Finding the Good in Every Homily

ethikapolitika.org | 1/10/2019 | Staff
j.moomin (Posted by) Level 3
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On Christmas day we went for Mass to a very famous, and very big, church in the major American city where our second child and his wife live. The Mass was lovely. A beautifully decorated church, a reverent celebration, lectors who made you hear the story afresh, a booming organ and a cantor with an astonishing voice.

The celebrant was, I think, a bishop. And his homily was . . . astonishingly pointless and trivial.

Nothing - Nothing - Lot - Examples - Notes

And long too. He said nothing wrong, but he said nothing particularly relevant either. He chuckled a lot. I don’t remember enough of it to give examples, because I didn’t think to start taking notes, but as a proclamation of the Gospel, it was just bad. If he were a homiletics student, I’d give him a F.

I could, and I don’t exaggerate, have preached his homily in two minutes, maybe three — he took about twenty — and done it far better. I tried to force myself to be receptive, but I couldn’t. It was just awful, and the effort to suss out whatever of value he had to say was too much on Christmas afternoon.

Someone - Stuff - Homily - Jesus - Body

But I’d survive a bad homily, because I’m someone who believes all this stuff. And after the homily I’d meet Jesus in His Body and Blood. Other people, maybe not. The bishop had several hundred people in front of him, a good number undoubtedly at Mass once or twice a year, and he gave them not a single reason to come more often.

He undoubtedly meant well. He surely thought he was saying something valuable. But if he did, he lacks a necessary self-unawareness. Perhaps not his fault. We are all bad at seeing our limitations. Maybe he was overworked and tired and quickly tossed together what thoughts he had...
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