My Notes From A Homily That I Loved

I went to Mass today at 7:30 a.m. because Andrew had to serve. (I am usually an early riser but heck that was really difficult today.:)  And then I came home and said, "I am going back with everyone else at 10:30, because I want to hear that again."  (I so wish my two oldest were here, because I want them to hear this message, so applicable to their generation. Instead they will have to listen to me retell it.)  

I told the priest after Mass that if I had a checklist of things I have been really really struggling with, that I wanted to find peace with but could not just settle myself (things I could not, no matter how much searching, find peace with and found myself sort of dark this week about, and I'm not just referencing politics)-well,  I had just checked them all off after his homily in terms of having found the answers.  Don't you just love when that happens?  I honestly had a talk with Jeff about some of this at dinner last night, and then to wake up and hear this refreshing beautiful message felt like a miracle, really.

Here are my notes (these are just notes, as I remember them, these are NOT the words right out of his mouth, he was much more eloquent and thorough, I am typing this up in a very busy house so excuse any typos etc, but I just have to get this down for myself.)

Gospel Reading: Matthew   5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, 
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.  
He began to teach them, saying: 
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are they who mourn, 
for they will be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek, 
for they will inherit the land. 
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
for they will be satisfied. 
     Blessed are the merciful, 
          for they will be shown mercy. 
     Blessed are the clean of heart, 
          for they will see God. 
     Blessed are the peacemakers, 
          for they will be called children of God. 
     Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of 
          for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
     Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you 
          and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. 
     Rejoice and be glad, 
          for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Waiting for things to get easier-We all have a tendency to think in the future things will get easier. (I relate this so much to motherhood!)  He said in the parish they can say...
After this Advent things will slow down
After Lent…
Then after Easter, it will get easier.
After the school year ends, and summer begins things will ease up.
And then after summer we can get back to a routine.

He related this to the same way he felt about the election.
Waiting for the election to be over and then everything will die down and we won’t have to be so invested and things will be "back to normal".…Waiting for the inauguration, everything will settle down... 
And then something else comes into play. 

We are always waiting for things to get easier.  Always yearning for the easy way out, to be satisfied. 
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 
          for they will be satisfied. 

Hunger and thirst are uncomfortable feelings, and we will be satisfied in HEAVEN, not here on earth.

righteous. 1 : acting in accord with divine or moral law
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, 
          for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-they are promised the kingdom of heaven, for the sake of acting in accord with moral law.  
It is NOT an easy place-the place we are called to be as Christians. 

A mock Golden Book that he saw on the internet with a picture of Hitler and the caption:
Everyone I Don't Like Is Hitler-A Child's Guide To Online Political Discussion.

We praise right to life issues, for protecting the most vulnerable and innocent among us, and that is good and righteous.  It is not that easy though. 

There is no political party for Christians. We are supposed to be in the party of Christ, to look for Him and strive to be like Him.  We are called to be compassionate to refugees, to those left behind, to immigrants etc.  We are to stand up and speak up. We must praise the righteous acts and we decry (with love and compassion), the unrighteous acts.  We must live and speak the message of Christ, but not without understanding and compassion, whether in our own families or on social media (he mentioned Facebook.) Just because we disagree with someone does not make them Hitler, and just because we agree with someone, does not make them Jesus himself.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. 
Rejoice and be glad, 
for your reward will be great in heaven.

This will happen to you as a Christian-even when you approach with compassionate love. It happened in Christ's time too.  You will have half the population hating you for the way you stand up for the unborn, and then when you say, BUT when you say all people must be treated with compassion and mercy no matter what the circumstances or race, or religion, you will have the other half hating you.  As Christians we have no easy simple “box” to be in and that is uncomfortable.  We are CALLED to that discomfort, to speak up and not be afraid, and not be swayed by popularity-the discomfort won't ever go away, we can't just keep waiting for it to go away and get easier, if we are living the message.   


  1. Thank you for sharing. I agree and am grateful that others feel as I do that being a Christian who speaks gospel truths in a compassionate way is what is needed. I particularly am grateful, however, that others see it will be getting harder as time goes on. I have felt this strongly lately. Spending more time reading His word in the scriptures every day helps me to know God and His Goodness will prevail, and that we CAN be who He needs us to be.

  2. Oh that DOES sound like an amazing homily. Ours was too... maybe not enough to go back the same day though. Thanks for sharing

  3. I've struggled with the Beatitudes in the past, so I appreciate you sharing these takes. :)


  4. I am not Catholic and don't know what a homily is, but I am Christian (LDS) and have felt these same things lately. I'm trying to teach my kids to develop their own relationship with God so they will know His will and be able to stand strong in the face of temptation or persecution. I cannot get through the days anymore without regular prayer and scripture study.

    1. Hi Felicia, Every Sunday, at a Catholic Mass, we have four readings from The Bible, one from the Old Testament, one from the Psalms, one from the New Testament, and then one from the Gospels. Afterwards, the priest speaks to the congregation, called giving a homily, where he might focus on a particular theme in the readings, perhaps relating it to something going on in the community/world. This is his opportunity to teach the people gathered. HTH :)

  5. I've been thinking a lot about discomfort... Getting comfortable in discomfort. One of our ecclesiastical leaders in my local Mormon church recently warned about getting too comfortable and seeking comfort, convenience, and ease over the discomfort of seeking, doing, and living God's will. I have been trying to push myself out of the ease and comfort of my own circle to volunteer more, to care more, do more.

