Your Transfiguration Sunday Sermon Notes – PHOTOS and AUDIO


One of you readers sent…

Hey Fr. Z !

Our priest loved your post and so we had the blessing of the grapes today along with a beautiful homily he prepared ! Thank you !

____ Originally Published on: Aug 6

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard during the Holy Mass in fulfillment your of Sunday Obligation? Let us know.  Good points, please.

For my part, I explained that today’s Feast, Eastern in spirit, was made universal in the West by Pope Callixtus III in honor of the defeat of the Islamic invaders at the Siege of Belgrade in 1456.  Sultan Mehmet was trying to get his toes into Europe.  God threw them back.  Huzzah!

Also, I spoke about the blessing of grapes…. and I blessed grapes.

Moreover, I spoke about how our rites transform us and that we are our rites.

A taste of Sunday where I was…

Asperges – the Deacon is transitional and is studying in Rome, the Subdeacon is the Vocation Director for the Diocese… how fortunate are we here?!?



All we have to do now is say, “Solemn Mass today”, and everyone knows what to do without rehearsals.


These are vestments from the Pontifical Set, which is now complete.  Gammarelli sent the final pieces last week (e.g., extra large dalmatics, additional copes, etc.).  Not bad, huh?  PLEASE DONATE!   HERE

Action shot.





A couple of the seminarians joined us.




This what we do.  How about you?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    A good homily about the importance of personal and family prayer for our eternal salvation. He also stressed relying on Mary to help us on that journey.

  2. Joy65 says:

    Father told us about moments in his life that he did not want to end and places he’d been to that he did not want to leave. He said for us to think about times and places we experienced like that. Then think of the Transfiguration. How the apostles must have felt and what they’d seen. It must have been something that they did not want to end or leave, Jesus transfigured. So true.

  3. Fuerza says:

    Father spoke about the defeat of the Muslims at Belgrade, and reminded everyone that Islam is in fact a heresy. He spoke of how Mohammed created his religion by mixing the Jewish beliefs of his mother with the Syrian Christian practices that he had observed, and spoke about how the Islamic threat that we are facing today is similar to the one faced back then. He also broke down a few other feast days that celebrate victories over Islam. All in all probably not a politically correct homily by today’s standards, but it was definitely something that needed to be said.

  4. Son Of Sobieski says:

    Fuerza, I would very much like to meet your Priest!

  5. TonyO says:

    Probably one of the funniest homily stories I have heard, to make an excellent point.

    1st, Fr. D hardly ever goes anywhere, and never abroad. But he had one perfect opportunity to visit a couple close to him, when they were in the Holy Land. During that time, he got one opportunity to visit Mt. Tabor and the Church of the Transfiguration. On the way up, he commented on how he would love to do a holy hour there if possible. When they arrived, though, the officials were just about to lock up the church to go to lunch. He convinced them to continue to just lock up – but leave him in there for an hour of prayer and meditation – thinking “this is perrrrfect!!!, not only IN the Church of the Transfiguration, but locked in alone with Jesus. No distractions!!! He could have a ‘mountain moment’ with the Lord.”

    There was just one fly in the ointment: he was locked in with a large horsefly, which showed its affection for clerics, and would not leave him alone. (Fr. D played it up a bit and had us all laughing.) So instead of an intensely spiritual holy hour, he spent the first part being distracted and trying to shoo the fly away.

    Eventually, though, Fr. D remembered that the merit of prayer is not that you do it without distractions, but that you do it with desire for the Lord and His will. So he offered up the distractions (which did not go away) and just prayed anyway, as best he could, letting God take care of the rest. Ultimately, praying before the Lord in the Church of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor is a lot like praying before the Lord in the parish at home: it’s before the Lord!

  6. Joy65 says:

    TonyO, that is a wonderful story.

  7. acardnal says:

    Thanks for including the audio of your homily, Fr. Z!

  8. aliceinstpaul says:

    What I recall:

    1. Chasing a past wonderful religious experience, constantly trying to recreate a prior one, is wrong. We are asked to go down the mountain where the hard work of saving souls and casting out demons is. Recall the father and son at the bottom of the mountain were unable to be saved by the remaining apostles. The apostles’ faith was not strong enough. Is ours?

    2. In the Gospel we have the head of the Church, the first martyr of the apostles and the apostles to live the longest. And here as throughout the Gospels, the head of the Church tells Jesus what He should do. Every time, every single time he does this, he’s wrong. God himself corrects Peter and instructs: Listen to Him. On hearing this, Peter and the rest are terrified. Only Christ soothes the fear. The role of the Church is to Listen to Christ, not to tell Him what should happen.

