Your Sunday Sermon Notes

It’s the last Sunday of the liturgical year.

Were there any good points made in the sermon you heard today at the Holy Mass which fulfilled your Sunday Mass obligation?

Tell us what they were.

For my part, I preached about the Four Last Things.

Seasonal Classic

A couple things I hope everyone took away were…

  • In our particular judgement, nothing can be hidden from the Just Judge.  Every though, word deed and omission will be laid bare.
  • In the general judgment, everything will be entirely lad bare to all, and we will see how everything fits.
  • When examining your conscience, occasionally try to imagine what goes through the mind of the person who, upon death and judgment, suddenly realizes she’s in Hell.  What would the first 10 seconds be like.
  • God will say “COME!” to some and “GO!” to others.  Christ explained this and added, “For I was hungry and you gave me to eat…”, or else, “you did NOT give me to eat…”.  Works of mercy are important for our final judgment.
  • God’s justice we are going to get whether we want it or not, but in this life His mercy is ours for the asking.
  • Be devout, diligent in mercy, thorough in confession, pious in Communion, apostolic in action, cheerful in hope and you do not need to be terrified of death and your judgment.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Our priest told us hell exists and we choose to go there by abandoning God.

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    That we will see the abomination of desolation in the last days. That we are not to follow even an angel of light, should he preach another gospel than the one Jesus gave us, nor listen to any priest, bishop, or even pope who preaches another gospel, such as calling what is bad, good, or calling what is good, bad. That it is a privilege to be treated badly for the Gospel, and rather than feel badly we ought to be grateful.
    Yes, we appreciate this priest.
    One thing about either judgment that I have never heard an answer to. If we confess our sins, are still all those sins read out for all to hear? Will we be reminded of them again? This is confusing because we are told God forgives and puts them away, “as far as the east is from the west”.

  3. billy15 says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I post my notes from last Sunday, Fr. Z. I saw you didn’t have one of these for last week, and I’ve been wanting to share this…

    My family and I attended Divine Liturgy at the nearby Ruthenian (Byzantine) Catholic parish today, and the pastor began his homily by reminding the congregation about Philip’s Fast which had just begun on November 14th, the feast of St. Philip the Apostle in the Byzantine calendar.

    He then mentioned how saddened he is that so many Catholics, both of the Latin and Byzantine Rites, are so reluctant to do anything extra, let alone, those things that they are obliged to do during times of fasting and penitence. He mentioned how he was recently talking to Bishop Milan Lach, the recently appointed apostolic administrator of the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Parma. After serving as auxiliary bishop of the Slovak Catholic Archeparchy of Prešov, Bishop Lach has been wanting to get to know his new flock more, and asked the pastor what the deal was with the dispensation from the Philip’s Fast the Friday after Thanksgiving.

    Bishop Lach couldn’t wrap his head around this, and the pastor mentioned that he had a hard time explaining to him why this was so. As it turns out, Bishop Lach was one of many Catholics in Eastern Europe that was persecuted during the communist regime. All that Bishop Lach had was his faith, and apparently the bishop in this conversation with the pastor couldn’t understand how we can’t even bear to continue offering up small sufferings to our Lord by fasting and abstaining the day after Thanksgiving.

    The pastor got very worked up, in a good way, that we Catholics in the US are, to paraphrase, lazy and ungrateful. Father said that he couldn’t even begin to talk about the atrocities that happened there because of all the children in the congregation listening. He implored us to donate to the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, with forms found in the parish’s bulletin.

    At this point, he apparently noticed someone who was falling asleep during his homily. He then exclaimed that we’re so comfortable that we even fall asleep in Church. “Wake up!” he said to all of us. He asked us why we aren’t taking our faith seriously. He asked us why we try to weasel out of anything we can from Holy Days of Obligation to the requirements of penitential periods such as Philip’s Fast and Lent. He noted how we are way to comfortable; we’re so used to being comfortable that even our seats our padded. He slammed his foot on one of the benches/pews, almost kicking it, and reminded us how many Catholics have no such comforts, yet we complain about abstinence and attending church more than once a week. He mentioned, to the church that was packed full, that a very special Holy Day was coming the following Tuesday on November 21st: The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, AKA The Presentation of Mary. In the Eastern Catholic Churches, this is one of the 12 Great Feasts of the year. Father demanded that the church be just as filled on that feast as it was that Sunday. He said he’s tired of the excuses; he’s tired of the church being second fiddle. Instead of saying, “Oh I can’t make church on this Holy Day because of this event”, why can’t we say “Oh I can’t make this event today because I need to go to church this evening.” Why is our Lord always on the back burner, he asked us. He also reminded us, and closed by saying, that this time before Christmas is a time of penitence and that we should go to Confession.

    And a closing note, my family did go back to this parish on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos for the evening Divine Liturgy. The church was fairly full, much more than usual. It would appear something got through.

  4. stephen c says:

    Father Z, judging from the outline of your sermon, it sounds like a very good one! In my church, today, I remember a good explanation of what Paul was saying to the Colossians – we (all of us) not only should, but we can partake, to a certain degree, of what the saints partake in, by following the example of Christ – of course all our lives on this earth will end one day, either on the day described by Jesus in the reading from the Gospel of Matthew, or some earlier day – but we can start right now to be ready for a better life in a better place, and we should take the opportunity of the end of this liturgical year to take account of what we have (or have not) been doing, in the light of the promises that are given to us ….

  5. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    People have been predicting the end times since….. the beginnings of the Christian era. Such predictions are a distraction. When the end comes, it will come quickly enough that people won’t have time to be concerned with situational awareness.

  6. JonPatrick says:

    EF Mass Last Sunday of Pentecost. When Jesus comes the second time to judge all mankind He will be merciful but just. Many today don’t believe in sin and judgement. But love and judgement go hand in hand. God created us to be children of God and wants all to be saved but He will not force his love on anyone; we are free to choose or reject him. Judgement is just the affirmation of the choice we made.

  7. wisbadger22 says:

    Fr. Z, your sermon was very impactful. The part about imagining the first 15 seconds being in hell would be enough to put the holy fear of God into anyone. It definitely got my attention.

  8. frjim4321 says:

    It was related to how Catholic Christians are called to be political in the best sense, as in engaged with the world and creation; the title of the feast is not limited to “King of our Hearts,” “King of the Vatican,” or “King of the Church,” rather it is “King of the Universe.” Do we ever reflect on the meaning of “Universe” and why that is in the title? Do we view the plan of God as effecting everything, or just our “spiritual life,” or our “church lives.” In the best sense, politics means to be engaged with and to embrace the world while discerning, promoting and cooperating with God’s plan for the entire Universe, from Point Alpha to Point Omega. Being political is much more than repeating the opinions of our favorite pundit; rather it’s a multifaceted activity characterized by listening, learning, thinking, praying and acting.

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