Your Sunday Sermon Notes – 4th Sunday of Advent – 2019

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard at the Mass that fulfilled your Sunday Obligation?

What was it?  There are a lot of people who don’t get many good points in the sermons they must endure.   So, share good points.  Let us be edified!

For my part, I may at one point have startled people … a little.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. carn says:

    Priest used a quote by a prominent German protestant, who effectively said that “modern” theologicans can no longer believe and should not suggest that Josef was not biological father of Jesus and that the issue of virgin birth is anyway not important, to try to show why it is important and how from the seemingly minor issue of how Jesus entered the world a drastic difference in the nature of faith and what one believes follows.

    Mainly, that if a “modern” faith believes that if God allowed such a falsehood come into being about His biological father, instead of simply altering and/or sidestepping the laws of nature so that it is no falsehood,

    that then a lot of our prayers are in vain, cause if God did not bother to skip laws of nature to ensure in that important moment of Him entering our world, then why should He ever intervene in our world due to out prayers for health, peace or whatever; and

    that then we cannot trust the evangelists about much, cause if one puts such a falsehood into the story just to make it supposedly more attractive or fit some ancient prophecy, how could one ever trust anything else the evangelists wrote?

    He also took time to offer counter points to the argument that Jesus birth is just a replica of some pagan myths about gods fathering children with humans.

    And he warned the congregation – although rather implicitly – that a lot of theologians in Germany effectively promote such a wrong faith.

    In sum, I found it brave for him to attempt to discuss this maybe most ridiculed point of Church doctrine from the pulpit, thereby risking to look to some like a caricature of a priest who bothers about virgin birth or not, to drive home why it is important.

    And he did a rather decent job of it. At least a few will have understood, that this is not a minor and ridiculous issue.

    Though he left out the two most sharp arguments about the issue:
    If a “modern” Christian cannot believe that God intervened to cause a true virgin birth, how can a “modern” Christian believe that God intervened to change something about a corpse rotting since 48+ hours so that the corpse becomes something, which looks rather alive to observers and is the person the corpse was 48 hours ago? irreparable brain damage starts after minutes; and
    If a “modern” Christian cannot believe that God intervened to cause a true virgin birth, what the heck is that “modern” Christian about when he professes in public each week: “I believe … born of the virgin Mary …”? sounds like weekly lying in public right before communion;
    the priest confirmed these points when I asked him in private – he was aware of them, but skipped them to avoid being too sharp; he said that such “modern” Christians turn thereby the “Glaubensbekenntnis” = proclamation of faith into a “Misstrauensbekenntnis”= proclamation of distrust, cause such a “modern” Christian will speak every time the creed with the internal reservation, that the evangelists were lying and we cannot know what to believe.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times interviews Philip Yancey, an evangelical Christian writer:

    Was the Virgin Mary a Virgin? Does It Matter?

    Do not despair at the interview or the comments. You will receive an abundant supply of fresh eye rolls on January 1.

  3. Filiolus says:

    Our priest reminded us to make a good confession before Christmas. He reviewed the necessary elements for the sacrament (contrition, confession, satisfaction), and gave some practical tips of things to confess (a murder spree) or not (sleeping 5 minutes past your alarm). It was a good admonishment to clean house before the coming of Christ!

  4. JonPatrick says:

    Father asked us to spend some time between now and Christmas Day away from the hustle and bustle reflecting on what the birth of Jesus means to us personally.

    He also mentioned that he was available for confession if anyone hadn’t made a confession yet, reminding us that it is a precept of the Church to confess our sins at least once a year.

  5. Gregg the Obscure says:

    St. Joseph was asked to do things that were very difficult, yet he did all that was asked of him without complaining. While St. Joseph is never directly quoted in Scripture, he would have been in Lord’s mind in all the cases where He discusses the loving Father.

  6. William says:

    Clarification please Father: Isn’t Barach more of an “appendix” to Jeremias, not Isaias?

  7. SanSan says:

    Good slap on the pulpit Father. Everyone was awake :)

    [They were awake before, but they were really awake after.]

  8. Mariana2 says:

    Thanks for the sermon, Father!

  9. Fr. Kelly says:

    At the NO Mass, the Gospel was Matthew’s account of the birth of Our Savior. I pointed out that we see St. Joseph at his weakest and then at his best. He is terrified at the realization that by marrying Mary he has placed himself in the position of being in a position of authority over the Son of God. This is a truly fearful thing.
    Indeed he is so frightened that he is prepared to renege on his promise to marry her. Given that he is truly just, this fear must be truly overwhelming.
    But when the angel comes to him and assures him that God has chosen him for this role (she is to bear a Son and you are to name Him Jesus) he comes back to himself and without further hesitation he takes Mary into his home.
    We must strive to imitate Joseph in his ready obedience to God’s will no matter what He asks of us

  10. Nicely done, Father!

    In my homily, I contrasted the figures of Ahaz and Joseph. Ahaz doesn’t want any input or help. He is proud and stubborn. Joseph is prayerful and listens, and can change course even if it is humiliating. I developed this further, emphasizing prayer and confession, and put it simply: be Joseph, not Ahaz.

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