    3. Moses and Elijah are there because Jesus is the fulfillment of both the Law and the words of the Prophets.

    4. We can, through the eyes of faith, see the Lord as He is, transfigured in all His Glory by witnessing the transubstantiation and receiving him in the Eucharist. We are luckier even than the 3 were to see this.

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    ” the Deacon is transitional and is studying in Rome, the Subdeacon is the Vocation Director for the Diocese… how fortunate are we here?!?”

    Our own diocesan vocation director has celebrated TLM here several times in the last couple of years. The regular celebrant of our parish’s primetime Sunday TLM—in a slot replacing a longstanding parish OF Mass—is his associate vocation director (and our associate pastor since returning from studies in Rome). Three different parish TLM’s in our small diocese were celebrated today by different young priests ordained in recent years. Today we said goodbye to a senior TLM server who’s on his way to seminary, and I understand our seminarians interest in the TLM is encouraged. A number of single young men were visible at the TLM I attended today (in addition to five serving at the altar).

    All this would have seemed surprising ten years ago, before the 9/14/2007 implementation of Summorum Pontificem. The way things are going now? Deo gratias.

  10. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    Let’s all wish Cdl. Kasper a happy Feast of the “Non-Transfiguration,” since today’s feast features one of the miracles in the Gospel that he calls legends (Kasper, Jesus the Christ, 1st Ed. 1976, 2nd ed. 2011, pp 90-91).

    To quote an ancient authority, Kasper (who sells his theology books to kill the faith of our children and seminarians) sees the Gospel as “a cleverly devised myth.”

    How fitting that St. Peter, in his epistle today, begins his testimony his eye-witness testimony about the Transfiguration with the words: “We did not follow cleverly devised myths, when we told you of the poet of the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ….”

  11. jameeka says:

    Fr C started by mentioning the Pantheon, the ancient building in Rome which became a church once the persecutions of Catholics quieted down. Raphael the painter is buried there, and was not quite done with his painting ‘The Transfiguration’ when he died ( the painting in today’s wdtprs). At Raphael’s funeral, his students carried his Transfiguration painting in a procession. Fr said this epitomized what Catholic funerals should be—not remembering the past of the recently deceased when they were in the Land of the Dying ( as St Augustine called it), but hoping and praying for our transfigured Life to come.

  12. TonyO says:

    Chris in Maryland, I noted that same passage as well, and thought of all the “pious myth” interpreters of the Bible. They are all out to lunch. Except for the ones that are out and out heretics.

  13. Sandy says:

    I second what Son of Sobieski said. Since my answer to Father Z’s question is “no”, I can’t say any more.

  14. mobrien says:

    There seemed to be a lot of younger people attending. Whenever I attend a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, I always see lots of younger people attending the Mass.

  15. Eugene says:

    A disappointing homily, [the rest deleted… SEE THE TOP POST]

  16. Scott Wilmot says:

    At St. Stephen Church in Cleveland, OH, Father, at the Latin High Mass, preached on the graces of the Sacrament of Confession. He said that the state of grace we are in after a good confession is a transfigured state that unites us with the Divine state of Christ and can be though of as greater than the transfigured state of Christ in his human glory on Mt. Tabor. He urged us all to frequent the Sacrament of Confession.

  17. Prayerful says:

    High Mass for the Sunday and the PP/adm noted how the most depicted scene in the Gospel, that of of the Crucifixion ties together, are of a piece, a point already explicit in the last line of the Gospel (Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead). One thing that stood too was when in reading the English translations, the Epistle was the usual Knox translation (anyhow something that was different, perhaps the Confraternity translation), but the Gospel was the Challoner Douay Rheims text used in the 1940 St Andrew’s Missal. This priest does nothing without a bit of thought, so suspect he considered the older translation to perhaps have more majesty.

  18. No sermons at the Latin Mass, just a pastoral letter from our Bishop warning those going on vacation they must fulfill their Sunday obligation, and that if they do not, they are committing a mortal sin and cannot received Holy Communion… until they go to confession.

    To read the pastoral letter (it’s pretty good) :

  19. Chris in Maryland 2 says:

    Thanks TonyO,

    That reading from St. Peter struck like lightning this morning – it is outrageous that Pope F has promoted Kasper’s non-theology.

  20. APX says:

    I didn’t realize that there was a Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese of St. Paul, Alberta.

    We had a Solemn High Mass today because one of our parishioners was making her First Communion.