  6. Loved your message. I picked up on the waiting part. I am 56 years old and did a ton of when this happens things will be better over my life. I taught school for 31 years and was very blessed to have my children with me and close by when they were in school. Family was always first and I put off taking care of myself thinking when the kids reach this age or when I retire. I got slapped in the face when I retired with my health. Then a parent died and I had to move my mother to my town. I found myself with less time than I had when I worked full time. I have chosen in the last year to quit putting off the things I wanted to accomplish, but to take care of myself too. I am now in great health and doing some of those hobbies I put off and loving on my family as well.
    At the beginning of the year, our church's message was on the fruits of the spirit. Choosing one to work on for the year. I chose JOY. I want to live this crazy mixed up life in this crazy old world with the JOY that I am blessed and that I have Jesus close. These things we hear each day aren't going anywhere, but I don't want to not live with Joy. I determined to do just that.
    Great post. I love your heart!

  7. Thank you, Thank you. Our family is embarking on something right now that is taking me out of my comfort zone but I feel in my gut is right. I second guess myself every second and I read your blog today and it was as though you heard that homily and typed that just for me. I will take that as a sign. Bless you. Amy

  8. I am Christian, but not Catholic so please excuse my ignorance or any errors I make here... but it sounds like a homily is a message or sermon from your minister, and I am so thankful you went to that early Mass! What wise words these are, I have been feeling so much of this lately. And it has left me feeling alone and unsure what my responsibilities are in this world of so much vocal hate and outrage over everything. I am afraid to even say a small thing for fear of the backlash, and yet I believe our silence is what allows these louder voices to steer our country. It is a hard path to walk and I am so thankful for wise men (and women) of the Lord who seek inspiration and share their thoughts. And thankful you shared them again so all of us can benefit. I am hopeful you post more of what your thoughts and actions are in this direction--- how do we act true to this calling ? To speak and still be kind, to stand up but not trample others. This is a hard age to live.

  9. Thank you for this. That gospel and homily came at the perfect time! Kudos to your priest, he sounds very wise. I'm currently staying off Facebook (probably a good thing anyway) because I can't take the vitriol on both sides. Our faith transcends politics. I tell people 'I'm Catholic, so ultimately neither party speaks for me.'

  10. Thanks so much for sharing Sarah! I went to the 7pm mass after a long weekend at my son's hockey tournament, so I remember the Beatitudes were the gospel reading, but I don't remember the homily, funny as that sounds. I love the reminder of no political party for Christians, everything doesn't fit into a nice tidy box or category. So true (the in but not of the world concept)and so "uncomfortable" at times.

  11. Oh, this is so lovely! Thank you for sharing this. I am pondering what I may say/read at my brother's memorial and this is so perfect. He died from complications of MS. He was just 47 and my only sibling. I have had such a hard time dealing with his death and this truly comforts me. Thank you!

    1. I'm so sorry Laura, what a loss for you, I hope you find peace.

  12. "There is no political party for Christians." yes, yes, yes!!! You heard a great homily. Two of my closest friends don't understand me at all during this time, and one is Catholic. The other is agnostic and liberal. I refuse to engage with them. The best thing I did last week was to deactivate my Facebook account.
    I loved these lines you wrote, too: "As Christians we have no easy simple “box” to be in and that is uncomfortable. We are CALLED to that discomfort, to speak up and not be afraid, and not be swayed by popularity-the discomfort won't ever go away, we can't just keep waiting for it to go away and get easier, if we are living the message."

  13. Hi Sarah, What a beautiful post. The part you mentioned about "waiting for things getting easier" really resonated with me. I find myself saying this so often in relation to mothering....after such & such is over I will have time to be a better mother and spend more time playing with my kids. I really need to remember to take advantage of TODAY!!
    Also, on another note, you have inspired me to do a Whole30. I wanted to do it last year, but with a newborn it just wasn't feasible!! I have been reading the Whole30 books and trying to mentally gear myself up for it. I have read and re-read your whole30 posts so many times! So, thank you for the time you spent sharing your experience. I do have a few questions--- the homemade dressings are making me nervous due to the raw egg. Did you use raw egg? Also, the link to the sweet potato chips recipe doesn't take me anywhere. Is there any way you could super quick share with me how to do this?? Thanks again for your help!!

    1. Hi Kelly! I think I did use raw egg-maybe when I tried to make mayo? I was never that successful at it and always substituted guac for mayo (for hamburgers, dip for fries, dressing for chicken salad.) I've eaten enough cookie dough over the years to lose my fear of raw eggs anyways. :)
      Sweet potato chips-that is a necessary staple for me doing the Whole30. (I buy them now but it would be hard for you to find ones that only use good oil.) Here is a recipe that sounds like how I made them:
      I bought a mandolin and used that. It didn't take 2 hours for them to get finished either-I would bake them in a 350 degree oven but you have to watch them carefully because they can burn quickly. (Some edges always burn anyways.)

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your notes from the sermon. I appreciate the balance of it! Our sermon in church left me struggling, as it dwelt mostly just with being peacemakers--specifically backing away from a fight, but I believe there is a time to stand up and speak up, as your priest said.