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.

For my part, on this 18th Sunday after Pentecost (Extraordinary Form, of course), I picked up on the Lord’s harrowing line:  Why do you harbor evil thoughts in your hearts?

I stressed that we can commit mortal sins by thinking and that all thoughts will be revealed at the General Judgment.

One of the ways that we can sin is through impure thoughts.  Sometimes impure thoughts are mortal sin (when we give consent of will to them once they pop up and if we take pleasure in them).  However, if we fight them off the sin might be venial or not sinful at all.  St Francis de Sales pointed out that we can suffer temptations for the entire course of a lifetime, but if we don’t consent, we don’t commit a mortal sin.

We are surrounded more and more by immodesty and impurity, and so we have to condition ourselves against temptations and impure thoughts.   Custody of the eyes is important, because we tend to desire what we fix our gaze on.  Prayer to our Guardian Angels and to the Blessed Virgin is important when fighting temptations.  We should also change our patterns, change activities and get busy with something else.

If we have temptations or if we have vicious habits, we will have to suffer to get rid of them.  We mustn’t come down off the Cross when we begin to suffer.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Mass in OF, “the 10 Commandments are still in force, and one of them is keep holy the Sabbath” and “make sure you are working on getting family and friends back to Mass”

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    First time I’ve heard an admonition regarding chastity in a long time. Can you imagine the headlines were this to have come from a more prominent venue?
    Realistic insight, clear thinking and good advice!

  3. Worm-120 says:

    First time in my life I’ve heard the words ‘mortal sin’, and ‘state of grace’ uttered at the pulpit. He talked about the importance of going to confession (yes I thought of you Father;), and trying to remain in the state of grace, he also said that we need to do more than just think about God to be saved, if all we do is show up to the banquet on Sunday then we are just like the people who ate and drank with the lord but he did not know them. I went to confession on Thursday and he very kindly showed me that I had been receiving Holy communion in a state of mortal sin for months which was deeply humbling. He’s our new pastor and I’m very hopeful.

  4. Adorista says:

    I went to Novus Ordo, and we had the good old Untrustworthy Servant parable, which is supposed to be some sort of example to us. The deacon, (who I think was a Jesuit!) said we need to be as fervent about our faith as this person was about making his own life comfortable. He gave us some concrete numbers on how much olive oil and wheat were being written off–a significant amount. He told us to pray, examine our consciences and go to Confession, if need be. Then, we’ll become good people in the process.
    I’ve been hearing some good things from this parish lately, and my adult son is going to teach a Catechism class soon. Also, I’m planning to enroll two of my children in the classes, although they go to Catholic schools, because they ‘re not getting much religious education there. (It’s not bad, it’s just that it’s a small amount.)

  5. Mike says:

    Homily at my NO was odd, so moving on, I noticed another thing I don’t like about my NO parish and that I’ve never seen at an EF Mass in a parish we sometimes visit: the immodest dress of the young ladies…it’s sad, especially because no seems to care. But as Fr. Z says, avert the eyes, and turn our hearts to God, it’s an opportunity of Grace.

  6. jameeka says:

    18th Sunday after Pentecost:
    Paralytic brought to Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus says ”Take courage son, your sins are forgiven you……Arise, take up your pallet and go to your house”.

    Fr spoke of how we can get stuck/paralyzed in sin, and this can have wide repercussions in our lives and the lives of others affected. He cited example of seeing the healing which can happen at retreats such as Rachel’s Vineyard, where people who have had an abortion or are affected by abortion come. When they leave the retreat they appear much lighter and happier. The effects of the sin may still be there, but the repentance and absolution with firm intent to sin no more helps people get “un-stuck”. Jesus gave the Church in Her priests His power (the only ordinary means) to forgive sin.

    If the paralyzed man had not desired forgiveness of his sins, the healing of his paralysis would not have happened.

    When Jesus tells the man to “go your house” He means God’s house.

    Jesus is able to heal the whole of us, the body and the spirit. Sin is a kind of wedge between the body and the spirit, can cause actual physical pain, and when the sin is forgiven, the body and spirit become more united —I think I got this part right, but not sure ( hearing not so good anymore)

  7. ALDU says:

    This week-end we had a pastoral visit from the Bishop of our diocese in England. The Bishop is a good and holy man. One of the strong recommendations in his homily was that we should take part in regular confession. Our PP, another good man, also refers to confession from time to time and it was encouraging to hear his (and our) Bishop giving the same message.

