Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point during the sermon you heard at your Mass of Sunday Obligation?

Let us know what it was.  Many people out there don’t have an opportunity to hear sermons that are content rich (or even coherent).

For my part, I spoke about the reality of a larger sense of “family” in which we all share.  In the older, traditional calendar today is the Feast of the Holy Family.  Epiphany was on 6 January, of course.   Be mindful of how we all can build each other up and help each other through how we live.  Our good works and lives of virtue raise everyone up just as our sins and vices tear everyone down.  Our acts of sacred worship ripple through the cosmos, visible and invisible.  But our daily actions can be “consecrated” and made more than the mere mundane through our prayerful and dutiful offering of them to God.  They too have their own knock on effect in the cosmos.  We are not alone.  We are interconnected.

Meanwhile, here is a shot from our own real Epiphany Mass:


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Kathleen10 says:

    Can I ask, how does one know which is the “traditional calendar”? It is confusing with the mismatch between the two calendars. I’d like to follow the traditional, but I am not sure there is an agreed upon traditional calendar. If there is one, could someone please tell where to find it?
    I would like a paper calendar, which works better for me. Many thanks in advance.

  2. djc says:

    We heard an excellent sermon at the Epiphany Vigil Mass.

    Our priest asked if we are people of faith as were the three wise men. After exploring that for a while he transitioned to talk about the need for evangelization and how he (a priest originally from Nigeria) asked several nominal Catholics why they don’t attend Mass regularly—and he gave the reasons they said they couldn’t attend. This was pretty embarrassing to hear especially when he almost suffered martyrdom in the African jihad and several, many actually, of his parishioners were murdered for attending mass He then transitioned again to talk about if America was truly a Christian Nation. Several people started to say yes and he explained that he see’s Jesus being pushed out of our culture.

    This man, who grew up in rural, northern Nigeria (an almost all Muslim area) has a perfect grasp of the issues facing the Church not only in Africa and the States, but worldwide.

    His homily ended positively with a request to follow Jesus Christ no matter what the cost.

    I’m still thinking about his homily this afternoon.

  3. The bishop was our guest celebrant. A pleasant surprise. He spoke of the Epiphany and warned against nostalgia and the belief that the past was better.

    [Who knows what that meant in the context, or what you mean by posting it.]

  4. VexillaRegis says:

    We didn’t have the opportunity to go to Mass today, but we went to a concert with a bigger wind orchestra together with a singer, held in a nearby Lutheran church. As an encore they surprised us with a sublime rendition of Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria. What a sermon that was, indeed!

  5. marthawrites says:

    We had a lovely homily based on the last line of Matthew’s Gospel: …”they departed for their country by another way.” Our priest noted that we encounter Christ Sunday after Sunday and asked, Do we leave, not by a different route, but on a different path due to each encounter? Has each Sunday Mass changed the direction of our lives in any way? I thought this idea would make a fine starting point for each day’s examination of conscience

  6. LDP says:

    OF Mass of the Epiphany. Fr made clear this was a transferred solemnity; an EF Mass had been celebrated on Friday.

    Possible explanations for frankincense, myrrh and gold: frankincense = Christ’s divinity, myrrh = Christ’s death and gold = Christ’s glory/kingship. Or, the Magi were wonderworkers and frankincense, myrrh and gold were the tools of their trade, so to speak. As Christ, the source of their power, had now come, they no longer needed these tools and could return them to Christ. Or, the exotic gifts were simply meant to honour Christ.

    The Star of Bethlehem, like Mary, is not Christ, but leads us to Christ. We must be like the Star of Bethlehem: everyone can see the stars; can everyone easily see our faith? They should. We must be beacons of the faith. Also, stars can only be seen in the dark. We are living in times of darkness. Our starlight must not be stifled by the forces of darkness, e.g. political correctness, which seeks to remove Christianity from public view. Always, we must shine.

  7. un-ionized says:

    Kathleen10, if you have an iAnything, there is an app called iPieta which has both calendars and a TON of other stuff.

  8. Jeannie_C says:

    OF Mass of Epiphany at our church as well. Fr. Nathan explained the meaning of the gifts of the Magi and spoke of the many gifts we can bring to our Lord every day. He blessed the chalk, frankincense, myrrh and holy water to be distributed to parishioners and gave instruction on the chalking of doors. Lastly, he announced to us our Bishop Frederick Henry’s resignation due to ill health and provided a brief introduction of our new Bishop William McGrattan who will be installed Feb. 27th. Please keep our diocese in your prayers as we begin a new era.

