Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation?  Let us know.

I will have Mass later today in a Serragli chapel at San Marco in Florence.  I’ll talk to the pilgrim group about images and good works on this 22nd Sunday after Pentecost.


Okay, Mass in the traditional Roman Rite has been duly offered.  The sacristan was kind enough to produce an antique pianeta.   I riffed on the question “Whose image is this?”, which we hear in the Gospel about the tax coin offered the Lord.   I turned it sideways and connected it to “Whose image is this?” I am getting in churches and museums.  I reminded them that the Church has given two things to the world as a common patrimony, art and saints.  Both reflect God’s truth and beauty, one in material, plastic stuff, the other in living persons by their words and deeds.  I had a little diversion into a painting of Abraham and Isaac next to the altar, when I, standing there as the priest for Mass I fully realized the relationship of all the paintings in the chapel to the altar, along with the Latin inscriptions over them.  I tied it back into imagery, however, since all the paintings are foreshadowings, types, images of Priest / Victim / Eucharist.  In sum, I ended with the admonition that after the “Wow!” factor hits in these churches and museums, and then the intellectual question of “Whose image is this?”, is satisfied, we have to turn the question around as if to look in the mirror and ask, “Whose image is this?”


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  1. RJ Sciurus says:

    We heard from our young associate pastor that not to properly form one’s conscience and subsequently vote for candidates and issues contrary to the non negotiables, places one’s eternal soul in grave peril.

  2. Eric1989 says:

    That sounds like it was a wonderful sermon, Father Z! I’ll never forget the time I made the connection between the Roman Canon’s mention of Abel and Melchizedek and one of the mosaics around the altar in San Vitale in Ravenna that depicts Abel and Melchizedek sacrificing to God.

    We heard about the power and necessity of prayer, individual and corporate, for our battles against our enemy. It was a wonderful allegorical exploration of the OF’s first reading.

  3. JTH says:

    God rewards perseverance in prayer.

  4. Ame E. says:

    Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and Render unto God the things that are God’s (my paraphrase). God is the creator of natural law, therefore it cannot be changed. Natural law is God’s law. So it cannot be changed by legislators, much as they try…

  5. andia says:

    Both Priests preached on prayer.
    Fr De Julio on persistence in prayer and Fr Bryan on the types of prayer and not to expect God to be like Addalin’s Genie.

  6. mo7 says:

    Using the various documents of the church, Father preached on citizenship, the election and the candidates. These are some highlights: He enumerated the things we can never support, abortion, same-sex marriage etc. He also spoke to those who plan not to vote, that they are ‘giving away the store’. He quoted St. Hilary of Poitiers [paraphrasing] if you give to God what’s God’s there’s not much left to give to Caesar. The government should not seek to change religious belief, but embrace faith as a part of the fabric of a pluralistic society. <[I am certainly misquoting him here, I cannot remember his words exactly]. Father's sermon was quite long as sermons go, as he reasoned out each step of Catholic citizenship for 2016 and was well received and appreciated. Ultimately, he told us that though he had reservations about its standard bearer, he will be voting Republican.

  7. beelady says:

    Our priest made an excellent point about persistent prayer and the upcoming election. He said that our nation would be very different (in a good way) if more of us had been praying consistently. He stressed that we must pray for our nation day in and day out regardless of where we are in the election
    cycle and who is in the White House.

  8. colospgs says:

    It was part three of a three-part series on confession. We should go every two weeks, maybe every three, but certainly no less than every month.

  9. jameeka says:

    29th sunday of Ordinary time.
    Prayer: In this age of communication—email, cell phone, Skype, text, facebook, twitter, snail mail, there are so many ways to do it…..
    Main cause of divorce-lack of communication. Parents feel challenged communicating with their children, and vice versa. Just because so many ways, doesn’t mean we are better at it.

    Prayer is communication with God. Don’t base prayer’s worth on your feelings before, during and after (e.g.whether you “feel” good when you speak with Him). Requires some discipline, regularity, making time. And also perseverance. St Paul says that the Holy Spirit will give us the words, groans, to speak with God—like a wind at our back, carrying our prayers forward. Prayer also requires us to listen, most importantly.

    Father Z: I love your sermon, thanks!

  10. JSII says:

    Novus Ordo- Latin – We heard about 3 types of perseverance in prayer. Natural, supernatural, and grace, for final perseverance. We also heard about he election; if a certain party were to be elected then we will start to see parishes close one by one. Persecutions will begin. He reminded us of Nazi Germany, priests will be rounded up. And executed….our church teaching is being destroyed right before our eyes… Pray for final perseverance.

  11. Clinton R. says:

    At the N.O. Mass I assisted at, Father expounded on today’s Gospel message on the necessity to be ever perserverant in prayer. Since October is the month of the Rosary, Father related how the Rosary has wrought many miracles to the Church. He named the victory at Lepanto and the Jesuit priests who survived unscathed after the nuclear bomb at Nagasaki as proof of Our Lady’s intercessory powers. He also gave us this quote from St. Alphonsus Ligouri: ‘Mary having co-operated in our redemption with so much glory to God and so much love for us, Our Lord ordained that no one shall obtain salvation except through her intercession.’