  8. abasham says:

    At mass today our pastor discussed an upcoming vote our county school bird will be holding on transgender bathroom-use in public schools. He ended thusly: “Gor those of you who want to write the bishop: do it. This was mandated by the vicar general of the diocese and even if it were not I would say the same thing. Because that is what the Church has always done: speak the truth.” Boom.

  9. PhilipNeri says:

    If you think that the Enemy is going to appear in your bedroom at 3am and entice you into his service with wealth, power, and celebrity – think again. Such a stunt would likely give you a heart attack! He’s a fallen angel not a Cartoon Network clown. The temptation to serve the Enemy can be subtle. It’s quiet, often elegant and complex. Sometimes – true – it rushes at you like a flash flood. And more often than you might imagine, the invitation to serve the Other One comes dressed up in its Church clothes. . . [goes on to address “Catholics for Choice” nonsense]

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  10. medievalist says:

    EF Mass with the Oratorians. Father used the introit ‘Da Pacem’ as his theme, commenting on God’s peace also being His strength to support us through life until the Final Judgement.

  11. benedetta says:

    I sincerely hope that people don’t take for granted their ability to move about freely and get to Mass on Sundays. It’s not so simple for some Christians even in this country let alone where they are under violent attack and persecution daily.

  12. Clinton R. says:

    The priest at the NO Mass I assisted at expressed to us in his homily of the importance of going to Confession. Father said he is always available to hear confessions. He comes to us as a Franciscan priest and he is in the process of becoming a priest in our Archdiocese. He is a good and orthdox priest who cares for our eternal souls. May God bless him and the priests of the Lord’s Holy Catholic Church. +JMJ+

  13. un-ionized says:

    Benedetta, yes, and even I made it to Mass and wasn’t sick and heard a great sermon about the poor and how we must pour ourselves out with Christ, bringing the Gospel and OT readings together nicely. And for the first time ever I experienced a Mass that was very quiet, for some reason everyone there was over the age of reason. And there was a big scary rainstorm on the highway on the way home but I was happy.

  14. visigrad says:

    Outstanding homily asking if our faith is truly the most important thing in our life……challenging all to holiness. Thank you Fr. P …you really care about your flock.

  15. bookworm says:

    I was at a parish I belonged to many years ago. The priest attempted to explain Our Lord’s remarks about “dishonest wealth” by citing St. Ambrose. All earthly wealth, according to Ambrose, is “dishonest”, not necessarily because of how it was acquired, but because it appears to promise what it cannot ultimately deliver — permanence and security. The only lasting wealth is spiritual, and how we use worldly/dishonest wealth– for the glory of God and the good of others– determines how much “real” wealth we accumulate in the end.

  16. bar3 says:

    I wish I could have heard Fr. Z’s sermon- even his summary is helpful!

    Our sermon was about tithing, but it wasn’t the typical “the Church needs your money for…”. It was about how tithing is a precept of the Church, and how important it is to tithe the full 10% for the sake of our own souls. The priest used the example of the woman at the temple who was commended by Our Lord for giving the little she had, and also explained that Cain’s sacrifice was unacceptable to the Lord because he had not given the best of what he had; we shouldn’t give our leftovers, but the very best, because it belongs to God anyhow. Tithing helps to focus our hearts and minds on spiritual things, and can help with detachment from worldly goods.

  17. arga says:

    Our pastor (FSSP parish) devoted the entire sermon to Church teaching on how Catholics should approach electoral politics; he said everything he was saying came either from the Catechism or the USCCB. Basically, there are 5 policies that disqualify a candidate (supporting abortion is one) and that if a Catholic votes for such a candidate he or she is committing a mortal sin. If there is one candidate whose position is not perfect but somewhat less dangerous (say, allowing abortion under certain conditions) we can vote for him or her because in that case we would be mitigating the evil.

  18. Nan says:

    We didn’t have a homily, but instead had the Little Sisters of the Poor sharing with us their need to redo their pipes because they have gone long past their estimated life span and everything needs replacing. Their estimates are all in the same ballpark, $2 million. I gave my two mites.

    The Church bulletin includes a short blurb about our obligation to support the Church, in keeping with today’s reading about the enterprising steward who reduced the debt owed to his master by having the debtors rewrite the promissory notes.

  19. iPadre says:

    I celebrate both forms of the Roman Rite every Sunday now.

