relationship with God, to acknowledge the reality and significance of His presence, and to that end, we shouldn’t seek to get something out of the Mass, but to bring something to it – faith. This is humility because it makes the Mass focused on God, not ourselves.

    I had hoping he’d give some attention to the 2nd reading in particular, because I wasn’t really sure what St. Paul was on about. Fortunately he explained that it was about the contrast between the expectation of immistakable revelation (the burning bush, a overwhelming voice, an overshadowing, thunder, etc.) from the Old Testament and our experience as Christians in the new covenant. We have been handed down the Truths and testimonies from the Old Testament and the Gospel, proven by the Resurrection, so we can know in faith that despite the absence of the magnificent events that in the Old Testament signaled God’s presence, He really is there.

    The 2nd reading continues by expanding upon the reality of this presence – by being there at Mass, we participate in some way in the feast of Heaven (allegorically, Mt. Zion), and not only Christ is present, but all of Heaven worships Him along with us. Father said he sometimes shudders when he thinks about the presence of all the angels and holy saints as he venerates the altar at the start of Mass.

    I remember less of his discussion on the Gospel, but it had the same basic theme.

  19. JudithMaria says:

    We heard a very interesting sermon about the practice of veiling through the ages, and a reminder that wearing a chapel veil or mantilla at Mass is a beautiful sign of the dignity of women (unlike the practice of veiling in some other religions.) Can you guess which form of the Roman Rite I attend?

  20. majuscule says:

    OF Mass. Father pointed out that humility and obedience go together. In the parable, the man starts out sitting in a low place but when the host suggests that he sit in a higher place he doesn’t decline out of some sort of humility, rather he obeys.

    He had much more to say, but that’s one of the main points.

    He even mentioned St. Augustine, whose feast day is August 28th.

  21. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    Right you are Father Z, I was thinking “self, you better remember something because you know Father Z will ask.” The celebrant was a visiting priest on loan from the Romanian Catholic parish nearby who is bi-ritual who sings parts of the mass beautifully (which helped take my mind off the banal “contemporary” (for 1975) music being disguised as hymns on the piano, drums, guitars and bongos.

    Father spoke of St. Augustine whose feast day it was and said imagine how he felt standing on the fortress watching his people be massacred by the vandals and how he had to humble himself, and now he’s a doctor of the church who we still read and honor today.

    He then told of a Byzantine Emperor who had found pieces of the true cross and was translating it to the holy land to be reposed in the church of the holy sepulcher and when he went to enter the church he was miraculously stopped and could not process until he doffed all of his imperial regalia and humbled himself.

  22. WYMiriam says:

    I attended an EF Mass, where things were not as usual (beginning with no servers). Father M. went directly from the Gospel in Latin to the Credo — skipping both the readings in English and the sermon.

    So although I have no contribution in terms of the content of the sermon, I would like to say that it was nevertheless a rich Mass for me, since I paid a great deal more attention to what was being prayed.

  23. My homily focused on humility in the context of Holy Mass, giving attention to how this works out for those who serve at the altar, those who read and provide music, for parents bringing children, for those who are bored, and for the priest. I took this opportunity to explain why I was offering two daily Masses (in the O.F.) ad orientem, as a way to emphasize the proper focus of the Mass, and to foster humility in the priest.

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