Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

For my part, I explored – on this 4th Sunday after Epiphany – the point in the account in Matthew (pretty much the same in all three Synoptics) when Christ “rebuked” the water and wind, having been asleep in the boat as the storm terrified the disciples.  What would that have meant to 1st c. Jews?  How would they have interpreted this amazing sign?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    This week the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston released its list of priests credibly accused of abuse. Father said the Church is in a tempest now, but Christ was still in charge of the boat. We must ask him to quell the waves by prayer and fasting.

  2. This wasn’t in the sermon, but everyone might like to hear it anyway. Before the final blessing, during the “announcements” time, Father sounded very displeased and said something to the effect of “we come to the church to pray”, and that if he sees anyone talking during Mass and they kept talking, it is his pastoral duty to deny them the Eucharist if they present themselves for Holy Communion, because they obviously do not have the proper disposition. I hadn’t noticed anything from the organ, but it must have been an issue.

  3. Mike says:

    It wasn’t unreasonable for the Apostles to seek Our Lord’s help during the storm, but they (as we) needed a reminder and a sign of the confidence we owe Him as Father and Creator.

  4. Sword40 says:

    Our car broke down yesterday on the way to the Candlemas Mass at our FSSP parish. So today we borrowed my sister’s car and went to a Novus Ordo Mass (at a local parish) The sermon was about the real meaning of “tolerance”. Father said we must always preach truth, with love, as Christ did. He reminded of John 6. where Christ said to eat His flesh and drink His blood . and when people started to leave He asked Peter if he would leave too. Christ never modified His statements or softened them. He spoke truth, with love.

    Not to bad for a Novus Ordo parish.

    [Perhaps it is rash judgment to assume that the sermon at a “Novus Ordo parish” will be bad.]

  5. @ youngcatholicgirl… Good for your Priest! He is a brave soul. There is nothing more disrespectful than people using their time at Mass to visit with their neighbor or talk aloud to their kids as though they are conducting a CCD class. It can wait until after Mass. We suffer enough interior distractions without exterior ones adding to them.

  6. Charles E Flynn says:

    @ youngcatholicgirl…Thanks for reporting the most encouraging thing I have seen in quite a while.

  7. Anne C. says:

    Fr. Altier (of the viral homily after the 1st Viganò letter) talked about NY and VA with respect to their infanticide laws (or such attempted), and the fact that our Republican-controlled Congress last year voted to give [[[PP]]] $500,000,000 of taxpayer money (much of which they turned around and contributed to far-left, pro-Death candidates!).

    I don’t usually condone applause at Mass for most reasons, and would never have started it, but as soon as Father turned from the pulpit to start the Creed, a spontaneous burst of applause broke out in the congregation!!!

    We need more holy priests like Fr. Altier – and you, dear Fr. Z!!! Our prayers are with you!!!

    [Fr. Altier and I are old friends.]

  8. JonPatrick says:

    It was hard for both Jeremiah and Jesus because people did not accept what they were teaching. Following God requires repentance and change. The Epistle of St. Paul shows us the way that we can change, through love.

  9. JonPatrick says:

    I forgot to mention. This was a Saturday Evening NO Mass so at the end after we said the St. Michael prayer (!) Father blessed candles. He also offered to bless throats since the following day Sunday was the feast of St. Blaise. This parish has no Sunday Mass only Saturday as Father has 4 parishes to administer.

  10. My homily was about the need to say tough things, but this is not permission to be a jerk; our words must be grounded in love, or they are worth nothing. Some people need to speak up more; some people need to have more humility and restraint. And I talked about our annual ministry appeal.

  11. ByzCat08 says:

    Our Gospel reading came from Luke 19, Jesus and Zacchaeus. Father gave his homily focusing on the evils of the New York law and the Virginia Governor. He ended with a challenge to all the faithful. Do we choose to fight these unjust laws and spread light, or do we allow ourselves to become one of the faithless, hate filled, baby murdering, same sex marriage people that society is pushing on us.

    We must choose and act, not sit on the sidelines. Bravo, Father.

  12. KateD says:

    We drove 170 miles to go to the EF. That’s nothing compared with the distances that priest regularly travels to provide the Mass for his far flung flock. Afterwards, our vehicle went into limp mode (grrr) and we were stranded overnight. We finally made it home late Monday, praise be to God! Then on Wednesday we were in an accident. But God keeps sending good and often holy people across our path and to our assistance. It’s funny because a priest said just prior to all this starting, “Don’t be afraid when bad things start happening….just trust God”. It seemed out of the blue and rather tangental to the conversation at the time….but totally relevant in retrospect.


    During the homily, the priest said, “There are always two feelings one has when standing at the doorway about to jump out of a plane 1)Anxiety and 2) fear. It doesn’t matter how many jumps you’ve made, the feeling is always the same. I have jumped with generals who have said they feel the same way.” Then he went on to explain that jumping at 1,500 feet is one thing but 15,000 feet is completely different, because one free falls for a period of time. I don’t know about anyone else, but my kids and I were riveted, especially my 10 and 12 year old boys.

    Before the homily I noted the priest looked like the men represented in the ancient icons. There is a quiet intenseness conveyed in those images. Like one may observe in the priest who stands guard at the doorway of the Holy Sepluchre. He is ALL about God. It seems it would be akin to a reflection of the power experienced by those who have heard the words uttered by an angelic voice, “Be not afraid. You have found favor with the Lord!” (Imagine being the person not to hear those words from such a messenger! Yikes!) We are intellectually aware that the priest calls down the Holy Spirit during the Mass and that he is responsible for bringing the True Presence to us. But sometimes that reality of Whom it is he interacts with on a daily basis is so obviously represented in the person of a priest, that it gives one pause. I wonder if all our priests conveyed that reality in their bearing that those ancient iconographers captured so well, if we would be experiencing the present crisis?

    Someone came into the back of the Church and riffled around in the literature during the homily. Normally, I would be concerned for the priest’s safety when someone comes in mid Mass and isn’t there for worship. I wasn’t worried about this priest….lol.

    Father related the discussion of skydiving with the temptation to sin and how some people panic when confronted with free fall, they start grabbing at the nothingness of the air and soon they are totally out of control and in a very perilous situation. But one has to remain calm and trust the air will stabilize and lift one up and then one experiences the exhilaration of skydiving.

    He continued that temptation is a given. So many times a day you will be tempted…every single day until you die. If you see temptation, just turn away from it. Avoid the near occasion of sin, because once you look at it, it starts to lure you in and then you fall towards it out of control and you will start grabbing at the nothingness. Just look away the instant you see it and trust in God to keep you aloft and steady. There was so much more that I’m forgetting. It was really well done and an excellent homily. I can’t believe our good fortune to consistently hear such great homilies!

    Come to think of it…that’s the same church where the best homily I have ever heard was delivered. That was at the funeral of our pastor about the role of a priest in the Mass and in the world. Powerful stuff.

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