LET IT aLL sTART hERE
For Catholics who care...
In the column "dear Padre" a reader complains: Our last pastor gave good homilies, and I got a lot out of them. Our new pastor either tells jokes or talks about what he did during the week. How can I get him to preach better homilies? (Signed: Hungry for the Word)
I think the parishioners at Sacred Heart Parish ( Stamford, NY) are particularly blessed, if not spoiled by the quality of homily they receive every Sunday. Our pastor, Fr. Cambi, spends a great deal of time preparing for the writing of his typical eight minute homily; he knows the power of words and how to make them work for us and he is engaging. I can follow just how he carefully and skillfully uses the day's Scripture reading to direct the listener to a place of reflection. Sadly, not every Catholic has the good fortune of experiencing such a "homilist" and that works against The New Evangelization and individual conversion. If a person is "not getting anything out of " the Liturgy of The Word there is a big problem brewing for The Church, the individual and the priest.
Fr. Rick Potts aka "the dear Padre" tells us: "a homily must artfully draw a listener into questions of the human heart and bring that day's Scripture reading to bear on those questions. In that moment we hear--in faith how hope, love, sacrifice, and belief in God guides us in our life's journey."
Many of my readers at LetItAllStartHere are knowledgeable enough to describe the qualities of a strong homily. They know what they need to get out of that experience. I am asking those same readers to join our movement as we insist that priests do the work and prepare thought provoking homilies. Answer the question: How can a pastor write a better homily? BE NOT AFRAID! Tell us what you have learned through the many years you have participated in The Holy Mass. I can start the ball rolling by offering this from Thomas Merton: " We don't need so much to talk about God but to allow people to feel how God lives within us, that's our work." This is the work of the priest: To get his people to feel something.