    Ordinary Form: I challenged my people to pray for our politicians, all elected and appointed officials, even those they consider the most despicable and the most deplorable. We pray for them for two reasons. So that we can live a good, holy Catholic life – true Religious Liberty, and because God wills everyone to be saved.”

    Extraordinary Form: My focus was on the Introit and Gradual. The parish church as a symbol of the heavenly Jerusalem. Going through the altar gates as a symbol of entering the gates of heaven, priest ascending to the altar as an altar Christus offering his sacrifice to the Father and coming down to nourish, heal and strengthen as we receive Holy Communion. And finally the blessing sends us forth to “make disciples of all nations,” leading them to the Church and Sacraments so one day we can enter the kingdom of our Father.

  20. Poor Yorek says:

    Homily (EF): emphasis on the importance of Confession (belief in the Mercy of God).

    “Custody of the eyes is important, …”

    I’m afraid that on many US college campuses today, the only way to maintain custody of the eyes is to employ a seeing-eye dog.

  21. WYMiriam says:

    As I read the Gospel (OF) before Mass began, I came to a “what does this mean??” statement: “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” So I looked it up in my pocket RSV (Lk. 16:9): “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.” Mass began just as I finished copying that into my carry-with-for-just-such-occasions notebook, thinking I’d have to puzzle it out by myself later (provided I’d remember it . . . ).

    The priest (I was not at home, so I don’t know his name), when he got to the Gospel in his sermon, said that the master does not praise the steward’s dishonesty but his prudence, and then proceeded to delight me by addressing Lk. 16:9! He did not (I think) clearly explain what “dishonest wealth” is, but did say that if we place our trust in wealth, that is dishonest, because you “can’t take it with you”; wealth will not save us. And how do you make friends with [“by means of”] dishonest wealth? You give it away! You put it where it won’t rust!

    [a lament: I wish bishops would require their seminarians to learn the art of writing speeches (a.k.a. sermons & homilies) — how can I remember any of a sermon’s parts if I don’t hear it at least three times?!?]

    So after Mass had ended, I sat down to flesh this out: if I am not trustworthy with what belongs to others ——— BUT! Everything belongs to God! If I’m not trustworthy with HIS wealth, why should He give me “my” wealth? We must be detached, as Father had said; we are stewards only; if the heart is set on God, we will be trustworthy. [muse, muse, muse] So — it is dishonest wealth when I think of it as mine, not God’s? Yes, I think so, for in all honesty it is God’s wealth, as all things belong to Him and not to me. Make friends with [by means of] money by giving it away, and when it fails [when it runs out?], then we’ll be welcomed into life eternal — when we can no longer grasp it or cling to it. When my hands are finally empty, then I can receive the gifts of God, and not before. I *think* that’s what Father might have said had he developed the idea farther in his sermon…..

  22. Charivari Rob says:

    Solid homily on the steward and being about our responsibility to God’s business. Since today was also deemed Catechetical Sunday (several dozen of the parish’s school teachers and religious ed teachers attending in a group to mark the recent start of the school year), Father focused on the particular responsibility (of all of us) to pass on the Faith. as part of not squandering God’s treasure.

    I remarked to my wife as we were leaving “One of these Sundays Father Z will change his usual question to “What distracted you from listening to/remembering the homily this week?””

  23. torch621 says:

    That’s what my priest talked about at Mass today. You don’t happen to attend Saint Benedict’s in Chesapeake, do you?

  24. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass. Christianity is always attacked as Jesus was, because of sin and because it demands what the world lacks and Jesus gives which is forgiveness. Love your neighbor = forgive your neighbor = love your enemies. The paralytic got what he truly needed which was forgiveness, along with being healed.

    One interesting aspect of the Mass is that a few minutes before it started the power went out. I was thinking how it felt like being in a medieval church, illuminated only by the stained glass windows and the altar and votive candles, the choir singing a capella as it always does, no need to mic the priest as it is the EF. We could have been in the 12th Century.

  25. Gregg the Obscure says:

    OF: like the man in the parable, we tend to be pretty good at taking action when we get a warning that something bad in a material sense is about to happen: notice from the bank of unexpected activity in an account, the check engine light in the car, symptoms of an illness and so on. Are we as attuned to warnings in our spiritual life? Are we neglecting prayer? Have we been to confession lately? How are we treating those closest to us?

  26. colospgs says:

    To sum up the sermon: Go to confession!

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