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Monday, August 16, 2004

Homilists & Homilies: Hate Them, Love Them

The recent letters to the Catholic News threw up some interesting opinions, comments and views concerning the state of homilies and how they are done/delivered/presented in the archdiocese. Whatever your own opinions or feelings may be about the content (or lack of it) and the homilist who is delivering the message, one important dimension that must not be avoided or denied is this need to take concrete steps to do something about one's faith-life in relation to the hearing and breaking of the Word during Mass.

There is too much 'need' for people to be 'entertain' at all levels of the Mass celebration such that even the homily must be 'people-friendly', i.e. short & sweet being the imperative mode bandied for a so-called 'nice' homily.

But after all is said and done, are our listeners any wiser? Whether the homily had been done well or not, are our lay faithful able to glean whatever they have encountered through the breaking of the Word to 'make the world a better place'? For those who claimed to have enjoyed a 'nice' homily, have they done anything concrete to put in positive and meaningful Christian values into each day of their lives and share these with other along the way? Have their lives change for the better, in an unfolding manner, day by day?

Feelings are fleeting. Those that see beyond the 'niceness' and commit their lives to the concrete unfolding of 'walking the walk' besides 'talking the talk' are those that know how to appreciate ANY homily.


*s*haron said...

The author had addressed the practical aspects (actions), while I attempt to look at it from the faith perspective.

If for a moment, we see the homilist as an instrument of God, through which God is trying shed some understanding on His word to us. Perhaps then, we would attempt to listen with a bit more "respect"... no?

Do we think that the homilist gathers his thoughts in preparation for the homily all by his own efforts, with no help from above? Have we not noticed those times when the homilist paused for a moment of silent prayer at the end of his homily? What are these supposed to mean?

Yes, the Spirit is active in our midst. But only those who do not harden their hearts, those who listen with an open mind and heart, will see the truth in the message.

*s*haron said...

Speaking from a non-faith perspective, since you're gonna be there for a full hour anyway, make full use of it and try to get something out of the homily, whether it is boring or not. This applies to all your other boring lectures in schools, boring talks at conferences, yadda yadda.

It's an attitude thing. If we don't snap out of such mentality, we will be wasting 4 hours of our life every Sunday for nothing. With a mindset change, I bet we will stand a better chance of having the Spirit move us into deeper understanding and appreciation.

Anonymous said...

The most impt whether you get something out of the homily...did u manage to identify with anything the homilist is talking about?

I tink...maybe homilists should stop talking less about theory (if there are any who actually does this) and focus on how this could apply in our daily living...


Jude Gal said...

i noticed b4 & a/f homily, fr says a short prayer.
well, i have heard words which sumtmes mgt not expect to hear frm the altar/pulpit. heehee..........or sumtmes the homilist is overexcited & the egs he gve, i dun noe sum pple mgt be EMBRASSED over the homily. i of coz as usual sitting at the back giggling/laffing away till fr gves me the look. heehee..........

fr aloy shared with me juz few wks again sumthing like "we should be taking sumthing back frm the homily, if it's not meant for u it's meant for sum1 else". it always happens lah. hahaha........those tmes when a/f i hear novena i got so scared, juz dare not go for mass, huh? fr aloy, i laff at mself. but thk u for the tmes u encourage me to go back upstairs to "Feel again". well, feeling again is sumthing it was a slow process but now getting back to normal. i tink the 6 ntes nvena helped me a lot.


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