    As far as the sermon is concerned, our priest basically did a review of some of the chapters of the St. Joseph First Communion Catechism. Jesus is God and when we receive communion we are receiving Jesus, who is God. Communion is spiritual food for our souls which helps us grow in virtue and root out sin. In order to receive communion we must be in the state of grace, have fasted from food and drink for at least one hour prior to receiving, and we must have a right intention when receiving communion and not simply out of habit of being at Mass. If one receives communion when not in the state of grace, one cannot be saved.

    I really miss having more meatier sermons.

  21. Nan says:

    Mass at Our Lady of Good Help, Champion WI. I don’t remember anything but Father describing the events of the transfiguration, describing the light of Christ’s face as he was transfigured.

  22. catholiccomelately says:

    Father richly described the Trinitarian basis of the Transfiguration, the call to Listen To Him, the beauty of the 2 Peter reading, and the relevant Catechism passages. Awesome. (He also mentioned that secularists, socialists, and Muslims all deny the Trinity and the sonship of Christ and are wrong!) Good sermon.

  23. Amante de los Manuales says:

    A point that was made in passing: There is nothing more beautiful to God, more pleasing to him, more wonderful than a soul in a state of sanctifying grace. On the other hand, there is nothing more ugly to God, more evil, more wicked, more disgusting than a soul in a state of mortal sin.

    The point Father was getting to: We need to spend more time in the spirit (not the flesh).

  24. Dear APX,
    Yes, Bishop Paul Terrio gave the task of celebrating TLM to one of the local diocesan charismatic priest… and everything turned out great and it’s really something [obedience!] He’s Fr. Dave and he is really a great priest. Our Bishop is great too!

  25. Grumpy Beggar says:

    . . . Not too much time available to zero in on the homily – which often goes with the territory of this serving ( a veritable plethora of duties) as a volunteer (lay) assistant to the Chaplain in a large long-term care facility. It’s always hectic getting things set up in the auditorium for the first Mass and then trying to get all the patients to Mass with limited manpower. I try wherever possible to focus on at least part of the homily:

    After Father had clearly emphasized how we know -from scripture, that at the Transfiguration, God truly spoke to the three Apostles who accompanied Jesus , he asked everyone to consider where this happened. He took us through the steps of climbing up the mountain . . .“no one else around” . . .“no noises”. . .

    Then he concluded his homily by saying, “This is where God speaks to us most – in the silence.”

  26. TonyO says:

    Grumpy Beggar, your last point (the conclusion) is very appropriate. In the last month alone, I have seen (rather, heard) a dozen times how Satan loves to fill all space with noise, noise, noise. People can’t stand to be in silence. They have to run a TV, radio, earbuds, whatever, all the time. Silence is hated. They don’t want to be alone with the Lord. The prospect horrifies them.

  27. JMGriffing says:

    I never post on these as one of the Orthodox who reads here regularly. Today, I am inspired to. It struck me that the epistle, and likely the Gospel, are the same East and West for the feast. Our pastor spoke of Christ transfigured and our own ability to live in the Light of Tabor by participating in the life of the Church by way of the sacraments – including confession. I read the epistle, which was somewhat daunting in its opening as my wife and I prepare to move for me to start seminary.

    Even as a non-Catholic, thank you, Father, for all you do with this blog. It is inspiring.

  28. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Hi TonyO .
    Thanks for the feedback and the info.

    Even if, when faced with no “noise”, these people were to continue to deny God’s existence, in a zero-noise-factor environment they would eventually be confronted by the echoes of their own minds, which I imagine could be considerably frightening without the assurance of a loving God or any sense of conviction of His existence.

    I don’t even know how people can survive without the sacrament of Confession – I know I couldn’t.

  29. Former Altar Boy says:

    “…and everyone knows what to do without rehearsals.”

    Maybe nitpicking, but I think some of the altar boys could use some tuning up on their hand folding.

    [THAT’s what you chose to comment on?]

  30. My own homily was a mess, I think, but I did manage to make some good points:

    – I thought it curious that Jesus invited along only the three, not all the Apostles. So I explored how that might have seemed to them, and to the others. I pointed out that sometimes we are on the “inside” — we are given special access, or gifts — and we can either get a big head, or else realize, as with these Apostles, it is so we can better serve the others. Likewise, we can see others seeming to be preferred, and resent it and be envious; or else we can get to the task the Lord gave us.

    Finally, I talked about what if each of us were similarly “transfigured,” and what was inside us were suddenly on full display? Would it be brilliant light, or darkness? I talked about how in confession, our Lord wants us to have the light he gives, and we receive light from the source when we receive Holy Communion in a state of grace.

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