  9. Eleanor says:

    Kathleen10, there is a very nice PDF 2017 Traditional Roman Catholic Calendar you can download and print here:

  10. Precentrix says:

    The most important point from this morning? Speaking primarily to the children preparing for First Holy Communion…

    What is it that you most want? Really? Jesus+ gives us everything we could ever possibly want or need. The wise men travelled across all kinds of deserts to find the Person who could give them everything they wanted. We don’t really have to go so far…

    Yes, He is really there (I wonder how many adults needed to hear that?!?!).


    This evening’s Mass was in Polish. I don’t understand Polish very well, but Fr F was the only one of our clergy to bless chalk (he also did wine on the feast of St. John).

  11. Nun2OCDS says:

    We usually assist at EF Mass but missed Epiphany so.. Assisted at vigil on Sat. OF – Epiphany: Priest said that Catherine Emmerich had a vision that the woman taken in adultery and facing stoning but was saved by Jesus was pregnant. In saving the woman, He also saved the child who grew up and became the good thief crucified next to Christ. Our Lord saved him a second time promising him paradise. The priest next quoted the poem/hymn of Christina Rossetti that the best gift we could give the Christ Child was our heart.

    Today at EF Mass for the Feast of the Holy Family, we were reminded that Satan wages war against God. Today that war is directed toward the family. Man being made in the image of God, the family is an image of the Trinity. Satan’s current war on the family is a war against the Trinity – hence against God. To be victorious in this war, we should follow the example of the Holy Family. Replace the pride of Satan with the humility of the Holy Family. Children should be as obedient as the Christ Child doing the small tasks given them by their parents. Mothers should look to Mary as an example of generous self-giving. Fathers, all men having a psychological weakness of inattentiveness, should look to St. Joseph who by persevering courage and submission to God accomplished God’s Will. Families that eat together, recreate together and pray together… stay together. If forgiveness needs to be asked, ask for it. If forgiveness needs to be given, give it. God wants us to be a family within the family of God.

  12. jameeka says:

    Father spoke of the Magi, “wise men” not only smart but seeking the ultimate meaning of things. Fr said that astronomy was meticulously accurate and detailed in ancient times, about things which are the furthest away from us. Nowadays, the hottest topic is examining things which are closest to us, our brains and minds.

    When the Magi came to the end of their journey, it became the beginning of a new one for them.

    And Fr C quoted St Augustine ( perhaps also in memory of Fr O’s sermon last year citing Augustine seeking Beauty)
    “In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which You created. You were with me, but I was not with You. Created things kept me from You; yet if they had not been in You they would not have been at all.

  13. Phil says:

    I went to a NO Mass, wherein was of course celebrated the transferred Solemnity of the Epiphany. Among other things, Father spoke of how we now move beyond Christmas and begin to contemplate the adult life of Jesus. My favorite line: “Our religion is not (forgive me) about admiring a cute baby. It is about following an adult.” He spoke of our need to follow the example and teachings and Christ in our lives, that we cannot remain in a childish (as opposed to child-like) faith; we must grow up and live as grown up Christians.

  14. Worm-120 says:

    Father spoke about how you cannot find Jesus apart from the church and the sacraments and to think otherwise is to deceive yourself. He compared the church to Jerusalem, we must pass through the church to find Jesus just like the magi had to go through Jerusalem, there is no other way. Tied everything in with confession, which he ushualy mentions at least once every homily.

  15. PhilipNeri says:

    Upon seeing the Christ Child, the magi do something remarkable. Matthew tells us that they “. . .prostrate themselves. . .do him homage. . .open their treasures and offer him gifts. . .” This threefold reaction to the Child tells us all that we need to know about who the magi believe the baby Jesus to be. It also tells us how we as followers of Christ best prepare ourselves to be better followers.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  16. un-ionized says:

    Father pointed out that if you took your Christmas tree out to the curb the day after Christmas you are missing the boat. He explained about all the components of the manger scene in the Church, the star, the angels, the shepherds, the manager, the Holy Family. It was very nice.

  17. Nan says:

    22 min turbocharged Mass. Why would we have a homily? We had 2 emhcs giving communion, with Fr sitting after purifying chalice. He’s here from another diocese after coming to stay with family for medical reasons. If I were more charitable, I’d assume he became fatigued during Mass and the original plan called for the second emhc to be at the back of the Church, but his Mass is always very short.

