Were there any good points in the sermons that you heard for your Sunday and for your Christmas Masses of obligation?
Let us know.
Yesterday, at Midnight Mass I spoke about what “good will” means in the angels proclamation of good news to the shepherds. Whose “good will”? And what “good will” involves. It involves, among other things, such an orientation to God and His will that we hasten to see wonders, as they did, as Mary did to Elizabeth, and how we can hasten to see wonders in others and perform good works when they are need, for the circumstance that require good works are manifestations of God with us as well. This is the basis of salvation and joy.
This morning I spoke about how the three Masses of Christmas reveals the Sons birth in eternity (in still darkness), in time (at dawn), and in our hearts (in the full light of day). When the perfect image of the invisible God was born, He immediately set about saving us from our sins and teaching us who we are, at first in vulnerability. I suggested contemplating in home nativity scenes or in church the soft little hands of the Infant, which were, even as they reached out, already strong enough to bear the sins of the whole world. One of the things that makes this feast so moving is precisely His vulnerability. His tiny hands are already mighty enough to smash through barriers pride and touch hearts that are scarred from circumstances or from sin.
And, we had the 2nd Mass this morning, Lux fulgebit, which not many people get to hear.
At the early Mass today we had our associate pastor from India. He mentioned that people think he converted because they don’t know about the Catholics in India. (His family has been Catholic for many generations). In any case, they have a tradition where he grew up where the Catholics go from house to house of their friends and neighbors bringing Baby Jesus and treats and going into chat for a while – including going to Hindus and Muslims. How’s that for ecumenism?
Father said we should approach the birth of Christ with a similar awe and wonder that a little child views the external things of Christmas — the lights, presents, food, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised to observe a permanent deacon reading his breviary before holy Mass and then wear a dalmatic during holy Mass! Wonderful! Need to see more of that.
I forgot to remark above that I recently purchased Lux Fulgebit on audio cd from St. Mary’s in Norwalk in Connecticut. HERE Their schola performed it. First time I’ve ever heard it. It’s lovely.
Father compared the passages in the Koran and the Bible concerning Mary’s response to the Archangel Gabriel, and pointed out the errors of the Muslim interpretation of Mary’s role in bringing Christ into the world. He then seamlessly transitioned into Luther’s heresy (yes, he actually used the h-word) concerning human nature/redemption, and mentioned in passing, though pointedly, that Amazing Grace has no business in a Catholic Mass. The whole homily flowed perfectly and tied well into his overall Christmas message. This is one of my favorite priests, though he officially belongs to another parish and just occasionally subs in at mine for the TLM. He is not afraid to point out sins and their consequences, and refuses to be politically correct regarding the errors in other belief systems. That is also why, I suspect, he will likely never be made a bishop.
4th Sunday of Advent in the OF, I talked about Our Lady’s “yes” that made redemption possible and our “yes” that leads others to Christ.
The Vigil of Christmas in the EF, I talked about the vigil being a fore-feast.
Christmas at OF and EF, I talked about the power of the Word. God spoke a Creation, He spoke at the Incarnation (redemption), and He speaks today through the Eucharist. In the Verbum Domini, the Word becomes flesh today. All of His words are words of love to lead us into communion with God, and ultimately heaven.
My homily had in mind those folks who are infrequent at Mass, but show up at Christmas. I answered the question, What difference does Christ make?
The Dawn Mass was a Low Mass kept to half an hour with a homily of about four sentences, concerning Mary’s role, which I couldn’t hear too well, which was somewhat slight compared to the Vigil Mass where Fr spoke of an age old tendency to reject and displace Christ as old as the Tower of Babel, more recently manifested in the Masonic plotted French Revolution, through the League of Nations (an openly Masonic construct), and it’s offspring, the United Nations. Diocesan priests are accused of weak and accommodating homilies, but this priest doesn’t compromise.
We had a sermon about making room at the inn in our hearts by not turning anyone away due to their immigration status, culture or sexuality. My wife, two young sons and I sat there quietly and dutifully listened.
I don’t know what to say any more. I try to listen with a prayerful heart to the readings and the prescribed prayers.
“This morning I spoke about how the three Masses of Christmas reveals the Sons birth in eternity (in still darkness), in time (at dawn), and in our hearts (in the full light of day).”
That’s a great frame. Hope I remember that next year. Nicely stated.
Fr. Jeff Kirby at Our Lady of Grace, Indian Land, SC. Fr. opened his homily with a plea for the C/E Catholics to come home full time. He spoke of the necessity of adhering to all of the tenets of the Church, which include making Mass every Sunday and Holy Day, not just on Christmas and Easter. He then followed with a lovely homily on the Incarnation and it’s meaning to each of us.
I filed your homily notes in my next-year folder, I like that.
It’s a good way to address the issue of the various masses (vigil, midnight, dawn, day).
This year we used “dawn” for all four masses; but this reframe is good.
Father packed in a lot for his 8pm Mass homily at Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, CA. What I remember most is:
“Christmas and Easter seasons see the most participants for confession. He notices this as he is in persona christi and worries for us; people should come to confession more often, because we never know when death will take us. We all are sinners, so we should be attending confession more often. Family members should encourage miscreants [my word, not his] to go to confession more often [this is where my wife looked glaringly at me … and she a Proddy!].” Just before the final blessing, though, Father amended his homily in regard to what he said about “encouraging” loved ones to go to confession: a bad atmosphere should not be created in the family due to someone not attending confession; when it looks like a lost cause and you’ve tried your best to encourage, don’t fight — PRAY.
Father covered other things in his 10 minute homily … but confession was his salient point.