Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gospel with gusto!!

OK, OK I confess, I enjoy being preached at!! I know it's not the most important part of Mass, in fact technically it's not part of Mass at all, but the sermon is one of the things I look forward to the most. I get very irritated at mumbling priests who read the gospel in a deadpan way and then proceed to drop half of their sermon into the lectern so that I'm either leaning so far forward to hear that I'm nearly sat on the person in front of me or I'm slunk right back in my pew like a petulant and defiant child because I've given up trying to listen. So although liturgically speaking Mass at Westminster Cathedral yesterday could've been better I thought the sermon was very good and worth noting. I know priests are not meant to be thespians but a strong diaphragm certainly helps. This priest read yesterday's gospel with gusto!! Here's the text from the Douay Rheims;


26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you having a mind to build a tower, doth not first sit down, and reckon the charges that are necessary, whether he have wherewithal to finish it: 29 Lest, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that see it begin to mock him, 30 Saying: This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
31 Or what king, about to go to make war against another king, doth not first sit down, and think whether he be able, with ten thousand, to meet him that, with twenty thousand, cometh against him? 32 Or else, whilst the other is yet afar off, sending an embassy, he desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise every one of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple. (Emphases mine).

"I don't like it when Jesus talks like that" the priest began his sermon. Here is not Christ the meek and mild. Here is a Christ that challenges us to get out of our comfort zones and take up our cross the priest declared. Christ demands we renounce the world to be his disciples. How many of us can count ourselves true disciples he asked. How many of us are charitable only when it suits, show our love for Christ only when it is convenient. How many of us are prepared to follow Christ at all costs?

I love these kinds of sermons, they are powerful stuff and make me go, 'wow' this is amazing. They make me zealous to be Catholic. Now before I get accused of being a 'powerful sermon junkie' or only liking Mass if it makes me feel a certain way I'm not saying all sermons should be like this, only that this one impressed me a great deal and I wanted to share my zeal with others. Feeling awed and inspired is very precious for a potential convert. It is experiences such as these that move me closer to the Church, closer to Christ.


As a point of clarification the Douay-Rheims has the following note for verse 26,

26 "Hate not"... The law of Christ does not allow us to hate even our enemies, much less our parents: but the meaning of the text is, that we must be in that disposition of soul, as to be willing to renounce, and part with every thing, how near or dear soever it may be to us, that would keep us from following Christ.


At 10:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

< preaching mode >
You must post more!
< / preaching mode >


At 11:32 pm, Blogger Katrina said...

Ha ha! Very good but not really long enough to be a sermon Mr Smith!!! I will post more tomorrow hopefully. Was going to do so tonight but got distracted by a comment on Joe's post about abortion that I HAD to respond to. I only hope he doesn't censor me....AGAIN!!!!!!

At 12:07 pm, Blogger Matt Doyle said...

Hi Katrina. The sermon IS actually part of the action of the Mass. The first part is God's revelation to man through the apostles, prophets and patriarchs of the bible. The second part is God coming to man in the person of Jesus at the consecration. Therefore the sermon is God speaking to us through his ministers in the Church; an important part of the way the Holy Spirit works in the world today.

At 12:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sacrasanctum Concilium No. 52 "the homily, therefore, is to highly esteemed as part of the liturgy itself".

GIRM No. 65 "The Homily is part of the Liturgy..."


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