  18. truthfinder says:

    EF. Father spoke rather directly on the family, and clearly against homosexual ‘marriage’ as well as birth control. Also emphasized the importance of having children in a marriage – and that marriage isn’t about having romantic dinners all the time to the exclusion of children. Probably preaching to the choir, but it’s the first time I’ve heard it at this parish since joining, and there’s always a few visitors.

  19. Fr. Kelly says:


    I see you have received a couple of answers already, but I will add that Tan Books has a several really nice Calendars both in wall format and weekly planner format. They all present the Traditional Calendar, the Current Liturgical Calendar and Historically important feasts and commemorations as well.
    Their caledars are available directly from TAN or from a number of Catholic booksellers like Biretta Books, SPORCH, and several others.

    Hope tyhis helps

  20. Gregg the Obscure says:

    We had the Noveritis sung right before the homily (by a cantor as Father’s respiratory issues would have made a hash out of him singing it himself). Father then reminded us how we should proclaim in our daily lives the great mysteries announced in the sung proclamation. After that he discussed the significance of images from the parish creche of the kings kneeling in homage and of the lion and lamb together.

  21. G-Veg says:

    Fr. Rossi at St. Joseph’s in Downingtown, gave a wonderful homily about obedience and its root Latin root. He noted that men of that time looked to the stars to guide their travels and that great attention and careful observation were required to travel across wilderness spaces without the aid of maps. Carrying this forward to us, we must make space in our lives to listen to God, to observe his working in our lives and recognize that He has a plan for us, an epic journey that we cannot hope to make well if we clutter our lives.

  22. frjim4321 says:

    Flipped around the early developed allegory of gold:frankincense:myrrh::kingship:divinity:embalming (gifts a symbolic of characteristics of the Jesus Christ) to a possibility of seeing the gifts as representative of the characteristics/potentiality of each human person:
    The rarity, immense value of gold; it’s malleability and ductility; the inestimable value of every human life from the first moment to the last, the remarkable of often unrealized potential of every human person.
    The fragrance of frankincense, the recognition of dignity and the rising up of prayers as a reminder of each person’s vocation to respect the dignity of others (immanence) and render heart-felt worship to the Giver of All Gifts.
    The medicinal properties of myrrh, as it is use even in this time, considered as a reminder of our responsibility to be peacemaker, bridgebuilders and conduits of God’s compassion, love and mercy.
    With all three together carrying the potential of being a new epiphany even now as we celebrate the first.

  23. joekstl says:

    Sorry to be a day late. We celebrated a real Epiphany Mass this past Sunday. Our pastor is a great homilist – he teaches and preaches. He had two points: in keeping with the theme of many Gospel accounts and messages of the Old Testament prophets Matthew emphasizes that the un-expected people recognize Jesus for who he is. He reminded us that too often we treat those different form us as “those people” whom the Jewish people would call Samaritans and others. Secondly, referring to the three gifts – he connected them to Jesus as priest. prophet and king and recalled that Baptism anoints us as priest, prophet and king. He zeroed in on Prophet – one who is not identified with predicting the future, but whose mission is to preach justice. Then he reminded us that in our city we have a severe justice issue – we have a shelter for cats and dogs but none for people; and we have been working for over five years with local officials to establish a permanent homeless shelter. So, leaving Church today, he tasked us with using our Baptismal role to contact our elected officials to get off the dime and establish a homeless shelter. After this homily the congregation spontaneously stood and applauded!

    An interesting side note – at the beginning of the homily our pastor mentioned that he was in our school’s fifth grade class and asked if anyone knew the meaning of “epiphany.” A girl raised her hand and answered “realization.” And that comment led him to the Magi and their “aha” moment.

    Last side note: in an earlier post by Fr Z on the Epiphany he showed a picture from the Cologne Cathedral -and noted its reliquary of the three kings? Relics(?) Three(?) Kings(?). Seriously!!!

  24. gloriamary says:

    I order mine from The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. Beautiful calendars. $13.00. Plus, you help support the FSSP.

  25. In the past I have received some calendars from various traditional groups.

    This year? Not so much.

    So, I suppose the first out of the gate gets the first posting about their calendar!

  26. KAS says:

    Our senior priest has been giving the BEST homilies. It is wonderful. Nothing soft peddled, he is teaching clearly the gospel. I think he has finally come to a place where he is letting his love for orthodoxy shine forth without worrying about responses. So while I do not expect a fire and brimstone sermon, it is so wonderful to hear the clear good news taught. He is hammering the WE BELIEVE portion home so powerfully its like a weekly home run. The message is clear–WE believe these things and there should be no compromise or embarrassment but a bold embracing of those Truths. God bless him!!

Comments are closed.