Sunday, July 20, 2014

Effective Preaching

Those of us who go to mass each Sunday do so for many reasons: prayer, obligation , community, Eucharist, etc, etc.  But what we often do not hear is the Word of God broken open for us in a well written and delivered homily.
And why should we?  The average Roman Catholic clergy receives about six credits of homiletics (the study of writing/giving homilies) during their formal education.  And in fairness to the vast majority of priests, their time is consumed with managing the needs of a parish and ministering to their parishioners.  So finding 8 -10 hours each week to pull together a cohesive 10 minute Sunday homily (much less daily homilies) may be difficult – but is sorely needed.
As a whole, we often spend so much time focused on Christ being present in the Eucharist that we forget that Christ is equally present in the congregation gathered together, as well as in the Word.  But we are a people coming together who deserve to have the scripture broken open and poured out in a way that touches us, heals us, and gives us a meaningful message for the coming week.
This past January the National Catholic Reporter printed a short article they had asked me to write on the steps needed for an effective homily.  Since it was only released in a particular supplement addressed to deacons (have no idea why), I thought it would be good to release it here on my blog site and invite your comments, suggestions…or better yet, encourage you to print out a few copies and if you hear a poor homily, hand one to the preacher (priest or deacon) on the way out the door!
For a copy of the article click HERE

1 comment:

Meredith Gould said...

Not blowing incense up your alb, Jim, but you are one of the finest preachers I've encountered -- ever.

You connect the readings to daily life as it's lived today, your humor is delightful, you boldly invite listeners to boldly draw outside the thick lines of denominationalism, and of course, you that that voice!