  12. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    29th Sunday in Ordinary time. Second collection for Together in Mission today. The pastor Father Pham was homilist at all masses and preached that just as Moses needed the support of Aaron and Hur holding up his hands in his ministry so too did Father Pham need our help in his ministry – by supporting his hands – which currently needed to work on a roof leak in the parish hall and other improvements around the church as well as other churches in our Archdiocese through together in mission. Father mentioned that pastors and vicars come and go but if this truly is OUR parish and church then we are obligated to support it.

  13. PhilipNeri says:

    But to belong to the Body of Christ as heir to the kingdom means wholly embracing the whole of the Gospel. Not just the fun parts, or the nice parts, or the parts that don’t disturb my life too much. All of it. When Paul urges Timothy to be persistent, he’s urging his disciple to endure temptation, trial, and every terror that can be brought against the faith. He’s exhorting him to be steadfast and courageous in the face of whatever the world may bring to bear while trying to sully the Bride.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  14. aliceinstpaul says:

    We share in God’s causality for our world mostly through prayer. Prayer is how we can influence, change, and fulfill God’s plans.

    Four forms of prayer: (use ACTS as acronym to remember) adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication.

    Real prayer that connects us to the Lord moves beyond asking for what we want, centered on ourselves, to being Christ centered. This kind of prayer requires silence. Silence in our daily lives to hear the Lord. Be Still and know that I am God.

    Prayers of the saints and Scripture also move us to this kind of prayer, away from what we get out of it to Him (as does the liturgy: we aren’t supposed to come to the liturgy for what it does for us, we do it because we owe Him adoration, and He is so great that He gives us the greatness gift of all, Himself, during it .)

  15. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Money is important, even indispensable, to buy the treasures of earth; the treasures of God can’t be purchased with money, though, because grace is a gift. (I almost expected the expression “filthy lucre”.)

  16. Polycarpio says:

    Strikingly similar to your sermon, Father riffed off of the “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” from today’s Gospel to lament the discrepancy between symbols and reality. For example, Father asked, what good is it for a parishioner to don a necklace with the image of the Crucified One, if the person bearing it isn’t a crucified person, does not pick up their own cross, make penitential sacrifice, etc. There were many other sobering examples.

  17. JonPatrick says:

    We need to be persistent in prayer but sometimes we need help, as Moses needed help. The warfare in the first reading is symbolic of our own spiritual warfare between us and Satan. The Church for us is like Moses at the top of the mountain overseeing the spiritual battle, directing it and guiding it. If we are parents we should be doing this in our own household, guiding our children.

  18. Cafea Fruor says:

    Father challenged everyone to try to move beyond verbal prayers and to start at least a certain amount of meditation every day. But then he remarked that so many of us think that meditation means we’re doing pretty good and just stop there and cool our heels, but that contemplative prayer is for everyone, not just the most mystical saints like St. Teresa of Avila (of course her feast day was Saturday) or St. John of the Cross. And then, noting that contemplation is a gift, he explained that our job is to be making ourselves open to that gift, so he talked about the need for receptivity and listening.

  19. KateD says:

    We drove a very long way to catch a Saturday vigil Mass with our bishop. He spoke of many things, but as already mentioned in serveral other comments as a theme, he spoke of perseverance of prayer in relation to Moses and the battle. But he went on to say Moses’ posture was a cruciform…..The following day we went to Mass at our parish church and our priest also spoke of the cruciform. The children had the question in catechism this week, ‘what is man’? The answer from the SJBC is ‘he is spirit and body’. Posture in prayer, therefore, has a place; it is not purely mental. He also spoke about the fact that the battle was at Meribah, where the children of Israel first began to question God, to doubt Him and that this place of quarreling was the place where they were later attacked. And isn’t this where we are attacked in our lives and fall into error around the places where we question and doubt God? Is the Eucharist really the Body of Our Lord? Was my marriage really valid? And so it is in these places where we must persist in prayer…

    ….My inference is: in order to come out of the battle victorious like when a person holds their arms up in the cruciform (like Rocky Balboa hopping around the top of Philly Museum of Arts steps), it is a sign of victory….and since the Holy Spirit led both to speak of cruciform, that’s what I meditated on. It dawned on me that Jesus, in the perpetual re-presentation of His sacrifice at Calvary in the Masses all across the world, never drops His arms as He prays for us, His Church.

    It occurs to me, we should be the ones holding up our pastors arms, like Hur and Aaron, especially the men in our churches, as the Church defends herself against her enemies.

  20. hwriggles4 says:

    Our Parochial Vicar, who is a former Episcopal priest, gave an insightful homily that tied the readings into relationships. Father mentioned the importance of having good mentors in our lives: at work, home, school, and elsewhere. I am always reminded of some great Scout leaders, as well as professors, teachers, and an exceptional fire captain named Jim Robinson. Father also mentioned the importance of belonging with others, since it is difficult to survive without community. Father also stressed the importance of daily prayer, consisting of spiritual reading (even mentioned the bible), Mass, and Confession. By the way, this N.O. Parish does at least two hours of Confession on Thursday nights, and another two hours on Saturday mornings.

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