Are you inspired by the Sunday homily or do you leave church hungry for more spiritual insights? Realizing the need for more powerful and inspiring preaching the U.S. Bishops at their annual meeting in November approved a new teaching document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily.” The last time the bishops addressed the issue of preaching was in 1982. The document was prepared by the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, chaired by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis.
The document stresses that the purpose of the homily is to be a “dialogue” between the sacred biblical text and the Christian life of the hearer. Preachers should be aware, in an appropriate way, of what their people are watching on television, what kind of music they are listening to, which websites they find appealing and which films they find compelling. The document notes that references to popular culture expressions-which can often reflect religious teaching-can be an effective way to engage the interest of those on the edge of faith.
Writing an inspiring homily can be a challenge as congregations today are more culturally diverse and are often profoundly affected by the secular environment around them. So be sure let your parish priest know when he has delivered a meaningful homily for you!!